Jonathan Bernstein makes sense:
Obviously, Republicans should oppose Obama and the Democrats on
substance, sharply if there are (real) sharp disagreements, which is
the case on many policies. But the rejectionist strategy they’re
following (oppose Dems at every turn, regardless of policy difference)
is, I continue to believe, a real mistake.
What’s the cost to Republicans? First, on policy, they lose the
ability to negotiate on behalf of their important constituency groups;
as we’ve seen, this can have the effect of actually driving some of
these groups (the doctors, for example) right out of the party.
Second, embracing the crazy yields, well, the crazy in charge of your
party. Republicans stand to gain in the 2010 cycle because the economy
is lousy, because Democrats have a lot of exposure after two terrific
cycles, and because the party of the president almost always does badly
in midterms. If, however, Republicans nominate candidates who have
embraced the crazy, they will be far more vulnerable to counterattacks
than if they nominate good, solid candidates (and not every Democratic
candidate will emulate Martha Coakley and not get around to attacking
crazy things that their opponents say until the last 48 hours).
However, no one is going to listen to advice like that.