On our main site, David Hogberg does a great job countering the arguments of those conservatives who say that losing in November would be a good thing.
I have my own mixed feelings on this issue. First off, when discussing this topic, it's important to differentiate between the short-term and the long-term. There's no doubt in my mind that conservatives will be worse off in the next two years if Republicans lose control of Congress. In the long run, depending on what lessons Republicans learn from the loss, it could be bad, but it could trigger the type of soul searching that could renew small government conservatism. The question is whether conservatives want to accept a Speaker Nancy Pelosi for at least two years and risk having Democratic control for many more just for the mere chance that a principled Republican Party that learned the exact right lessons from their loss will re-emerge in two years.
One thing is clear to me though. The fact that we are having a serious debate on this so close to the election does not bode well for Republicans. I can't recall any prominent conservatives arguing in 2004 that we'd be better off if John Kerry won. Even if this feeling isn't pervasive among conservative voters, if the sentiment exists on the margins, then it may be enough to hamper turnout and swing close elections to Democrats if their base proves itself hungry and energized.
Should the Republicans lose, the immediate task of conservatives will be to make sure that Republicans do learn the right lessons from their defeat. It's crucial that Republicans know that if they lose, it's because they betrayed their base, not because of