Well, it wasn’t even close. John McCain not only lost all the states he was supposed to, he lost states that GWB won in both 2000 and 2004. I switched the TV to a movie around 21:00; about the time that Fox News called Ohio for Obama. At that point I knew McCain was done since Obama was at 207 electoral votes without California. I was dismayed this morning when I discovered that McCain couldn’t even hold Florida, Virginia, Indiana, New Mexico, or Colorado. Basically, this was an old-fashioned whupping.
I’ve read several articles (here, here and here) today that essentially say the first thing I was thinking this morning: probably the best thing that Conservatives can hope for is that Obama the president will govern more like his general election rhetoric (center) and not like his voting record (far left). Even though the election didn’t go Conservatives’ way, things aren’t as bad as they may seem today. And it’s a good thing that America has finally elected its first black president. We’ve come a long way from the racial rancor of the 50’s and 60’s to now.
It appears that even though we’ve been told by both sides that this is the “Most Important Election In Our Lifetimes”that turnout was a little less than the 2004 election. So I guess not that many people cared about making history by voting for either the first black president or the first woman vice president. It also appears that we’ll have to wait until next election for the mythic “Youth Vote” to show up en masse. Yes even though Obama galvanized and energized all those youth, it turns out that they still couldn’t put down their bongs and bags of Cheetos long enough to get off their asses and vote (early numbers show 18-29 year-olds constituted about 18% of the total as opposed to 17% in 2004).
A friend of mine and I were talking about what happened and I think it was this: McCain just couldn’t outrun all the times he’s crapped on the Republican party. I think that the base just didn’t turn up to vote for him. He fired up Republicans with the Palin pick but then soured things by botching her roll-out. In the end, I think too many Republicans saw him as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) and just decided to stay home.
I guess we’ll see how things play out over the next four years. The Democrats didn’t get to the filibuster-proof 60 seats in the senate, so they won’t necessarily be able to ram anything they want through congress.
My hope is that Obama decides to govern with all Americans in mind. That he moves to the center and doesn’t just rubber stamp everything Pelosi and Reid send his way.
Here’s to “Hope”
In many respects this election is a lose-lose proposition for true conservatives. If Obama wins (and that is highly likely) he’ll have a democratic held House and Senate and together they will tag-team the American people, taxing and spending as if there’s no tomorrow. It’s a scenario that is basically a conservative’s nightmare that I think will make us think fondly of the Carter years.
But what if McCain wins? I think there are only a few things that conservatives can look forward to in a McCain administration. One, he will prosecute the War on Terror effectively and can be trusted to do what’s right when it comes to Iran and an increasingly aggressive Russia. Two, he will probably try to be fiscally conservative. He’s promised to work to extend the Bush tax cuts and has promised to veto any bill with pork in it as well as cut federal spending. But these things will be hard to do with a Congress controlled by democrats. Plus he has a tendency to shoot from the hip and jump up on moral high horses as demonstrated by his latest proposal of $300 billion in federal spending to buy up bad mortgages and renegotiate them. So as long as it’s a noble cause (in his eyes) he doesn’t appear to mind putting your tax dollars to work.Three, he says that he will nominate Supreme Court judges in the mold of Alito and Roberts. That would be great as both of the oldest justices that are likely to retire in the next four years are on the liberal side of the court. But many conservatives question whether or not McCain would actually nominate judges like Roberts and Alito. Both have already dealt blows to McCains’ signature legislation, the McCain-Feingold Act. Many conservatives loathe this legislation and view it as a clear infringement on the free speech rights protected by the First Amendment. So the questions is: will McCain nominate someone he knows would be hostile to his baby? So even two of the three things that conservatives can feel good about McCain are shaky prospects at best. And once you set those issues aside, you have all of the issues that McCain “reaches across the aisle” for. The aforementioned McCain-Feingold, Climate Change (not much different from Obama on this), his rampant populism (oil companies, Wall Street, CEOs – all bad). These are all things that concerned conservatives about McCain during the primaries. But then he won the nomination and threw conservatives a bone with Palin and we all went giddy and weak in the knees over her. I know that he nominated Palin to “solidify the base” so that he could move to the center during the general election. I know that allows him to appeal to independents and that they might put him over the top. I know that’s a good campaign strategy. It’s just that the more I see of McCain, whether it’s in the debates or on the stump the more queasy I feel.
For the past few weeks the MSM (mainstream media) has been having a hate-fest over Sarah Palin. And now some Republicans are getting in on the action. Kathleen Parker, a conservative columnist, published a column that calls for Palin to step down as VP candidate. The column is a little on the condescending side (especially the bit about her using spending more time with her newborn as an excuse for it) which is unusual for Parker. But really it’s just unhelpful and pointless. At this point in the game, regardless of what you think of Palin (and I think most Republicans are still stoked about her, which is why she was brought on in the first place – to solidify the conservative base so tha McCain could move to the center to pick up Independent voters), it would be disastrous to the ticket to have to pick a new VP candidate. I mean, you would be handing the election to Obama on a silver platter if that happened.
Now I will admit that I was disappointed with Sarah’s performance in the Couric interview. Katie wasn’t as much of an ass as Charlie Gibson was, but she did ask a few unfair questions. Why should Palin have to be able to name all of McCain’s reform legislation? Isn’t that really a question for John McCain? But Sarah seemed really off balance the whole interview and didn’t give good answers to the fair questions. It almost seems like the McCain campain is trying to coach her into being someone she is not. It’s like she’s working off of a script that she’s had to memorize at the last minute. With the Gibson interview, she at least gave as good as she got. I really wish the campaign would just let her get out there and let her be herself. I saw a little story here where Romney was talking about the situation and I think he hit the nail on the head. McCain didn’t bring Palin on for her foreign policy experience, he’s the expert in this election on the subject. I’ll just quote Romney here since he says it best:
“She was selected because she’s a maverick. She’s a person who identified with people in homes across America…She’s an executive and a governor, and that brings a lot to John McCain’s ticket.”
The average American strongly identifies with Sarah Palin. She’s like the old Chevy slogan, “baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Chevrolet”. If Norman Rockwell were alive today, he would paint Sarah Palin. I saw this morning that even Bill Clinton understands her appeal and admits that he likes her (although I imagine her appeal to him is more prurient than for others). So let’s not have anymore nonsense about Palin stepping down from the right side of the aisle.
And to the McCain campaign: Let the pitbull off the leash!