If you want to think about how Republicans will govern in the real world or look at the GOP philosophy in practice, there are vibrant examples to examine in New Jersey, Mississippi, California, and Virginia. In these places, conservatives are struggling to put ideas into practice that require real trade-offs and bring real consequences. These places are a better starting point for a legitimate debate about conservative politics and policy.
My argument for why Palin still matters a lot - a terrifying lot - is here. Of course, I hope John and David are right.
(Illustration: a bumper sticker spotted by a reader in Juneau.)