The Republican Party will search its soul for answers, taking comfort in the knowledge that if their standard bearer hadn’t been such a stiff, and so many of the down-ticket candidates complete morons, they’d have taken over Washington. A bloodletting will loom on the horizon but cooler heads will prevail. We can stand for the same eternal values we’ve always stood for, party leaders will reason, but that doesn’t mean we have to bring them up.
Much will be made of the 2012 gerrymandering scandal—which saw the Republicans comfortably retain control of the House of Representatives even though Democratic candidates collectively received more votes. Is this small-d democracy? shrill voices will cry. But cooler heads will prevail. Turn every district into a swing district and the House would be dangerously destabilized, they will argue. There would be no senior leadership. We would drive off the legislative giants who are elected when young and then accrue power unchallenged for the next 24 years. Sizable majorities in both parties will be persuaded.