This post at The Other McCain drew a comment from “crosspatch” on how to keep the Republicans from screwing up so badly next time:
We need to recognize that the USA has very different regional culture. What will sell well in Oklahoma isn’t going to sell in Connecticut. We need to stop trying to sell Oklahoma to Connecticut.
Or, for that matter, Connecticut to Oklahoma.
We need to “federalize” the GOP. We need to find a common set of positions that ALL the GOP candidates from all regions can support… What makes federal politics so divisive is that people with both conservative and liberal points of view fear the other side is going to shove their social values down the throat of the entire country from Washington DC. That wasn’t the intention of the federal government. Let those social issues be worked out at the state capitals, not the national capital.
The fly in this particular ointment, I suspect, is that sooner or later — and it’s never, ever “later” — someone is going to complain that whatever disparities may exist between Oklahoma and Connecticut are somehow violations of that “equal protection of the laws” clause in the Fourteenth Amendment. We want federalism when we get what we want; otherwise, it sucks pond water and we don’t want any part of it.
Which, of course, merely restates the obvious: our political class is prone to experimentation, justified by the belief that it makes them look like they’re somehow earning their keep. (“We have to do something!”) Ultimately, we might be better served by dropping the lot of them into an active volcano. Even a dormant volcano would be an improvement.