We’ve kept it pretty loose here at TCR with regard to the continued havoc being wrought by Hillary Clinton against her party. Every day, the lack of her stepping down extends further and further the demise of Democrats and Obama’s chance to manipulate his way into high office.
Amazingly enough, however, the party faithful are undeterred and completely convinced that their nominee is the right person for this job. It is odd to see serious grownup people behave at a level of maturity that doesn’t seem to align with how those people deal with everything else in their lives.
I wish I were talking only about Democrats.
I would contend that Barack Obama and John McCain are not the best representatives of their parties.
Democrats have been on a romantic tour for months now thanks to the hope that “history” will be made (and already has been within their party, but they still look for the big emotional hit) as either the first woman or first African American President of the United States may be elected in 2008. Watching the throngs of supporters and their comments has convinced me that most, if asked why they support their candidate, would gush as they proclaim “I’ve been waiting for years and had hoped to see a [choice of non-white or female] become President, and finally it’s becoming a reality!” What is truly amazing is that for years we have (on both sides of the aisle) promoted a mindset that skin color and gender do not make one better than someone else, and yet today the party that traditionally panders to both demographics is saying it matters.
Hillary actually seems to better represent her party than Obama, but she has gotten so far off message that one cannot hear the tax and spend policies coming through the roar of what’s wrong with Obama and what’s wrong with the Democratic Party because she’s being left out in the cold.
I have no problem with a woman or any minority as President. I could make a list of people who fit that description that I would vigorously support if they ran for office. But that fact would not compel me to vote for them. Having the right policies and positions (truly, more important is the principles that they use for decision making) drives me to a candidate. Unfortunately, Obama’s supporters (and to a large part, Clinton’s as well) really don’t study the issues and seek to understand their candidates.
This generation of voters doesn’t have the attention span to own a real position. And again, I speak not just about Democrats.
Today’s news brought a story of a second-hand conversation that sounds like McCain’s camp is raising a trial balloon to see how Mike Huckabee’s name sits with voters as a running mate. Not well it seems. I’m not a fan of Huckabee, but having him on the ticket would allow us to get the FairTax pushed back into the national debate. But it won’t happen. Not this year. Romney would an even worse choice, I think. My dream is still Fred Thompson. Not likely either, but a possibility. I’d support Mitch McConnell, but I’d rather have him in the Senate right now. Along with any other Republican Senator or Congressmen, despite the less than stellar positions some have taken in recent months.
But the reaction of people to the Huckabee idea (the trial balloon is lead-filled) has been almost as distasteful as the initial shock about McCain being the Republican candidate. Far too many within the party are promoting a “stay home, let Obama win, watch the country fall apart for 4 years, and clean up the mess in 2012”. There are multiple problems with that idea, not the least of which is this: if we sit back and let things fall apart, we’ll have a nation that is not convinced there is a problem 4 years from now because the message from the Right is consistently “we don’t care enough to fight for what we believe in, this is okay with us and we’ll just try again later”. This is not a game. An unopposed Obama Presidency is not okay.
But we’re just too lazy and too soft to put up a real fight for what we believe in. Or it really isn’t all that important to us… sure, we don’t mind pushing our position as hard as we can, making personal attacks on people who disagree with us and shouting “I told you so” every time something bad happens. But when the work gets hard, yes that means when we have to work with something less than ideal like John McCain, we just throw up our hands and say it’s okay that all the bad stuff happens. We say we want Obama as President. We want open borders for the Terrorists to walk through. We want taxes to shoot up, the economy to totally tank, add 4 and maybe 8 years to the things that we need to start now just to be where we need to be in 10 years (ANWR), continuing down the road of Socialism, Pacification and decline of civilized society. And 5 brand spanking new Liberal Activist Judges on the Supreme Court. Nice. All because we want to prove we’re right.
Except, no one will care that we were right. Bush will get blamed for the bad economy. Most won’t even notice how badly we’re being fleeced by Congress. And the silent conservatives simply stand by and watch it happen with approval. Like Saul.
If we really care about these things, if we want to see others care in 4 years (yes, even if Obama does win, or McCain for that matter), we have to engage, and beyond just the blogosphere. We have to carry the message about what’s right and what’s wrong into the public square (including the blogs) into our local politics, into the National Convention. The Party needs a unified face, not a torn up left and right, but a merging of minds to show that while we may not agree on everything, we can work together to bring America closer to its best. I’ve been very impressed with the party caucuses and conventions I’ve attended so far at the precinct, the county and district levels this year. Our party in Iowa is not perfect and not 100% unified, but we engaged and worked together to reach a reasonable consensus that some did not like (I did not agree completely with all the decisions) but I saw none of the bitterness that I’ve seen elsewhere, and I pray we avoid that. Further, we have significant challenges for Congressional seats and a lack of real effort to keep and reclaim lost seats. We have a solid message, but we’re seem to have lost our voice.
The point is, disengaging when the ideal is not reached, will only allow things to slip further into the opposite direction. Once that’s done, ground is lost that may never be recovered. Staying engaged helps keep the truth and a reasonable message in front of people. We’ll never educate everyone to the point we’d like them to be, but we can get them further and closer to understanding truth. Most importantly closer to making decisions on their own instead of letting others (myself included) make those decisions for them.
My dream is to see the Democrats keep themselves distracted with the infighting long enough that more and more people can see how selfish and emotionally charged they are in making decisions and working out “solutions” (to the point of knee-jerking their way through legislating). For Conservative Republicans to give up is not strategic. It’s giving up and over, perhaps permanently.