No need to gloat about the election results, but a bit of schadenfreude might be in order. In truth, this election should be the long-overdue wake-up call for the Republican Party, and the conservative movement, that has completely misread the dramatic shift in American society over the past 20 years. Dartmouth Professor (and former Nixon/Reagan speechwriter) Jeffrey Hart offered a rather pungent criticism of the current state of the GOP.
The money quote:
In its embrace of the religious right under George W. Bush, the Republican Party became the stupid party. And committing suicide along with it has been the conservative movement. The party united around god, guns and gays is finished.
And yet, the party die-hards, the GOP “traditionalists”, still insist that the resurrection of the party will be found in even fiercer devotion to the same social wedge issues (abortion, gay rights, sanctity of marriage, etc.) that led to the stinging repudiation of Republican candidates, and conservative ideology, at the polls. It should be crystal clear to all but the willfully ignorant that hitching the wagon to pinch-minded ideologues like Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee et al will ensure that the GOP will wander aimlessly in the desert for 40 years. Where is the Republican leader who celebrates knowledge, intellectual achievement, diversity and equality? That is the kind of conservative that 21st century Americans can rally behind.