Monday, November 17, 2008

The Center-Right of Reality

It seems the fashionable thing to do if you are a conservative whose political ideology was just given the biggest beating since 1993 is to deny that it was an actual smack-down but rather more of a referendum on Bush. Tod Linberg at WaPo points out that the recent attempts to deny the clear electorate movement away from conservatism is simply ludicrous, but since this is coming from the party that praised Sarah Palin for her know-nothingness, I’m not surprised in the least.

The chant that we are hearing is that despite being handed a devastating defeat in both 2006 and 2008; America is still a center-right nation. If that is true, then why would Americans overwhelmingly elect someone that McCain-Palin called “the most liberal senator” ever or a “socialist”? If America is so staunchly center-right, why would they give full power to the left? How about the McCain attack “Redistributor in Chief” or the fact that 56% of the voters thought that Obama would handle taxed better? The last two months of the GOP ticket was solely focused on painting Obama as a radical left-wing nut job who, along with Pelosi and Reid, would in no uncertain terms, spell the end to “America the Free”. One can only assume that this is their political version of the Kübler-Ross model. And it seems that they are still just at level one of the five stages of grief: denial. That’s fine though. The longer they are living is their disillusioned world, the deeper the progressive roots get.

“Here's the stark reality: It is now harder for the Republican presidential candidate to get to 50.1 percent than for the Democrat. My Hoover Institution colleague David Brady and Douglas Rivers of the research firm YouGovPolimetrix have been analyzing data from online interviews with 12,000 people in both 2004 and 2008. It shows an overall shift to the Democrats of six percentage points. As they write in the forthcoming edition of Policy Review, "The decline of Republican strength occurs by having strong Republicans become weak Republicans, weak Republicans becoming independents, and independents leaning more Democratic or even becoming Democrats." This is a portrait of an electorate moving from center-right to center-left.”

Whatever the right punditry wants to call it is fine, but when Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia flipped to blue, the GOP knew that they were going to have to find a way to survive in political darkness they created for themselves.