Republicans Struggle to Stop the Bleeding
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Well, the big news today–aside from that high speed big-rig chase, and some alarmist swine-flu coverage–was that Sen. Arlen Specter has decided to join the ranks of the Democrats.
Welcome, Senator. Speaking as an independent who began voting Democrat in 2004: the beer is colder, the chicks are hotter, and you don’t have to wear a tie all of the time. Here is your swag bag, complete with the obligatory pair of Birkenstock’s and some tie-dyed t-shirts.
But seriously–while some are already claiming this is rock-bottom for the G.O.P., many Republicans weren’t surprised. Specter has long voted with Democrats on lots of key social issues–but more than that, and what R’s don’t seem to get, is that the entire NATION is moving left. Specter is just following his constituency, which already abandoned the party in hundreds of thousands, to register as Democrats in the last election.
So many Republican power brokers–Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, John Boehner–have suggested that the reason McCain got drilled is because he wasn’t conservative enough. It seems increasingly obvious that the opposite was true–McCain DID appeal to indy’s, and lots of moderate R’s too, but when his campaign pulled a 180 and made the baffling strategic choice of selecting Palin as a running mate, it doomed him. It won him the base at the expense of, uh, everybody. You only have to look below at my last posting to see that–strange as it seems now–independent voters liked the ol’ Maverick, at one point in time.
But after their defeat, many Republicans closed ranks, and adopted a “with us or against us” attitude. It didn’t take long for Sarah and her boy Joe the Unlicensed Plumber to ram a shiv in Mac’s back once he lost–like the time Palin said she couldn’t find anyone she wanted to pray with on his campaign bus.
Now the G.O.P. is hemorraging powerful Senators. With Franken soon to be confirmed in Minnesota, they’ll soon be all but powerless. What can they do to reverse this trend, and win back the moderates and independents that have deserted them in disgust? If the R’s don’t start listening to Megan McCain and people like her, we may actually witness the death of a political party. It’s what happened to the Whigs–they splintered off into groups that were all obsessed with one thing, ended up being unable to accomplish ANY of their goals, and were forced to disband.
If they want to remain viable, the G.O.P. needs to take two BIG steps to the left, and get on the same page with the majority of Americans. If not, they will keep on dividing themselves against each other until there’s nothing.
Which frankly, I will really enjoy watching.
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