With President Barack Obama embarking on his second term, the Republicans have proceeded through their stages of grief:
•Denial. (He's just a wacky socialist.)
•Anger. (He was born in Kenya.)
•Bargaining. (Not all rich guys who sell arms to the Pentagon are evil.)
•Depression. (It's all Ron Paul's fault.)
And now, with Obama poised to stuff the Republicans in a burlap sack and drop them into the Potomac, we're at the well-known fifth stage of GOP grief:
"So we're expecting over the next 22 months to be the focus of this (Obama) administration as they attempt to annihilate the Republican Party," said House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accurately predicting the future.
"And let me just tell you," Boehner said without a tear, "I do believe that is their goal — to just shove us into the dustbin of history."
Sorry, Mr. Speaker, but speaking as a conservative (and not a Republican), I don't know about that dustbin of history part.
Obama is a Chicago Democrat. And Chicago Democrats aren't known for sweeping their enemies into dustbins. That's too tidy, and it doesn't involve gristle or fluids.
Here's what Chicago Democrats do — they rip the heads off their enemies and shout down their necks: "You didn't build that! Hahaha!"
Republicans shouldn't be surprised. Obama needs to annihilate them to fully transform America into his ideal, which involves every American connected by bureaucratic umbilical cord to one government program or another, and in our sleep we'll hum, collectively, "Yes, we can!"
What should truly peeve the Republicans is that, as presently constructed, they can't do anything to stop him.
At least the Democrats know what they're about. Democrats are the government party, and they're about big, big government; big, big taxes to come on the middle class (demonizing the rich was just a prelude); redistribution of income; and making lawyers rich.
But the Republicans? What are they about?
They don't know what they're about, not really, and so they have a difficult time explaining what they don't know they're not about to the American people who don't know either.
Obamaphones? That's easy. That woman in Cleveland at the Romney rally explained it well, if not accurately: She's got a phone in her hand, she thinks Obama in his kindness gave it to her, and even though he didn't, she sings his praises as her benefactor. That's simple enough.
Confused Republicans can't draft simple messages. And, to be fair, it's difficult for a nation that looks to the Kardashians for cultural guidance to embrace the subtleties of sequestration and its effects on the budget process.
Establishment Washington Republicans talk and talk about fiscal responsibility, about the need to "cut spending" on all those unsustainable entitlement programs turning the U.S. economy into a big plate of flaming Greek cheese.