The Republicans are in trouble in America, and they know it. It's not just because Romney will emerge from the primaries such a battered and bruised candidate, that any chance he had of energizing the base will have disappeared like an etch-a-sketch in a paint mixer. It's longer term than that. The Tea-Party movement was the first in what will likely be many splinter groups fragmenting the conservative right, as the demographics of America continue to change, and progressive liberalism asserts itself as the dominant force in US politics.
The old, right wing white middle and lower classes are becoming increasingly marginalised, and radicalized. Krugman's acerbic deconstruction of Paul Ryan's budget placed the blame for this "fraud" with "the hard right’s grip on the GOP" In the Globe and Mail, Doug Saunders highlights the long term trend in America towards progressive liberalism, but fails to consider the impact on the new minority. The GOP is becoming less and less relevant to American politics, and those who it represented are in danger of slipping into dangerous territory. The imbalance between left and right, the divisiveness of the politics, and the income inequality gap are combining to detach Washington from the rest of the country. In effect, the march of progressive liberalism risks disenfranchising great swathes of America, and undermining its very legitimacy. Choppy waters lay ahead.