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Thanks George!

Let’s be honest about who’s fault it really is we lost this election.  The Rove strategy has proven to be a total failure at this point.  New England now has no Republican representation left at all.  Pennsylvania is following close behind.  The South is still solid, well, except for Virginia, and maybe North Carolina.  George Bush destroyed the Republican Party, with a lot of help from a formerly Republican Congress.

35 Responses to “Thanks George!”

  1. Jym says:

    I agree with this 100%. I think the Republicans may actually dislike George Bush more than the Democrats now, which would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

  2. ATL says:

    I disagree,

    The reason this election was lost was because McCain refused to run as a conservative. Obama was certainly beatable, but his refusal to go after Obama on areas that he needed to was the main reason for his failure.
    That coupled with the Fannie Mae/ Freddie Mac mess led to a impossible task to overcome. Make no bones about it, it wasn’t Bush that lost this election, but McCain and weak-ass milk toast approach to his campaign.

    let this be a lesson, there ain’t nothing like the real thing when it comes to an election. Mccain wasn’t the real thing.

  3. Jym says:

    ATL: What data supports your theory? That doesn’t really jive with the data that Palin was a huge turn off to a lot of swing voters who were originally happy with McCain since he wasn’t overly conservative.

    The reality of the situation is that most conservative were NOT going to vote for Obama no matter how much they hemmed and hawed and vowed to oppose McCain, when it came down to it, just like most liberals that supported Clinton were NOT going to vote for McCain to spite Obama. These people talk big but when it comes down to it they’re all talk.

    By trying to make the conservatives that were bitching happy with his pick of Palin, I believe McCain turned off a lot of swing voters that actually were up for grabs in order to placate the base that would have grudgingly voted for him anyway.

  4. Harold says:

    Peggy Nonan said it best in June of last year (http://tinyurl.com/yrpycw):

    Too Bad

    President Bush has torn the conservative coalition asunder.

    Friday, June 1, 2007 12:00 A.M. EDT

    […]

    One of the things I have come to think the past few years is that the Bushes, father and son, though different in many ways, are great wasters of political inheritance. They throw it away as if they’d earned it and could do with it what they liked. Bush senior inherited a vibrant country and a party at peace with itself. He won the leadership of a party that had finally, at great cost, by 1980, fought itself through to unity and come together on shared principles. Mr. Bush won in 1988 by saying he would govern as Reagan had. Yet he did not understand he’d been elected to Reagan’s third term. He thought he’d been elected because they liked him. And so he raised taxes, sundered a hard-won coalition, and found himself shocked to lose his party the presidency, and for eight long and consequential years. He had many virtues, but he wasted his inheritance.

    Bush the younger came forward, presented himself as a conservative, garnered all the frustrated hopes of his party, turned them into victory, and not nine months later was handed a historical trauma that left his country rallied around him, lifting him, and his party bonded to him. He was disciplined and often daring, but in time he sundered the party that rallied to him, and broke his coalition into pieces. He threw away his inheritance. I do not understand such squandering.

    […]

  5. Sebastian says:

    Except that Republican turnout here was substantial, and we still lost. We didn’t lose this because McCain wasn’t conservative enough.

  6. Rustmeister says:

    The Republican Party started its’ decline when Newt Gingrich and co. took the “Reagan Republican” tag and removed all the “government is the problem” elements, leaving them wrapped in a flag, holding a Bible, thinking that was enough to get them elected.

  7. This district suffered no disasters. Scott Conklin, our pro-gun Dem state rep, won, but understand, he was running against an LP loonie running as a GOP whose major platform was pass the bong — there was even a GOP push to write Conklin’s name in on the ballot. We still have our skirt-chasing GOP state senator. The big race was for the House seat, when Peterson out of the blue said he was retiring. The GOP won the seat handily.

    Sad that Russell lost, though. He’s a good man, and ran a good campaign.

  8. travis bickle says:

    It’s time to regroup and re-brand the republican party. What we need is a party that is socially neutral, against foreign intervention, and opposed to the new new deal that is sure to come. We need to oppose police-state tactics, which surely will develop (more than it already has) with the rise of the welfare state. We need to oppose both welfare AND warfare because they both lead to authoritarian government.

    We need to stop this nonsense with trying to pass anti flag-burning and gay marriage constitutional amendments. Nobody gives a shit about that crap except for the 30% of republicans who are bible-bangers and would never vote for a Democrat anyway. Why pander to them when they’ll always vote Republican anyway?

  9. Jym says:

    Sign me up for Travis Bickle’s re-branding of the Republican party. All the better, too, if we have mohawks.

  10. Sebastian says:

    I don’t think that’s a winning coalition either. Ideological libertarians are 10% of the population, at most. You’re not going to get a coalition lead by 10% of the population who is unreliable in electoral politics. You still need social conservatives. But you need to figure out a way to appeal to them without alienating socially liberal libertarians. Bush and Rove didn’t have that magic. Reagan was the last one to heave it. You also need to keep the national security conservatives on board.

  11. ATL says:

    Jym,

    Swing voters weren’t turned off for McCain because of Palin. When McCain picked Palin his numbers went up exponentially. His numbers went down during the Fannie mae and Freddie Mac mess. That is what the poll numbers and data show. In the final days McCain started making some traction again, but his weak approach and his inability to confront Obama and provide solutions on certain key issues (i.e. the economy) led to his demise.

    People want candidates that have an agenda and show that they have some type of agenda beyond opposing their candidate. Swing voters were turned off because McCain in the end really offered them nothing that was substantial in an agenda. It’s the same thing that happened with Bush 41 and Carter.

    “Where there is no vision, the people perish”- Proverbs 29:18

  12. Sebastian says:

    ATL is right. I don’t think Palin was the reason McCain lost. He lost because he ran a poor campaign.

  13. See here, although I don’t think any renegotiation will happen, precisely because McCain lost the election.

  14. travis bickle says:

    But Sebastian, the social conservatives will always vote for a more libertarian-leaning republican over a democrat. Why not at least try to get some votes from people who might otherwise vote democrat because of their objection to US military intervention and not necessarily for a belief in social welfare programs?

  15. Sebastian says:

    That’s not true. They can stay home.

  16. Zeron says:

    Travis, I know a lot of social conservatives who have stayed home the last two elections. They really don’t mind if the country is taken over by democrats as long as they can say they didn’t help send it that way. You need to push the social issues back to the states and go back to the government being the problem for most things. I would like to see a party that focuses on personal responsibility and bases its policies on that.

  17. Harold says:

    Hope I didn’t get too ambitious with the HTML:

    travis bickle: “But Sebastian, the social conservatives will always vote for a more libertarian-leaning republican over a democrat.

    Sebastian: “That’s not true. They can stay home.

    It appears that’s exactly what they or some variety of conservatives did:

    If I’m not smoking something, the big story on the popular vote is not the margin.

    2004
    Bush 62,040,610

    Kerry 59,028,444

    2008
    Obama62,443,218

    McCain 55,386,310

    Now I can’t say how many votes are not reported yet, but I tend to doubt it could be more than the 3 million that separate the total vote from 2004.

    Where is the turnout factor, the historic election and all the hype – that is still going on on TV this morning. It looks to me like a few folks changed sides and some conservatives sat on their hands.

    I concede, I haven’t incorporated 3rd party votes in my analysis, but I don’t see how this isn’t a big story.

  18. travis bickle says:

    I know more than a few bible-bangers, and they all voted for McCain. Not a single one stayed home yesterday. I also know a lot of center-right people who voted for Obama. These are the ones we need to sway, not the religious conservative base- who I still insist will always take a moderate republican over a progressive candidate no matter what.

  19. Zeron says:

    If you take them for granted, they WILL stay home. You need to show them how your policies will benefit their cause.

  20. Guav says:

    Yeah, when McCain picked Palin his numbers went up exponentially—and then plunged and stayed down right after she opened her mouth and unscripted words came out. Once everyone realized that the woman who gave the acceptance speech was a facade hiding another fumbling, incurious fool, they soured on her (and McCain’s judgement in selecting her).

    Picking her was a gamble from the start—he knew it—and after that first night I thought it might have been a good one. But it wasn’t, she was a terrible pick and I think that hurt him more than the Fannie/Freddie shit did. She only appealed to a small portion of people who would have voted for McCain anyway when push came to shove—he needed the swing voters and the Palin pick just went after the base.

    I agree with Travis Bickle—the GOP needs to return to a principled paleoconservatism.

  21. Zeron says:

    And it isn’t just about having people vote, but also getting them excited and contributing to the campaign. I actually think that McCain campaign was stupid on how they handled Palin. The fact that they didn’t put her on the talk radio circuit and open her up to more off the cuff interviews I think hurt also. When you do only 2 major interview (ABC, CBS) and they are heavily edited, you aren’t going to come off well.

  22. Guav says:

    You also aren’t going to come of well when you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about and have no real grasp of the subject matter—that’s WHY the campaign didn’t let her go around talking to everyone. Face it, outside of a few topics that she’s probably very well-versed on—those directly affecting Alaska, for the most part—she’s simply not all that knowledgeable about the major topics of the day.

  23. Sebastian says:

    She was awfully green on issues, but I think her drag on the ticket is way overstated. She has impressive political talents. I don’t think she’s going away. There’s a place on the national stage for her, if she wants it, but she’s going to have a lot of work to do to overcome her deficits on the issues.

  24. Sebastian says:

    I will also say this: many of the Palin detractors don’t hate her on the issues. They hate what she is, and what she represents. I think a lot of it isn’t even rational.

  25. Zeron says:

    I don’t disagree about Palin, and I can’t put the blame of this election on her. Heck, Biden is about as misinformed on issues as she was, but he is the VP now. I’m just saying, when reforming the republican coalition, you can’t take the religious right for granted. You will either need to build the coalition without them, or you will need to at least address their concerns. Assuming they will just get out the vote for you isn’t a winning solution.

  26. Guav says:

    You betcha Sebastian, I hated what she was and what she represented—a female George W. Bush. Thanks, but no thanks :)

  27. travis bickle says:

    But principled paleoconservatives at the federal level will keep their noses out of state affairs, which would benefit social-religious conservatives more than the neocons ever have or will.

    The bible belt needs to understand this or get shoved aside to the wilderness.

  28. Sebastian says:

    Then you have to convince them of that, or build a winning coalition without them. Right now, one can’t be built.

  29. Paleoconservatism is, thank God, dead as the dodo, and has been since Pearl Harbor. Where were you when Pat the Jew hater last ran for the primary? The closest thing to paleocons are the Blue Dog Democrats in Indiana — oh, and Duncan Hunter. Anti-trade, pro-protectionist, pro-tariff.

    Sorry. I forgot the Idiot Tancredo.

  30. Wyatt Earp says:

    Bush hurt, but selecting a RINO like McCain didn’t help, either. IMO, the best thing McCain did this season was pick Palin – a true conservative.

  31. Guav says:

    Wyatt, maybe you didn’t notice, but the American people as a whole are not clamoring for whatever it is you call “true conservatism.”

    America is not a nation of ideologues, it’s a nation of centrists (with a bunch of wingnuts on one side and a bunch of moonbats on the other).

  32. Sebastian says:

    I don’t think it’s quite as simple as “We’re all just a bunch of centrists.” or “America is looking for a true conservative.” But you’re right that Americans aren’t ideologues for the most part. I’m starting to think the problem is political parties in general aren’t serving the purpose they have in the past.

  33. Brad says:

    Just to take a contrarian point of view here, one could argue that Bush held together a fracturing coalition of social and fiscal conservatives for 6 years. The GOP had been losing seats in the Senate and House since 1998. In 2002, the GOP picked up seats and held majorities until 2006, when an un-popular administration coupled with scandalous congressional leadership finally forced that coalition to come undone. Bush didn’t undo the GOP. The GOP un-did itself and has been doing so since the Clinton impeachment.

    It’s off to the wilderness for a few years for the GOP. I’d like them to start catering again to fiscal conservatives like myself, who are currently alienated by both parties.

  34. Sebastian says:

    I think that’s a reasonable point of view. But I also think Bush displayed little leadership when it came to disciplining Congress.

  35. Guav says:

    Hadn’t thought about it that way, Brad.

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