But my doubt about GOP learning/reform is more driven by my Marxist understanding of politics. That is, who controls the commanding heights of the Republican political economy? That is, who has the money, who controls the institutions, and what are the incentives for change? Reality-based conservatives, an increasingly rare species, are noting that FOX and other GOP outlets are somewhat to blame. Is it like that FOX and talk radio and other conservative outlets will moderate their tone as they realize that the center of the political system is to the left of where they stand? Unlikely. So, the agenda-setting and issue-framing on the right will still be on the waaaay right.
Will the Koch brothers and other deep pockets who support the farthest right folks learn? Hmmmm. I am not an expert on these folks, so I cannot say for sure.
Gerrymandering has also created some incentives for always heading to the right.
My vote, as always, is also for cognitive closure. People can and will draw out whatever lessons they want, such as:
- Romney was not conservative enough.
- Romney was a lousy candidate.
- Blame the hurricane.
- Blame Christie.
- Blame Bush? Nope, that is for the Democrats....
- Romney did great among whites, so it is the fault of the less legitimate voters....
- the vote distributions of ethnic groups, where even Cuban-Americans voted more for Obama than for Romney, an historic reversal;
- the losses by the rape boys and the victories of the female Democrats for a number of Senate seats;
- the passage of a pro-tax proposition in California; the passage of pro-same sex propositions elsewhere.