Sunday, October 26, 2008

Republicans fear long exile in the wilderness.

I have argued before that I feel this election is going to herald the death of Republicanism in it's present form, and would plead guilty to any charge that there is an element of wishful thinking in my prediction.

However, with even some Democrats now whispering about the possibility of a Democratic landslide as dramatic as the one Reagan ushered in for the Republicans in the eighties, there is a very real danger that the Republican party will be reduced to Malkin and the fundamentalists and that the moderate voices in that party will be even more isolated than they are now.

'The Republican party is going to have to work out what sort of party it actually wants to be. It's a changing world for them,' said Professor Shaun Bowler, a political scientist at the University of California at Riverside. It might not be easy. A powerful Democratic win could wipe out Republican moderates. It could leave the party in the grip of its conservative and evangelical base who remain critical of figures such as McCain but who are wildly enthusiastic about politicians such as Palin. The Republican party could end up in a bitter civil war for its political future.'

It's hard to take seriously the notion of a Palin run for the presidency in 2012, but she's serious about it and the core of the base - which is all that the Republicans have left attending their rallies at the moment - are wild for her.

Such a move would guarantee a Republican thrashing and there is every chance that war will break out for the soul of the party which the Republicans have, for years, prostituted to the Christian right.

One of the things that has most struck me during this campaign is McCain's ill hidden distaste for Obama. McCain simply doesn't understand how the nation can be about to elect a pro-life, black senator and reject a conservative Republican war hero.

The whole party can't understand it which is why their arguments against him are becoming more deluded with each day that passes.

This election is undermining everything which these people believe and they are going crazy in their attempts to reverse it.

I seriously think they will become like the British Labour Party after 1979 when they consumed themselves with the argument that they were "not left wing enough" and proposed policies which alienated the electorate.

With the Republicans currently in the hands of Gingrich, Bill Kristol, Karl Rove and other right wing loons, I can well see events playing out in the same way with the same lunatic arguments which besieged the Labour Party being fought from a right wing perspective.

As the many Republican endorsements of Obama have proven there are many moderate Republicans who don't like where their party is headed.

If McCain's defeat is as pronounced as the predictions are implying...
If current polling holds true, the party may be reduced to its core support in the solid red heartland that runs through Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia and other southern and western states
... then we can expect an outbreak of war within the Republican Party when this is all over.

The moderates verse the Malkin lunatics. And sadly, for the past thirty years, such battles have always been won by the lunatics.


It appears that the Republican party share my concern:

Republican fears of historic Obama landslide unleash civil war for the future of the party.

Aides to George W.Bush, former Reagan White House staff and friends of John McCain have all told The Sunday Telegraph that they not only expect to lose on November 4, but also believe that Mr Obama is poised to win a crushing mandate.

They believe he will be powerful enough to remake the American political landscape with even more ease than Ronald Reagan did in 1980.

David Frum, a former Bush speechwriter, told The Sunday Telegraph that Republicans should now concentrate all their fire on "the need for balanced government".

"It's hard to see a turnaround in the White House race," he said. "This could look like an ideological as well as a party victory if we're not careful. It could be 1980 in reverse.

"With this huge new role for federal government in the economy, the possibility for mischief making is very, very great. One man should not have a monopoly of political and financial power. That's very dangerous."

And, suddenly, the very people who have argued that Bush must have unchallenged executive power - in his hands alone at a time of war - find that they have difficulty with that concept.

There is no surprise in finding that the people who have argued loudest that executive power MUST be placed in the hands of one man now completely reject that position and label it "dangerous". These people are staggeringly partisan. Their only objection to this power in the hands of one man - which they have previously insisted on for the safety and continued existence of the American nation - is that it is looking like it might be held, after this election, by a Democrat.

This kind of blind partisanship is the very thing that Obama is running against, this is the change that he hopes to bring to Washington. Their "fears" are nothing more than their latest attempt to lessen their losses by making Americans scared of handing Obama the resounding victory he deserves.

The plan was laid out in today's Washington Post. You can read it here:

2. We need a message change that frankly acknowledges that the Democrats are probably going to win the White House -- and that warns of the dangers of one-party, left-wing government. There's a lot of poll evidence that voters prefer divided government. By some estimates, perhaps as many as 8 percent of voters consciously cast strategic votes in favor of division. These are the voters we need to be talking to now.

I'm not suggesting that the RNC throw up its hands. But down-ballot Republicans need to give up on the happy talk about how McCain has Obama just where he wants him, take off their game faces and say something like this:

"We're almost certainly looking at a Democratic White House. I can work with a Democratic president to help this state. But we need balance in Washington.

All of their talk is merely an attempt to limit the losses of a party which deserves to face total meltdown for the disgraceful way they have run the US for the past eight years.

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