Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Operation Chaos - Republican Version

Right-wingers like to gloat about how the continuing race for the Democratic nomination is tearing Democrats apart along racial, class, gender and other lines. This is all a bunch of hooey. There is a legitimate conversation going on about who is best to lead the party in November. Once that fight is over, the entire party will rally around whoever wins. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are much more interested in the party’s strength and the nation’s future than they are in their own personal ambitions – although they have those, too. Regardless of what happens, the party will be united in the fall, despite the best efforts of the right to inflame imaginary fissures and the MSM to exacerbate slight internal conflicts for entertainment purposes.

If you really want to see division, chaos and disaster in a political party, check out the Republicans.

When John McCain emerged from a pathetic field of candidates in March, the Republicans were stuck with the results of their own democratic arrangements. The winner-take-all scheme in place in most Republican primaries rewarded the hot hand when the most primaries are happening (winner-take-all in Dem primaries would have handed the nomination to Hillary a long time ago). The only other candidate that got anything close to momentum going at any time was Mike Huckabee, who had his fifteen minutes of fame and late-show appearances and quickly squandered it with wacky tax schemes and other religious nuttery. Everyone else either blew up (the delicious Rudy), melted under the lights (the robotic Romney) or lost track of the others wandering in the desert looking for Area 51 (Ron Paul, phone home). McCain became the nominee by default, not because any Republicans necessarily wanted him.

Because, if you believe what they say, they really don’t. Historically, McCain would be considered a fairly straight Republican follower. But, in the context of the strict discipline and orthodoxy required of party regulars (and talking-pointed mainstream radio "personalities") by the Rove-run Bush political regime, he was re-cast as a wild-eyed independent, thumbing his nose at Bush’s political judicial appointments, working on campaign finance reform and other such outrages. McCain also made the Bushies jealous because he actually had a genuine sense of humor, something they couldn’t buy in a store or from their consultants. McCain was too good for the Bush Republican party (not saying much), but not any use to anyone else. Once the focus gets on him – especially in comparison to the vibrant Obama and, yes, Clinton – McCain will melt like butter in his Arizona sun. He is the Bob Dole of 2008. This just might be the first Democratic landslide since 1964.

While the Dems battle the last mile, the right-wing radio and blog wing-nuts are getting in their last licks at McCain before the same cowardly chameleons swallow their ever-shifting "principles" and get behind him in the fall.

For instance, a bunch of head-in-the-sand reactionaries in his party on mainstream radio and the blogosphere feigned outrage this week when McCain had the temerity to recognize global climate change as the threat that it is in a speech this week. Although he tried pathetically to squeeze as much free-market clap-trap into his watered-down proposal as possible, this was not enough for the tireless blowhards that have chosen to carry Big Oil’s water. McCain obviously chose this course to avoid being completely laughed off the stage – he’ll get enough of that on his absurd position on Iraq. But, Republicans will pretend to stand on principle until they don’t. That’s how win-at-all-costs, for-sale people roll.

As entertaining as this beating up on McCain for being McCain is, there is apparently trouble on another front for the GOP nominee. The Prince of Darkness, Bob Novak, got on his knees (not a unique position for him when it comes to Republican sources) and put his ear to the dirty ground of some political evangelicals, discovering a let-Obama-win movement within the over-heated rapture crowd. For these wacked-out religi-nuts, the inevitable (to them) Obama presidency is "a biblical plague visited upon a sinful people". After four years of the supposed Obama disaster, the nation will turn its lonely eyes to preacher Huckabee, who will lead the righteous (and only the righteous, I assume) to the promised land of, er, the Fair Tax scheme or something.

The only question in Novak’s mind is whether Huckabee himself is in on this lunacy. Whether he is or whether he isn’t (if you want a real laugh, listen to the nut-right screech about McCain’s Huckabee-as-VP trial balloon, also this week), the whole notion of an Obama presidency as some sort of guaranteed nightmare for anyone but Republican operatives is ludicrous. If Obama is the nominee and gets the mandate of a 55-45 margin, 20-30 more seats in the House and a near-filibuster-proof Senate – all very much in the realm of possibility, if not likelihood – it is much more probable that his first four years would be a resounding success, especially if the Democrats can end the Stupid War and get universal healthcare enacted. What happens to their supposed faith when Obama succeeds and Huckabee continues life in 2012 and beyond as just another 2008 has-been? You would hope this kind of failed prophesy would affect their sanctimony or, at least, cost them a few gullible followers. Alas, this is hoping for too much.

When it gets to be September and the right-wing sees the writing on the wall of the impending Democratic landslide, it’s not like they are going to give up. They are going to poison the political environment with lies and smears, trying to drag whoever the Dem candidate down to their sorry level. They'll kick and scratch and lose like a bunch of whiney babies. But lose they will. And they will have no one to blame but themselves...and Junior Bush.


Anonymous said...

In every election since Newt and his crew took control of Congress in 1994, Democrats have claimed that they were "inevitable." So far this oft predicted Democratic landslide has yet to materialize. The only time they have made any gains is in 2006 and that was because they ran a series of "more conservative than the Republicans" set of Blue Dog candidates. I think that came November people are going to ask themselves if they are batter off now that Democrats are in office. If they take the time to look at the numbers objectively they will come to the conclusion that they are not.

Anonymous said...

What I love is the claim that the democratic battle is over high principles--yeah, right. Obama and Clinton are identical robots except that Obama would let Iran bomb Isreal and Clinton would wipe them off the earth. So where are the high-minded debates? They must not have been on television. If Obama is the nominee, why is he unable to win any of the recent primaries? What does it say that the presumptive nominee just got his butt kicked on tuesday?

But you are right about McCain being the republican nominee by default, but be careful what you wish for. McCain might be able to crush Obama--a straw man if there ever was one. Obama claims to be a leader, but nobody can name a major issue he has championed (death penalty in llinois? please) McCain has stood for immigration reform, campaign finance reform, the successful surge, the gang of 14, and others. In all of these issues, as you say, he hacked off his republican supporters to do what he thought was best. Obama claims to be able to move beyond party lines, but it is McCain who has a track record of actually doing so.

being president requires more coruage and experience than it does to vote "present"

Prosqtor said...

Hmmm....there's a saying you've no doubt heard, Mike: "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line."

Seems you're a bit woozy with Obama (or Hillary) fever to see clearly. Obama's Wilsonian Fascism isn't going to play well to people who (rightly) see him as just another effete liberal, and the whiny way he responds to attacks on policy will wear old as well.

Mike Plaisted said...

"Wilsonian fascism"? Hoo, baby. You and Patrick are going to have to do more fleshing out of your anti-Obama talking-points (while you are name-calling, don't forget "socialist"), but you'll have lots of time and no shortage of mainstream radio outlets.

Your problem is going to be an extremely unattractive candidate who has trouble speaking in public, looking just barely tolerent of whoever he is talking to, much less the American people at large. Look at the last three special House elections - all won by Democrats in Republican districts, all using links to Obama as a foil to soil the Democrat, all failing - and tell me this fear of Obama is going to win the day for you. Hardly.

I'm not "woozy" over anyone, but I know part of the frustration people have about the continuing Dem race is that it delays the day we can focus on the general and get rid of the disasterous Republicans. There is a real anxiousness to get this ridiculous Bush/Cheney/McCain thing over with already. No amount of anti-Obama fearmongering is going to change that.

Anonymous said...

Read about President Wilson's political philosophy, including the Blue Eagle, and objectively compare it to Senator Obama's proposals. They are parallel, and they represent a massive change toward governmental control of business.

Combine that with Obama's messianistic speeches and self-assessment ("We are who we have been waiting for"), and you've got fascism.

Objective analysis will show that. It's not fear-mongering, it's an argument supported by evidence.

Anonymous said...

Mike, can you once, just once, debate someone without summarily dismissing their comments as mere "talking points?" Probably not.

I actually appreciate your use of it, since it always gives away your inability to respond directly on point.

Mike Plaisted said...

The interesting thing about my talking-point observation is that it is never denied. The radio wing-nuts and the bloggers get the same directions and say the same things; the repeated lie that they hope will be perceived as truth only because it has been repeated so much (like the one where Reagan is presented as some great president, instead of the embarassing sham he proved to be). They don't deny telling the organized lie -- in fact, they are proud of their rigid party discipline in repeating it.

Prosqtor said...

So the GOP is fractured and imploding, and yet capable of imposing "rigid party discipline"?

Which one is it?

And why won't/don't you answer my question about comparing the Blue Eagle, rule-by-science-and-expert-panels youth movement of "Progressive" Woodrow Wilson to Senator Obama's plan to use rewards to companies that don't outsource, rule-by-science-and-expert-panels youth movement?

That's a long question, and it contains hints to the answer -- mostly because I don't expect one.

Funny how I'm at work all day, not listening to Rush/Hannity/et al. Of course, I get my brainwave transmission directly over the air, so I don't need to.

Anonymous said...

It is never denied Mike, because you label EVERYTHING a conservative says as a "talking point." You then absolve yourself from addressing the point.

For your information, I get my marching orders via cellphone text message from party headquarters....ROFLMAO

Roland Melnick said...

Prosqtor...if you'd like to end those annoying brainwave transmissions, you can borrow Mike's tinfoil hat. He tells me it's quite effective.