The Yglesias analysis of the Republican predicament,
George W. Bush’s efforts to broaden Republican appeal to include minority voters and build an enduring Republican majority failed. He was able, however, to eke out majorities based on mobilizing white Christian identity sentiments (with national security issues playing a large role in helping him do so) combined with generous financial backing from corporate managers and so forth. But the initial analysis that this wouldn’t be adequate over the long-run was, of course, correct — the white Christian share of the electorate is shrinking — and the post-9/11 boom in nationalist sentiment wasn’t bound to last forever. And it turns out that traditionalism alone isn’t good enough to make non-whites want to vote Republican. To succeed over the long run, they’ll probably need to moderate their economic agenda.
lines up pretty closely with the Douthat-Salam analysis, most obviously that last part. But it’s worth considering the possibility that the parties could realign along liberaltarian vs. conservapopulist lines. I don’t think this would be a good thing, but I know others disagree.