This is a comment I left at another blog which discussed the Obama-win/Romney-losss. I guess you could call it my sober thought post US-2012 election….
I suspect the problem is deeper than that – it’s in the ‘bundling of ideas’ that necessarily get thrown together to cater to the core movements/segments within the two major parties: the ‘progressives’ have a more ‘coherent’ or, perhaps, ‘internally consistent’ idea of what they stand for, so the individual differences between the different sub-groups that the Democrats draw on for support are much smaler and their differences are easier to bridge than that of the Republicans.
Just consider the gulf of difference between, say, a fiscally conservative, small-government (stay out of our bedrooms and boardrooms – and pharmacies) atheist – and the evangelical social conservatives who have no problem with huge, inefficient governments as long as they legislate their brand of morality and impose it on the whole of US society!
And that is just one of the many ways the ‘conservative’ or ‘right-of-centre’ support base can be divided up into mutually exclusive enclaves…
It is quite impossible to field a candidate that would appeal to both of these ‘polarized’ groups and no way to build an election platform that would not seriously alienate a significant percentage of their voter support: to the point that the alienated groups will simply not show up to vote for the ‘wrong’ kind of ‘conservatism’!
I don’t know that there is a workable solution for this, but, in-my-never-humble-opinion, that does not mean that this problem is not at the core of the GOP’s current difficulties.
P.S. – perhaps this difficulty could have been sufficiently minimized in 2012 to gain him the win if Romney had selected either Thomas Sowell or Rand Paul or a prominent atheist of the calibre of the late Christopher Hitchens (each being a bridge to a different group alienated by Romney)…