Monday, May 4, 2009

GOP: Whining away toward another defeat

The big kick in the Republican party since last November is to bum rap John McCain and publicly disavow any merit to the notion that the party ought to be a "big tent" which can hold a vast range of differing social beliefs.

In other words, these numbskulls blame the Obama victory on McCain not being conservative enough.

Truth be told, many of these people skewered McCain before the convention and then, when he became the nominee, supported him mainly because he wasn't "the other guy."

It's high time these rectal-cranial inverts got a huge reality check enema.

First, the GOP was pretty much doomed in November by the stumbling and bumbling of one our most unpopular presidents who did zip to help Republican chances of keeping the White House.

Second, the Democrats were not only aided by the national spirit of discontent, but they also had an extremely charismatic candidate who appealed to a broad section of Americans with his promise of change. Barack Obama also stood out as a beacon of hope for African-Americans and his support among black voters was to be expected.

Third, John McCain's biggest enemy wasn't ideology: it was John McCain who came off as a progressively stumbling and bumbling candidate. Ronald Reagan -- who originally proferred the "big tent" theory -- wasn't a spring chicken when he ran for president in 1980 but he didn't seem terribly old.

Yes, McCain did Leno and Letterman, but, at a minimum, his speech and demeanor, especially compared to the charismatic Obama, was that of a confused old guy.

McCain, for the most part, did lousy in the debates. I would rather have seen his famous acerbic temper because what we saw didn't exude confidence in his skills.

And then there was McCain's flip-flops. Maybe the 2000 version of John McCain stood a chance of beating Obama but the 2008 incarnation didn't.

There was no Ross Perot spoiler on the ballot in 2008. I highly doubt many Republicans voted for Obama because they couldn't stand McCain or wanted a more conservative candidate. Obama's margin of victory game imprimatur to his approach.

And so we fast forward to those Republicans who now skewer McCain and reject the notion that the GOP ought to have a more moderate and progressive approach. In their myopic view, the fact a call for a bigger tent didn't work in 2008, it won't work down the road.

The reality check is that unless he could essentially out-Obama Obama, McCain didn't stand much of a chance. And it wasn't McCain who adulterated the conservative message -- the prime perpetrator for that was George W. Bush.

Yes, the GOP needed a much more consistent message and still needs it today. John McCain lost that election for many reasons. Being too far to the center wasn't one of them.

1 comment:

Rich said...

Extremely well said.

AND, what helped the Dems win was their ability to paint the GOP as a bunch of wacko intolerant haters. Address THAT reputation, and the GOP could help itself gain some ground.

But I could be wrong. I often am.