November 9, 2006

A few thoughts and observations on “The Day After”…

* As much as I hate to say it, the blunt reality is that President Bush’s presidency is finished. He’s now the lamest of lame ducks, and all he can do now is attempt to work with the Democrats on their agenda and exercise his veto pen when necessary, hoping that enough Republicans and conservative Democrats will provide enough cover to prevent an overridde.

* As the days go forward and the shock wears off, I think you’ll see both Republicans and the conservative base, feeling betrayed by the White House for not…

a) Vetoing some spending legislation during the summer to show his conservative base his concern over the Republicans’ reckless spending;
b) Doing a better job of promoting the economy’s success;
c) Not pushing back hard on Democrats when they stalled his appointments and judicial nominations;
d) Ditching Donald Rumsfeld in the summer or early fall in the face of mounting base unease over the course of things in Iraq;

…will turn on him and desert him, concentrating their attention and efforts on revamping the GOP’s congressional leadership and retooling its message and commitment around their 1994 “Contract with America” reforms. I’m afraid the President is going to find himself a lonely figure over the next two years, but the unfortunate truth is that the White House brought a lot of this upon itself.

(BTW, the Prez ain’t doing nobody – especially conservatives – any favors by expressing his willingness today to work with Democrats to increase the federal minimum wage. As one local businessman I know put it: “Sure, let’s mandate a raise so companies will hire cheaper illegals rather than legals.” This makes NO sense to me whatsoever.)

* Expect Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s resignation to be the first of many. There are whispers that House Speaker Dennis Hastert may be next, and the next several weeks will likely find the exits from both the White House and the Pentagon looking like that “assume crash positions!” scene in the movie “Airplane!”.

(Which, BTW, is the way it oughta be. Elections, after all, should have consequences.)

* But not everyone is crying in their beer tonight. Conservative talk icon Rush Limbaugh, for one, feels liberated:

The way I feel is this: I feel liberated, and I’m going to tell you as plainly as I can why. I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don’t think deserve having their water carried. Now, you might say, “Well, why have you been doing it?” Because the stakes are high. Even though the Republican Party let us down, to me they represent a far better future for my beliefs and therefore the country’s than the Democrat Party and liberalism does.

…Those beliefs drive me, and I believe that we are the good guys, and when the people on my side, the good guys, don’t have the guts to defend themselves as strongly as I’m willing to defend them, then you get to the point where, what’s the point? I’m not running in their races. I’m not asking for votes. I’m not on the ballots. I’m not getting their votes. That is up to them. All I’m saying is it’s a little liberating now, once I see the direction we’re headed and I look at the reaction to everybody in our movement after this loss.

(Hat tip: Drudge)

* Polipundit has a list of positive things to take away from Tuesday, not the least being the number of the ballot measures that went conservatives’ way across the nation.

* And the last word goes to Dean Barnett of Hugh Hewitt, who really hits the nail on the head with this post:

…Most importantly, we didn’t lose because our countrymen suddenly misplaced the virtues that make America great. It is a distinctly liberal trait to blame “the people” when they don’t vote as one would dictate. I’ll brook none of that from our side. The fact is, we thought our country would be better off with a Republican congress. We made a case to the American people. They didn’t buy it because they thought it was a weak case.

And you know what? They were right. In the closing weeks of the campaign season, I felt like I was a lawyer who had a bad client while writing this blog. That client was the Republican Party which had broken its Contract with America from 1994 and had become unmoored from its conservative principles. As its advocate, I couldn’t make a more compelling case for Republicans staying in power than the fact that the Democrats would be worse. I believed in that case, but when that’s all the party gave its advocates to work with, you can honestly conclude that Republicans got this drubbing the old fashioned way – we earned it.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks, Dean. The next several months oughta be VERY interesting, indeed. 2008 is just around the corner, and the stakes will be even higher then than they were this year.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:18 | Comments Off on Election Post-Mortem
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