Losing on five of six of anything will sting, whether it’s losing on a handful of scratch tickets or a weeklong homestand at Fenway. The pain increases dramatically when the losing streak in question involves the majority of voters in the country telling you, every four years, that you believe the wrong things on pretty much everything -- especially when you’ve convinced yourself
that you’re right. So the Republican anguish and soul-searching that followed November’s disastrous presidential election was to be expected. It didn’t matter so much that the possible solutions for the GOP’s ineffectual stabs at the White House, and at a Senate majority, were completely at odds with one another. One vocal wing of pundits was urging Republicans to moderate hard-line stances on immigration, women’s issues, and social safety net spending, while the other wing blamed November on the party’s insufficiently muscular conservatism. The important thing, at the time, was that national Republicans realized they were up against the wall, and were looking for a solution.