Nuremberg-Trials-for-Skeptics-Guy Dave Roberts writes at Grist:
On climate change, the GOP faces the same situation it faces on many other issues (gay marriage, immigration, guns): The right-wing base holds extreme positions that embarrass more reasonable Republicans. But the party leadership remains terrified of the base, especially after the primary massacres of the last few cycles. So Republican politicians have to be extremely careful not to publicly cross the crazies. At the same time, they are trying to “rebrand” the party to appeal to new demographics (young people, minorities, women). It’s a difficult — perhaps impossible — tightrope to walk.
Witness their strategy on climate change. GOP insiders have talked to enough consultants and pollsters to realize that outright denialism sounds backward and crazy to everyone outside their core demographic of older white men. Nonetheless, the right-wing base is still very much denialist. More so than ever.