It’s one of those impersonal tides of history vs. history bending to the will of great men things.
Did Republicans really want this to happen? I don’t think. But it seemed an excellent idea to cast liberals as evil. Then to have GOP-TV masquerading as news. Then to call liberals traitors and terrorist lovers. Then to convince conservatives they weren’t really Republicans when Duby dropped the ball. And on and on until it culminated in this.