And now the recriminations begin on the Right. There’s all kinds of bad form, like the “leaked” stories from the McCain camp of Sarah Palin daring to take a shower or boning up on her sub-Saharan geography while on the campaign trail. There are the insipid calls for “graciousness in defeat.” There are the whiny "what-do-we-do-now" complaints, and the "it's-all-Bush's-fault" complaints, and the stupifyingly vague "we-lost-our-way" complaints.
And then there's P.J. O'Rourke. If anybody can dole out an @$$-whipping that actually says something, it is P.J. O'Rourke. His article in the Weekly Standard is a long read, and a must-read for conservatives – particularly those interested in public office.
P.J. is saying what thousands of conservatives have been saying for some time. I told a reader in Arizona last week that I thought Republicans lost their bearings in 1995, when they shut down the government, and got spanked for it. They have not seemed to have had a clue about what to do ever since. Dole's candidacy in 1996 was a message-less joke. Bush won in 2000, but barely (200 votes in Florida?), and it was as much a tepid response to Al Gore as anything else. And the election in 2004 was about September 11th, 2001. But no one in power seemed to see the pattern emerging. At least on the Right.
Even in 2006, when the Congressional Republicans got their heads handed to them on a platter, did they figure it out then? Nope. Nothing changed.
Laura Hollis is an Associate Professional Specialist and Concurrent Associate Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame, where she teaches entrepreneurship and business law. She is the author of the forthcoming publication, “Start Up, Screw Up, Scale Up: What Government Can Learn From the Best Entrepreneurs,” © 2014. Her opinions are her own, and do not reflect the position of the university. Follow her on Twitter: @LauraHollis61.