This happened in the late 1990s despite a leadership crisis among congressional Republicans, and despite Republicans' apparent compulsion to pursue unpopular extremist measures as if they just couldn't help themselves. All that was true, and yet it didn't hurt the GOP. Republicans had Gore on the ropes throughout the campaign. He eked out a popular-vote win in 2000 but still didn't become president. The GOP controlled all three branches of government for most of the next six years.Charlie Pierce weighed in with his distinctive style on the state of matters in the House (This Speaker of the House Sh*tshow Is Far From Over Esquire Politics 10/08/2015):
So enjoy the Republicans' crisis while it lasts. Unless it lasts all the way through the fall of 2016, it will be a non-factor in the election, just as the 2013 shutdown was a non-factor in 2014. Liberal and centrist voters have no long-term memory for this sort of thing. The mainstream press always wants to revert to the preferred narrative: that the GOP is a sane, responsible party. There would probably have to be tanks in the streets in late 2016, with Louis Gohmert as the lead driver, before GOP chaos had an electoral effect. (my emphasis)
The balance of power in half the national legislature now seems to be in the hands of the crème de la crazee. (This is such a mess at this point that Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver from Wisconsin, and a man whose ambition makes Satan look like Uriah Heep, has done everything except hire a skywriter to say he's not interested.) Is this finally enough for the elite political press to notice that half the American political process is in full-blown dementia?Sadly, the answer is almost certainly no, no, no, it won't be enough.