Gloria Borger at CNN accuses Gingrich of twittering away the Republicans’ credbility in the recent pirate hostage crisis, and she is right. Because this is how the party is killing itself, not by sticking to their guns and insisting that the cause is not yet lost even though the electorate’s moved on, because they know the electorate is a terribly fickle creature. Their problem is that they cannot, will not give Obama praise even when he objectively deserves it, as he does so now, and in so doing they expose their issue with him as not one of policy differences but as a naked, aching grudge. Because just 5 years ago the GOP was where he is now, the permanent majority was within their grasp, the congress was controlled by their majority, everything they had worked towards since 1994 had come to glorious fruition and they loved it. And by loving it, it became corrupted and turned to ashes in their mouths. And as their edifice, their work collapses around them, along comes Barack Obama, and in the span of ONE election cycle achieves everything the GOP had worked 14 years for to build, and more. And so they find themselves trapped, because to praise him is to recognize that he’s outdone and outmaneuvered them on every level, to legitimize it. And like victims of a newly broken disaster they’re still somewhat in shock from it, still wandering around in a daze guided by the fog that used to be their senses. At the same time, to not give him approval when he clearly does something to deserve it says the same thing Rush Limbaugh said weeks ago, in a different way: even though he was elected, even though he has a popular mandate, even though we talk about governing responsibly, fuck that because we want him to fail so we can have our turn again. It exposes the grudge for all to see and so causes the grudge to be exposed, the bias becomes palpable, and why should we listen to you when you criticize him either, even if he deserves it?

This is small, it is insidious, and it is the sound of the republican party throwing the last scraps of its credibility down the toilet.