1) I have no idea if, pending a major Obama victory, the Republican party will be torched. I think their biggest liability is a “Not with a Bang, but with a whimper” type problem – instead of massive fighting between Palin and Romney for the golden ring (which at least implies lots of drama, which is to say lots of funding and volunteers), they instead start nominating various Southerns (Huckabee, Jindal), who have a lot of trouble getting traction outside of the far South. They’ll essentially go from having grabbed the South from the Democrats to being a party that is entirely regional to the dying parts of the South. Reap what you sow.
2) While I was in Chicagoland for a recent wedding, I talked with several Republicans. We were going back and forth, and many of the dads were disheartened about the election. Here’s what I told them, and it is my advice to any Republicans reading this:
“At the end of the day, I was very sad in 2004 that W. Bush was re-elected, however I wasn’t sorry that the world has missed out on President Kerry. Though I liked him more at the end, especially after the debates, the entire thing was too ‘This is John Kerry, reporting for duty.’ And the McCain campaign has been 12 months of ‘This is John McCain, reporting for duty.’ Honestly, are you going to be really sad the world doesn’t get to experience a President McCain?
Compare ‘This is John Kerry, reporting for duty’ to Barack Obama’s campaign. 2004, I was weepy about a permanent Republican majority, and now it’s going to be a slaughter. After 2004, we sat down, had a bender, got our shit together, and put together an amazing campaign. Hopefully you’ll do the same.”
Of course I don’t want them to do the same; I want them to be isolated to the poorest zip codes in the Old South for their donor base. But still, my sympathy goes out that far.