UnionMaine

Trust me, I work for the Government

The Republicans can make a come back.



The election results mean Democrats won….big.

The margins of victory were great but they weren’t absolutely overwhelming, overwhelming would have been 65 Senate seats, but they were great.


Simply winning formerly blue states and some new red states does not tell the whole story. Obama beat John McCain with a margin similar to Bill Clinton’s defeat of George Bush in 1992, but more importantly Obama picked up formerly red states and significantly increased the Clinton win margin in many blue states.

Although we didn’t get 60 in the Senate and Obama didn’t win by 13 points as some early polls suggested the Democratic gains in the Senate and House are so commanding that many in Congress could be tempted to ignore Republicans or look for payback for the next four year.

The G.O.P ignored Democrats and that was a big piece of the Democratic victory this year. Being ignored makes people angry, and being ignored blinds the other side to your strength. We must not ignore the G.O.P. Starting now we must not be tempted to fall into the Bush doctrine of ignoring the other side and not having a clue how they are preparing to make a comeback.

Are we sitting pretty and can we start handing out Democratic laws like Christmas presents? Keep in mind that Newt Gingrich led the Republican Revolution two years after the Clinton win. The Republicans are not going to just go away. Jimmy Carter won large Democratic margins in 1976 and Ronald Reagan became the Republican messiah four years later, leading to an era of a Republican controlled Senate and a G.O.P. relentlessly catering to the far right conservative wing of their party.

The G.O.P. is already using a favorite tool, the big lie, the first claim is that the country is actually center right, and Rush Limbaugh is calling the economic problems the “Obama recession”. In Republican eyes and on talk radio, the economy was great until Obama won the election. This is the tale they will try to spin over the next four years. The economy only got worse because the country fears the Obama win.

Suffering denial, the G.O.P. does not yet see there has been a massive swing in voters’ willingness to support ideas condemned by the right for years. Stem cell research, an end to an illegal war, and a return to government by the constitution, not by the Vice President. This was a great Democratic year, the election proved our country is not a center-right country, the focus has changed. So much for the good news.

The Republican Party can not be ignored, they got 45% of the vote and the Democratic party can not afford to make dedicated enemies of nearly half of the population. Every one of the remaining red Congressional seats represents voters that we need to reach out to by not being unwilling to listen.

Right Mr. Bush, Mr. McCain?

If we don’t watch the right we give them a wedge for a comeback. Our new Senators and Representatives with our new President must keep their promises. Rahm Emanuel when asked what Obama was really going to do now that he won answered “exactly what he said he would do, and in the same priority as he promised”. This gives hope that many of the anti-Bush voters that voted for Obama will become true Democrats if we keep our promises.

Obama knows the right will continue to paint him as aloof, an intellectual, not “Main st.”

Obama hasn’t stopped showing America who he is. Obama said to his daughters “you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the new White House” and when asked about what breed of dog he might get, he said mabe a shelter dog, and that many shelter dogs are “mutts like me”. In these two statements he showed a warm and human side of himself in the same mold as Franklin Roosevelt, THE depression era President, (with Scottish terrier Fala), Ronald Reagan (with a spaniel named Rex), and hopefully unlike Richard Nixon with Checkers.

In only a few sentences he bonded with dog lovers all over the country, he shared an experience remembered by millions wondering what dog to bring home.. He showed his love and his concern for his children, and unlike compassionate conservatism, he showed real concern by wanting to find a shelter dog.

Good start, Obama is showing he is smart, funny, and compassionate. I can almost see the first “1/20/2013 We can Again!” stickers. Great start but it will get tougher if we underestimate the right. Keeping an eye on the G.O.P picks for leadership will be critical, who the G.O.P. puts up for leadership, if they move to the center, if the Limbaugh, Hannity influence falls off then we may face a new and energized Grand Old Party. The easiest way for the Republicans to make a comeback is also the farthest from possible. They would have to say they had been wrong and were returning to their roots, Bush was wrong, interfering in the Schiavo case was wrong, and a false war was wrong. If they did that, they could come back. Then again, if they did that they would be Democrats.

Their selection of leaders will tell us if they are going to continue to be mindlessly right wing trying to be even more conservative or if they will try to co-opt Democratic successes and claim victory.

Obama’s choice of Rahm Emanuel shows that he will be can see the future and that he will be the architecht of legislative strategy that acknowledges political reality while not being willing to bow to an out of control Congress that could lose if the budget is allowed to become a piñata in the Republican tradition.

Obama’s appointment of Emanuel tells me that Obama is in control and intends to remain at the helm.

Obama will not allow Republicans to blame him for a recession he has inherited, but we can not add to the problems by passing giveaways to every state that elected a Democrat. We can not afford to use the next four years to build a Congress to nowhere.

Obama will be a powerful force for our country’s new alignment with the left, but conservatives won’t go away. They may just learn how to hide their deregulation, tax cuts for the rich agenda better than they did this election. They hid their intent for at least six years. I hope that rather than change they spend four years trying to put lipstick on a pit bull.

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November 18th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

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