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Defining the Problem

Clayton Cramer talks about what Obama is and isn’t, and laments we do not have a functional Republican Party.   I’m really worried about 2012, personally.  I worry that Palin was largely ruined by the media and the McCain camp.  I think Bobby Jindal won’t quite be ready for 2012, and his Jesus Juice might cause further Republican losses in places that aren’t The South.  So that leaves us with our savior being… Mitt Romney?   God help us.

One of the most insightful characterizations Kim du Toit ever came up with was saying that the Democrats are the “Evil Party” while the Republicans were the “Stupid Party.” which is really exactly what our troubles boil down to.  The people ready for someone to lead them out of this nightmare, but who will step up?  Who’s even out there?

17 Responses to “Defining the Problem”

  1. I’m wondering how all the ideologues who whined about McCain all the way through the campaign are liking the new White House.

  2. We whined about McCain but still voted for him. Large numbers of conservatives voted for Obama because they didn’t perceive any great difference between Obama and McCain–and based on what Obama promised, they would have been correct. Of course, us “ideologues” figured out pretty early during the campaign that Obama was lying, and would be far to the left of his promises.

  3. I don’t know that Jindal is ready for 2012, and I don’t think that Palin is going to be, either. But a Republican candidate who doesn’t appeal to the still Christian majority in the U.S. isn’t going to win. Look at how many conservative and moderate Democrats voted for Obama because of his pretense to Christianity, which thus took this decision point off the table.

    I’m disappointed that there were evangelicals who let Romney’s Mormonism be an obstacle. As some evangelical leaders pointed out, if the Mormon Church told Romney what to do, his time as Governor of Massachusetts would have been vastly different, and far better!

    It is unfortunate that the smartest Republicans are necessarily unelectable, because they don’t have the money to run a serious national campaign. And this is because the corrupting influence of big money means that we end up with “moderates” like McCain.

  4. Rustmeister says:

    You, Sebastian. You are The One!

    That, or maybe Fred Thompson will make an effort this time. Hopefully he hasn’t pissed off too many people from his last “run”.

  5. Sebastian says:

    I don’t know that Jindal is ready for 2012, and I don’t think that Palin is going to be, either. But a Republican candidate who doesn’t appeal to the still Christian majority in the U.S. isn’t going to win. Look at how many conservative and moderate Democrats voted for Obama because of his pretense to Christianity, which thus took this decision point off the table.

    I agree with you that the religious vote is an important component of the party, but the party can’t be all about that. I actually think Palin is a good balance, if she can refine herself a bit more, and get educated on national issues. The trick is giving enough to the religious voters to keep them happy, but not so much that moderates in places like the Northeast or the West Coast aren’t going to be revolted. I think Bush could have achieved it if he offered economic conservatives more than he did, but he didn’t.

    It’s a tough tightrope to walk.

  6. Sebastian says:

    You, Sebastian. You are The One!

    I’ve said far too much :)

  7. J T Bolt says:

    Evil-Party/Stupid-Party moniker is older than Kim. Nixon observed it, and before him…

    Look at the press at the founding of each party. Jefferson the Democrat was an atheist aduterer (evil), and Lincoln was a bumpkin baboon (stupid).

  8. georgeh says:

    I hope Jindal is ready, we desperately need someone who understands numbers.

    I think the best chance of a win would be with Haley Barbour if he could be persuaded to run.

  9. “The trick is giving enough to the religious voters to keep them happy, but not so much that moderates in places like the Northeast or the West Coast aren’t going to be revolted.”

    How many of those “moderate” voters are going to actually vote Republican, no matter who we pick? I believe that addressing some of the corruption problems of the current process (one where Democrats excel, but Republicans aren’t completely clean) is something that can appeal across the political spectrum. I fear that this means that the angry Tea Party crowd is going to have to stay together long enough to pick honest people who don’t have enormous money available to them, because they are honest.

    I think that this was one of Thompson’s problems. He wasn’t corrupt enough to be of interest to the special interests that backed McCain, and he wasn’t personally rich enough (like Romney) to be successful without special interest money.

  10. Sebastian says:

    I’m talking about moderate Republicans. The people who vote for guys like Jim Gerlach, Tom Ridge, Dick Thornburg and Tom Kean. We’re losing in districts that are still Republican, nominally around here. Part of the reason is the Republican Party has been heavy on Jesus, and not very heavy on things that are important to them, like not burying their kids in debt. In some parts of the country, that might be enough, but in other parts of the country, people, even if they want their politicians to be religious, don’t necessarily like people who really wear it out on their sleeve. Like I said, I think Bush would have been fine if he had been more fiscally conservative… and I would point out that Bush did better than McCain in our area… but I think the Republicans need to find a balance to give fiscal conservatives a reason to stay in the coalition. If the Republicans want to be the Jesus party, I think that’s their perogative, but by doing so they will be ceding the entire Northeast, and probably the Mid Atlantic states as well, permanently and overwhelmingly to the Democrats.

  11. Noops says:

    Clayton,

    I’m a libetarian which seems to make up a lot of the moderate conservatives these days. I’ll tell you what though, I won’t vote for Palin. I don’t think it was just a media smear. I think she’s effectively retarded.

    I won’t vote liberal either, but that’s how Obama won. He got the middle 10-20%. Just about every poll shows that at least right now, Palin can’t get the middle ground. If that’s true, even if she’s not retarded, she’s still not a good pick simply because she’s not competitive.

  12. Sebastian says:

    I don’t think it was just a media smear. I think she’s effectively retarded.

    I don’t agree with that. I’ve seen her speak when she’s not being handled by McCain campaign drones, and she comes off very well. I think her problem was that she was not ready for the national stage, and the McCain people didn’t help her any by trying to fill her head with campaign talking points rather than let her be herself. When she’s herself, she’s compelling.

    Just about every poll shows that at least right now, Palin can’t get the middle ground. If that’s true, even if she’s not retarded, she’s still not a good pick simply because she’s not competitive.

    I agree with you. Whether the McCain Campaign helped her, or is an albatross that will always hold her back, only time will tell. But for now, I don’t think she’s a viable candidate. Certainly not for 2012.

  13. Carl in Chicago says:

    Clayton E. Cramer Said:
    April 2nd, 2009 at 10:39 am
    “But a Republican candidate who doesn’t appeal to the still Christian majority in the U.S. isn’t going to win.”

    I think (and am afraid) that you are spot-on. I truly wonder if a viable conservative movement in this nation can be decoupled from religious conservatism. After all, there is a hell of a lot more to conservatism than “traditional religious values.” Moreover, most of those values can exist (and are fundamental) without religious connections. I believe we’d do better with a platform based on conservative values (eg. small government, individual freedom and self-reliance, fiscal responsibility, etc.) that was decoupled from the typical buzzword-type stuff that many religious conservatives regrettably chase after (e.g. anti-gay choice, anti-abortion choice, anti-drug choice, anti-science such as stem cell, evolutionary, and environmental research, etc.).

    I suspect that a viable conservative movement will rise again, when folks learn to better decouple the church from the state.

  14. Carl in Chicago says:

    I question whether “conservativism” can be decoupled from religious belief, somewhat in the context of the resurgence of religious conservatism in the various Islamic Republics.

    I am not for a minute suggesting that Islam and Christianity are comparable in this way. I am suggesting, however, that “conservatism” and “religious beliefs” are difficult to decouple, and can, in fact, be a very powerful combination in nations more homogeneous than the United States …

  15. Sebastian says:

    I don’t think you can separate certain issues, like abortion, by using a “wall of separation” type argument. If you believe human life begins at conception, then all the rest of what the pro-life crowd wants government to do flows from that. If you believe human life begins at conception, you can’t exactly acquiesce to the government condoning, and often even promoting, what you believe to be murder. I don’t think the abortion issue is one where you can find a compromise where everyone can be happy. What we have now is a compromise, but it only really defines the front lines of the greater war.

    I’m not sure others are any easier. As much as I might frown on Intelligent Design as not being science, I don’t particularly have a problem with it being taught in schools as long as it’s not in a biology course. There are many who don’t want religious ideas in public schools at all, and there are others who would cram religious observance down the throats of public school students. The extremes make it hard to settle the issue.

    Really, the gun issue isn’t all that different. The trick is to get the issue to the point where the larger public has mostly come to an accommodation, and the extremes are just background noise. You see that with alcohol prohibition today. There are still people out there who wish it, but they are background noise. Then there are people who would abolish any legal drinking age, and have alcohol totally unregulated. The larger public has largely come to an accommodation on the issue, and the rest is background noise. The issue might move slightly in one direction or another, but the compromise isn’t going to change much.

    Ooops… did I use the “C” word? Yes. All politics, which is the art of people living together without wiping each other out, necessarily has to involve compromise.

  16. Sebastian says:

    Of course, the difference on the gun issue is that, whether our illustrious threepers want to admit it or not, I’m one of the extremes, and so are most of the people here. Nothing wrong with being on an extreme while you can still affect the overall compromise that will eventually be reached on guns. I would obviously like that to include pretty much all small, man-portable arms that are useful for self-defense, including machine guns, but will we get it? We’ll see. The difference between the threepers and me is that I’m willing to live with a compromise that largely preserves and respects a Second Amendment right centered around self-defense. There are some compromises I wouldn’t live with, but the lines aren’t drawn yet. There’s still plenty of time to influence the overall outcome.

  17. Philbert says:

    Clayton said: Look at how many conservative and moderate Democrats voted for Obama because of his pretense to Christianity, which thus took this decision point off the table.

    If Obama’s “pretense” is sufficient to win an election, why do we need to go all out with someone like Jindal and alienate the centrists?

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