I have so many thoughts in re Election 2008 that they are gridlocked at the intersections of my mind.

Allow me to begin the process of untangling in short and simple stokes.

First of all, is the Grand Old Party over?

Of course not. This is lunacy.

Nothing has proven more resilient in American political history than the two-party system.

Was it over for the Democrats after McGovern? After Carter and Mondale?

Was it over for the Democrats after the Congressional scandals of the 1990s?

Was it over for the Republicans after Richard Nixon? After Bob Dole won only 18 states in 1996?

Why is it never over? Because parties are peopled by human beings who have good intentions but are fatally flawed. The Democrats will overreach, eventually--and the GOP will be there to correct at some point.

As I have said previously, I am rooting for Obama to succeed. His success will be my success. But his success depends on a wise and careful reading of the political realities of the present. If he leans too far left, he is finished. But my sense is that he understands the necessity of pragmatic and cautious governance in this moment of national exigency.

If he is as smart as I think he is, we are going to see an administration wholly unlike any previous presidency. Four years from now, eight years from now, we may well be talking about a completely new version of political philosophy with roots in traditional American liberalism, but with a generous portion of American cultural conservatism. This potential hybrid might inaugurate an Era of Obama--but, even if it is flawlessly launched, this new way will ultimately falter. When it does, a loyal opposition, fine-tuned and re-examined, will offer a needed alternative.

The Day of the GOP is not over. Without a doubt, it may be cloudy right now. But our history indicates that storms come and go, and the sun and moon remain consistent points of reference. End of the GOP? Not likely.