Eight years ago George W. Bush made it to the White House as a "compassionate conservative," with plans to reform education and build a multiracial coalition. In 2008, writes Richard Cohen, that vision of the GOP is dead—replaced by "a mean, grumpy, exclusive, narrow-minded and altogether retrograde Republican Party." And John McCain's campaign bears a disturbing resemblance to that of another Arizona senator: Barry Goldwater.
The Democrats have problems, but you can remain in that party "without compromising basic intellectual or cultural values." But as Colin Powell implied Sunday, the GOP has become the home only of "its furiously angry base," an anti-intellectual movement celebrating a Sarah Palin vision of "drab provincialism." Powell, writes the Washington Post columnist, won't be the last Republican to abandon a party that, as in 1964, is being led to ruin by an out-of-touch Arizonan.