Friday, October 31, 2008

Recriminations

Assuming that Obama wins the election [*knock on wood*], the Republican party will spend the next week tearing itself up apart arguing who was to blame. The moderate factions will blame Sarah Palin and the far-right for scaring away swing voters. The far-right ideologues will blame McCain for not being conservative enough for... well, who knows what or who. The idiots like Limbaugh and Fox News will blame the 'drive-by media' and their inability to see the genius in running an angry, erratic, and divisive campaign.

And the sane among us will know that it was simply that, in addition to Democrats having the more appealing candidate, the GOP ran a poor campaign aimed solely at their own base, while seemingly attempting to alienate the swing constituencies they needed most. Something tells me that Sean Hannity will disagree with me on that.

Two things not to expect, however...

1) Do not expect the Republican party's post-election soul-searching to result them deciding to move back toward the center, and move away from their current base of religious conservatives and tax cut fanatics. Rather, they will likely double down and insist that going more conservative is what will save them (this was basically their attitude after 2006 anyway).

2) Do not expect Republicans or conservatives to be gracious in defeat. After you've spent months implying your opponent is a borderline terrorist, can you really turn around and say "Hey well-played campaign! Congrats, and good luck!"? No. And they won't. Unlike Democrats, who after the 2000 election (in which we lost by a mere technicality) began working with Bush to accomplish things on issues like education, Republicans will be immediately begin criticizing and undermining and Obama presidency. They'll even get a kick out of doing so (also their post-2006 attitude).

After the 2004 election, I wrote a blog entry coping with the Bush reelection, and deciding to give him the benefit of the doubt for his second term (spoiler alert... he didn't deserve it). Expect no similar posts on The National Review or any of those other sites. Just lots of bitterness.

I'd like to say I will enjoy watching the right self-destruct, but we just have too much work to do.

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