>> Friday, June 13, 2008
In the pundit links presented on the DKos front page there was an article on theorizing on the effects of a McCain win for the GOP. I read that article and have to say it was not all that good. The biggest issue I had with it is that it rested on some very poor assumptions. It required assumptions like McCain would not govern as a conservative and that the Obama loss would not hurt Dems so bad. As I read the piece, I could not help but think, “Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.” A McCain win would be a disaster for everyone so if it is worse for the GOP (which i contend it is not) it is only worse in the way losing your health, house and your job is worse than losing your house and your job.
The title of the article is Why a McCain Win May Be Bad for GOP, Good for Democrats. That alone should start up that skepticism. Here is the premise for the article
In the worst-case scenario, a McCain victory in November could likely lead to a Republican bloodletting that would tear apart the GOP well before 2012, contribute to another good Democratic election in 2010 and hand Democrats such a strong advantage during redistricting that Republicans wouldn't be able to recover for years.
What I think is immediately absent here is that the GOP needs a little bloodletting. They have grown stale and old relying on the same old worn tactics and strategies. They need new blood and new ideas and the only way to get those is through some strife and a little upheaval. The type of change needed in the GOP will not come easily just as the change in the Dems from DLC to Dean/Obama was not an easy change.
I also think that the premise misses the fact that the current climate for the Republicans is so bad that it is hard for it to get worse. That is the basic theory of the article that McCain would make it so bad that no one would ever want to vote Republican and that the party itself would be fractured. That might be true but I think that a McCain win would just be postponing the GOP shakeup and rebuilding. The Republicans are playing out a cycle where their ideas and programs have been in power since Reagan. They have had the same players and leaders for the last 20 odd years with people like McCain being one of them. A McCain win would be bad because it prevents the GOP from performing any self evaluation and making the changes it has to in order to compete in the future.
The article really goes down hill from there because it is predicated on the idea that McCain really is a Maverick.
The scenario is simple: McCain wins and immediately follows his own instincts - meaning he tries to patch together a series of coalitions on ethics, immigration, spending and global warming.
The one thing that is sure is that a McCain presidency wouldn't merely be a "third Bush term." That's a smart campaign slogan for Democrats, and it should be effective.
But anyone who knows McCain and has followed his efforts over the years - including his 2000 campaign against George W. Bush - knows that, if the Arizonan gets to the White House, he'll follow his own instincts, not the current president's road map.
What this overlooks is that McCain has spent the past eight years moving to the right and cozying up with Bush. McCain has sold out on numerous issues to make his run for the presidency. Almost everything people ever thought McCain stood for has been thrown aside in his quest for the presidency. McCain is not the McCain of 2000 and he is not a Dem in Republican clothing. McCain really will run a third Bush term on the things that matter like the war in Iraq. He has also shown that he is not really committed to ethics as his campaign is run by lobbyists and he has a zero rating on the environment so how much work he will do on Global Warming is not clear.
The article refers repeatedly to the idea that McCain is closer to Dems than the Republicans are but he is not proving that in his campaign. I guess it is not out of the question that once in power he will flop back the other way to some other position on issues like immigration or campaign finance or ethics or not torturing people.
This is how the article treats the effect of the Obama loss on Dems.
Of course, Democrats won't want to lose the '08 presidential race and a chance to end the war in Iraq in the hope of solidifying themselves for a decade. And an Obama defeat surely would produce its own round of Democratic recrimination and finger-pointing. But ultimately, an Obama defeat wouldn't damage Democrats the way it eventually would Republicans.
That is it? I think that this is a vast understatement referring to the consequences of an Obama loss. At the very least the 50 state strategy that Dean and Obama and the net roots has advocated and fought for would be thrown out. An Obama loss would also set back the cause of African American politicians for a long time. It would prove the nay sayers right that America is just not ready for a Black president. It would allow Clinton a big, “I told you so.” This vindication would vault her to the top of those candidates for 2012. It would destroy the enthusiasm and commitment of the young voters and activists who have fought for Barack in every state across the county. An Obama loss would not be a small thing for the Democratic Party.
If the Dems cannot win now would we really expect them to win in 2012? The situation is as good as it has ever been for the Dems. To think that if they blow it now they will get a better shot in 2012 is nonsense. We have the most money, the worst president, the most energizing candidate, we oppose the oldest candidate, the country is ready for change. If not now when? No, a loss to McCain would not simply be setting us up for a bigger win later.
An Obama loss would not only be a devastating tragedy for Dems but it would also be a tragedy for our county. McCain has no intention of ever getting us out of Iraq and all of his policy ideas now seem to be straight from the GOP playbook. The country cannot withstand another four years of these devastating policies designed to raid our treasury and create true class separation in our country. McCain would not do anything about the corruption that pervades the executive branch, as he would more than likely retain many of those people. McCain would be a disaster. So yes, a McCain win would be bad for the GOP because it prevents it from starting the rebuilding process. However, his win would be a disaster for our country and for Democrats.