It was pretty clear to anyone who suffered through Bobby Jindal's rebuttal to Obama's speech the other night that Jindal did a horrible job. Even many commenters on FOX panned his efforts. Now, though, the right-wing talk shows who drive and lead the remaining conservative rump of the Republican party are defending him and excoriating any Republican who says Jindal did poorly, according to Digby at Hullabaloo.
Digby does make the point that Jindal was not speaking to the nation, though. His sole purpose for getting on TV in front of the nation was to speak to the conservative activists in the Republican Party who will select the Presidential candidate in 2012. Unfortunately, the Republican Party under conservative domination has become a wild-eyed cult and appears to be doomed to a permanent minority if it continues along this route of placing blind faith in ideology and failing to recognize reality when it slaps them in the face.
They've had a thirty year run of placing the conservative ideology and identity above the good of the nation, and it worked well enough to elect three Presidents and gain control of both houses of Congress for the first time since Eisenhower was elected in 1952. They've convinced themselves that their blind faith in their ideology gave them power, and now that it is being taken back away from them, they think that all they have to do to get the power back is to double and redouble their efforts and profess their blind unwavering faith under all circumstances in conservatism.
Naturally, they can't admit that it was that very conservatism put into practice that has created the current world-wide economic disaster which is now clearly growing worse and sees no indication of turning around. No, instead they are redoubling their support of conservatism once again, depending on it to return them to the power they crave. Admitting that conservatism failed would indicate that they did not have enough faith, and were not "worthy."
The result is a shrinking Republican Party dominated by the whims of unaccountable right-wing conservative talk shows (Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, etc) and similar conservative TV talking heads like Bill O'Reilly.
They see the return of their power as being dependent on the deepening Recession and Obama's failure to deal with it. That leads them to two sets of actions. They are already acting. They will obstruct every effort by Congress and Obama to alleviate the economic problems as much as they can, and they have to demonize Barack Obama.
Steve Benen points out that right-wing polemicist Bill Krystol from the Weekly Standard has published an unusually candid admission of the need to obstruct all efforts to alleviate the problems caused by the Recession. Eric Boehlert writes a good summary showing the effectively instantaneous development of right-wing media hatred of Barack Obama that has developed over the 30 days he has been President. Neither is illogical from the point of view of committed conservative ideologues who are convinced that they can regain power while retaining their group identity if they only display total, unwavering faith in "Conservatism."
It is that unwavering faith and their belief that they can only succeed in imposing it on everyone else if they return to power that is driving the right-wing media to the most extreme lengths.
Like the Great Depression did to similar right-wing economic ideologues in the 30's, they are going to fail. They have been exposed. Supply-side economics has proven to be an utter failure. Tax cuts to give more money to the rich does not create more middle-class jobs, just more mansions and yachts. Deregulated banks cannot be prevented from taking greater and greater risks until they take the entire system down. Unregulated mortgage brokers paid strictly on commission for the largest mortgages will lie and cheat both the customers and the banks supplying the mortgage funds, and the unregulated mortgage banks will sell the dreck the mortgage brokers provide in large bundles to investors who turn a blind eye as long as the money continues to roll in on schedule.
At the same time, other unscrupulous financial managers have been building ponzi schemes and often moving off-shore to facilitate separating the marks from their money. Unregulated food and drug producers are providing poisons instead of food, medicines and medical apparatus. So are unregulated toy manufacturers, especially overseas where they face even less vigilance from governments who want to increase exports and don't care what happens to consumers in other nations. Then retailers like WalMart buy the dreck from the lowest bidder because no one has any control of the poor quality control in production, quality control that was eliminated in an effort to lower costs and compete against better quality producers. Then WalMart markets its stuff to customers who are searching for a bargain because they have not had a real pay raise since 1970. And so on.
Meanwhile, the conservatives, who have made a fetish of obsessing about the glories available in their imaginary heaven created by unregulated markets in which government never interferes, turn a blind eye to the failures of that market as they each present themselves to their supporters as totally faithful believers in conservatism. They are collectively running for power based on their faith in the failed god of conservatism. That will only work as long at the voters will follow the lead of the right-wing extremist spokespersons in radio, TV and in print. The more they fail in the effort, these true-believers will become even more extreme in their efforts.
Thus the clear obstructionism in Congress and the ever-growing hatred of Barack Obama and everything they claim that he stands for.