So, as almost everyone predicted if Mitty lost, the Republicans have plunged into an orgy of soul-searching and finger-pointing. They are obsessed by the demographics narrative - the country is becoming younger, less religious, less white and we ('pubs) aren't - but I think they are overlooking another narrative and it concerns policy.
First, the days of the straight, white, male domination are well-and-truly over. Some of us thought that had happened in 2008, then came 2010. The numbers, however, are inexorable. Women, people of color (of both genders), GLBT people (of all ethnicities), younger people (ditto) are the future. The country will look less like Texas or Mississippi; more like California. And eventually, even Texas and Mississippi will look more like California. The 'pub solution: "recruit" more women, people of color, even GLBT people (I'll bet you Log Cabin gets its phone calls to the RNC returned now). But this tactic simply mistakes outreach for tokenism. The point isn't to find a few individuals and point to them with pride while saying, "look, we got one!"
The outcome of the 2012 elections the 'pubs do not seem to be grappling with is that maybe, just maybe, the American electorate has outgrown 'pub policies, regardless of its demographics. Maybe after 70 years, opposition to Social Security doesn't resonate; nor does opposition to Medicare after almost 50 years. Maybe a majority doesn't believe in a healthcare policy that consists of "go to the emergency room or, better yet, just die." Maybe a majority of voters, regardless of gender or ethnicity, don't think of females as "the little woman" anymore. Maybe they're more comfortable with people of color or the gay family that moves in just down the street. Maybe they're not as obedient to their minister or their priest or their bishop as their parents were. And, yes, maybe they like contraception and, whatever their individual position on abortion, respect the right of the woman involved to have the last say on that profoundly difficult position.
Maybe the winners last Tuesday were the remnants of the New Deal; the Great Society, and the "revolution" in attitudes about sexual matters of the '60s and '70s. Maybe the losers were a nosy puritism and the myth the 'pubs have built around Ronald Reagan. After all, Reagan raised taxes after lowering them; never presented a balanced budget; didn't cut Federal spending, and left the bureaucracy larger than he found it. David Stockman came to believe that the initial, stated goals of the Reagan presidency were unattainable. He wrote shortly after leaving office that the American people like their modest welfare state. Perhaps the 'pubs ought to resurrect that article and take it to heart. And while they're at it, maybe they had better learn to embrace the diversity that is the United States of America rather than clinging desperately to a false reality that probably never was real to begin with.