Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere

People tend to remain in their political paradigm, and the GOP has not spent enough time making conservatism relevant to the younger voter. This is a remarkably poor performance, especially on the fiscal impact of expanded government, by which younger voters will be most affected as Medicare and Social Security reach their crisis points. Obama's success in wooing younger voters to the Democratic Party may result in a gap which could take Republicans decades to resolve.

Or perhaps not. If Obama decides to pursue mandatory national service on the basis of Rahm Emanuel's proposal, those same young voters may suddenly discover their inner libertarians and become more open to reconsidering the Republican message. If they watch the Obama administration shovel money in corporate bailouts for the next couple of years, fiscal conservatism may regain its luster. The Republicans, though, have to have a positive agenda for rational government, rebuild its credibility, and most of all start paying attention to younger voters when addressing issues on the stump. Barack Obama didn’t win their votes by accident two weeks ago.


Unless the Republicans can truly change their tone, mend their ways, reach beyond their shrinking white southern base, and join the culturally diverse 21st century, they will again be thrwarted by the demographics. America's Hispanic population (which is far younger than the national norm) has increased by 25 percent during the current decade, whereas the overall national growth is roughly six percent. And the Hispanic share of the national electorate has upticked steadily during the last four presidential elections, and this trend that will continue.

I've checked the overall vote totals and the exit polls, and here's the deal: In 1996, roughly 4.8 million Hispanics turned out to vote; in 2000, roughly 7.35 million; in 2004, roughly 9.68 million; in 2008, roughly 11.3 million (and all the '08 votes have not been counted yet).

The math is obvious. For Republicans, it is also the handwriting on the wall.

It never ceases to amaze me how the least influential, but most reliable factions in the GOP are so readily blamed for what is wrong with that party. I am trying to think of some comparable example on the other side. It would be something like blaming the travails of the Democratic Party in 2002 on antiwar progressives or civil libertarians, groups that clearly had little or no pull with party leaders at the time and haven’t had nearly as much since then as you might suppose they would. Despite their numbers, and in large part because of their reliability as Republican voters, evangelicals and social conservatives draw very little water in the GOP. Each cycle GOP leaders see how little it will take to get these voters to turn out for their candidates, and what that amount of lip service is each cycle they try to reduce it. The voters continue to turn out, despite having less and less reason to do so, and for their trouble they are accused of the errors that the party leaders made and into which the establishment dragged them.

James Dobson and his far-right Focus on the Family empire invested $539,000 in cash and another $83,000 worth of non-monetary support into making sure same-sex couples in California can't get married. The efforts, at least in the short term, paid off, and the infamous Prop. 8 narrowly won at the ballot box.

It was, however, a pyrrhic victory. Dobson's group was spending money it could ill afford to lose.


As is customary on election night, Republican presidential nominee John McCain called his rival, Barack Obama, to concede defeat and graciously wish the Illinois Democrat well as he prepares to move into the White House in January. The Arizona lawmaker then delivered that same message to disappointed supporters gathered in Phoenix and on national television.

Now, two weeks later, it's time for Mr. McCain to make a second concession speech — this one to his fellow Senate Republicans, when they gather Tuesday [Nov. 18] to organize their conference for the 111th Congress — conceding that he ran the most incompetent campaign in memory, apologizing for it and urging that the party's 2012 nominee not to make the same mistakes if the GOP is to have any hope of wresting back the White House four years from now.


The air-tight campaign of Barack Obama has turned into the leak-a-minute transition of president-Elect Obama. Floating names is obviously important but, if things don’t work out, it can make Obama's team look sloppy. Is that what's about to happen with the whole Hillary Clinton at State scenario?

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said he misspoke when he stated in The Journal News that President George W. Bush watched "SportsCenter" at night in his residence instead of reading his briefings for the next day. Fleischer wanted to clarify that Bush did read his briefings while watching "SportsCenter."


Cartoon by Glenn McCoy/Universal Press Syndicate

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