The GOP wants to lose

Witness the reaction to the National Council for a New America — an anodyne “listening tour” by Republican officials recently kicked off at a pizza parlor in Northern Virginia. Social conservatives attacked this forum on education and the economy for the offense of not being a forum on abortion and the traditional family. Neo-Reaganites searched the transcript for nonexistent slights: How dare former Florida governor Jeb Bush criticize “nostalgia” for the “good old days”? Why didn’t he just spit on Ronald Reagan’s grave? Other conservatives criticized the very idea of a listening tour, asking, “What’s to hear?”…

Each of these policies — carbon restrictions, universal health insurance and immigration reform — could eventually be important to the Republican recovery. But would a candidate carrying these ideas transform the Republican Party, or be destroyed by it? The hostile reaction to the pizza parlor putsch provides one answer.