Conservative Republicans are going to find themselves on the sidelines of American life for a very long time. One key reason for this is simple denial. As long as conservatism ignores reality, wallowing in their alternate fantasy world, lost in their infantile security blanket, they will remain on the sidelines.
Johnathan Chait's opening line from his TNR article summarizes this perfectly: What part of "overwhelming electoral defeat" does the GOP not understand? The answer, of course, is very simple. The GOP does not want to understand. They've functioned in their strange alternate reality for so long, these people simply cannot function in the real world.
Better for the rest of us, I say. The tighter and tighter the hard right spins in on itself, the greater the damage to their party and the conservative brand. So go ahead. Live in denial. Make Sarah Palin the GOP standard-bearer. The longer the denial, the longer the exile. And America will simply move on.