Friday, November 7, 2008

Thoughts on the election

I wish President Obama well. I honestly do. It is imperative that he learn some quick lessons and get his handle on the job as soon as possible.

If you look at the WI map, McCain was crushed here. He barely won Walworth county, which having gone for Bush 60%-40% in 2004, is simply stunning. But at that point, there was nothing any campaign could really have done. Campaigns can't move the nation on their own, when its mindset is already determined. Change.

This is worse on the state level for Republicans than 2006, but on the national level 2006 was worse. With a few new GOP Govs across the state, and holding on to give the Dems only a 54-seat Senate majority, we'll look ahead to a new leader.

Four years ago the Democrats felt as we did, after re-electing Bush and making congressional gains. And they chose a 4-year state senator to lead them out... anything can happen.

Chatting with a Dem operative from the 70's and 80's, he mentioned that Obama's election is very reminiscent of the Carter election in '76. Following the Nixon years, an embarrassing scandal under a Republican, and impeachment, Americans were looking for something else - no matter the package. They saw in Carter whatever they wanted to see and made him their leader. Perhaps that is what they see in Obama. To me, this election was more a referendum on Bush and his last 4 years (if not more) than it was an election for Obama.

I do not want to discredit the Obama camp or the man himself for achieving a movement and a pro-Obama vote. He did. But now comes the hard part.

Obama appears to have a socialist mandate and now, a full Democrat congress backing. He will have to exercise discipline on Congress. I hope he leaves the 2011 Iraq timeline alone. I hope he's smart enough not to push through a socialist agenda, though Americans seem to be ready for it so what's stopping him? But Obama is even more of a political animal than Clinton was. He gave up most of his votes to the older Liberal establishment. My real fear is that he doesn't really have a plan...

Final thought: It wasn't the McCain campaign. McCain was the underdog from the start. Even after the surge in September, the shock of the economic turmoil was too much to bear. Seen as a problem under a Republican President watching a failing economy, during a time of an unwanted war (to some)- are only issues at the tip of the iceberg.

I do feel McCain was the only one who could have been taken seriously and give Obama even the smallest run for his money. As a "maverick" type, he bucked the system which people respect. He swayed more moderates and likely expanded the outreach of the GOP in directions it could not have gone under a Romney or a Huckabee, of that I have no doubt. America was not looking for a Bush, Jr., no matter how many times we could argue McCain is a leader, an individual, a separate thinker. He is a courageous hero, a class act, and a man of integrity. McCain staffers should be proud to have worked for the man, despite the campaign's outcome.

Perhaps we'll have 8 years, and Obama will get lucky and ride the wave of our economic rebound that is bound to happen. Perhaps the GOP will find its way back to the Reagan Conservative years and make Obama a one-termer like Carter. I only think we can't "wait to see." We must start now.


Anonymous said...

Of course it was the McCain campaign. The worst thing that Republicans can do is to say to themselves, "It's not our fault, we couldn't win no matter what we did."


They actively lost this election by not putting forth a coherent small government strategy for the economy, or energy.

People hate government. Why do you think Congressional approval ratings are at all time lows? And yet both candidates continue to push for those solutions.

McCain stressed "change and reform" by making government bigger, but somehow better. Why not vote for Obama then, since he seemed more like the genuine article in that regard? McCain looked like Obama lite.

Republicans need to realize that they didn't "not win"... they LOST.

lms said...

Nick, you're a sore-ass winner.

McCain and Palin wanted to revert back to the smaller government. They acknowledged how out-of-control spending became.

You honestly believe that "putting forth a coherent small government strategy for the economy," a) wasn't TRIED and b)would have actually been heard through all the chanting of "HOPE" and "YES WE CAN!" ????

In NO WAY did McCain advocate for bigger government. His campaign held down the ideals of personal responsibility in your own health care, holding the line on the war on terror which is too crucial to "lose," getting more money back in our pockets, working on energy independence, and so forth.

They lost and they know it. But it wasn't their fault as individual staff- it was the direction the nation was going to go no matter their efforts.

Bring it.

Nick said...

Held the line on bigger government? Did you type that with a straight face?

Let's see. First there was more government intervention with campaign finance control, which McCain never apologized for.

Then there was McCain's housing plan, which would involve the gov't buying up people's mortgages, forcing the terms of the PRINCIPLE to be reduced, having taxpayers eat the cost, and then allowing bad borrowers to reap the benefits.

Then there was "energy independence", which is a myth by the way, by having the GOVERNMENT determine the best alternative energy source and then somehow gifting that on private industry to make happen (that's from one of the debates). Didn't work under Carter with SynthFuel... wouldn't have worked under McCain.

Of course, throughout the whole thing was McCain's continued talk about how he was able to reach across the isle with Russ Feingold and Ted Kennedy, two of the most liberal Senators around. I'm sure that would result in small gov't as well.

As for being a sore winner... I didn't win. We all lost no matter who won on Tuesday. I voted for Bob Barr. He actually put forth a platform of real small government.