Saturday, November 01, 2008

Some Things For Republican's To Keep In Mind

A few thoughts as we enter the last few difficult days of what has been a steep uphill climb for all of us in the party.

1. We need to remember history and understand that it was working against us from the very beginning. Over the last 60 years, only once has one party maintained the White House for more than 8 years.

R - Eisenhower:8

D- Kennedy /Johnson: 8

R - Nixon/Ford : 8

D - Carter: 4

R - Reagan/ Bush: 12*

D - Clinton:8

R - Bush II: 8

It would appear that the American people’s recent inclination is to give the party out of power an opportunity after two terms of GOP or Dem leadership.

If McCain comes close it would be amazing given the circumstances.

2. I’ve heard a lot of people on both sides grumbling about the lack of a clear message and deficient candidacy of Sen. McCain as he moves closer to what appears to be at least an electoral college defeat.

I disagree. John McCain knew from the beginning that he was going to have to run a very different kind of campaign and take a lot of risks if he was going to have a chance. He has remained competitive despite the fact that every single political factor is working in his opponents favor.

He has tried every angle and has found that absolutely none of them work in this climate.

A clear traditional GOP message in this election similar to the standard Democratic message that Barack Obama has run on, would never work right now due to the GOP’s unpopular standing seen in the generic polls.

3. The left has been quick to tell us that Sarah Palin has been a disaster for McCain. I don’t think that’s accurate either.

If you look at the polls, McCain is in the same position right now as he was before the Palin pick. That was also before the October Surprise of the financial crisis.

She undoubtedly botched a few questions in the interviews, but she has also been an effective rallying point for the base. The unfair smears aimed at her involving pregnancies, banning books, rape kits and creationist fear mongering on the left have hurt her among people who don’t know how to differentiate fact from fiction, and that’s a lot of folks in an election year where young college students and comedy news shows have played such a big role. Not to mention the hate filled left wing blogs like Kos and HuffPo.

Palin is anything but vapid. Being pulled out of Alaska on such short notice she didn’t have time to adequately prep for a national stage. My guess is that this will change.

She’s a gifted politician and will likely be in the U.S. Senate very soon. I’m guessing that one way or another she will end up in the seat now held by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, in 2010. This will give her a high profile spot in the party and a chance to really make her mark in American politics.

4. I was listening to the musical HAIR while in the shower this morning and the song “The Flesh Failures/Let the Sunshine In” came on. In the song the flower children sing of “facing a dying nation” and lament the imminent decline of the American empire due to Vietnam. Listening to it, I couldn’t help but think of the similar ‘sky is falling’ attitude peddled by alarmists on both sides over the last few years.

Of course those of us who understand just how amazingly well the American experiment has gone over the last half a century understand that whether the next president is Obama or McCain, the nation will survive and thrive, not because of the federal government, but because of the optimism and innovative nature of the American people. Their spirit and faith in American exceptionalism, whether they admit it or not, always wins the day.

-Dan Joseph

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