David Brooks has an interesting column about David Cameron and his successful repositioning of the Tory Party in the UK. He concludes:
Cameron describes a new global movement, with rising center-right parties in Sweden, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, California and New York (he admires Schwarzenegger and Bloomberg). American conservatives won’t simply import this model. But there’s a lot to learn from it. The only question is whether Republicans will learn those lessons sooner, or whether they will learn them later, after a decade or so in the wilderness.
Ultimately, my hope would be to see the GOP reposition sooner rather than later. The way American political institutions work, it's very difficult to govern on a pure party line basis. I would prefer European-style institutions, but we don't have them. Consequently, a hard-right GOP -- even a hard-right GOP minority -- can make progressive change extremely difficult, whereas a more moderate GOP would make it easier to do things, even if that more moderate GOP were more electorally successful. Many conservatives will, I assume, agree with me about this and therefore want to resist the sort of changes Brooks favors.