'Would a third successive defeat bring the G.O.P. to its senses? Perhaps not…'
As the big money that traditionally financed the party continues to migrate towards the Democrats, a process that the rise of Silicon Valley has accentuated, it’s at least conceivable that the Republicans could become a rump party—a determined but diminishing redoubt of white reaction. If that were to happen, the big political battles of the future would take place within the Democratic Party, between the pro-business Rubin-Clinton-Obama wing and the more populist Krugman-Warren-Spitzer wing. It’s a possibility, but I can’t see it happening. The two-party system is too well established, the G.O.P. is too entrenched at the local level, and history demonstrates that a third successive defeat, unlike a second one, can have a cathartic effect.