Arnold Kling on the future of the Republican Party:
No one was raising bright prospects for the Republican Party. At one point, Governor Daniels, the cover boy for National Review this week and the featured speaker, referred to the Republican Party as an "old jalopy." I believe it was also Governor Daniels who said that "we're in the penalty box." Rich Lowry said that a party's success depends on leaders, tone, policies, and circumstances, and that the Republicans have none of these going for them at the moment. At various points, it was noted out that the Republicans are hurting with young voters, Hispanics, and with intellectuals (a Republican committee staffer made the latter point during the question period). Lowry compared his coming of age under Reagan to today's young voters coming of age under Obama. I estimated the audience as 2 percent Black, 0 percent Hispanic, 2 percent Asian (including South Asians), and 96 percent white.
My question was whether, given all of the baggage of the Republican Party, conservatism ought to look elsewhere. The answers the panelists gave were that the Republicans are pretty much the only game in town for conservatives, and that sooner or later the Democrats will mess up and/or the public will get tired of the Democrats winning all the time.
I would not bet a whole lot on the theory that the American people will vote Republican because they love good competition. ... As the Republicans lose competitiveness... [w]e will ... be under ... the one-party state. ...
Today we heard an attempt to walk back on previous statements as Limbaugh now says maybe he could vote for Sotomayor - though he attached a poison pill to the proposition that tries to incite pro choice Democrats against her - and Gingrich now says it was a mistake to call her a racist. They are clearly worried.