Salon.com | The Coulterization of the American right: "For this isn't really about Coulter at all. This is about a pact the American right made with the devil, a pact the devil is now coming to collect on. American conservatism sold its soul to the Coulters and Limbaughs of the world to gain power, and now that its ideology has been exposed as empty and its leadership incompetent and corrupt, free-floating hatred is the only thing it has to offer. The problem, for the GOP, is that this isn't a winning political strategy anymore -- but they're stuck with it. They're trapped. They need the bigoted and reactionary base they helped create, but the very fanaticism that made the True Believers such potent shock troops will prevent the Republicans from achieving Karl Rove's dream of long-term GOP domination."
Updated a little more from the end of the post:
Yet despite their supposed beliefs, a kind of nihilism, an intellectual sterility, emanates from the Coulters and Limbaughs of the world. This is in part due to the fact that they are, at bottom, entertainers, stand-up comedians of resentment. Their riffs are so facile and endless that they devour whatever actual beliefs supposedly stand behind them. Incapable of compromise or nuance, lashing out robotically, never finding common ground or examining their own ideas, they are shills of negativity, forever battling cartoonish monsters in a lurid, increasingly unrecognizable world. And most Americans, even conservative ones who may share some of their putative positions, are tired of their glib, empty paranoia. If these are the messengers, there must be something wrong with the message.
The GOP brain trust presumably knows this -- but it doesn't have any other cards to play. And as the feebleness of the right's agenda becomes more and more apparent, we can expect the noise from figures like Coulter and Limbaugh to get louder and louder. But the tactic will not work -- in fact, it is likely to backfire. And if the Republicans go down big in 2008, conservatives will finally be forced to confront the Frankenstein monster they created -- and decide whether they dare get rid of it before it consigns their movement to oblivion. Based on their recent history, I don't think they have the common sense to take out the garbage.