Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mayday! Mayday! Random Thoughts Two Weeks From Election Armageddon

No, the Armageddon will not be for the Democratic Party, which will most certainly take it on the chin on November 2, but for the American people, who deserve politicians who are sincere about governing.

But as it is, too many Democrats are cowards, afraid of the big shadows that health-care reform and their other accomplishments have cast, while too many Republicans are empty suits -- or skirts -- who in keeping with the Age of Palin are adept at talking while not really saying anything.

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It will not occur to Republicans amidst their pre- and post-election high-fiving that the GOP's gains will not be a result of presenting appealing policy alternatives to the Democrats but by simply not being Democrats.

Pitifully few Republican candidates in major races have put any meat on their platforms, and many merely echo the "Pledge to America" cobbled together by Mother Ship Republicans, a grab bag of empty rhetoric if ever there was one.

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This, of course, is the Year of the Tea Party, and as is typical of maverick political movements, it's long-term viability as a national entity is suspect for several reasons.

First, the movement is chockablock with internal contradictions and radical positions that eventually will become internal conflicts and then, if history is a guide, internal fissures.

Second, as we have seen with no less an eminence than President Hopenchange himself, Washington has a way of bending the politician to its will and not the other way around. Tea Partiers are against government in key respects but will tasked with running it.

Third, their generic outrage, victimhood, confrontational styles and too often their bigotry play well out on the hustings, but inside the beltway and on the Sunday TV talk show treadmill is an altogether different matter. They will have to leave their clown cars at home.

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It will be ironic but fitting if Republicans fall a seat short of recapturing the Senate because of Christine O'Donnell, a candidate whose vacuity stands head and shoulders among all others in a year of vacuous candidates.

Voters in Delaware are notoriously ticket splitty, having once elected a Democratic governor and Republican lieutenant governor, and you can be sure that they have the former witches' number: A big fat zero. The result of which will be gifting the Democrats a seat that was a GOP given.

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Even an opportunistic boot licker like Karl Rove understands that an already considerably diminished Republican Party in the thrall of a movement dominated by people who occupy the lunatic fringe will continue to be starved of the oxygen that sustains and grows political parties -- new voters in appreciable numbers.

es, the Democrats have plenty of problems of their own, but polls show that fewer young people and women are migrating to the GOP. Its scorched earth minority "outreach" has turned off black voters, while it has assiduously alienated Hispanics, who are the fastest growing minority voting bloc.

And now it has alienated witches in a year in which polls will open a mere handful of hours after the end of Halloween.

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Then there is the ongoing "conversation" about the future of conservatism -- which is to say the future of the Republican Party -- which more resembles a food fight than an effort to secure a brighter future.

Part of the difficulty here is that while Americans are mad as hell and aren't going to take it any more, most of them still want Washington to help alleviate their pain and suffering. That runs counter to the conservative tenets of smaller government, smaller deficits and fewer entitlements that Big Bush Government cheerleaders have shamelessly supported. And the last time I checked will still be very much in the party's majority when the112th Congress is sworn in.

There's only one certainty amidst all of this uncertainty, boys and girls. Despite the Republicans' mid-term surge, lacking broad mainstream appeal and given the roster of their presidential wannabes, Mr. Hopenchange is sure to win a second term.

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