Friday, February 1, 2008

Opportunity is Knocking

Republicans need to decide, now, whether they want to actually win the fast-approaching Presidential election, despite having an arguably flawed standard-bearer; or, alternatively, whether they want to act like Democrats and liberals: congratulating themselves for having an ideologically pure candidate who loses despite the purity of his ideological views.
Late last year, the Republicans looked like sure losers this election cycle. But, despite the lamentations of some conservatives, things are actually looking up in terms of stopping the lefties who would ruin our war effort; saddle our children with even more astronomical debt burdens; and shackle us with an even more formidable regulatory state. Iraq is doing better, and the assassination of Mrs. Bhutto has reminded everyone that the world is not ready to sing Kumbaya, no matter how much our lefty loons may want to. The Republicans have a window of opportunity, to borrow Reagan's phrase -- which they ought to be rarin' to jump through. But the only person the window's open for in this election cycle is McCain.
What is it with Democrats ? They should OWN this election, completely. Just like the elections of 2000. The Democrats should have owned that one too -- it was pre 9/11 and nothing was happening in the world, and the economy was doing relatively well. However, the Democrats threw away their chances by nominating a robotized block of wood who probably couldn't successfully promote a free wine and beer fiesta.
The 2000 election shouldn't have even been close: the sitting Vice President in a good economy against the nationally inexperienced son of unpopular George, derided by Ann Richards as "poor George, born with a silver spoon in his mouth"? The Democrats should have cleaned the floor with George W. Bush, but they were so inept and clumsy it came down to dimpled chads and lawyers, and by God's grace, they came off second-best.
Oh, but they could top that. In 2004, they went on to give us Plastic Man, who was for it before he was against it -- who managed to lose it all, not entirely thanks to W's brilliant "Strategery," and despite a deeply unpopular war.
But now, we have conservatives acting like Democrats; conservatives who, despite the failure of efforts to stop John McCain so far -- are demanding that we all "rally to Romney" -- who appears to be a boring bust of a candidate so far, because he is supposedly more conservative than the less than ideologically pure John McCain.
Why are conservatives upset ? Things are moving our way, because the inept Democrats are just the stupid party that just keeps on giving. Yes, the Democrats again have a death wish this election cycle -- which figures -- after all they're the party that offers abortion as a holy sacrament. On the one hand, they're offering the country a candidate whose main qualification for high office is that she stayed loyally married to her President husband no matter what he did to her; and said husband discharged his obligation by helping Hillary secure a Senate seat. Now, as Charles Krauthammer so trenchantly points out -- Bill seeks to redeem his own lackluster, wasted eight years by securing Hillary the White House.
As an aside, I'll say one thing for Hillary. She has an eye for the main chance; and clearly sacrifices whatever she must to reach the objective. Coldness is an asset for a ruler (this is what she aspires to be) and she has that in spades. But the Republicans can take Hillary.
Then we have St. Barack of Obama -- a complete media creation -- untried, untested with no experience and an almost perfect ultra-liberal voting record who, despite this, promises to unite the country. I suppose all of us conservatives are expected to just surrender and be united.
Far from being broken. . .conservatives now have an opportunity. The Democrats are on the verge of making another giant mistake -- they are locked into one now no matter what they do. Either they restore the Clintons, with all the attendant baggage that brings -- or they go with Obama, untried, untested, inexperienced and the most liberal -- by miles and miles -- person to ever be nominated for anything. They can take him too.
The zany Democrats are offering the Republicans yet another political jackpot -- just moving themselves into position for another memorable pasting. All that Republicans have to do is just reach for and seize the chance, by nominating John McCain as our Presidential standard-bearer -- a man who is a certified war hero, that the Democratic slime machine cannot touch, cannot even dent; who appeals to independents -- and who, if one reads the polls can -- unlike Mitt Romney -- actually win an election.
Somebody tell me what's wrong with winning ? So McCain's not Reagan. Nobody is, nobody could be, and we have to stop expecting somebody to live the 80's over. Reagan's dead, and not even Reagan, were he alive today, could produce victory for a crowd of spiteful children who will drown us all because they loathe the man who is offering our country a life preserver.
Yes, by all means, let us fight McCain, on matters we need to fight him on. We can quibble about immigration, campaign finance, judicial appointments and anything we like later. But one battle at a time. Conservatives have no reason to be unhappy or hurting now. Lets take the hurting to the lefties and argue later. Lets beat the Democrats first.

5 comments:

Oy said...

I have the distinct impression that, if Obama is chosen as the candidate, the race will likely remind that of 1972: a Republican "centrist" against the ultra-liberal "voice of the young people". Obama is very similar to McGovern and I do not sense Democrats realize their great mistake.

What do you think?

El Jefe Maximo said...

Quite possibly you are correct, but much depends on events. We don't know what the economy or the war will do, and there is much instability elsewhere, Iran and North Korea for starters.

Also, Nixon was an incumbent, and seen as safer than an experiment with the darling of the unwashed Children's Crusade. The fact that he was the incumbent also tended to keep dissidents in his own camp in hand.

Moreover, this year, there is a good deal of dissatisfation with Bush, and the Republican candidate will necessarily inherit much of that ire. On the Democratic side, I also think Obama is much more a natural campaigner than McGovern was, even if he is more of a novice.

In general you are correct though. Obama would be an extreme liberal,with very unsavory extreme liberal supporters. He is far more left than Gore or Kerry ever were, and I do not see how he can obtain much more support in the country than they did, except to the degree that he can masquerade as a moderate.

From a narrow, technical point of view, the Democrats could best improve on their 2000, 2004 performances by nominating somebody a little more centrist than Gore or Kerry. Recall that Clinton was elected running more to the center than either of his successors as candidates. I think Hillary could certainly play this role better than Obama. The great weakness of the Democratic Party is that its nutty left wing is just too strong. This is a function (1) of the even more pronounced northeastern dominance of the party than in 1992; and, (2) the increased importance of the chattering class, bi-coastal upper middle class Democrats at the expense of the union bosses. The McGovern faction now controls everything, and means that the Democrats are not a trustworthy alternative to even the most wacko Republicans.

In the event Obama is the candidate, it will be the task of Republicans to spoil any attempt by him to masquerade as a moderate or a unifier; keep their own coalition together (somehow), and cut into Obama's Hispanic support (in the west), and lower middle class support (in the northeast).

I think that, to win, the Democrats are going to have to have help from a third party challenger, and this strong possibility (the Paul crowd plus the irreconcilables who cannot stomach McCain), and this possibility concerns me more than anything else.

hank_F_M said...

El Jefe

Let us consider the overall structure of US elections for the past 20 or so years.

On a nation wide basis, if you have “combined election” not just the president but all congressman, governors state legislature or even dog catcher. The republican candidates have a guaranteed 45% and the Democrats have a guaranteed 45%. There is substantial variation locally but that the national picture. What the 10% in the middle decide is who wins.

Both McCain and Romney are much closer to that 10% than either Clinton or Obama. As you point out this an opportunity. The big advantage the McCain has is that the 10% know this. In an election where the main media is much closer to Clinton and Obama than the 10% it will be much easier to remind the 10% of McCain than convince them about Romney.


I have some reservation about McCain, and Romney too, but on the worst day is better than either Clinton or Obama on the best day.


It will be an uphill fight but Mc Cain can win.



PS: I fixed that bad link you clicked on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Always liked your commentary over at DC's, EJM, but I'm having trouble with your post and reply to oy.

We've know each other for a while; you know I'm not a suicidal conservative; perhaps more libertarian than conservative, even though my first campaign was for Goldwater and I've voted conserv/Repub ever since.

It's seemed clear to me for several years that the enlightened conservatism of Buckley, Kirkpatrick and many others went into decline when we permitted the sound studio hacks on talk radio to speak for us.

Thirty years of building, brick by brick, a coherent conservative philsophy (conservatism isn't an ideology) has been swept away in less than ten by Hannity and, to a lesser degree Limbaugh, and replaced with a type of superman utilitarianism that has virtually no practical appeal to the overwhelming majority of middle-class Americans.

The "pursuit of excellence", small government, low taxes, all the popular conservative hack boilerplate has substituted itself for the single ideas of personal liberty and rejection of the tyranny of the administrative state as a FIRST principle. It's simply alienated people and identified conservative thought with the controversial celebrities who've formulated these cliches.

Bush also had a great deal to do with the attenutation of conservative ideas, because he had no interest in us, and like McCain, is frequently openly hostile and exploitative of conservatives. McCain is not our friend, and the quibbling you mentioned on the primary issues is not quibbling, but of real and immediate importance.

Americans seem to be in one of their periodic romantic phases, when people like Obama and McCain are simply vessels for the escapist urges of the ideologically rootless and alienated people we've become.

I wouldn't write Obama off so easily. He, and all liberals, minister to wish fulfillment and the fantasy life of the comfortable.

Rhod

El Jefe Maximo said...

Rhod,

There is something in what you're saying. . .but I'm going to have to think about it a bit. Sounds like one of those sessions possibly requiring a late night and some wine.

I don't write Obama off, not for a minute. I just question his ability as the candidate to do much better than Gore or Kerry. The Republicans, however, might well do worse. . .