The Republicans in the US understand too well the conundrum now facing the Liberals. You can’t run your party if you don’t heed the crazies — but you can’t run the country if you do.
Consider the recent special election for the New York congressional district. The Republicans nominated one Dierdre Scozzafava: a reasonable choice, one might have thought, given that her views on abortion and same s-x marriage mirrored those of the electorate. The conservative grassroots, however, were not impressed. Bloggers and shock jocks dismissed Scozzafava as little more than a traitor and instead ginned up a campaign for the far-right Doug Hoffman, a man who proudly described the loopy talkshow host Glen Beck as his ‘mentor’.