I guarantee that people are going to push back on this observation by Sean Trende:
…there’s something to be said for makeover efforts, at least as they relate to the occasional election where the parties really are evenly matched. What we need to avoid is what has become a biennial explosion of frantic analyses examining how the losing party needs to fundamentally remake itself or face extinction. If the Democrats can win a supermajority in the House less than a decade after the Civil War ended, or Republicans can win the popular vote in the House a decade after the Great Depression bottomed out, then neither party is going extinct any time soon.
It has been my experience that many political partisans – and note that I am a political partisan* – tend to assume that things do not regress to the mean over the long term. If their faction is doing well, it will do so throughout eternity (it won’t) and their opponents will never regroup (they will), if only certain policy positions are followed scrupulously (except that nobody agrees on what positions must be followed). If their faction is doing badly, it is the End Of All Things (it’s not) because the party faithful will stay away from the polls (they won’t) unless certain policy positions are followed scrupulously (except that nobody agrees on what positions must be followed). Oh, and voters are either stupid, or they’ve finally come to their senses.
I don’t really want to lecture on this; well, that’s a lie. But I don’t want to do a long lecture on this: I just figure that people should know that I take the position that a variant of every sort of apocalyptic/triumphalist rhetoric that we’ve heard lately has been uttered in every single election in American history after Washington’s. And I’m not certain that people weren’t muttering that the Republic was doomed, even then.
*Partisan hack, to be precise.