Political Diatribes

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Archive for the ‘Electorate’ Category

The Real Reason Why the Right Lost – An Unconventional Truth

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on November 21, 2008

There has been much debate about the reasons why the Republicans not only lost the White House in this election but also lost ground in both the House and Senate in each of the last two elections. Some argue that this is a rejection of conservative ideology, and conversely that it is an embracing of more “progressive” policies. Some argue that it a rejection of George Bush, and an acceptance of “Change.” More specifically, we will hear about Iraq, corruption, and so on.

Certainly, there are elements of some truth in many of these things, while at the same time being absolutely wrong. Let me count the ways:

  1. Rejection of conservative ideology: The kernel of truth here is that this was a rejection of Republican policy over the last few years.  The rub is that this was NOT a conservative ideology, but strayed from conservative ideology in countless ways.
  2. Embracing a more “progressive” ideology: Enough people like a handout and a freebie that when these things are promised, they essentially sell their vote to the highest bidder.  This is not an embracing of ideology as much as it is mere perceived self-interest.
  3. Rejection of George Bush’s policies: This is interesting, because most people, when presented with Bush’s “policies” can’t really give you firm examples of what they don’t like other than the war in Iraq, he’s dumb, and he’s too religious.   I will discuss where we went particularly wrong on this.
  4. Embracing Change: Everyone likes the sound of this.  People embrace change when things aren’t going the greatest without considering whether or not all change is good.  Some change will make a bad situation worse, and I think that people just longed for a new face and thought “to hell with worrying about policy.  I just want someone different.”   Many of these people will regret that decision, but only time will demonstrate this.

There are more and more things along these lines we could discuss.  But it misses the boat.  These things can be overcome.  Success in elections is much more about confidence, public message, and campaign strategy than all these things combined.  The Republicans should have bucked all conventional wisdom starting 5-6 years ago, done exactly what everyone said they shouldn’t do, and if they had done it I believe they’d have the White House today.

And what was their crucial mistake?  The mistake was distancing themselves from George W. Bush.   You know, the guy in the White House with a 30% approval rating.

Let me explain.  You see, this is not about distancing yourself from a man with a 30% approval rating in 2008.  This is about, as a Party, rallying behind your party’s President and getting in the face of the public and preventing him from ever reaching that point.   Bush’s approval rating has less to do with his actions as President – whatever you think of many of those actions – and more to do with a very persistent strategy of the Left.   The Left did a very simple and concerted thing:  they hated him, and they hated him incessantly.  Even when Bush had higher approval ratings, they hammered away.  They were starting to get there in 2004 but they ran a swizzle stick for a nominee.  But they ratcheted things up after that to ridiculous extremes, and they had a counterpart in a good deal of the media that helped get the message out.

You see, even the good things Bush did in the public eye was met with such relentless criticism that supporters eventually doubted him.  Sure, he screwed up on Harriet Meiers, but in the end he gave us Justices Roberts and Alito.  Most of America would agree that these are pretty good choices, unless you relaly lean left.  But the Left pounded away with words such as “extreme.”   And even though Bush was supported during 9/11, the Left found certain ways to undermine him on that.  They made fun of his initial reaction at the school, where he was informed of the situation.   They made some really ridiculous claim that because he released a picture of him working during the crisis, it was for political purposes.  Eventually, they allowed the nutjob whackos to rant about talking up conspiracy theories.  And while most Americans dismissed those things, it contributed to weariness.

The Left really stepped things up.  Despite holding both houses of Congress, they assailed the lowe approval ratings of Congress as a Bush phenomenon, and by extension, a Republican one.  They did not shut up.  Every thing was Bush’s fault.   There was never a thing Bush did right.   Iraq was labeled a disaster, and this was repeated so often that even when news outlets stopped reporting the boring news that there were almost no casualties in 2008, the lie remained alive that the country was near civil war and we were losing our men and women.   When the surge worked, it was either denied, or it was suggested that nobody – even Bush – really thought it was going to work as well as it did.

And where was the Right while all this was going on?   Running freakin’ scared.   Cowering.  Acting like jellyfish.   And that is the major blunder they made.

Perhaps it’s the nature of the party to believe that people will see through these kinds of tactics of fear and intimidation, but doing so is a mistake.  Sure, there are plenty of people who do see through it, but there are many more who simply do not pay close enough attention to things to understand that these non-stop claims are wrong.   From day one, every day, at every opportunity, the Republicans should have stepped up their public pronouncements against the claims of the Left.  Oh, some people tried valiantly, but most did not.   Senators on the Right meekly complained about unfairness while they were politically trampled. 

This is the root of what then started to become the unwinding of all conservatism.  Instead of boldly standing on conservative principles, defending the President at every turn, and calling out the Left on their lies louder and more harshly than the allegations were made, we started capitulating.  Bush was, in many ways, his own worst enemy.  Spending and corruption – previously liberal trademarks – entered the Republican household.   Maybe this embarrassment caused them to go hide in a corner.  But that never stopped the Democrats from boldly defending the Clintons during the 90’s.

With every Republican who tried to become more liberal or distance themselves from Bush, three things happened: (1) The Left became even more emboldened, (2) it actually lent credence to the anti-Bushies, and (3) people became more and more tired of the spineless conservatives and Bush.  

I truly believe that if, starting in 2006, all the Republicans would have continually made the case for why Bush was a good President – supreme court appointments, reduced taxes, family values, success in Iraq, etc. instead of acting embarrassed, then people would not have necessarily felt the need for “change.”   As soon as we started distancing, we lost.

Look at the end result…  distancing from Bush did no Republicans any good.  A few of the Senators who lost very publicly distanced themselves from the President.  Instead, the wave of Obamamania came through over the very discontent towards Bush that was directly or indirectly fostered by many Republicans.  Many in the GOP became the Left’s best weapon.   These other Senators didn’t necessarily lose for any reason other than the fact that voters for Obama just selected the Dem on their ballot for House or Senate.  Doing nothing to counter the discontent for Bush, and in fact seeming to agree with the merits of it probably cost the GOP 4 or 5 Senate seats, and God only knows how many House seats.

This was the most relentless, long-term, and vicious string of political attacks the Left has ever waged against one individual.   It could have been damped, if not stemmed altogether.  But we didn’t do it.  And now look what we’ve got.

Most disconcerting are the morons who continue to provide advice to the Republicans on how to turn this thing around.   “We need to be more inclusive,” they say.  “More tolerant.”   “Can’t be so dogmatic on social issues.”   In other words, we need to become more liberal.  

For the love of all that’s holy, look at what listening to these idiots has gotten us to.  They are the same ones who fostered the criticisms of Bush and  conservatism.  They are the same ones who thought running from the President was the best way to go.  They gave us John McCain instead of a true conservative. 

I implore all my fellow conservatives to realize the lessons in this.  Don’t stand for the continued character assault and relentless bullying of the Left whenever someone with conservative principles starts making headway.   I present to you the next victim of the relentlessly immoral attack machine: Sarah Palin.   Even conservatives who loved her started to let the Left’s rants get in their heads.   Don’t stand for it.

Listen, I do not necessarily agree with Bush on everything.  I will criticize when criticism is needed.   But there is a difference between fair criticism, honest disagreement, and vitriolic attack.  I stand by him, even in these troubled times – which by the way are much more the result of liberal decisions in the past, have absolutely nothing to do with the tax code, and not as much to do with lack of regulation as the Left wants us all to believe.   Barney Frank and Chris Dodd should be in jail.  And yet, Bush was blamed for the crash.

And the Republicans ran away and looked for their mommy.

Posted in Elections, Electorate, Opinion, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Perplexing Electorate and the Next Eight Years

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on November 15, 2008

Originally posted at http://digitaldiatribes.wordpress.com on October 28, 2008.

Anyone who knows me well also knows that I have very strong political opinions. I’ve occasionally presented them here, but not too often. After all, with all this global warming statistical analysis, who has time for that? Plus, my meager little blog isn’t going to change the world, anyway. Plus, I really have decided to not push too many political buttons, since most readers don’t come here for that reason and anytime you delve into this arena, you’re bound to offend somebody.

But, with the Presidential elections only 7 days away, I am left perplexed by the U.S. Electorate.

OK, to be up-front about matters, I am a conservative. The intent of this post is not to argue about why conservatism is superior to liberalism. I believe it to be true, and others will disagree.

So, let’s just accept that 30%ish of us are pretty staunchly conservative and 30%ish of us are pretty staunchly liberal. I don’t know the exact numbers. Perhaps it’s not an even split, or perhaps it’s a higher percentage. None of that is particularly important, because it is not this group of people that perplexes me. Agree or disagree, one knows exactly why conservatives vote for conservatives and liberals vote for liberals. And while not universally the case, it is generally recognized in the current political climate that the conservative will vote for the Republican and the liberal will vote for the Democrat.

This is a little different from saying that each side is a strong supporter of that candidate. After all, McCain was probably my 4th or 5th choice among the Republican Candidates in the primaries. And just because he’ll get my vote doesn’t mean I’m overly excited about him. But compared to Obama, there’s simply not even a question about who is the better candidate for me to vote for.

Where my confusion lies is with that mushy middle. Those who are called independents, moderates, undecideds, or whatever the identifier of the day is.

The main reason I am perplexed has nothing to do with my own ideas of Obama and his own lack of qualifications for the Presidency, or his absolute liberalism on social policy that is out of step with the mainstream, or an economic policy that I think would prove disastrous in current times, or past ties with questionable characters, alignment with ACORN, Marxist professors, support for the “Freedom of Choice” Act, and the list goes on. I admit, I scratch my head as to why anyone supports this ideology, but since I know enough people personally who actually do support it, I understand that they exist and it would make sense to support Obama.

The main reason I am perplexed also has nothing to do with understanding that some people may align with one party on economic policy while aligning with the other on social policy, and that there is constantly a conflict in trying to determine which part of that means more to an individual at the given moment. I understand and accept that not everyone lines up well with either party, and so there is great thought put into the given candidates in order to settle on a preference.

No, the reason I’m perplexed actually has much more to do with the fact that an Obama victory coupled with an increase in the number of House AND Senate Democrats makes about as much sense as investing all your money in a single stock with no diversification.

Granted, we have only a limited ability to diversify our political leadership. There are, for all practical purposes, only two parties in the current framework. As much as I’d enjoy seeing more, the reality is that there isn’t a 3rd, let alone a 4th and 5th party that has any significant presence.

I suppose I thought it was not just mere lip service all those times where I’ve heard people talking about how bad it is to concentrate all this power into the hands of one party. I suppose that I thought a single-digit approval rating for Congress, both houses of which have a Democratic majority, should rightly put at risk some of those who are responsible for those record lows. It would seem to me that someone who is truly undecided and torn between the candidates would recognize that we are about to elect enough Democrats in both houses to put at risk a filibuster-proof scenario, while at the same time electing the most liberal Senator over the last two years to be our leader.

Of course, this is a nightmare scenario for conservatives and a dream come true for liberals. But for those in the middle of the road, is this truly what you want? Even if McCain isn’t all that exciting, and you may not like his stance on a war that will be coming to an end at about the same pace regardless of who gets elected, it would seem like the disparity between party power should leap forward to an undecided or independent voter as possibly the most important issue. Perhaps I underestimate how much the average person cares about that.

This is only my opinion, but here is what I believe is in store for us with an Obama Presidency coupled with a very secure Democratic majority. Some of you will probably think this is fine and dandy. I would think it would scare most others, conservative or not.

1) Freedom of Choice Act passes. Sounds nice enough, right? Well, regardless of your thinking on Roe v Wade, polls show that large majorities of Americans support some restrictions on abortion, including parental right to know, restriction of late-term abortions, not transporting minors across state lines, waiting periods, etc. This act effectively makes ALL restrictions on abortion illegal. Everything. It even goes so far as to force religious hospitals to offer abortions. It is a travesty. Obama has promised to make this his first act when speaking to Planned Parenthood. This is much more than an honest disagreement in ideology.

2) Suppression of Free Speech through the Fairness Doctrine, and other methods – The “Fairness Doctrine” is a sham, and it will be shown to be a sham. If there were a true fairness doctrine, it would apply to all media, whether radio, TV, newspapers, internet, etc. But it won’t. It will specifically target only that media which is condiered “right wing,” such as radio talk shows. Never mind that nearly all mainstream news leans left. This will be untouched. This will be a power play by the Democratic Party that is absolutely an infringement on free speech. What is amazing is that anyone will believe that this is necessary, considering they will have the executive and legislative branches all sewn up.

3) Suppression of Free Speech through intimidation. I’m not crazy. This has already happened, and it will only get worse. Talk to anyone challenging global warming, and you’ll understand what kind of intimidation I’m talking about. When the media are in bed with you, they can help portray dissenters as nutjobs. Worse, when it comes to anyone with dissenting opinions on liberal policies, whether it be economic or social, you’re a bigot, a homophobe, or a religious zealot who should have no voice. Just wait. This is already the case now, but things have only just begun.

4) Gay Marriage – Thank God I homeschool (well, at least I’m allowed to homeschool right now… wouldn’t be surprised to see pushback on that front within the next eight years, either). I can’t fathom the tripe all of our textbooks will have in them as public education continues to deviate from reading, writing, and arithmetic to social engineering on how to use contraceptives and present homosexual activity as a beautiful thing. Those of us with large families are considered an enemy of nature while we embrace unions that are unnatural.

5) Cloning / Chimeras / Embryonic Stem-Cells – Never mind that we have made so many advances with adult stem cells and alternative cells that act like embryonic stem cells without the need to clone and destroy embryos, you can bet this will be fast-tracked. Just another moral line we will be willing to discard.

6) Judges – Everyone thinks about the Supreme Court, but the President appoints all federal justices. This is literally hundreds if not thousands of judges over a President’s two terms. The scary thing about this one, unlike #1 – #5 is that those mistakes can be reversed in the short term. This cannot. I reiterate that this will be the most liberal President combined with the most liberal Congress in the nation’s history. It isn’t even close.

7) Carbon Taxes, and higher capital gains taxes – Carbon taxes are just plain stupid for all sorts of reasons, and so are higher capital gains taxes. There is no better way to crush investment precisely at a time where we are starving for investment.

And I haven’t even delved into general economics. And for the life of me I can’t figure out why people want to “change” to a guy who mirrors Jimmy Carter’s economic approach right now (or ever, actually). Whatever you want to say about Bush’s policies as it relates to the particular crisis we’re in right now, if there is anything saving us from complete collapse it’s because of the other economic policies in place. I really look at the financial sector and policies/regulations regarding that area as quite a different animal from the general economic policies of taxes and budget.

So, there it is. Are these really the policies the moderates want to see rushed through? Mark my words, this will be swift and dramatic. Pelosi laughably suggested that Congress will be much more bipartisan now with a large Democratic majority. I think she actually believes that lie. If bipartisanship means there is less fighting because you can just ignore the other side due to numbers, then she has a point. But this is not the definition of bipartisanship I know.

Well, anyway, that’s just one guy’s diatribe. Feel free to disagree that this will happen, or that it would be a bad thing.

Posted in Barack Obama, Elections, Electorate, John McCain, News, Opinion, Politics, Talk Radio | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »