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When folks lose elections they go into paroxysms of contrition – usually confessing to the wrong sins.

And when they win, there’s a parallel temptation – they attribute victory to virtues that had little to do with their success.

Now, mi amigo Gary surely has a point when he says Republicans are in danger of becoming the party of angry white men – or, maybe, I should suggest post-election of depressed defeated old white men.

But he and I disagree on the reasons for our demise.

Gary’s suggestion (which has a wonderful poetic symmetry) is Republicans were foisted on their own petard – the Southern Strategy; that the Democrats’ long, dry march standing up for Civil Rights, more government, the environment, tolerance, and immigrants has finally paid off and a thousand flowers have bloomed.

Alright. Let’s take George Bush, two wars dragging on seven years and an economic meltdown that’s left everyone from Wachovia to General Motors staggering, out of the equation – and where does tolerance get Democrats in terms of votes?

The election wasn’t the triumph of all embracing Democratic pluralism – it was voters turning thumbs down on what they saw as a failed presidency that had dumped them in a mess.

Obama didn’t run a gazillion ads about tolerance or the environment – he ran a gazillion ads of John McCain saying, I voted with President Bush 90% of the time. And North Carolina voted for Obama. That didn’t leave much doubt in my mind what the election was really about.

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