November 15, 2006
No Time to Lick GOP Wounds
In the wake
of its electoral defeat last Tuesday, the Republican Party has little
time to lick its wounds. It needs to regroup and get back on offense if
it is to keep the Democrats from cementing their power for a long time
to come in 2008. Now that they do not have an ideologically divided,
razor-thin majority to defend, they are free to be what they should
always have been unapologetically conservative. More than that, they
simply have nothing left to lose. And the stakes are too high to worry
about being over-aggressive.
The GOP can
count on the Democrats to overplay their hand to some degree. Control of
Congress changed based on a few thousand votes for "moderate" Democrats
over incumbent Republicans. It was not, by any stretch, a choosing of
far-left liberalism. But the practical effect of their victories was to
inflict far-left liberal ideas and policies on America just the same.
(Whether these freshmen "moderates" really are moderate is beside the
point. They have no significant power yet, and incoming Speaker Pelosi
isn't about to indulge her right flank nearly to the extent the GOP
leadership did their left one. Maybe these voters should have been able
to see that ahead of time, but that ship has sailed.) Given 12 long
years out of power, their unhinged personal hatred of President Bush and
the fact that hard-left liberals are pretty much all that's left in the
Democratic Party, they'll not be able to help but go overboard. Their
glee at sticking it to Bush and the GOP will be almost orgasmic.
"benefit" of this sorry spectacle will be that when folks see Democrats
implementing policies that they didn't select with an intensity and a
fervor they don't share, they'll be open to switching back to the GOP,
provided the GOP delivers the proper message with which to win them
biased mainstream media will run total cover for the Democrats. No
matter how off the deep left end the Democrats get, only a smidgen of
that fact will ever get through the media to the voters. The mainstream
media are one great big press secretary for the Democratic cause.
(Witness Chris Matthews already offering advice on leadership post
appointments.) This may inadvertently motivate Democrats to overplay
their hand all the more, as they listen too much to the non-stop rabid
cheerleading coming from the Fourth Estate. But if voters dont
recognize this because of the way the media misreports it or simply
ignores it what price will the Democrats pay for it?
needs to realize that communication is its single biggest obstacle to
regaining what it has lost. They must be 10 times the speakers that the
Democrats are and 100 times more tough and persistent to take on the
mainstream media and get their message through unfettered. In fact, the
GOP may have to simply put the Democrats aside for the moment and simply
focus on the media as their primary opponent. They may have to go as far
as tapping some of their bigger pocket donors for the purposes of buying
and flipping existing media outlets, or starting their own parallel
media infrastructure from scratch. Whatever the case, the GOP cannot
continue dealing with the mainstream media the way it has been.
Republican tactics must change, as must the nature of them media itself,
if the Republicans are to have any shot at all.
reckoning must occur within the GOP. Republicans must decide what they
really believe and what they're really willing to put on the line to
achieve it. Are they really a conservative party? (Certainly, they
are more now than before Election Day with some of the incumbents that
are no longer in their ranks.) Are they willing to put aside selfish
concerns and favor the cause first? Are they willing to show some guts
by filibustering and vetoing like Daschle and Reid have spent the last
12 years doing even though the hypocritical media will absolutely
crucify them for it, whereas they scarcely ever mentioned Daschle's and
Reid's obstruction-mania? And are they able to unapologetically explain
why and stick to it in a way that will get through the media buzzsaw and
connect with voters?
If the GOP
either cannot or will not, then 2008 will see not only a long-term
cementing of Democratic power, but very likely the worst-case scenario
of all the election of President Hillary Clinton. It's going to be
hard enough to stop her with the media helping her and the aura that
will develop around the whole "first female" bandwagon. The openings are
there (in the form of her personal dislike poll numbers being very
high), but like the Democrats overplaying their hand, it won't matter a
whit if the GOP isn't loaded for bear and firing on all cylinders so as
to exploit those vulnerabilities. And more than that, if it doesnt have
the will to do it.
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