Losing with Dignity and Ten Silver Linings
By Chuck Muth
The McCain campaign isn’t – as the Obama campaign likes to claim – Bush II. It’s more like Dole II.
There was no passion for or from Republican presidential nominee Sen. Bob Dole in the waning days of his1996 campaign. No energy. No excitement. No…nothing. And down the stretch, when the electoral writing appeared to be on the wall, Sen. Bob Dole decided to lose with dignity rather than throw the kitchen sink into the final days of the campaign hoping that something, anything, might stick and pull out a win. It’s déjà vu all over again in 2008.
This is what happens to Republicans when they nominate someone simply because it’s “their turn.”
This is what happens when Republicans nominate someone who isn’t a solid philosophical conservative.
This is what happens when conservatives allow themselves to be divided and conquered in the primaries and don’t unite behind a single, electable conservative candidate early on.
And this is what happens when Republicans allow non-Republicans to vote in Republican primary elections to select their Republican nominee.
The Fat Lady isn’t singing yet, but she’s clearing her throat. If McCain doesn’t pull off a “game changing” performance at Wednesday night’s final debate, Big Mo’ will continue to build – not just for Obama, but for Democrats up and down the ticket. And Republicans will not just suffer an historical loss on November 4th; they’ll suffer an historical landslide loss on November 4th.
There are, however and fortunately, some silver linings to the quite possible McCain loss next month – or at least some mitigating circumstances which won’t make the Obama presidency quite so difficult for conservatives to swallow. Here are ten of them…
1.) Race-hustlers such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will no longer be able to credibly call America a racist nation since it will have elected a black president.
2.) George W. Bush will be gone. With few exceptions, he’s been a disaster for the county, the GOP, and the conservative movement. Conservatives will no longer feel compelled to defend his big-government “compassionate conservatism” just because the president is “their guy.”
3.) Cleaning up the mess in Iraq and Afghanistan will now be President Obama’s responsibility. B.O. promised to yank us out of Iraq if elected and focus on getting bin Laden in Afghanistan. He’s about to find out that the real world is a lot more complicated and difficult than he thought.
4.) Cleaning up the financial mess on Wall Street will now be President Obama’s responsibility. He’s sat on the sidelines and blamed this mess on Republicans, but has no more of an idea how to fix it than Bush or McCain does.
5.) With the economy in the toilet, there won’t be any money laying around for President Obama to spend on all kinds of new social welfare programs.
6.) Addressing the financial entitlement ticking time-bombs of Social Security and Medicare will now be President Obama’s responsibility. Good luck with that.
7.) The next two Supreme Court vacancies are likely to be two liberal justices, which means that while the court won’t move further to the right, it likely won’t move further to the left either. And President Obama isn’t likely to nominate Harriet Miers for any opening.
8.) Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will still have a bright conservative future. As vice-president under John McCain, Palin would have been put in the extremely difficult position of defending decidedly non-conservative McCain administration policies – such as the government buying up $300 billion worth of bad mortgages. In defeat, Palin will be able to get some more experience under her belt and truly “be all she can be” in the future.
9.) Republican and conservative grassroots activists, having finally hit rock bottom in 2008, will be more likely to toss out their old, tired, failed leaders and replace them with new, energetic conservative leaders in the House, the Senate and the Republican National Committee.
10.) It took Jimmy Carter to get us Ronald Reagan. Like Carter, Obama’s likely to screw things up over the next four years. His ideology is all wrong. He has no experience. B.O. will be Carter II. And then in 2012 the nation will have an opportunity to elect a solid conservative – someone like Gov. Sarah Palin, Gov. Mark Sanford, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Gov. Haley Barbour or even former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. That is, *if* Republicans don’t blow it again by nominating another Bush, Dole, Bush, McCain or Bush.
Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Outreach. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.