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Is there any hope for the GOP?

Posted by Rokke , 05 November 2008 · 2,849 views

A good friend asked the following questions today:

Is there any hope for the GOP?

Is there a place for Conservatives?

I had been considering the same questions for several days prior to the election, so in some ways the actual results of this election were reassuring. Before you dismiss me as crazy, let me try to explain myself.

My short answer to both questions is yes. Probably more now than ever. Conservatism wasn't on the ballot this election. In fact, it was probably the only thing that wasn't on the national ballot. And in the few states where it was tested on a state level (represented by the gay marriage ban in several states) it won. Even in California.

This election was lost during our primary. Half the GOP was focused on picking the least useless Republican candidate while the other half was focused on defeating Hillary. Well...we went 1 and 1 in that effort. But I think it cost us the whole war.

If there is one thing that has been proven in election after election it is that you don't elect your candidate by asking people to vote against the other candidate. It didn't work against Clinton in 1996, it didn't work against Bush in 2004, and it didn't work against Obama in 2008.

The only reason we gave our country to vote for McCain was his Vice Presidential candidate. McCain certainly never articulated a coherent message sufficient to capture the enthusiasm of even his own party. The "Maverick" thing became a punchline less then a month into his campaign, and from that point on he bounced from "change" to "the other guy is a socialist". Palin was his most compelling argument, but even as appealing as Palin is, another thing that has been proven in election after election is that you don't elect a President based on his Vice President.

I think the suggestion that no Republican could have won this year is completely false. It took Obama at least $600 million and the entire national media to defeat a weak Republican candidate. If we had nominated someone who actually believed in the conservative message I think we would have won. But we didn't do that. And we lost.

So where do we stand now? Well...we just watched our first string offensive line get taken out. Fortunately, I don't think anyone believes the offensive line we fielded is the best we can do. So maybe it is good to get them off the field. Brett Favre and John Elway led their teams to many great victories. But at some point, you need someone new to step in. And that is where we are right now. The kind of response Sarah Palin got from Republicans is an indicator that there is plenty of life in the party. What has been lacking is a strong leader. Someone people want to take the field with. Someone who articulates a clear vision, stands on principle, tells people they are wrong when they are wrong and reaffirms their beliefs when they are right. Someone who is young, but tested.

I think we have plenty of those people sitting on our sidelines. People who haven't been able to take the field because the old heads won't give it up.

Our country is headed for some tough times. It was regardless of who won the White House. But as a conservative, I am certain that the socialistic principles espoused by Obama will not solve our problems. They'll make them worse. We are in for a LONG four years and it is going to be painful. Unemployment is going to go way up, productivity is going to go way down, we will be tested and walked on internationally. Not even the dying media will be able to hide the impact. Think Carter years or worse.

Somewhere in that mess will rise a leader. A person who is able to articulate a solution. A person who will give people a reason to vote FOR him instead of against Obama. If our party will recognize that person, we'll win in a landslide in 2012. But if we do what we did in 1996, we'll nominate another gentle dinosaur like Bob Dole (or John McCain), and have to wait until 2016 to try again. I don't think that will happen and I think that is the one thing we can thank McCain for after this election. He didn't pull a Dole and pick someone like Jack Kemp for a running mate. Instead, he introduced the next generation of conservative leaders to the party in the form of Sarah Palin. And he whet our appetite.

We just elected a socialist Jimmy Carter. We're going to pay. But think of what came after Carter. Take a look at the electoral map from 1976 vs 1980.

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Conservatism didn't die in 1976. And it isn't dead now.

We're in for some big changes in the Party, and John McCain certainly has ushered them in.

Nice job.
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As always, spot on!

We've demonstrated clearly to everyone how to lose for the last 2 elections now.
It is my hope that McCain has at least served one good purpose; he has made it quite clear that the way to win is not to act like democrats.
People that want democrats will vote for real democrats, not pseudo democrats.

As Rush says, conservatism wins, every time it's tried.
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A person who is able to articulate a solution. A person who will give people a reason to vote FOR him instead of against Obama.

We saw the same message in 2006...ie I'm not as bad as the democrats.

There are many out there who have a good Conservative message, the question is which one can articulate it in a way that appeals to voters....example of someone who couldn't get his message out is Duncan Hunter.
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Nov 06 2008 10:27 AM
You're more optimistic than I am. I hope you are right and I am wrong.

Carter did not have blatant and nearly universal media support. Nor did he have the charisma of The ONE.

Worse, I think the people of our country have degenerated since the days of Carter. In the Carter years we would not have elected The ONE.

Overall, my view is that the next four years are going to be significantly worse than 4 years of Jimmy.

When people are set in their ways it takes something big to make them change. In my view we are in for something "big" enough in the next four years to qualify. It will be worse than ugly.
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Nov 06 2008 05:14 PM
What Carter had was 61 democrat senators.. Carter had a filibuster proof Senate for the first two years. But Carter tried to tell the Democrat leadership in Congress what he wanted done.. They told him to go fornicate himself. Carter's eqo would not let him suck up to men like Robert Byrd and other powerful senators.

Check it out Kids. Obama is not liked by his fellow Democrats in the Senate. He was never admitted as even a low level person in the inner circle of the Senate. They call the Senate the most excusive club in the world. There are about 40 to 50 Senators from both parties that control the Senate. Even Harry Reid has to kiss their butts to get things done.

I would be surprised to see Obama get much of his liberal agenda passed through the senate. Harry Reid will find out how hard it is to heard the Senate cats for Obama. There are lots of senate rules that the leadership of both parties do not want to change. Because it gives the Senate great power. They will not delegate the power to write laws to Obama.

In fact During Bill Clinton's first two years in office the Democrats controlled both houses of congress and Bill and Hillary could not get Hillary care through a Democrat Senate. The Senate had 57 Democrat members when it conveined for the first time when Clinton took office. The Clinton's could not get even all the Democrats and 5 or 6 Rino's to get Hillary care passed. Hillary wrote the bill and the Democrat senators told Bill to go to hell. Obama will have to let the house and senate write the health care if he wants to get it passed. That bill won't look anything like what Obama wants. It still may not pass. What Obama wants is not worth a warm pitcher of spit to the congress critters. Ask Bill and Hillary how that works.

There is just one thing that Democrats and Republican senators agree on, and that is the preservation of the Senates power to control what is in the bills they pass. A president that tries to play Chicago politics with the Senate will get next to nothing he wants.

Reagan got his program through the Congress in his first 2 years. The republicans controlled the senate. Reagan only had 53 Republicans in the senate so he need it 7 DINO'S to stop filibusters and he got them. Remember Reagan said he could get nearly anything done was long as it was unimportant to him who got the credit. Reagan constantly negotiated with the Senate including Democrats and the Democrat controlled House under Tip O'Neil.

Reagan would agree to somethings the Democrats wanted done, in order to get things he wanted done. But the Democrats negotiating with Reagan got lots of media coverage as those who had power over Reagan

They called Reagan the great communicator but he was in fact the great horse trader.

While Sixty one Democrat seats in the Senate was not enough to get things done for Carter. Reagan got his program through a Democrat controlled house and a 53 seat Republican Senate. Reagan was constantly inviting both Democrats and Republicans to the white house for advisory sessions.

Reagan also manipulated the media. he would horse trade to get the votes, then call in the congressmen and woman to talk to them one on one. And would tell the media in front of them that they had the power to pass or defeat various bills. He did his best to get each congress critter good coverage negotiating with the president over policies.

Often before a big vote Reagan would tell the media it did not look all that good for passage. Then he would call congress members just before the vote. The media always said this was the time Reagan would lose and the Demorats would hold the line. Only to find Reagan had prevailed by one or two votes. They called him the GREAT COMNUNICATOR because they felt he had to have changed votes at the last minute. The truth was he had had them in his hip pocket for weeks. But the media allways fell for it. Reagan was sure to lose... was today's story.. Reagan pullled it one more time was the story the next day.

I think Obama is not nearly smart enough to get what he wants from Congress. He can't help but tell them they had best toe the mark. He will find that gets him their collective toes and feet up his rump.
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I had no idea Carter had 61 one dems in the Senate. That makes his failure even more "impressive".
I think Obama is going to suffer from the same thing you mention plaguing Carter. His ego seems to have no limits. And he doesn't seem to be stacking his staff with folks who will do much more than feed it. With Congressional approval ratings so low, and a historic precedent of the majority party in Congress losing seats after a President of the same party is elected, I suspect the ego maniacal Senators won't be especially eager to hand credit for any initiatives over to Obama. Their going to want their little signatures in any legislation. It may be the ultimate battle of the egos. To top it all off, I don't think any of them are particularly bright. Especially the dem leaders. It might actually be a little fun watching the keystone cops fall all over each other trying to prove their brilliance.
Time will tell.
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"When people are set in their ways it takes something big to make them change. In my view we are in for something "big" enough in the next four years to qualify. It will be worse than ugly. "

I fear you are correct. Politics aside I hope Obama will be a great and good President, but I see nothing in him that leads me to believe he will be. Yes Jimmy Carter lead to Ronald Reagan, but here we are 30+ years later and we are still dealing with the consequences of the Carter Presidency.
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Nov 08 2008 11:29 AM
The up and coming generation of Americans doesn't remember Reagan and remembers Clinton with the fuzzy-eyed fondness of childhood. They have never seen any significant hardship. I think about once a generation, we're decisively handed our hats and told...go do better.

I believe we can do better. We need to re-explain what we stand for and what that means to people personally. And you are right. It is always much better to be FOR something than against it.

Nicely done. As always.
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I believe we can do better. We need to re-explain what we stand for

"The government that governs least governs best"
T. Jefferson (dead white guy)
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