Democrats win elections primarily by carving up the American people into interest groups. Republicans usually fall for this trick, and often play by Democratic rules. They have never won this way, and have only hurt their own credibility by doing so, giving Democrats ammunition for the next election.

Democrats also win based on personal appeal. They can sell bad ideas with the right Hollywood celebrities, the right late-night comedians and a smiling face. And no politician is more of a celebrity, more of a media figure than President Obama: You cannot beat him at his own game.

Conservatives have an advantage in that our ideas have been tried, and have succeeded. Our ideas — respect for the Constitution and the rule of law, economic freedom, respect for traditional moral principles — are our country’s default positions. The progressives are the innovators; the burden of proof is on them. They must tell us why our tried-and-true ideas must be changed.