The Psychology Of Defeat
salon.com — For Mitt Romney, the past week has been defined by bad polling news, brutal press coverage and some very public second-guessing from his own party. It’s not out of the question that he’ll still end up winning in November, but Romney’s status as the underdog was cemented this week, a development that raises a crucial longer-term question: What direction will the Republican Party take if it fails to unseat Barack Obama? Conventional wisdom holds that the GOP will respond to a presidential election defeat the same way it did four years ago: by shifting even farther to the right, placing even more of a premium on “purity,” and nominating even more non-traditional outsider candidates. I’ve been reluctant to embrace this view because of what happened the last time Republicans lost to an incumbent Democratic president.