Pollster Frank Luntz for the past decade issued warnings to his fellow Republicans that they did not want to hear, but never has been so out of touch with them as he is today. “The Republican message machine is a skeleton of its former self,” Luntz told me. “These people have no idea how the American people react to them.”

Luntz sees a disconnect between Republicans and voters that projects a grim future for the party. That contradicts what House and Senate Republicans are saying to each other in closed party conferences. While Luntz views 2006 election defeats as ominous portents, the party’s congressional leaders see only transitory setbacks and now dwell on bashing Democrats.

Back when we talked to Ken Mehlman last spring the GOP seemed to be out of touch and in denial. And that was before the elections.

UPDATE: Bob Krumm:

If at any time in the last fifteen years you had told me that I would consider supporting Hillary Clinton over one of the possible Republican presidential nominees, I would have accused you of being drunk. But here I am, soberly in realization of the fact that on foreign policy, at least, Hillary Clinton is preferable to Republican Senator Chuck Hagel.

There’s a lot more of this kind of thing out there than GOP folks in Washington appreciate.