In my most recent book tour appearances, I've been bracing us for what Republicans will do the day after Election Day if Democrats win:
Blame Mark Foley. Don't blame conservativism. Don't blame six years of failed Republican governance. Remain defiant. Get in the Dems face right away. Allow no victory laps.
Which is why I was surprised to see today's NY Times piece, showing massive finger-pointing between GOP factions (only some of which blames Foley.)
If the GOP coalition did break down, they would be unable to remain defiant immediately after Election Day. They would have to repair their rifts first.
But I would not bank on that happening.
There have been many other moments when it's seemed like the conservative movement would fracture, yet they always seem to grasp that they need each other to stay in the game, and find a way to present a unified front.
A conservative movement collapse would be useful. Even if Dems win in November, they will not bring with them an ideological mandate, because they have not collectively run on one.
They will have won mainly because of displeasure with the incumbent ruling party.
In turn, Dems will be vulnerable to a fierce conservative pushback.
Whereas a conservative movement collapse, even though it would surely be temporary, would buy Dems -- in the grassroots and the Establihsment -- time to hash out our own internal issues, and present to the public a true governing vision to guide our efforts over the next two years.
Whatever happens to the GOP in the immediate aftermath of defeat, we should not sit back and watch, we should so everything we can to resolve our own disputes as soon as possible.
Because the pushback will eventually come. And right now, we're not ready.