How can the GOP return to its glory days? They can't, not for many years. Why? I wrote about what was happening to the GOP in early 2009, and many pundits and elder politicians of both parties have said much the same since then: that the Republican's perpetual game of "I'm more conservative than you" is becoming an inescapable spiral down to marginalization. I don't think there's a way out of that spiral, not now. Oh, the Republicans are not going quietly into that good night, they'll still win many victories and some presidential elections, especially given the effects of their voter suppression efforts and the Citizens United decision that now allows unlimited corporate and private funding to all federal, state, and local elections. But the continuing changes in America's demography are irresistible. Unless the GOP evolves to once more become a big-tent party, it is only a matter of time before it is marginalized.
The greatest danger lay in the fact that in order for the GOP to become once again a big tent party, there will have to be a great social change in America. Great social changes rarely come without great social upheavals; and that's something that few of us really want to see.