Stuart Rothenberg on the aftermath of the 2008 election:
Some will predict the end of the GOP. Others will merely consign it to minority party status for years because of demographic changes.
I know that this will happen because I've seen it before: each time a party has suffered big losses, frustration boils over. It happened after the 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1994 elections.
Moderates and ideologues in the losing party always seem to disagree about who was at fault and what steps the bloodied and bruised party needs to take to get back on the winning track. After the 1964 and 1974 elections, some predicted the disappearance of the Republican Party. And reports of the death of the Democratic Party were greatly exaggerated after the 1972, 1994 and 2004 elections.
While the near term is not rosy for Republicans, party members will now be able to turn the page, on what was tantamount to a four-year election cycle.
Maybe President Bush wasn't responsible entirely for high gasoline prices, a mortgage foreclosure and financial crisis, Republican ethics lapses on Capitol Hill, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and a seemingly endless litany of depressing news stories. But the GOP was never going to recover its standing until the Bush years ended. Tuesday night marked the beginning of the end.