International Writers Magazine:
R.I.P. No money. No message. No momentum
Exploring The Death Rattle Of Modern Conservatism
McCain is correct about one thing; he is not George W. Bush. Bush
won. Twice. McCain is not going to win. Not unless he begins to
stand for one particular platform for more than three consecutive
hours or starts throwing ugly and doing it soon.
about domestic terrorism and repeating Joe the Plummer over and over
like a mental patient is not going to cut it. The ACORN thing is a nice
touch; sets up an Al Gore kind of whining after the ignominious pummeling
he is about to receive, but shan't do the trick either. Socialism is
always gangbusters with the base but didn't work for the Goldwater crowd
versus the Kennedy Machine in '60 and is less likely to fool anyone
now, especially since the Republican candidate voted for a massive socialism
bill a few weeks back and his running mate takes oil company profits
and distributes them among the citizens of Alaska.
No, the hole the Arizona Senator has dug for himself is too deep for
cheap tricks and old routines. With two weeks to go he is staring down
the barrel of the worst defeat a Republican candidate for president
has endured in over eighty years.
It is largly the fault of one lousy campain from the ground up, but
it is also a serious defect within his party.
Unless the Obama campaign allows Nostradamus Biden to offer further
dire prognostications or the candidate is found with a dead girl or
a live boy, the state numbers, which have been steadily rising for five
solid weeks in the direction of the Democratic candidate, looks to bury
the Republican on 11/4.
Granted, national polls have taken more than their fair share of beatings
in this space. Most of them, especially Zogby, have been proven less
than useless. But the almost scientific breakdown of these averaged
state polls on Rear Clear Politics or the Politico web sites are hard
to ignore. From every corner of the contiguous United States, the trend
toward the Democratic ticket is beyond anything most of us living have
Virginia? A ten-point lead for the African-American Liberal in a state
not won by a Democrat in 48 years is almost unfathomable. Indiana? The
stronghold of Republicans for a century still in play boggles the senses.
Florida? Teetering. Missouri? Slipping away. Gone is New Hampshire,
Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Iowa. The South invaded;
the Midwest swept away, the western rim a distant memory, the entire
east coast under siege.
Only the Reagan explosion in the final weeks of 1980 begins to approach
this sudden tidal wave of upheaval. It is, like Reagan, the result of
an independent electorate -- and many refugees from across the aisle
-- witnessing the victorious candidate in a debate forum and surprised
at not being confronted with a radical extremist nutcase, but someone
quite astute, noble, and, well...presidential. It is as if all of the
ridiculous fiction bouncing around Internet innuendo backfires all at
once: Where is the man with the horns breathing fire? Why am I supposed
to be afraid of this man?
The Democrats tried to demonize Ronald Reagan twenty-eight years ago,
but went too far. Perhaps if they had reigned in their abhorrence of
the California governor, Jimmy Carter would have survived those final
brutal days of October. But they decided instead to go ballistic, painting
Reagan as something right of Rudolf Hess, and it cost them. Reagan may
have been a yawping mannequin or fabricated prop, but he was not Grendel.
And that revelation, as the final undecided voters of this election
have finally realized, can now be applied to Barack Obama, which may
well end in the most unlikely landslide in the history of this nation.
The McCain camp, led by Rick Davis, has its collective finger in the
damn. No money. No message. No momentum. No nothing. It's just as well.
Staying on the defenseive means not digging the hole deeper. The whole
mess never did get off the ground, and then, for some mad reason, it
took the safer candidate and unleashed him in several directions at
once, throwing Hail Mary bombs when a fullback dive would have done
the trick. The only two explanations involved either being intimidated
by the Obama aura or frightened to death of simply being a Republican.
I'll take the latter.
It's not a good time to play for the Grand Old Party.
In fact, you'd have to reach back past even the dark days of Nixon and
all the way to Herbert Hoover to find a lower standing for Republicans.
The Bush Legacy will ultimately be its near total destruction of the
modern Republican Party. In its wake free trade is in ruins, foreign
policy a circus fire, and almost the entirety of the legislative branch
turned over to the opposition; political suicide in its purist form.
Spread across the headlines like faded words on an ideological tombstone:
Here Lies The Last Vestige Of Modern Conservatism -- 1964 to 2008.
After McCain's sorry carcass is dragged from the public
eye, and Sarah Palin gears up for her weekday talk show opposite "Ellen",
the Party of Lincoln and T-Rex and The Gipper is going to have some
serious soul searching to do. Unless Obama is a total disaster -- a
tough act to eclipse considering the last six years of The Captain's
Shoo-In Follies -- this will be a nation represented by an astounding
shift: Astute reasoning, overt intellectualism, universal diversity,
and an odd infusion of youth. It will hopefully be far more secular
and less pandering to extreme social tyranny, less inclined toward international
hubris, and exceedingly more articulate in the ways of governance.
The "Conservative Elite", which the McCain campaign
has been bashing along with the evil media and certain parts of the
country that is cronies deem "un-American", will have to begin
erecting a different type of opposition. It will have to be a new day
in true Conservativism -- fiscal and anti-government Conservatism, with
a healthy respect for environmental issues and staying out of the affairs
of half the planet's battles and its citizens' bedrooms, churches and
freedom of expression and dissent -- or it will continue to rot away
at its foundation as it has over these past years as the Tom Delays
of the world began to tell people how to live and die and the Bill Bennetts
began to tell people what is "acceptable humor, music, and modes
of dress and decorum", and the Fallwells of the world began to
hijack faith, and the Rush Limbaughs of the world became performing
donkeys and the Dick Cheneys of the world treated the American people
as lab rats.
If Obama indeed builds a even bigger government on the
backs of the American taxpayer -- an unlikely scenario with the current
and growing economic and military crisis long from ending and the government
he inherits already bloated to distraction -- then this new breed of
Conservative will need to roll up its collective sleeve, dig in the
heels and rail against it. And they will have my support; but only if
and when they stop acting like populists with a theocratic social chaser
and running inarticulate goobers as candidates.
But there's always a third party.
© James Campion
October 25th 2008
Cool Down the Stretch
James Campion 10.18.08
Pushes McCain to the Brink
The American electorate is about as angry with government as it has
been in over a generation.
Power to the People
James Campion + Feedback
American people have spoken loudly and the presidential candidates had
better be listening
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