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Posted by on May 13, 2008 in Politics | 15 comments

Are Republicans facing a political tsunami?

A raft of news items portending bad tidings for the GOP this November has some Democratic party enthusiasts rubbing their hands in glee. One example of this can be found at the left wing blog Liberal & Progressive Politics and Perspectives where Deborah White feels that Republicans Ignoring Republicans is a Good Thing for Democrats. As always, we would encourage you to click through and read the entire article, but here are a few points of interest.

An excellent sign of impending good fortune for Democrats in the November ’08 elections is that Republican pundits are obsessed with the Democratic candidates, and all-but-ignore conservative candidates running for office.

Don’t believe me? Try and find a couple conservative columnists/commentators not dwelling endlessly on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The author then goes on to point out a half dozen or so signs of trouble brewing for the Republicans. All are worthy of debate, but here’s one interesting item.

Democratic turnout for the party nomination race has been energizing and record-shattering, while Republican popular vote has been at lethargic levels. For instance, in the North Carolina primaries held on May 6th, 1,571,337 votes were cast for Democrats vs. only 518,224 votes cast for Republicans (with 99% of precincts reporting).

A sign of possible disaster for John McCain: in North Carolina, as in many other Republican primaries, less than 75% of Republican votes were cast for the party’s presumptive nominee. Rep. Ron Paul and Gov. Mike Huckabee collectively received over 100,000 votes, reflecting the dissatisfaction of Republican libertarians and Republican religious right voters, respectively.

Other items submitted include recent GOP losses in special House elections and the emergence of Bob Barr as a conservative, Libertarian option. White concludes with the following note of thanks.

So please understand that lately, it’s begun to amuse me that conservative pundits are foolishly besotted by the Democratic race, while they ignore addressing and fixing problems in their own house.

All I have to say is this: Thank you! Your attention, criticisms and vast publicity are helping to make Democratic candidates smarter, stronger and more battle-ready, while leaving Republican candidates unprepared for the tough elections that lay ahead.

What do you think? Is the conservative commentariat obsessing over Democrats while ignoring warning signs in their own party to their peril? Or is the focus currently on Democrats only because their race is still going on while the GOP has already settled their differences? We link, you decide.

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Copyright 2008 The Moderate Voice
  • superdestroyer

    What could conservative pundit write about? The incompetence of the Republican leadership? That the Republican bench is so short and so lacking that they cannot find good candidates? That the Republican Party is in collapse?

    A better question is what base will the conservative pundits have after the collapse of the Republican Party. If you look at conservative pundits in states like Mass, they become nitpickers of the ruling Democratic establishment. That is probably the future of the conservative pundits.

  • aba23

    I suppose they could write about the potential, after the onslaught of ’08, for a re-emergent Republicanism–one that, with an integrity that often comes from forced self-examination, formulates a 21st century party out of conservative core messages. It’s a debate that will have to play out sooner or later as the cobbled together coalition spins apart. Which thread of conservatism (Burkean/social, economic/fiscal, libertarian/small government) will form the center of the blend this time around?

  • superdestroyer

    aba23,

    when you learn that that students starting kindergarten in 2008 are less than 50% white, it is hard to imagine that the Republican Party will re-emerge from anything. The Bush Adminstration had a chance of change things but decide short term perks and pork barrel spending were more important.

  • Neocon

    Does it really matter.

    In 25 years this world will be in chaos. Gasoline unaffordable. Green House gases running out of control. Food Riots.

    Do people really think that democrats or republicans have the answer to these things? Are we going to effect policy in India or China? Are we going to tell 2 billion Chinese what to do so that we can continue on with our wonderful lives as if the rest of the world does not matter?

    The facts are simple. This world is running out of time. If we do nothing in 25 years it will end in chaos. If we do all we can we will make very little difference. Does it matter if gays have marriages? Guns are controlled? Abortion is legal and fashionable?

    I for one do not think so.

    As superdestroyer seems obsessed with the end of the GOP I am equally obsessed with the end of our lifestyle as we know it.

    The end is at hand. Not the end of the world but rather the end of the free and easy ride. Things are only going to get harder and tougher from here on out and if the Democrats have the balls they will pull the plug on gasoline and oil and get us set up to prolong the painful fall.

    If not it will just be more of the same. The Onus is on them.

  • PWT

    Not many republican voters in the NC primary election, what a surprise considering that the nomination has already been sewn up. There is not much to motivate republicans to come out in vote in primary elections when the candidate has already been chosen.

    McCain not getting 100% of the vote in primary elections after he has already won the nomination. Taken in a vacuum, this might be a troubling statistic. When it is compared to past election cycles, it is consistent with past trends, so, a useless observation.

    November is a long way away and the Democrats will have plenty of time to make asses of themselves. They don’t become smarter or stronger, just as a fighter doesn’t get smarter or stronger the longer the bout goes on. The fact is, whoever gets the nod among the democrats, he or she is going to get slaughtered in Novemeber.

    Neocon, sounds awful, just end it with a bullet today and save yourself the agony.

  • SteveK

    Neocon said:

    “In 25 years this world will be in chaos…”
    “This world is running out of time…”
    “The end is at hand…”

    Your timing couldn’t have been better Neocon… The ‘quote of the day’ on my Google Home Page was: “He’s simply got the instinct for being unhappy highly developed.” – Saki

    Your comments illustrate Saki’s remark and the Republicans overall “nattering nabobs of negativism” about as well as they can be explained.

    Thank you Neocon, thank you Saki and thank you Spiro T. Agnew. The tone of my day has now been set and I can venture forth into the world…

  • CStanley

    Pundits have an interest in making things as dramatic as possible and in this year when traditional alliances within each party are shifting, it’s easy for people on one side or the other to point fingers across the aisle and predict implosions. Tectonic shifts are happening, but both parties will survive and emerge in somewhat different forms. The GOP certainly is in a downcycle but it’s not the end days by a long stretch.

  • Slamfu

    “when you learn that that students starting kindergarten in 2008 are less than 50% white, it is hard to imagine that the Republican Party will re-emerge from anything.”

    That attitude right there in a nutshell is one of the reasons the GOP is going to be getting its ass handed to it for awhile. You seem to really have a problem with this whole people of color being considered americans things. That because of their skin color they could not possibly find anything in what the GOP has to offer.

    Maybe your party would be better served in asking why that is. Does the philosophy behind the party not solve problems or the needs of ALL americans? I think it does not. To me the GOP seems to be concerned with the fitness of the upper class, and sees minorities as a threat to the american way of life instead of part of it. Just because people are poor why does that mean they don’t want propserity, or opportunity, or a balanced budget, a strong military to ensure we don’t get invaded? The GOP has basically been ignoring a large segment of America as if they are not fellow citizens and so you get what you have today.

    If the GOP can actually produce positive results for America as a whole instead of the wealthiest, you are going to get back in power. But the fact is the Bush administration has had full run of the gov’t for 8 years, has implemented coservative policies across the board, and they have been proven to fail so miserably that even massaging the numbers the people can not ignore the fact they are worse off than they were in 2000.

    Median income has barely moved while many costs that aren’t included in the inflation stats(energy, educatoin, housing) have soared creating a much more subtle and insidious form of taxation. Your party can brag about having lowered taxes, but inreality as a result of those policies people in truth have less buying power than they would have if the budget had been balanced. Weak dollar combines with this to lower quality of life even more, also a result of Bush policies. Basically a fundamental lack of understanding on widespread wealth, or a lack of caring as long as the wealthy maintain their hold on it, is what we have under conservative fiscal policies.

    To put things in more simple terms, lets ask ourselves how much have we prospered under conservative rule? Lets expect what conservatives so often and boldly proclaim to honor, results not empty words and excuses.

  • superdestroyer

    Slamfu ,

    I agree with you that the Bush Administration has been a complete failure. If they were going to have 25% approval ratings at least they could have cut spending and eliminate a few wasteful program. However, it is hard to say that an administration that added 4 trillion to the national debt is implementing conservative policies. One of the reasons that the Republicans will eventually fade away is that the U.S. only needs one big government party and the Democratic Party fits the need.

    However, if you look at the Congressional Black Caucus or the Congressional Hispanic Caucus it is hard to see that they care about balanced budgets, prosperity, crime, education, or national security. What they seem most interested in is security government benefits for their groups. And as long as the Democratic Party is the party of lower admission standards, 8a minority contracting, and other government goodies, the Republicans have no chance of winning those groups.

    The real question is if any conservative party can appeal to black or hispanic voters, and the answer is clearly no. Even the few Hispanic republicans leaders are much more liberal than the rest of the party. So the Republican party is face with either becoming the Democratic-lite party or the irrelevant conservative party. Either way, the Republican Party will be permanently out of power and eventually cease to exist.

  • Slamfu

    See, there you go. You have specifically marked out blacks and hispanics as only being interested in handouts. It is an extremely prevalent attitude in not just conservative media but in the conservatives I know in life. You have already cut yourself off from connecting with minorities, and the GOP is your attitude writ large. And here’s the real kicker, you don’t even see it. Conservatives in general to me seem to have an almost patholocical inability for self examination.

    The same can be said of fiscal policy. They want to lower taxes and yet balance the budget. These things are incompatible yet it is a kneejerk conservative stance. There is a myth of somewhere we can cut off several hundred billion dollars of “gov’t waste spending” and do both of these things but the fact is there isn’t that much to cut. Also, it has led to huge defiecits under Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr. which have in turn led to economic downturns which has screwed everyone. Bush Sr. had the balls to raise taxes even though it cost him the ’92 election but it played a big role in turning things around and setting the stage for the longest sustained growth we’ve ever had, even though taxes were at a level most conservatives find appalling.

    There are many things I like about conservative ideals, but those who claim to follow them rarely live up to them. I’m not sure if that connection with conservative relgion is coincidence or not, but I’ve always felt there was something there. Basically I want results, and conservative gameplans have been pretty disappointing for me historically.

  • superdestroyer

    Slamfu,

    The only way to cut spending is to cut actual programs. Yet, the Republicans from 1994 onward seemed uninterested in cutting programs. They were too lazy to use the tools at hand such as oversight to create reasons to cut funding. Everyone likes you when you cut taxes, no one likes you when you cut spending.

    It is impossible to raise taxes enough to ever meet all of the needs of special interest. There used to be the term “rachet effect” to describe how spending only goes up. A few years ago, all of the states raised taxes yet, in 2008 they are still running deficits. They is because for every one dollar raised in taxes they spend more than dollar. The Republicans failed because they were not willing to make the tough decisions to cut programs. They took the very short sighted view that deficits were OK and now they will soon be irrelevant because of it.

    The Clinton boom really happened in his second term which was the longest the U.S. had ever gone without starting any new programs. During the Clinton Administration, the Republican Congress basically limited President Clinton to photo-ops. If you want to really help the economy, you set the ground rules and then try to leave it alone. That occurred with divided government but definitely will not occur in an Obama Adminstration.

    I fail to see your point on minorities. There just are no conservative minorities. The culture of black American and of Hispanics does not lend itself to conservative ideas. It lends itself to big government, liberal ideas that will benefit them personally. If you could point out a specific where you think that Republicans could appeal to blacks or Hispanics you would have a point, but I doubt that you can. Can a conservative party really be conservative if it supports raced based admission, hiring, and contracting programs?

  • Neocon

    Thank you Neocon, thank you Saki and thank you Spiro T. Agnew. The tone of my day has now been set and I can venture forth into the world…

    Well your welcome SteveK cept I happen to be one of those pessimistic liberals we all seem to talk about.

  • SteveK

    Neocon said: “Well your welcome SteveK cept I happen to be one of those pessimistic liberals we all seem to talk about.”

    Neocon,
    Your occasional claim of being ‘liberal’, ‘progressive’, and/or ‘Democrat’ would be more believable if you’d stop using the words ‘They’, ‘Them’, and ‘Those’ when talking about ‘liberals’, ‘progressives’, and/or ‘Democrats’ . : )
    Steve
    PS – Your screen name: ‘Neocon’ doesn’t do much for you either.

  • Slamfu

    “It is impossible to raise taxes enough to ever meet all of the needs of special interest.”

    I seem to recall when Bush took office we had a hell of a surplus. This is another common misconception from conservatives. That budgets are always exceeded and that it is as unavoidable as death and um, er, taxes. Even though I know you know damn well that we have been able to balance budgets in the past, you insist that it won’t ever happen as part of an argument to justify a “screw it all” mentality that justifies policies that don’t work. By keeping taxes at pre-Bush levels we can both balance the budget and keep a strong economy. Taxes in post-Bush levels do neither.

  • superdestroyer

    Slamfu,

    the government had stopped running a budget surplus before President Bush are inaugurated. The boom occured from the employment taxes from the dot.com boom along with no new programs. Your argument seems to support the idea of divided government with a Democratic president and a Republican Congress. However, that is not going to happen in 2009. Also, deficits will always occur because if spending goes up during a boom then the deficits will skyrocket during the next recession (as the federal government and virtually every state experienced in 2001 and the states have endured in 2007. Blue states and red states are all facing deficits in 2008. There is nothing between the high tax states and the low tax states. Maryland, a very high tax state, if running deficits this year with the Democrats being in total control.

    I guess you could not think of any appeals that any conservative party could make to attract blacks or Hispanics. Unless you can provide some, you are proving my point. And, saying “Stop being racist” does not count. Republicans have no control on the preceptions of blacks and Hispanics.

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