and the GOP
& THE LEFT WING GOP
don't care who does the electing as long as I get to do the
nominating." - Boss Tweed
Schwarzenegger is governor of California for two critical reasons, both
of which will effect the next twelve months of the national politic.
Number one; the states mandate to oust incumbent, Gray Davis represents
a foul mood in this country that things are about as fucked up as they
are going to get without some heads rolling, fault or no fault, history
or no history. We like our sacrificial lambs toasty when things are
Number two; the Republican Party is playing, and winning the independent
sweepstakes at the expense of its radical continent.
The religious right, social conservative wing of the Grand Ole Party
may not be dead, but its been seriously wounded, and will scramble for
a foothold in the 2004 national campaign as the boys in charge fight
and claw to keep it that way.
By midnight last week, the three most potent voices in the Republican
Party, (the party that now currently runs things in all major states,
congress and the White House) are Arnie the Groper, Uncle Rudy Giuliani
and Johnny "campaign finance" McCain. Two of these fellows
do not exactly genuflect at the altar of moral fortitude and none of
them displays a modicum of social conservativism. Yet all three are
now major players in the ruling party for the next calendar year, with
or without the support of the right wing of the GOP.
This sets up a few key choices for stalwart Republicans. Use the popularity
of these men to rankle the Tom Delays et al and move the party as far
left as it has been since Ronald Reagan fashioned the plastic hat, or
watch the party go the way of the limping Democrats flailing away at
a place in the hearts of the all-important independent vote.
Faces make American politics. No one knows what the hell is going on.
You dont know. Admit it. I used to know, then I stopped caring,
then I thought I knew, and now I know something else entirely.
Republicrats? Demigods? Give us a face with some moxy and a few hearty
hue and cries and weve got ourselves a candidate.
The Democrats have lost that face. They need to get one soon, or they
will lose again, badly, and maybe for the last time in any significant
chronology. This gaggle of second-rate goons trotted out for the monthly
debate of the damned does not a solidarity make. It used to be different
for the Dems. They laughed at Bill Clinton, and then they hailed him
king. Then they kicked him out of camp. Then earth-tone boy lost a squeaker,
and now they pray to whatever gods they subscribe a general with no
political savvy can make Captain Shoe-in buckle.
Well, it had better be General Wesley Clark. It sure aint going
to be Howard Dean. He will die a Barry Goldwater/George McGovern death
on the national stage. The rest have not distinguished themselves worthy
for a run for dog catcher.
Heres the news; G.W. appeals to the masses. His government is
as bloated as any this republic has fostered. Yet hes tough, or
at least talks tough and stands next to military types that look tough
and wears their clothes to appear so. And despite sinking approval ratings,
hell be a tough beat. All the talk in this space and everywhere
else about the putrid economy and the extravagant deficit and blood
in the streets in Baghdad and $80 billion invoices to fix the mess will
never stand up to the crippling fear of this nation since 9/11/01. And
the Bush people will play that one until the end, because there is no
clear choice between the president and anyone else the Dems bring up.
Oh, Bush is ripe to be had, but there is no one who has emerged as of
yet who can knock him off, and if Schwarzenegger makes any headway in
California without taxing those people into the ocean, then G.W. will
hop aboard the moderate bandwagon and hope it gets him four more years.
Thats the beauty of being the incumbent, despite running the country
into a financial and internationally violent corner. You can lean anyway
the wind blows.
And if Schwarzenegger fails?
© James Campion Oct 20th 2003
all rights reserved