Of course the constructive thing to do is take a deep breath and soldier on, … swinging pendulum or whatever. The darker part of my psyche thinks that with this election we’re going to start seeing some of those irreparable consequences folks have been talking about, and that even if things swing back our way in four years there might not be much left for us to work with.
As for learning our lessons, I’m not holding my breath. You’d have thought we would have learned something from Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle, but no. And that’s not to pick on the Tea Party, because the Establishment ran losers too (-most notably, Mitt Romney). Candidate quality is of utmost importance.
Since every other pundit in the universe has spun this election to fit his or her own pet Theory of Everything, I might as well too….
The winning formula that I have discussed at great length is to find a high quality conservative candidate who knows how to translate conservative ideas to non-ideological/moderate/middle voters. We had pretty much the opposite of that in Mitt Romney, a mediocre candidate with a wobbly conservative history who had no chance of conveying conservative thoughts to moderate voters because he really didn’t understand them himself. (This would be why I was for Pawlenty, self-professed “Sam’s Club Republican”.)
Agreed, Fred, we should entirely reject the notion that we must become Democrat-lite and either abandon or moderate every conservative position under the sun. Everybody say it with me now — swing voters don’t vote on ideology.
The one policy exception I see is immigration. I don’t like to play this card too often, but I’ll BLAME BUSH for screwing up the immigration issue. The “comprehensive piece of sh*t” he cooked up was so bad that even notable immigration softie Bill Kristol didn’t like the bill. That fight brought out the worst of people on both sides of the argument, and the real loser was the GOP –even after we nominated John McCain, king of comprehensive immigration reform. Now Obama will get to be the guy who claims credit for delivering immigration reform — ironically after avoiding the issue in his first term, and while following a bizarre gun policy wherein a key element was that there would be a bunch of dead Mexicans.
Going forward, I’ll try to be as positive as possible. Just understand that privately I’ll be shopping for miscellaneous firearms and lingering at Cabela’s. And I am definitely interested in Fredistan.