Republican officials and strategists debating how bad things really are for the Republican Party. They break down between don't worry, we'll be fine and we've got a problem. It is very instructive to note how they are divided, though...
GOP officials and strategists at party conferences last week offered sharply contrasting assessments of what went wrong, and of how difficult it will be to rebuild. Perhaps not surprisingly, the split tended to fall along generational lines.
Older party hands pointed to John McCain’s lackluster campaign and the difficult terrain on which Republicans found themselves battling this year, and they eschewed any sky-is-falling rhetoric.
The up-and-comers, meanwhile, sounded the alarm of impending permanent minority status unless the party changes.
The Republican Party is drunk. They have gotten drunk on power, drunk on status, and drunk on their own BS.
The divide on the future of the Republican Party is not ideological (they basically agree on the core ideals), but between the old guard and the new guard. This is ultimately a fight to maintain the status quo - to preserve the political fiefdoms of a party of drunks.
The old guard wants to maintain the status quo. They believe a little "we've learned our lesson" will bring the pendulum swinging back to them. That's been the approach for a long time now, and sometimes it has even gotten Republicans elected....though they never seem to make much progress with that political capital.
The old guard is an alcoholic. They don't need rehab; one more drink will ease the pain.
The new guard understands that Republicans didn't just have a difficult cycle. They had a difficult cycle because Republicans have very real problems and merely waiting for a better political environment won't address those underlying problems.
The new guards are also alcoholics, but they are ready for rehab.
The new guard is right. The questions are what kind of rehabilitation they have in mind, what the Republican Party looks like on the other side, and how sustainable a project that will be.
The Drunk Party needs new ideas, not merely a new drug.