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Dave G’s NY-23 post mortem nails the broad political lesson:

What this shows is that neither running as Democrats-lite nor as talk-radio-style anarcho-conservatives will win the future for the GOP. What will yield a Republican comeback in 2010 and beyond is the McDonnell/Christie model, where Republican candidates ideologically appropriate for their states and districts run as pragmatic conservatives who are solutions-oriented and who are running to apply their conservatism to public problems. This is the type of Republicanism that can win, and it did win in purple Virginia and blue New Jersey. It did so by contrasting a GOP that was optimistic and problem-solving yet distinctly conservative with a corrupt, interest-group-friendly, tax-and-spend leftist establishment. This is the model that Republicans should emulate, not the Rockefeller-esque model of Dede nor the Palin/Beck model of Hoffman.

The above is completely on point and totally tracks with my attitude about the purpose of being a conservative in the first instance (superior problem solving to address the needs of our respective communities and country). It also tracks almost perfectly with what is required of the GOP to win blacks and latinos to its banner and the conservative cause, namely, ideologically and operationally superior solution sets and optimistic problem solving conservatism applied to the public problems of black and latino political constituencies.


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