If you were listening to an elephant who sounded like he had a seriously stuffed-up nose, or was severely constipated, you’d be listening to the Republican Party in 2012.

The long arc of history looks like this: Reagan wins with promises of tax cuts paying for themselves and sunshiney optimism all around. Newt Gingrich wins with promises of tax cuts paying for themselves, and a new form of vicious divisive politics that rips American government in two, with everyone looking around wondering where all this hyper-parisanship came from. George W Bush wins with promises of tax cuts paying for themselves and an open disdain for nuance and big love for strutting. Then came the collapse.

As the smoke starts to clear, people are looking around to see what the result was from all that “tax cuts pay for themselves” talk. What do you know. The rich are VASTLY, almost inconceivably richer! And you? You get the residue of a busted, looted economy, and Newt’s gift of a busted, looted government. And then along comes Mitt. Can he really lead the nation in a chorus of One More Time? Tax cuts pay for themselves. That’s the core of Romneyomics. The MAIN IDEA. Oh, and his fine chatter about how he worked with Democrats in Massachusetts? One guess why. BECAUSE DEMOCRATIC LEGISLATORS WILL WORK ACROSS THE AISLE. Republicans won’t.

The elephant’s trunk is packed. They need to take a good sneeze. Or something.