After Obama won a re-election that given the state of the economy, he probably should have lost, the pundocracy assumed that the Republicans would begin a period of soul-searching and modify their views.
Take, for instance, this article in the NY Times. The reporter notes with some astonishment, “In Congress, Republicans are pushing an agenda that is almost identical to the one that their party lost with in November, with no regrets and few efforts to reframe it even rhetorically.”
The missing point is that while the Republicans party needs to revise its positions to have a better chance of winning the next national election, that is simply not relevant to all but a handful of Republican officeholders who are preparing to run for president in ’16. If you’re a Republican congressman or senator, your only concern is not being outflanked on the right in a primary. Otherwise, you simply have no motivation to change your positions or challenge the party’s status quo. Taking more moderate positions will lose you your primary, so advocating more moderate positions for the party itself is simply not going to happen. Why fix something when it ain’t broke (for you)?
With so few contested seats in the House and Senate, Republicans might as well keep dishing out the same gruel to offer the voters. Given the Democratic/urban, Republican/rural split, it might be many years before the party evolves.