Best one sentence summing up of how the GOP's extremist war on reason has tarnished the Republican brand (Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic): "I see a coalition that has lost all perspective, partly because there's no cost to broadcasting or publishing inane bullshit."
Most grandiose big-picture election outcome freakout (David Gelernter at National Review): "The blue states want to secede not from America but from Americanism. They reject the American republic of God-fearing individuals in favor of the European ideal, which has only been government by aristocracy: either an aristocracy of birth or, nowadays, of ruling know-it-alls — of post-religious, globalist intellectuals."
Best right-wing use of a literary device to prop up a hallucination that Romney was in position to win had the storm not pelted the Northeast last week (Scott Johnson at Power Line): "Hurricane Sandy weirdly proved to be something like a deux ex machina for Obama."
Most compelling counterfactual (Michael Hammond at Red State): The GOP lost because "they allowed Democrats to pick their nominee for them," which meant a ticket headed by a "liberal stand-for-nothing Republican" instead of alternatives like "Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich" who "were bright, attractive, and have compelling narratives. "
Most candid admission of defeat on the right (Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage, on the string of stunning wins last night for marriage equality): "Last night really is a big loss, no way to spin it." (See also Dick Morris, whose post-hoc explanation for his patently absurd pre-election forecast is idiotic, but who at least doesn't sugar-coat the palpability of the miss.)
Best post-election illustration that conservatives are going to have to transcend denial and think a lot harder about how their approach to contraception, reproductive rights, Planned Parenthood, and all the rest is perceived by huge swaths of the electorate (Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review): "The 'war on women' nonsense is among what weighs on me most here. How insulting. And it worked?!"
Best gravity-defying post-election headline (at the Washington Examiner): Obama's victory is a victory for Karl Rove. (It turns out that writer Philip Klein's piece under that hed makes a somewhat valid point.)
Most apocalypic fulmination in response to a close election (commenter on Michelle Malkin's blog): "America is a memory now. The freaks have won. The freaks and perverts and demons rule the country. Obama is the anti-Christ, and unless the Rapture comes tomorrow, all is lost."
And on the local front …
Best observation on a Tennessee result overheard at a crowded election night fete, regarding the TN-4 Congressional race: "Voters in the fourth district decided they would rather have an abortionist than a Democrat."
Best election-night moment of tragic irony involving a washed up Tennessee politico: A commercial break during on-air election night coverage that put us face to face with Fred Thompson doing an ad for reverse mortgages. Remember those halcyon days back in the fall of '07 (or should I say those halcyon 20 minutes) when Fred was the man of the moment for the GOP? You still the (pitch)man, Fred.
A version of this post also appears at BruceBarry.net.