Over at the cash-strapped American Prospect, Thomas Schaller reviews former Reason intern Ryan Sager's excellent new The Elephant in the Room:
Sager's description of the Republicans' mounting problems is marred only by his lack of prescriptive solutions. Other than calling for a "renewal of (conservative) vows" and suggesting a few policy tweaks, Sager provides no path out. It is fashionable to dismiss Democrats for having lost the center. But when 53 percent of Bush's 286 electoral votes from the culturally conservative South and just 15 percent come from the eight states of the interior West, the GOP faces ideological problems in its own center-right marriage—problems no new vows can solve.
Neither Pence's complaints nor Sager's warnings can substitute for a massive campaign to liberalize southern attitudes on social issues and wean southern electorates off the federal dependency that brings them more dollars from Washington than they pay in taxes. The decline of fusionism may be the Republicans' "elephant in the room," but the real problem is that the elephant's southern girth leaves little space for others to squeeze inside the door.
Whole thing here.
Schaller himself has an interesting-sounding politics book out: Whistling Past Dixe: How the Democrats Can Win Withouth the South.