Thursday, February 02, 2006

Re: "Red-State Democrats Want Off the Howard Dean Bus"

First, John McIntyre and the other folks at RealClearPolitics.com have done a service to political junkies by providing a website that collects election news and polling numbers. The major problem that I have with McIntyre and his ilk, however, is that only conservative opinions are included for the most part, and the articles posted skew nearly 3-1 in favor of conservative writers over progressive or moderate ones. This is his prerogative, however, even though his version of right-wing politics is at the fringe of American political thinking; most Americans are moderates and not nearly as far to the right as McIntyre et al.

Today's article by McIntyre is titled "Red State Democrats Want Off the Howard Dean Bus," yet it really isn't about Dr. Dean and instead focuses on Alito's volatile confirmation and the rebirth of neoconservatism that it supposedly entails. He is right, however, when he says that Dems can't win running on the Alito issue; what he fails to note, however, is that neither will the Republicans, and the Alito confirmation was less about substance and loss of civil rights (what it should have been) and more about posturing, evasion, and false drama (a "devoted" wife's tears!). I can tell you that any political observer besides McIntyre would be arguing that more Republicans want off the George W. Bush bus than vice versa for Dean and the Democrats; in N.J., for example, don't expect Mr. Bush to make an appearance to conservative-cum-moderate Tom Kean, nor will he most likely make any appearance in the northeast for any candidates.

Further, as we watch the end of neoconservatism as a movement, one comes to a different conclusion about real, palpable Republican weaknesses than McIntyre suggests. McIntyre suggests that Republicans merely need to "hav[e] the courage or the fortitude to act like conservatives" when we know that this gameplan will result in a netloss for Republicans in both the House and Senate. For Republicans merely to stop the bleeding -- and bleeding there will be in '06, according to most political pundits, including Larry Sabato -- they will need to distance themselves from the corrupt members at the head of the party, the inept leadership of the Bush administration, and the failures of post-war Iraq. This is a hard thing to accomplish, however, for a party that has acted as a lapdog for the first four years of Bush, and the 2006 elections couldn't come any faster for this optimistic Democrat.



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