According to some of my talk-radio-listening friends, I am a bleeding heart pinko. But in reality, I'm not. Like most people, I don't think a very high tax rate is good for the economy or for society. I don't like an overly intrusive Government. I believe we need a strong and professional defense department. And, true confession: I voted, enthusiastically, for Ronald Reagan. Somewhere between the Gipper's "Morning in America" and Sarah Palin's nomination speech - Republicans in this country simply lost it. I can't pin down the exact moment: Maybe it was the "Willie Horton" ad. Maybe it was the Clinton impeachment fracas. But whenever and however it happened, today's Republican party no longer is capable of nominating or electing politicians with the qualifications and worldview necessary to function in the 21st century. A look at the panel of grifters and lightweights on the Debate stage last week ought to be the clearest indication of that. Can Republicanism be saved? Is there some combination of demographic; intellectual; and political developments that will drive the crazies from the GOP? Will the departure of Barack Obama from the political picture ease the racialist undertone that underlies much Republican rhetoric? I'm not overly optimistic. But there are, perhaps, green shoots. Like this recent NY Times OP-DOC about the decision of prominent Evangelical leader Rev. Rob Schenck to part company with the Republicans over one of the hot-button issues of the day.