Molly Ball's latest for the Atlantic offers an idea for how the GOP can emulate the Democrats of the late 1980s:
So how did the DLC do it?
The group’s first order of business was to force the party to face facts. Of all the Democrats’ many problems in the late 1980s, the biggest was denial. Party activists professed that their nominees were losing not because they were too liberal but because they weren’t liberal enough. Or they said that the party simply had to do a better job of turning out its base of low-income and minority voters. Or that Democrats’ majorities in Congress and governors’ mansions proved the party was still doing fine. Some insisted that voters were being hoodwinked by the charismatic Ronald Reagan, or were just too racist and backward to embrace the righteousness of Democratic positions.
The bottom line of such defenses—that the party did not need fundamental change—echoes today’s future-of-the-GOP argument.