I wrote in my column last week about the ongoing "conservative blame game", and it is indeed "ongoing".
Ramesh Ponnuru has an excellent column over at National Review today on the whole "blame the social conservatives" bender that some columnist and GOP moderates are on. He points out that their assertions have no basis in fact...much less election returns.
In 2002 and 2004, Republicans ran hard on social issues and the courts - and scored victories at every level of politics. In 2006 and 2008, they left those issues off the table, and got walloped. It follows, naturally, that the social issues are to blame for the Republican defeats.
At least, that's the conclusion that a chorus of commentators has reached. They are attempting to persuade Republicans to soften or downplay their party's social conservatism and hide its social conservatives in order to resume winning elections. About this campaign to sideline the social Right, three things can be said with a fairly high degree of confidence: It is predictable; it will fail; and it is wrong. ...
After essentially destroying the notion that social conservatives are to blame for the GOP's recent loses, he closes with the most important point:
The attempts to blame social conservatism for Republican defeats will not reduce its influence in the party. What they will do is distract attention from the changes the party really does need to make.