Night of the Long Knives...
The backstabbing has already started amongst the Republican rank-and-file. If you follow any of the "Conservative" echo-chambers online, the defeat of John McCain is due to RINO's, Libertarians, Fag-lovers, Rockefeller-Republicans and Godless Nanny-staters disguised as 'moderate' Republicans (This, despite the fact that many of the same McCain Defenders could be quoted as saying ""I will vote for McCain over my dead body!"). In other words, the same people who are always blamed by the Bible-thumping-kill-the-abortionists-see-a-commie-under-every-rock-one-percenter-Buchannanites. So far as they are concerned, if the party had run a 'real' conservative (definition: Evangelical-pro-life-flamethrowers-for-everyone-gay-bashers), 'we' would have won. Despite an economic crisis, a terrible reputation amongst congressional republicans and a President who's less popular than Ebola. Yeah, I can see how that might happen.
If only we'd been even more conservative, they always wail, we could have won. This, incidentally, has been the battle cry of every losing zealot in history: The Turks would not have been defeated at Lepanto if only their fleet had been more pious Muslims. As if vast armies infused with religious zealotry could compensate for bad tactics and antiquated weapons. Japan would have won the Second World War if only the Japanese people had made even more strenuous efforts on behalf of their divine Emperor, as if Kamakaze attacks weren't strenuous enough. In fact, I can recall a quote from a Japanese general in Burma to his troops in the field before they were slaughtered "Lack of weapons is no excuse for defeat on the battlefield", or words to that effect. John McCain was, in this analogy, part Sultan-part Hirohito, let down by faithless backstabbers and incompetents.
Always, the root cause of failure is one of devotion. One of a lack of proper effort or mindframe. Environmental factors, cultural factors and so forth, are never even considered. To consider them would cause people to question the dogma attendant to whatever principle it is you were supposed to be fighting for. In order to correct the mistakes and fundamental errors made by the McCain-Palin ticket (and the Republican party as a whole over last decade), one has to ask questions, even when the questions are unpleasant or unexpected, even blasphemous. If you don't ask the questions, all you get is conspiracy theory and pointless blame.
Of course, there are those in the republican establishment who know this, but who will never admit it. They are wedded to the One-percenters, and so, when they do a thorough post-mortem on this latest fiasco, they will not tell the One-percenters the whole truth -- the reason we were defeated wasn't because people weren't fervent enough or unprincipled; it occurred because the ground had been prepared by disastrous policies enacted by both the Bush Administration and the previously-Republican-controlled, Congress. Those people were only in a position to cause this train wreck because all of us, and that includes the One-percenters, abrogated our responsibilities as both citizens and republicans, and let them get away with it.
The reasons why we abandoned our responsibilities are numerous, and I've written about them for years here.
But, we did not lose because McCain-Palin wasn't 'conservative' enough, nor because of an evil conspiracy between East Coast 'establishment' media/Libertarians/and the so-called RINOs. That lose was a self-inflicted wound. And an even more strident brand of conservatism is the wrong band-aid for it. The proper medicine for this wound is a prescription of responsibility, objectivity and honesty.