So, as the RNC continues to blithely ignore its constituents' concerns (appointing Snow was maybe a good move, but an overblown one: after all, he certainly didn't achieve anything notable working for the Bush Sr. machine), its foreign policy remains tightly wedded to neo-conservatism.
In other words, the Republicans have, to the dismay of a portion of their base, realigned themselves as Kennedy Democrats, neither faux-pacifist like the Progressives, nor Goldwaterian small-government. In other words, Bush, Lott, Frist, et. al., have said to the conservatives and small-l libertarians, "we own you. Where you gonna go?" As my new byline states, the response is likely to be "out to dinner, chump."
In other words, the Reagan Coalition is dead. Not at the constituent level of the voters, but clearly so in terms of the actual Party. I haven't heard squat to suggest that Sessions, my guy in Texas 32, has exactly covered himself in glory, either.
The Democrats, on the other hand, have two problems. As summed up in the American Prospect, it's not a bad idea to say that they dither between mobilize and inoculate. The "inoculate" solution, where the Democrats actually push small-gov solutions, and, --gasp!-- listen to voters, sounds pretty good. But the analysis at the Prospect fails pretty badly, because while it notes the damage that has happened to the Democratic Party since Clinton, it hasn't noted smething significant: Clinton pushed NAFTA and got on with welfare reform, but also pushed singificantly greater government intervention in several areas: socialized medicine, drastic restrictions on gun ownership, etcetera. Had Clinton played to what is described in the "inoculation" handbook, "stealing issues" from the Repubs, chances are that the 1994 Republican takeover wouldn't have stood a chance. As it was, outright alarm at having Hillary push a medical-reform bill that would send doctors to jail resulted in something very different.
Notice that the "inoculate" provision can be seen as another version of the "small-l" libertarian program, aka the "leave us alone" program. (The actual LP remaining safe in ideologically pure irrelevance based on their foreign-policy failures.)
This suggests that there's some hot air lifting up my theory that the Democrats are essentially going to try to steal the small-l libertarian votes. With 39% of the electorate saying that earmarks and wasteful spending are their most serious concern, and Reid outperforming the Elephants on the issue...
we're not quite to "game on" yet. But Realignment is coming on fast.