The way I look at things these days—which is to say, largely prone—we all have to come to face one big, hairy, honking, ugly fact about the situation in the country. There is only one organized political entity in the country right now capable of arresting the republic’s slide toward the boneyard wherein presently reside many of the republics in history. There is only one gathering of politicians capable of still reaching for the ripcord. That entity is the Republican Party. And not the Republican Party of Lincoln and Grant, and not the Republican Party of Coolidge and Hoover. And not the Republican Party of Taft and Eisenhower. And not even the Republican Party of Nixon and Agnew, of Railsback and Flowers and Elliot Richardson.

Read the rest of Charlie Pierce’s piece at Esquire.