Having proven themselves unable to manage an economy, a disaster or a war -- unable, in short, to actually govern -- they may as well stand on the sidelines heckling, like a crazy old man at a small-town parade. In other words, they may as well resign themselves to the fact that they are not presently a political party so much as an entertainment provider. (Come on. Did you really not see the resemblance between a Newt Gingrich lecture tour and a birthday party hosted by Beppo the Rent-A-Clown?)
Sadly, however, they lost the courage of their convictions. At the critical moment, they did not have the courage to throw the cream pie, or spray the seltzer, or whatever. Instead of proudly calling upon the Dems to re-name themselves, they settled for squeamishly complaining about a supposed "march to socialism." It's just as stupid, but not half as funny.
Apparently, the Chicken-Hawks were reined in by their chair, Michael Steele -- who himself becomes a more comical figure every time he speaks. Seems Steel was worried that, if his party went full-tilt into Crazy-Uncle-Harry-land, they might never win another election again.
He was probably right, but still. Wouldn't it have been better to go out with a bang?