If you consume a steady diet of Politico, theHuffington Post, Slate, Think Progress, DailyKos, Wonkette, Media Matters, etc., you could be forgiven for thinking that the Republican Party is essentially a dead beast, speared through the skull and nearly vivisected, flailing its broken carcass against the earth via residual brain-stem shock and somehow also managing to devour itself.
It's a fascinating narrative to push. Internecine party struggle and a broken ideological system contains far more innate drama than describing the 2012 election as a miscalculation or a temporary fuckup. That's just situational setback, but a party rotten at the core and at war with itself is real heady ontological shit. You can write a dozen pages in the New Yorker or Harper's about it. You can meet your Atlantic blog quota for two weeks with meat like that.