John Podhoretz offers this interesting take:
Conservatives will be arguing over the meaning of the defeat and how to change things for the better. But we need to understand a key aspect of the defeat - a cultural aspect.
For decades, Americans whose lives did not revolve around politics believed that Democrats were trying to use politics to revise the rules of society - to force America to "evolve" in a Left-liberal direction.
They didnt like the bossiness implied by this attitude and they were appalled by the unintended consequences of the changes instituted by left-liberals, mainly when it came to confiscatory tax policy and the refusal to maintain social order and safe streets. These consequences were marks of profound incompetence in the management of the country, and the Democrats were punished for it.
But over in the past few years, Americans began to get the sense that Republicans had become the party of social revision - that it had allowed its own ideological predilections to run riot and that a new form of political correctness had overtaken the party that had seemed more sensible and more in line with their way of thinking.
For JPod to make this argument, he has to buy into the potency of the "theocracy" snake oil being peddled on the Left, or at least to assume that that snake oil had been purchased by a significant portion of the electorate. This doesnt square with the concerns about corruption that emerged in the exit polls, nor with the economic populism that seems to have marked some of the victorious, relatively socially conservative Democrats. Are we seeing a reemergence of what was once called the "Perotista" vote, a bloc whose anti-corporate feelings dominate any social concerns it might have?