October 13, 2008

What Do We Do If We Lose?

What then?

More from Ron Coleman at Right Wing News

The Slow Dawning

Kids come back. Upsets happen. Truman beats Dewey. Never say never.

But let's just say we don't pull this one out. Panic aside, let's start thinking hard and smart -- not just hard, or hard and angry . . . about what at least two years in total opposition mode could look like.

Will we push for the institutional changes within the GOP, and demand new kinds of accountability, such as are appropriate in light of the massive and largely preventable reversal of fortunes that has occurred over the last six years?

Will we utilize new media intelligently to overcome, and perhaps bury, the inexcusable bias of the mainstream media against our candidates, our parties, our issues ... us?

Will we find a way to be aggressive, even combative in opposition, without being nutty... antidemocratic... or tolerant of the racism that will rear its head?

Will we find a way to do that without being enemies of our own representative government, which under the Constitution is still every bit ours regardless of who controls it?

Every political exile nurtures a potential political rebirth. Our side, and especially its leadership, has much to learn -- or, if we will say it has been learned, much to prove.

A lot of trust has been squandered by the Republican Party. In both houses of Congress the GOP has been involved, and disproportionately, in a shameful quantum of scandal, much of it epitomizing moral hypocrisy of the grossest kind.

They mainly chose mediocrities as leaders. Republicans in both houses, too, spent money both in and out of the majority like drunken sailors. Given a period of unprecedented control of both the executive and legislative branches, instead of revolutionizing government, the GOP smothered their own revolution.

The White House exercised zero leadership on this score. Given rebirth after the 2004 success, the Bush Administration still utterly failed to inspire or lead. It made no effort to discipline Congress's spending. It failed miserably at making the case on Iraq when at the critical political juncture at which it should have been made. Its routine appointment and nomination of marginally qualified insiders and operatives to important posts became a deep embarrassment for principled conservatives and removed a potent political weapon from our own arsenal for the foreseeable future.

Now, the winter for Republicans. [Editor's note: Maybe.] What will opposition look like? Who is the Newt Gingrich who will engineer the next return from Elba? And is there anyone who can make it stick this time?

"Make it stick?" No, we don't have that style of leadership: we just swing like a pedulum from better to worse until the end of days. Was it a "King" that you wanted, Mr. Coleman? ;)

Well, of course the first thing I'd do is talk to Newt Gingrich about how to create a political insurgency—how to become that thing all majority parties need: a loyal opposition. And how, this time, he might know how to keep the momentum up just a bit longer.

And, no: I shan't take my eyes off Sarah Palin. Nor off of Fred Thompson's PAC, which will doubtless be looking at matters behind the scenes. And we will have to go back over the record of each and every legislator to examine how he/she treats energy and economic issues, as well as his/her thoughts about "FoPo" and the War on Terror. That will tell us a lot.

And I would get ready for the 2012 scrum, which will almost certainly include our girls in the primary--joined, perhaps, by Governor Jindal, who may or may not feel like his work is complete in Louisiana by then.

(Ron Coleman is generally more upbeat at his blog, Likelihood of Success.)

Posted by Attila Girl at October 13, 2008 02:21 AM | TrackBack

I'd say that regardless of the outcome next month we need a revisioning of our party.

Posted by: Cowboy at October 14, 2008 01:39 AM

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

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