The normal thing to say is that the Republicans are going off the deep end and the further right they go, the better it will be for Democrats in the fall. There’s no evidence to suggest that is so. If Barack Obama is cool and subtle, voters these days want hot and bold. If elected officials have spent the last year centralizing power, voters seem to want radical decentralization. If Washington has piled up debt, voters want cuts with a meat cleaver.

It’s not my style, but I see no political reward for moderation in any form these days. If I were a political consultant — for either party — I’d tell my candidate to be as polarizing and as radical as possible. That’s what the country wants.