In any case, fingers are pointing. They will continue to do so. Both Douthat and Dreher think that placing the blame on the social conservatives is foolish.
Douthat does have some criticism though:
No, social conservatives aren't the problem for the GOP. But they haven't been the solution, either: Too often, on matters ranging from the Iraq War to domestic policy, they've served as enablers of Republican folly, rather than as constructive critics. And calling Catholics who voted for Obama "mindless" and "stupid" is a poor substitute for building the sort of Republican Party that can attract the votes of those millions of Americans, Catholic and otherwise, who voted for the Democrats because they thought, not without reason, that George W. Bush was a disastrous president whose party should not be rewarded with a third term in the White House.Good point. I'd say, exactly the point.
I would also like to add that there needs to be some self-examination infused into the populist wing of the GOP. I think the notion of Sam's Club Republicans does a good job to address this. I've read recently some pieces on Huckabee vs Palin, and how they're really not so different. People seem to think that basically because their politics are similar that the candidates themselves are somehow similar--or equal.
I would have to vehemently disagree. First of all, Huckabee was more experienced, certainly smarter or at least better spoken, but most importantly he was very, very likeable. He was the sort of person who, I believe, could have lead this nation as a whole despite political differences. He has some of Obama's charisma that can transcend political boundaries.
Palin does not, nor will she ever. Her tone from the beginning was acerbic and divisive--exactly what this country does not need. She did not come across as very wise, but rather very ambitious. Bobby Jindal, who vocally said he would not consider a VP slot and wanted to finish the job he started in Louisiana, exhibited wisdom. Palin...well, not so much.
So who will Social Conservatives support next time? As a group, will they exhibit wisdom? We shall see...