YA NEVER DO KNOW. Before we go all triumphal and everything, we'd be wise to heed Brother Ezra's cautionary note on whether or not the GOP is a gone-er for '08. A terrorist attack would, indeed, change everything, as could any number of other variables, the economy not least among them. Having covered the religious right's role in presidential elections for a couple of decades, I can tell you that I have witnessed the movement come back ever stronger after each implosion, and the righties still run the party at the operational level. The politics of resentment are viral in nature; they often go into remission after sickening the host. After a period of dormancy, they'll be back with a bang the next time a national tragedy, depression or malaise cries out for a scapegoat. No one can pinpoint a scapegoat like the righties. They'll be back the moment they're needed.

--Adele M. Stan

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