Repubs in D.C. have been pandering to a perceived "moderate" voter who supposedly agrees with Dems on some issues and with Repubs on other issues. This moderate voter is a myth.
In reality, this voter is simply a busy person who does not closely follow politics - and rightly so - hooray for this voter! He or she is the sanest person in America. This voter doesn't agree partially with Dems and partially with Repubs. Such is fantasy. Rather, this voter doesn't fully understand conservative vs. liberal thinking and principle. This person is thus wide open to be won over by the logic of either conservative or liberal thinking.
Repubs, rather than continuing to move their own political positions leftward in misguided attempts to pander to a fantasy demographic, should instead find their inner conservative and persuade this independent voter to the logic of conservative thinking and principles. This is what Ronald Reagan did. Reagan did not pander and move away from his principles. Reagan persuaded. Independent voters are wide open to be persuaded. They are reasonable persons and they are willing to be persuaded.
If Repubs reacquaint themselves with their conservative values, if Repubs commit to persuading independent voters to conservative thinking and principles: then Repubs have a chance to do some good in the future.
Conversely, if Repubs continue pandering via continuing to move their own policies leftward: then Repubs will remain ineffective, and, worst case, a third party might spring up to challenge Repubs on the right.
I don't expect the worst case scenarios will occur. I expect Repubs will find their inner conservative and be better off for it.
I find myself oddly optimistic and upbeat about the future. I detested the corrupt Republican Party which moved its policies left and tried to pander to moderate voters who did not exist. Those Repubs have been living in fantasy - and unprincipled fantasy at that.
I respect John McCain now more than I ever have. I love him a little bit, even. However, Senator McCain remains a bit much of an issue gadfly, and not enough of a staunch conservative. If you are conservative, Sen. McCain makes it difficult to root for him. He blamed Fannie/Freddie FUBAR on Wall Street greed. If he had come out from the first and blamed the deserving guilty party: Senate Dems, he might've become President Elect this evening. Senator McCain never has made his peace with profit. He remains suspicious of it. It doesn't break my heart, at all, that John McCain will not be President. I respect him more than ever, and I even love him a little bit --- in the Senate. As a Senator. All the way to the end, I continued to cringe a bit at the thought of John McCain in the White House and leading the Republican Party.
Now, let us gleefully look to the future!