I’m not quite sure I buy this, but it’s an interesting idea:
As conservative strategists will tell you, there are now more of “them” than “us.” What’s more, the disparity will continue to grow indefinitely. Obama actually lost the over-45-year-old vote in 2008, gaining his entire victory margin from younger voters—more racially diverse, better educated, less religious, and more socially and economically liberal.
In the long run, though, the GOP has done nothing at all to rehabilitate its deep unpopularity with the public as a whole, and has only further poisoned its standing with Hispanics. But by forswearing compromise, it opened the door to a single shot. The Republicans have gained the House and stand poised to win control of the Senate. If they can claw out a presidential win and hold on to Congress, they will have a glorious two-year window to restore the America they knew and loved, to lock in transformational change, or at least to wrench the status quo so far rightward that it will take Democrats a generation to wrench it back. The cost of any foregone legislative compromises on health care or the deficit would be trivial compared to the enormous gains available to a party in control of all three federal branches.
In other words, Chait thinks the GOP knows it’s screwed long-term and just wants to get in and wreak as much havoc as it can over the next few years. There may be some truth to that — they’ll certainly try to disassemble the safety net in a way that is hard for Democrats to ever re-assemble. But Republicans think that even if they become a minority for the next generation, they’ll find a way to fight. Conservatives don’t die, they just regroup on K Street.