As America's demographic facts shifted in favour of Democrats, the GOP chose instead to paint itself into an ideological corner
Barring a complete and systematic failure of pretty much every single polling organization in America, Barack Obama will be re-elected president of the United States Tuesday night.
Still, no matter what happens on Tuesday - and even if Mitt Romney pulls off the most extraordinary political surprise in the history of American presidential campaigns - the more than 18-month slog for the White House provides us with rather clear outlines on the changing nature of the US electorate and the ideological positioning of the two parties. While it would be incomplete and, indeed, probably incorrect to call this a realignment election, there are a number of crucial takeaways from campaign 2012 - and they augur much brighter days ahead for Democrats than for Republicans.
The Republican party's continued descent into madness
The single most defining element of American politics over the last four years is that the Republican party has fallen out of the crazy tree and hit every branch on the way down. It is no longer even appropriate to say the Republican party is dominated by its conservative wing; but rather, that the GOP is controlled by its extreme, radical wing.