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I have no patience for this

Once again, I'm finding myself at odds with some of my very favorite bloggers. And while I find this attempt to blame John McCain for the GOP's recent electoral defeat disappointing, I can't say it's surprising. Indeed, I didn't think it would take this long for the blame game to begin.

It's still BS, though. McCain was dealt such a poor hand and was facing such an enormous headwind that it's a minor miracle he finished as strongly as he did. The notion that (say) Mitt Romney or Fred Thompson could have somehow saved the White House from Barack Obama strikes me as not only foolish, but symptomatic of deep denial regarding how much of a shambles the GOP has become.

Did John McCain make mistakes? Yes, of course. Did his campaign miss opportunities? Sure. Did Sarah Palin ultimately prove more a liability than an asset? It's certainly debatable. But no matter how much we debate all of these issues, they're still secondary. There are, primarily, two huge reasons for McCain's defeat, each of which alone dwarfs all the others combined.

First, the economy. For right or wrong, the party of the White House's current occupant will be assigned the credit or blame for the prevailing economic conditions. Fair or not, it's just the way things are, and our recent economic collapse was almost optimally timed for Obama's benefit (and no, just to be clear, I'm not alleging any sinister conspiracy. For that kind of thing you may go here.)

The second dominant reason is President George W. Bush. (And to be fair, I should include the GOP Congress here, as it wasn't exactly a one-man show.) Bush's "compassionate conservatism" farce has brought us exploding deficits (even excluding WoT expenditures), ballooning unfunded mandates, grossly mismanaged military adventurism, and, to round it all out, the effective nationalization of several large corporations, and the cutting of a ginormous blank check for the Treasury Secretary to go around and distribute corporate handouts as he sees fit, with little to no accountability or oversight.

After eight years in office, people begin to tire of the party in power even under the best of circumstances. But after eight years of this, some people want to blame John McCain for "only" winning 46% of the votes? Give me a f***in' break, people. If the GOP ever wants to be competitive again, it's time for some serious soul-searching on our part. Just saying "It's McCain's fault!" ain't gonna cut it.


As someone who can see objectively why the GOP lost (I can not stand anything republican), I am not sure I agree with you on everything you posted above. Here are my points:

1. I agree with you that ANY republican would have lost in this election (even Lincoln if he were alive and running) after what Bush did to the country.

2. I think that McCain lost badly. It was not a "strong finish" as you imply above. He run a terrible campaign. I believe that Romney would have been a much stronger contender (although he would have lost as well).

3. I think that conservative bloggers are right to be upset with McCain. Why? Simply, because he really destroyed what was left of the republican party. By picking Palin he made the whole republican party look like a big joke. The whole party completely lost credibility along with McCain. Think about it. After Bush, the republicans picked as their nominee an irrational old man who picked Palin (!!) as his VP nominee. The whole thing sounds like a comedy (if you are an independent or democrat) or a greek tragedy (if you are a republican).

I believe that the Republicans lacked an obvious leader that united the party without considerable effort. While the Obama-Clinton fight threatened to split the Democrats, the Democrats were, at the end of the day, more unified in their policies, as well as their determination to change policies after eight years of Bush.

That's why Obama could in the end get away with a VP pick that was chosen largely because he felt comfortable with Biden. McCain, on the other hand, had to to pick someone he hardly knew in order to excite the evangelical Christians.

The problem, however, is that each and every candidate running this year against McCain had their own flaws. If Romney was such a great candidate, he would have won the nomination as he had the most money and led in the early polls in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The problem with Romney is that he came across as a phony and a fraud and only hit hard on the economic side after trying unsuccessfully to promote his newly discovered views on abortion and guns.

If Ronald Reagan was running this year, he would've won the nomination. The problem I see for Republicans in the future is that the only star they have it seems is Sarah Palin. And sorry.. but I don't think she's Reagan. She may have spit and vinegar, but Reagan had grace and ideas.

I think the Republicans would be wise to look elsewhere, but I don't know if they have an obvious leader right now, which is why I believe they settled on McCain, even though a large segment of the party never was happy with him.

Pete, I think you nailed it. The Republicans had better work on their farm team.

The problem facing the Republican Party right now, as I see it, is the conflict between the party's "God wing" and its "Greed wing." The greed wing has largely run the party for the last thirty years, giving the God wing a few rhetorical bones, but little else.

This year the greed wing was battered and bruised after the Wall Street mess, so they decided to cater to the God wing with the Palin pick, giving them a candidate they could believe in. But in doing so, they lost the center -- and the respect of the greed wing. This is why you're now seeing Grover Norquist doing whatever he can to squelch the "Palin in '12" movement.

Republicans and the punditocracy have enjoyed saying for years that Democrats have to move towards the center, that they are captive to their base. But the reality is that it's the Republicans who are captive to THEIR base. Most Americans do not want a Christian theocracy. We may be a religious people, and we may want more of a role (I use the collective we; I myself fail to understand why people who firmly believe theirs is the One True Way need constant reassurance from government) for religion in public life, but most Americans are not anti-science where science conflicts with the Bible. Most Americans do NOT want criminalization of abortion and banning of contraception. Most Americans, especially women, DO understand that up to 40% of fertilized eggs never implant, and that making a fertilized egg a human being could lead to making menstrual periods a crime. Most Americans favor a strong military that is only used when necessary.

This is not a "center-right" nation, it's a "center" nation that is largely in favor of both fiscal and personal responsibility, but far more forgiving than the Christian right would have us be. The Republican party has to decide if it's going to become a medieval Christian doctrine party, stay with its discredited "markets über alles" fiscal doctrine, or try to come up with something different that reflects the realities of contemporary society.

The Republican party has to decide if it's going to become a medieval Christian doctrine party, stay with its discredited "markets über alles" fiscal doctrine, or try to come up with something different that reflects the realities of contemporary society.

I agree with everything you wrote above. However, I dont believe that the republican party will be able to survive long term in its current form. At some point it will split in 2 pieces (theocrats versus greed-driven part). If they do not do that, they will gradually eclipse altogether.

It will be very interesting to see what happens. The theocrat part represents the very worst in this country. But it is very strong because there are quite a few religious fanatics in this country (maybe 25% of the population). That makes it impossible to ignore them. I would not be surprised if they eventually split in 2 parties that work together and try to win by forming coalitions with each other, like parties do in the rest of the world. The 2 party system is wrong. Paradoxically, the beginning of the end of the 2 party system may be the split of the republican party. But it will take probably another 10-20 years for that to happen.

>This is not a "center-right" nation, it's a "center" nation that is largely in favor of both fiscal and personal responsibility...

Jill, I agree with much of what you say, but where is the evidence that American voters collectively give a rat's ass about fiscal responsibility? As much as I'd like to believe it....

It like the republicans have bought into al the crap the liberal illuminati have said about McCain rather than paying attention to what actually happened. If anybody blames McCain for the demise of the GOP they just don't have a clue, not even a little bit.

This is not a "center-right" nation, it's a "center" nation that is largely in favor of both fiscal and personal responsibility, but far more forgiving than the Christian right would have us be. (Jill)

Well, America actually IS a pretty Center-Right nation, Jill.

A recent Newsweek poll (that seems overly generous to Liberals) put the figure at 2 to 1, Conservatives (40%) outnumbering Liberals (20%).

Without questions most of the recent ballot referendums have largely gone the Conservative's way; in 2006, 12 of 13 states reined in Eminent Domain, 8 of 9 barred Gay Marriage (Arizona atoned this year) and blue MI voted DOWN race/gender-based preferences. This past election gay Marriage went down in 3 states, INCLUDING California and race/gender preferences went down in at least 2 states, CO was still recounting last I looked.

Polls have consistently shown that about 68% of Americans support first trimester abortion.

Those same polls show that same number, about 68% oppose “late term abortion” and support things like parental notification, etc.

Ironically enough, I am right there with the vast majority of Americans on that issue. I'm with the 68% in both camps.

I support first trimester abortion and oppose abortion once that fetus is developed enough to be viable outside the womb (about 20 weeks).

Like the 2/3s of Americans polled, I oppose gay Marriage, while I support civil unions with the full rights and privileges of marriage, EXCEPT on the isue of adoption (I oppose gay adoption).

The reason I oppose gay Marriage is that it has been used in Europe to allow groups to sue Churches and synagogues to force those institutions to Marry them and to cease preaching that homosexuality is sinful.

The mere legal challenge by groups like LAMBDA to try and get Churches to Marry gays would almost certainly result in a violent backlash that none of us would want.

Moreover, law enforcement, both federal and local are NOT on the side of the anti-religionists.

On the Thursday before Eliot Spitzer was brought down amidst his “hooker escapades,” a group of Catholic Bishops had met with him in Albany to urge him to amend a Bill he supported that would’ve made it illegal for any OB/GYN physician in NYS to conscientiously object to performing an abortion and would mandate that all hospitals even private ones, such as Catholic hospitals, offer abortion services.

The Bishops told Spitzer that the Catholic Church would shutter its hospitals rather than go along with that mandate.

Ironically enough, within days, Spitzer was publicly humiliated and ousted from office amidst a sex-scandal that are rarely if ever, brought to light.

Do you think he was/IS the only politician who regularly indulges in sex for pay?


Hell, almost all the Albany contingent adheres to “the Bear Mountain compact,” and both local and other law enforcement almost always look the other way. It's part of "the deal."

Some have called the Spitzer case “the revenge of the Catholic school boys,” given that so many in the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have names like Dowd, Vitucci, Perez, McCormick, Gomez, DeGeorge and McCabe.

Was it that (a revenge of the "Cathoilc Schoolboy fraternity")?

Who knows??? Not I.

But that Bill hasn’t sent the light of day since Paterson took office, but that may just be coincidence.

One thing is pretty certain, and that’s that any Bill that allowed Churches and synagogues to be forced to Marry gays would almost certainly lead to a lot more humiliated politicians and lot more untimely ends to once promising political careers.

I oppose the Church being forced to accommodate gays and I haven’t been to Church since I was eleven y/o...many moons ago.

And, I say that, fully acknowledging I believe in a LOT of things most religious people don’t. For instance, I believe that public executions, if carried out with the proper production values and staged to deliver maximum viewer impact, would not only be positive spectacles, but can be almost essential to effective governance. After all, you CAN’T make all the people respect the law, BUT you can make them fear it...so long as you apply it in a profound, yet even-handed way.

But that’s neither here nor there. On that issue, mine is certainly at this time a minority view, but I just offer it here as an issue on which I tend to profoundly disagree with most religious people.

That's the irony of you anti-religionists. If it weren't for the religious community, there wouldn't be any effective anti-Capital punishment movement, as their belief in the "sanctity of life," precludes that and has led that movement and been its moral compass.

While I profoundly disagree with the Catholic Church over a number of issues (contraception, first trimester abortion, the death penalty, etc.), I must respect their logical consistency on "the sanctity of life."

There's no way to respect the illogical ravings of people who hold to no consistent viewpoint, for instance those who support unfettered abortion from first week to 9th month, and yet, oppose the death penalty.

Either all life is sacred, or it's not.

In the Catholic Church's consistent view it IS, while in my consistent view, it is NOT.

“...This is not a "center-right" nation, it's a "center" nation that is largely in favor of both fiscal and personal responsibility, but far more forgiving than the Christian right would have us be. The Republican party has to decide if it's going to become a medieval Christian doctrine party, stay with its discredited "markets über alles" fiscal doctrine, or try to come up with something different that reflects the realities of contemporary society.”


Well by all appreciable measures, it certainly looks like a Center-Right nation, Jill.

In 2006, gay Marriage went down in 8 of 9 states, this year it went down in three more, including California....and Arizona atoned for 2006. The reason behind this is that most Americans see this as an anti-religious movement. In California civil unions give the same benefits that Marriage does. In Europe gay Marriage laws coupled with strong anti-discrimination laws allowed for some groups to sue Churches to force them to Marry gays. Those who oppose that simply wish to avoid the inevitable violent backlash that would come, should even a single such anti-First Amendment lawsuit be brought.

Such a violent backlash would probably be the first, in which the (technical) lawbreakers (the defenders of religious rights/Liberty) would be “the good guys.” OK, at least since the days of those who violated laws supporting slavery and segregation. At any rate, I’m sure that NONE of us would welcome any such assaults on our cherished 1st Amendment.

Between the elections of 2006 and 2008 about a half dozen more states banned racial preferences and about a dozen reined in the use of Eminent Domain.

This year a Democrat won by running on tax cuts, supporting the NSA surveillance program, Free Trade and countermanding his earlier stance on guns – Obama ran on support for individual gun rights.

He chose Rahm Emanuel, one of the primary architects of the “Blue Dog” revolution of 2006, running pro-gun, pro-border security and anti-abortion Democrats down South and out West, as his Chief-of-Staff.

You’re right that the vast majority of Americans are strongly “in favor of both fiscal and personal responsibility,” yet that too, is a Conservative principle. As far as they being, “far more forgiving than the Christian right would have us be,” not at all so.

What Nietzsche saw correctly was that all the moral underpinnings of Western Civilization come from the Christian and really the Catholic traditions. Individual rights and limited government (those two things are inexorably linked and are part of the original Catholic tradition, as are tolerance of others, mercy/charity and forgiveness).

Nietzsch abhorred those traditions.

He called Charity “the curse of Christ.”

To this day, I fundamentally agree with that, in that it most certainly DOES undermine the natural process of natural selection among humans, although I do concede (NOW) that Liberty (individual and private property rights, associated with complete self-ownership/responsibility) are the natural state of all men and that state can ONLY be nurtured amidst a limited, even weak central government.

I’ve also, quite a while ago, moderated my views on allowing for widespread and unfettered natural selection among all humans, which could only be delivered amidst a completely free and open, unregulated free market, in which there’d be no intellectual property rights respected, resulting in a constant cannibalizing of the people by themselves.

We’ve had a regulated market-based economy since 1912 and virtually every economic problem we’ve faced has been due to either too much or simply misguided regulation, ever since, from Herbert Hoover’s Emergency Relief Construction Act and Reconstruction Finance Corporation, through FDR’s expansion of Hoover’s failed public works projects (unemployment kept rising) - thank God for WW II, because ONLY it, finally ended the Great Depression – through the post Kennedy Keynesian years of LBJ, Nixon, Ford and Carter, through today, where over-spending (Bush has spent more public money, adjusted for inflation, than LBJ did on social programs) and both over-regulation and misguided regulation – the 1995 turbo charged CRA that forced banks to dole out subprime loans (basically forcing the “creation of credit out of thin air”) and the allowing of CMOs that became too complex to adequately value and the predatory lending that these laws actually encouraged, all serving to bring about the current credit crisis.

One of the most failed U.S. Presidents, Herbert Hoover was not at all pro-free market, quite the reverse.

Hoover was a firm believer in the Efficiency Movement (a major component of the Progressive Era), arguing that a technical solution existed for every social and economic problem, very close to the failed and utterly discredited view called “scientific socialism,” that posits that manmade science can somehow operate more effectively than the “invisible hand” of the market.

During his tenure, Hoover, a mining engineer and former Commerce Secretary, and long believed to be one of the most academically intelligent men to ever occupy the White House, expanded civil service coverage of Federal positions, canceled private oil leases on government lands, instructed the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service to go after gangsters for tax evasion, (ie. Al Capone).

Hoover appointed a commission which set aside 3 million acres of national parks and 2.3 million acres of national forests; advocated tax reduction for low-income Americans (that was not enacted); closed certain tax loopholes for the wealthy; doubled the number of veteran's hospital facilities; negotiated a treaty on St. Lawrence Seaway (which failed in the U.S. Senate); wrote a Children's Charter that advocated protection of every child regardless of race or gender; built the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge; created an antitrust division in the Justice Department; required air mail carriers to adopt stricter safety measures and improve service; proposed federal loans for urban slum clearances (that was not enacted); organized the Federal Bureau of Prisons; reorganized the Bureau of Indian Affairs; instituted prison reform; proposed a federal Department of Education (that was not enacted); advocated fifty-dollar-per-month pensions for Americans over 65 (that was also not enacted); chaired White House conferences on child health, protection, homebuilding and homeownership; began construction of the Boulder Dam (later renamed Hoover Dam); and signed the Norris-La Guardia Act that limited judicial intervention in labor disputes, as state and federal courts tended to side overwhelmingly on the side of business owners. This decree necessitated establishment of labor mediation boards with representation from both sides.

So, while I’ve long acknowledged that the unfettered and unregulated market is clearly impractical, it can’t be overlooked that the more highly regulated the market is, the less competition there is, the less well that economy treats the people.

I support a mutually beneficial social contract between the state/taxpayer and those in need of taxpayer/government assistance. I believe that when the government does step in to assist those who cannot meet even their most basic needs, the most fundamental requirement of self-ownership, then it must also set up a strict social contract that would force such people to work for their upkeep, attend mandated job training afterwards and not be allowed to bring any children into this world while in such a debased state.

While that may appear uncharitable to the thoughtless observer, it is actually the most charitable/merciful way to deal with the problem of human inability/uncompetitiveness, as it would allow these people the best possible chance to prepare themselves to better compete down the road.

Ironically enough, BOTH Bush and now Obama are very much on the same page economically.

BOTH support the huge bailouts.

Both have rebuffed Conservatives who earlier on wanted to mandate that all bailout money went to lending, and NONE to year-end bonuses and allowing larger banks to buy up smaller ones, which much of it has been used for to date.

Both have been tepid on drilling for oil on federal lands...Bush has only recently claimed to support it, while conveniently opposing it, while a Republican majority held Congress.

FDR was also pretty much on the same page as Hoover was coming into office. He took the Hoover’s alphabet soup the RFC, the NCC and the ERC Act, and went even further, and the Depression still worsened.

Neither FDR’s nor Hoover’s policies got us out of the Great Depression, World War II DID!
Who knows? There’s always China!

If it comes to that, we may face some staggering odds in WW III.

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