Sacred Cods and Holy Mackerals


Into the wilderness
November 5, 2008, 7:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

There’s been a couple of good news articles this morning concerning “what now?” for both the state and national GOP.

 

Locally, the GOP actually LOST seats in the Mass. House, giving them just 16 Republicans against 144 Democrats. So says the State House News Service:

 After the 2006 elections, Republican leaders insisted they had hit “rock bottom,” as their party saw its ranks decline in the House and Senate and the Corner Office ceded to a Democrat for the first time in 16 years. On Tuesday, “rock bottom” dropped out from under them, as the Democrats padded by three seats their already crushing dominance in the Legislature.

 

Personally, I think back-to-back buttkickings nationally should give the party reason to stop and wonder if perhaps being guided strategically and morally by the Rush Limbaughs, Sean Hannitys, and Karl Roves of the world isn’t a good long-term strategy. Using fear and divisiveness to rule may work in a Machiavellian kingdom, but not in a democratic nation built on hope and optimism and all those touchy-feely concepts the neo-conservatives hate to talk about. Eventually, American voters get tired of the nastiness and negativism and innately drift back to candidates who offer promise. Don’t forget, it’s a big reason why Reagan won in 1980.

 

Jeff Jacoby sorta came to the same conclusion, while waiting in line to vote in Brookline Tuesday morning, and realizing that it was going to be a long few years ahead. But he says that perhaps spending some time wandering in the political wilderness will ultimately do Republicans some good. 

During the GOP’s years in power, the onetime party of fiscal sobriety and limited government turned into a gang of reckless spenders and government aggrandizers. Perhaps a few years in exile will lead Republicans back to their conservative, Reaganite roots.

 

Interestingly though, Jacoby says he is ultimately proud of his country for making what is at least an important symbolic vote.  Deep down, I suspect he’s thrilled with the realization that Obama’s election, and with it the shattering of the nation’s most durable glass ceiling, will give conservative columnists additional freedom to criticize the lack of achievement by minorities. “All excuses are off!” as Anthony Cumia would say…but perhaps I’m just being cynical.

 

Peter Gelzinis of the Boston Herald also has some good insight into what went wrong, placing most of the blame on George W. Bush, whom he calls a “low-rent Wyatt Earp.”

For all of his muscle and tough talk, the world marginalized George Bush. He became the empty vessel for the likes of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

Change, not experience, was the word Barack Obama carried into the quest for the presidency. All the wise guys thought his audacity bordered on arrogance. But the transformation of red states to blue states proved that his eloquence and common sense resonated in areas where people were hungry for the simple truth.

The FIGHT that lies ahead of the next president will not be won by our brawn, but rather by our brains. We cannot surge our way into world dominance. In deep debt to the Chinese and the Indians, we can’t afford to pretend that John McCain is Dwight Eisenhower or Douglas MacArthur.

Truth is, John McCain is an honorable man who was sadly out of touch and past his time. The world now belongs to a new gereration of politicians who understands the American dream must be retro-fitted to meet the demands of a new world here at home, as well as abroad.

 

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