Monday, November 10, 2008

All That GOP Fingerpointing Is Getting Boring. What's Next-- Palin Blaming McCain?


Most of the country wants to move on to the next act: the one where Obama rescues the damsel in distress (i.e., the economy tied to the railroad tracks). Republicans, however, are still sitting around pointing fingers at each other and trying to figure out who and what to blame-- anything so long as it isn't their reactionary policies-- and who gets to try to put the broken pieces back together again. Like we pointed out yesterday, Eric Cantor, the GOP's extremely right-wing whip replacement for poor old Roy Blunt, blamed the lack of Republican savvy regarding the ole tubez and internets. Even disgraced former House leader Tom Delay thinks he knows how to set things straight for the GOP he helped drive into the ditch. More thoughtful Republicans, like Giuliani advisor John Avlon, says it's the extremism, stupid that has been reflected in the Bush agenda and GOP policies.
Roughly 50 percent of the American people consider themselves moderate, compared with 30 percent who call themselves conservative and the 20 percent who say they are liberal. Independents are the largest and fastest-growing segment of the electorate. The math is clear: To win elections with wide margins in America, you need to appeal beyond your party's base — but that's a lesson that ideological activists hate to hear because it threatens to diminish their influence. Their discomfort is with the concept of representative democracy itself.

Between 1932 and 1952, Republicans lost five consecutive presidential elections. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the most respected man in America, promised to break the losing streak, but conservative activists wanted to nominate "Mr. Republican" — Senate Majority Leader and isolationist Robert Taft. An ugly primary campaign followed, with claims that Ike was the "candidate of effeminates" (a precursor to snide "squish" claims), secretly Jewish (the Muslim whisper campaign of the day) and represented "Republicans for Truman." Ike won the general election easily.

...Obama ultimately won 60 percent of moderate voters, and independents favored him by 8 percentage points. Twenty percent of self-described conservative voters (presumably mostly Democrats) even pulled the lever for him. He became the first Democrat since 1964 to win Virginia and Indiana and swept swing states like Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. He won with a margin larger than George W. Bush ever achieved by reaching out beyond the Democratic base.

The problem for Republicans is compounded by the fact that their base-- older white rural traditionalists-- is shrinking, almost by definition. Whole regions have been lost to the party over the past decade, like historically Republican New England, where not a single Republican representative remains. But still some social conservative activists like Tony Perkins believe that the problem can be solved by moving further to the right in the future-- just as liberal activists in the 1980s believed that the reason Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis lost was that they were not liberal enough. But even the editor of the National Review, Rich Lowry, recognizes that Republicans need to reach the center as well as the right to win in our center-right nation.

Republicans will emerge from the wilderness only when they reconnect with independent and centrist voters who are fiscally conservative but socially progressive and strong on national security. That means modernizing by embracing a big- tent philosophy on social issues that can credibly attract libertarians again. It means regaining credibility on fiscal issues with clear contrasts like a balanced budget and flat tax. It means becoming more diverse and more urban. It means looking to next -generation leaders like Michael Steele, Bobby Jindal, Mark Kirk and Paul Ryan.

Forget for a moment that Paul Ryan is a drooling right-wing loon and instead focus on the recent polls that show that 91% of Republicans have a favorable view of Sarah Palin and 64% of them want to see her as their part's nominee to go up against President Obama in 2012. I think that came out before Emanuel became Chief of Staff, so he can't be blamed for starting that rumor to cause problems for the GOP. Besides, Palin doesn't need anyone to stir up any problems on her behalf.

Yesterday she was interviewed by the Anchorage Daily News, while cookin' up some moose chili and moose hot dogs for the brood, and she certainly said she's in the running to be her party's candidate for president. She also blamed the GOP debacle on everyone but herself. Palin:
I think the Republican ticket represented too much of the status quo, too much of what had gone on in these last eight years, that Americans were kind of shaking their heads like going, wait a minute, how did we run up a 10 trillion dollar debt in a Republican administration? How have there been blunders with war strategy under a Republican administration? If we're talking change, we want to get far away from what it was that the present administration represented and that is to a great degree what the Republican Party at the time had been representing. So people desiring change I think went as far from the administration that is presently seated as they could. It's amazing that we did as well as we did.

It sure is-- and since I can't ever get enough of this video I'll use this as an excuse to run it again. Please notice the footsies at the very end.

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