Even though there is some hope for Republicans going forward I think it is time for a little soul searching in the party. The Necon GOP needs to die and a new party needs to rise. Here is what they need to do:
1. Craft the party message into something other then a massive federal government and guns, gays, and God. I think it is time to bring back the idea that Republicans are the party of small government and fiscal responsibility. The legacies of the Bush Administration are huge federal bloat, tons of debt, wasteful spending, and the government in control of mortgages, banks, and insurance companies. The GOP needs to return to its roots as the party that you can trust to spend your tax dollars wisely while shying away from massive federal programs. The Reagan GOP needs to trump the Neocon GOP.
2. Make yourselves into reformers of corruption and waste. I think the idea that McCain would clean house in Washington resonated with many Americans. Too bad he had to clean up the mess that his party helped make. The GOP should purge every last bit of corruption from their party and work to not let it happen again. You need a spotless house in order to show the American people that you can be trusted to lead again.
3. Pick your fights wisely. Be as bipartisan and open to listening to anything that the Dems propose and save your powder for the big things. So do not fight something that many Americans believe in like raising the minimum wage, immigration reform, or closing Guantanamo Bay. Do not automatically assume that every Dem win is a GOP loss. Work together as much as possible to craft bipartisan legislation and be ready to fight like hell over big things like the Supreme Court Justices and Socialized Medicine.
4. Do not blame this loss on McCain being too old, the media being for Obama, ACORN, or some other scapegoat. Just know that the American people chose the other guy and then dust yourself off. Then have respect for the Dem ground-game, technological superiority, money advantage, and tight message control and use their ideas in 2010 and 2012 to win back the majority. Study every nuance of why the people chose Obama over McCain. Then put those think tanks to work dissecting how to correct every mistake that was made going forward.
5. Inject more minorities and women into your party. America is slowly becoming a multiracial and multicultural nation that doesn't take well to rich, white guys running things. Sign on for bipartisan immigration reform and start to funnel more conservative Latinos and blacks into positions of power in your party. Push people like Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin, and Condi Rice into leadership roles. Maybe give the Log Cabin Republicans a stronger voice. Do not automatically cede minorities or these young first-time voters to the Dems. Make sure you earn their vote next time. The GOP can't rely on rural voters or the South to win any more elections for them. It is time to understand that America is changing and the GOP will be out of power a long, long time if they don't come to grips with that fact.