The Republican Party did not lose last Tuesday’s election. It was obliterated, crushed, slaughtered, massacred, squashed, annihilated — and, let’s hope, extinguished.

For the party of Lincoln, it’s been a week of sifting through the carnage: What went wrong? How could a party that just a decade ago controlled all of government have been so completely nullified that an incumbent Democrat who was quite possibly the worst president in a century handily defeated the Republican nominee?

The soul searching followed the standard stages of grief: There was denial. (Former electoral wizard Karl Rove made a fool of himself on Election Night by declaring Ohio still alive long after the state was lost.) Anger raged — Rush Limbaugh blamed it on the ignorant entitlement society. Some began bargaining: Next time we’ll reject a moderate candidate, and if we can just talk Sarah Palin into . Depression followed; one Fox News host gave viewers directions for the fastest route to Canada.

But so far, there has been little of Stage 5: acceptance. To reach that stage, Republicans are going to have to know the full, brutal truth, so here it is: The Grand Old Party is an antiquated throwback to another time and place, so pathetically out of touch with America that it has become a parody of itself. And if it doesn’t change — fast — it will go the way of the Free Soil Party (buried).

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