http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/fl-sgduel-oped0914-20120914,0,7920623.story 'Republicans are finished' - Sun Sentinel Editorial Friday, Sep. 14, 2012 "Win, lose or draw in November, the Republican Party is over, finished, kaput. How do I know? Tampa tells me so â -and demographics. At what should have been the culmination of four years of relentless plotting against President Obama, and in an election cycle that was its to lose, the GOP self-destructed, staging a convention that never got off the ground. It started and stopped and sputtered in between. But it wasn't because of Tropical Storm Isaac. The rain or shine outside had nothing to do with the climate inside, where conditions were inclement at best. Fact is: hardly anyone really likes Mitt Romney, even people who say they do â and it showed. He's everybody's Cracker Jack box without a prize, the kid to whose birthday party no one wants to be invited to, even though his house has a swimming pool. He's the would-be head of the richest and most powerful nation on earth, from whom you wouldn't buy a vacuum cleaner without a money-back guarantee. It appears the only way he could get anyone except his wife to speak on his behalf was to let them unofficially launch their 2016 campaigns for president â and barely mention him. But that's not the worst of it. Pick an issue, any issue. The Elephant Party has become the Ostrich Party â burying its head in the sand, refusing to face reality and build bridges to millions of potential supporters. This year's convention was an apotheosis of all the mean-spirited attacks the tea party/Republicans have been waging against women, gays and lesbians, healthcare reform, China, Russia, undocumented immigrants, Iran, Iraq, Social Security, Medicare â without so much as a single, realistic, workable, compassionate solution to attract undecided voters. The GOP today is largely a party of rabid, old, white men in the unhappy dusk of their lives, railing against a nation in which they are no longer the dominant players. It is sad to watch â and sadder to be one of them. You can smell the mothballs of their memories and memorabilia (hats and banners resurrected for the convention), read the rage in their eyes. And then, there was Romney's desperate pandering to thespians. Clint Eastwood lost every vestige of dignity and respect he might still have had by talking to an empty chair, undercutting what was supposed to have been Romney's shining moment. And inconceivably, Romney, ever the kid no one wanted to play with, actually made the executive decision to allow him to speak without vetting his remarks, just to show people he had a friend. But it backfired miserably. If Ronald Reagan vindicated the role of thespians in society, Eastwood set it back for at least a generation. And finally, you could see it in every picture of the Tampa convention, especially contrasted with those from the Democrats: The undeniable truth is that the Republican Party is on the wrong side of demographics, which means it's on the wrong side of history. Tragically for our political system, which depends on a vigorous, healthy two-party system, it has chosen to assume the role of permanent obstructionist, ignoring the inevitable changes in population diversity that will eventually bury it. So, in the end, the GOP will become the party of Romney, which no one will want to attend, no matter how enticing the swimming pool â if it isn't it already."