Laura Ingraham's suggestion that the Republican Party can reposition itself for victory in the future by returning to its core "principles" would be laughable if not for the bizarre understandings of political reality contained in such a prescription.
Ingraham should not be counted as an elite decision maker on the Right; however, the Tea Party GOP is a party where Fox News and its propaganda apparatus are dictating policy. The result has been a fantasy world where its believers, and the Republican leadership, are insulated from reality.
The second consequence of the Right-wing media industrial complex's influence on the Republican Party is that mediocre talents which are "entertaining" for the mouth-breathing base, and who are better suited as cheerleaders, are elevated to the role of quarterback. Such a strategy will not ensure victory in the long run. Moreover, such a strategy encourages political dysfunction and undermines American democracy because ideological purity and extremism are preferred over the pragmatism and horse trading upon with good governance is dependent.
Mitt Romney's race baiting, and efforts to gin up white racial resentment against President Obama backfired. Thus, they helped to contribute to his defeat last Tuesday. While Romney's use of the Southern Strategy 2.0 helped him mobilize support among white voters, this strategy likely pushed away some Independents, and motivated people of color to turn out in record numbers against him.
The pundits on the Right seem unable to grasp how changing demographics, combined with their embrace of a de facto "whites only" set of policy initiatives, have pushed the Republican party towards obsolescence.
The second problem with Ingraham's suggestion that the Right should go back to its "core values" is one of selective memory and delusion caused by their version of the "noble lie."
The winning strategy that she is alluding to in this interview, involved Republicans flipping the Jim and Jane Crow South to their cause in the 1960s by the use of subtle and explicit anti-black racism. This policy was so effective, that white conservatives would be trained to respond to seemingly neutral issue positions (e.g. "small government") through a lens that processed such language as code for lazy black and brown people.
To the present, conservatives are still motivated by such thought processes and political logic.
Partisans have a love affair with their values and political beliefs. They see the best of a thing through a narrow prism which justifies their investment of energy, time, and resources into a given cause. By definition, Ingraham views this formative moment of the contemporary Republican Party's electoral coalition as one that is pure and noble of heart and intention: in reality, the birth of the Nixon-Reagan coalition was an evolution of white racism, and a surrender to racial immorality.
Together, racism and conservatism are the "beast with two backs" in modern American politics. Romney lost because of an inability to honestly assess if white racism was a dominant electoral strategy that would bear fruit in the Age of Obama.
I am puzzled that the Right's pundits would continue to pursue this avenue for victory in the future. A politician's number one goal is to win elections. Why would a political party, and its spokespeople, continue to advocate for what has/is proving itself to be a less than viable strategy?
Do Laura Ingraham, and the Right-wing media have a secret and privileged insight into the American voting public, generally, and the White Public, specifically? Do they know something that the rest of us do not?
Alternatively, are conservatives and the Fox News cabal simply offering up a national level demonstration of confirmation bias and post hoc reasoning?