Good luck with that.
You may recall that the same things were said after President Barack Obama handily beat the 2008 GOP nominee, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
And what did we get?
The 2009 and 2010 rise of the Tea Party, which pushed the national and local GOPs further to the right.
But the fact is, nationally the Republican Party is in real trouble. And with some irony, they are in trouble in the presidential Electoral College – which many Republicans love to defend as part of the divinely inspired U.S. Constitution.
It is true that national Republicans are becoming the party of angry white men.
And while there are a lot of angry white men still making up the American populace, they are becoming less and less of a plurality.
Still, there is no minority of angry white men in Utah. We’re full of them.
And when you consider the Utah/LDS society – where men play a special part in the family hierarchy and run the international Mormon Church totally – there is no danger here of the GOP establishment being rocked by the same concerns as national Republicans.
There are some Utah Republicans who tend toward Libertarianism – they want government out of their lives, period.
But the right side of the Utah GOP also has a strong moral strain – heartily anti-abortion, anti-alcohol, anti-drug, anti-gay rights and even anti-public school sex education.
So, Utah Republicans are for getting government out of our lives except in the cases where they want even more government control – to stop people from doing disgusting things that they don’t like people to do.
Were their lessons learned in the Utah state GOP this election cycle?
-- Like they didn’t do a good enough job in redistricting the new four U.S. House seats to keep Rep. Jim Matheson from winning again (albeit in a different seat than they thought he would run in.)
-- Like they didn’t do a good enough job in getting out their vote in Salt Lake County. (Matheson carried the Salt Lake County portion of the 4th District by 60 percent, just enough to defeat the nationally-hailed Mia Love. And Democrats Ben McAdams won the Salt Lake County mayorship and Jim Bradley won another county-wide district term on the County Council.)
-- Like they didn’t take away several eastside Salt Lake County state House seats won by incumbent Democratic representatives.
-- Like Utah Republicans may have given millions of dollars to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, but he still lost and now that money isn’t around to boost the state’s economy.
But while national Republicans may be in despair, that isn’t a feeling even known to Utah Republicans.
They have been in state power since the 1970s, coming up on 40 years – longer in the U.S. Senate seats from Utah.
New Mexico, Nevada, and even Colorado may be trending to the Democratic Party. But Utah stands solidly with Wyoming, Arizona and Idaho in the GOP column.
However, there is a sliver of change that could end up with some big changes within the Utah GOP.
With Romney’s defeat, it is clear that former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt returns from heading up Romney’s transition team (and perhaps a top job in a Romney administration).
Along with U of U Hinckley Institute of Politics director Kirk Jowers, another Romney devotee, and a few other “mainstream conservative” local Republicans (as the informal group likes to call itself), Leavitt has the organizational power and connections to fund and run a citizen initiative aimed at the 2014 general election ballot.
If that effort comes about – and we may not hear more about it until late in 2013 or early 2014 – what we saw this year in internal state GOP politics could become commonplace.
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, with his campaign manager Dave Hansen running the ground effort, spent well over $1 million organizing Hatch-backers to attend and win state delegate slots at the March 2012 neighborhood mass meetings, or party caucuses.
LDS Church leaders, who never back an individual candidate, also made unprecedented efforts to turn Mormons out to those neighborhood caucuses.
And the result was a much more moderate set of 2,500 state delegates making candidate decisions in their state convention.
The point of the Leavitt-Jowers idea is, since it’s unlikely future non-right-wing Republican candidates can spend $1 million and a year’s effort getting more moderate state delegates elected, there has to be an alternative route to the state and local GOP primary ballots.
It is at those ballots where moderate/conservative rank-and-file Republican voters can pick a candidate more in line with normal Utah political values.
Now, those values will still be very conservative, especially by national standards.
But at least you won’t see Tea Partiers yelling and shouting for joy when an 18-year incumbent Congress member is voted out of office – like we saw at the 2010 state GOP Convention and the fall of former U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett.
Remember this, former GOP Gov. Olene Walker had a public approval rating of more than 80 percent when she was kicked out of office by a few thousand GOP state delegates in 2004.
Would Walker have won the closed Republican primary if she were up against Jon Huntsman Jr. and Nolan Karras, who came through the convention process?
But at least voters, not delegates, would be making that choice.
And that is what Leavitt, Jowers and the others will be reminding 2014 voters – should they get their ballot measure before all Utahns.
So, perhaps – and it is a big perhaps – national Republicans will make some changes because of the 2012 elections.
But it will take something like the Leavitt-Jowers alternative to the primary ballot effort to make any substantial changes in Utah GOP politics.
Today’s big Utah Republican elephant isn’t interested in much change – he already has all that he needs, if not more.