Here is Tyler Cowen reprinting E.J. Dionne:
The right wing has lost the election of 2012.
The evidence for this is overwhelming, yet it is the year’s best-kept secret. Mitt Romney would not be throwing virtually all of his past positions overboard if he thought the nation were ready to endorse the full-throated conservatism he embraced to win the Republican nomination.
…The right is going along because its partisans know Romney has no other option. This, too, is an acknowledgment of defeat, a recognition that the grand ideological experiment heralded by the rise of the tea party has gained no traction.
Of course, my takeaway from this is probably different than most people. My “friends” on the left (they’ve all largely abandoned me I think) would read this as evidence that their ideological view is “right.” And they are happy to that … opinion because that is what it is. I see it rather differently. I see it not as vindication for a statist, “progressive”, corporatist, anti-civil liberties world-view – those ideas have always been popular, rather it’s evidence that … well, you insert what you want for this last point.