Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

A Very Sobering Study

...one by the WALL STREET JOURNAL/NBC NEWS. It shows the huge advantage the Democrats now hold over the Republicans in public opinion, the negative orientation of voters in general, and almost incredibly pervasive contempt for the president and his poicies. Good news: Both Clintons have very high negatives, and McCain remains competitive with both Hillary and Obama. Mac, unlike anything or anybody else Republican, is viewed more positively and negatively.
This study confirms the view that Mac is probably the Republicans strongest possible candidate, precisely because he has distanced himself from both the president and the party establishment. A majority of Republicans, though, do wish that somebody else was going to be their party’s nominee.

Discussions - 11 Comments

Back when the Democrats took both houses in 2006 I wrote here and elsewhere the majority would be "permanent" -- meaning, a dozen years or more.

This country was only nominally Republican during the very best of the Republican majority. That was before the Republicans squandered their advantage in a way that may go down in history as a classic case study in how not to behave as a national party.

Conservatives ought to reconcile themselves with a further entrenchment of liberal policies. There's very little prospect in the next decade or more of any kind of turnaround.

precisely because he has distanced himself from both the president

Say what? On the big issues you can't see daylight between mcCain and Bush. Where does this notion that McCain is "distanced" from Bush come from? McCain, if elected, will be Bush's third term, for better and for worse.

I wrote on another thread about a few Democrats I know pretty well who were going to be fairly enthusiastic Hillary voters until the primaries began to expose some things. As momentum shifted to Obama, one of them was dead-set against him. The other two were open to it and reserving judgment--but certainly leaning away from him and more toward McCain. Then came Rev. Wright and GD America. Now Obama is toast. He can't do or say anything to win them over. He can't even say GD Rev. Wright to win them over. That was all they had to hear.

But let's say that Hillary won the nomination by way of superdelegates and rule changes. Would they come away from McCain then? I've asked and they've said "no." They liked Hillary primarily because she reminded them of Bill. But the primaries have exposed her to be pathetic. They just think she's too second rate now. They no longer take her seriously because they can't believe she's losing to Obama. McCain looks very good to them by way of contrast.

Now, of course, this may mean that McCain is just a better Democrat than Hillary or Obama in their eyes. And I'm sure there are some among our numbers here (at least in the comment section) who heartily agree with their assessment. But it can't be a bad thing if there is a huge chunk of the Democrats who think John McCain is more representative of the kind of Democratic politics they want to see than either of their two (far out of the mainstream) alternatives. Perhaps McCain's nomination means that the GOP is in some kind of internal struggle and that the conservative movement is conflicted in some important ways. But McCain's rise probably also means that the country (which, in the end, is the thing I care most about) is much healthier than one might have guessed a month or two ago judging by the politics of the Democrats. Whether these healthy Americans are correct in their assessment of where our politics ought to go or whether their guy will take it in that direction remains to be seen . . . but it's good to know that common sense has not been abandoned. I'm glad to see that the GD America comment had such a negative impact on Obama (whether all of it was deserved is beside the point) and I'm glad to see that skepticism about Hillary is now re-born. I think with Obama, the Dems have over-played their hand. With Hillary, they've shown their cards. They've got no ace in the whole . . . unless his name is Joe Lieberman. And, oh yeah, they kicked him to the curb and he's with us this time. I think there are a lot of Joe Liebermans out there in the electorate and, while I don't want to change our party to fit their agenda, I think we ought to welcome them to spend the night and try to persuade them to stay for the best of reasons (i.e., that they've changed their minds about some other things too).

Conservatives should cheer up, though. Their house is dirty and they need to clean it. The good news is that once they finish their domestic work, the party outside is much more interesting and open to entertaining them than they believed it to be a few months ago. But they will have to come dressed to impress this time, bring along some sparkling conversation and leave their dour and sour old aunt at home. She'll be fine there and she'll stay put. She hasn't got anywhere else to go. There really are worse things in this world than a McCain presidency or even another term of Bush, John.

The hell of it is, the choice you offer to cheer us up is between bad and worse. "What cheer?" we have to ask as we run ourselves aground.

All McCain needs to do to win is follow the strategy of that brilliant fellow Al Gore....and select Joe Lieberman as his running mate. Think of the savings not having to reprint half of the old "Gore/Lieberman" bumper stickers...Of course, in Iran the old bumper stickers may work just fine...unretouched.

it can't be a bad thing if there is a huge chunk of the Democrats who think John McCain is more representative of the kind of Democratic politics they want to see than either of their two (far out of the mainstream) alternatives


Well, not if you are a Democrat, I suppose. If you're a Republican it's hard to escape the conclusion that both parties are now run by Democrats.

There really are worse things in this world than a McCain presidency or even another term of Bush, John.

Sure there are. And there are worse things in the world than a Clinton or Obama or Gore presidency. Heck, at least Pol Pot won't be our next President! Is there supposed to be a thought lurking in there somewhere, Julie?

Talk about defining conservatism down ....

John: Is it a better or a worse thing to live in a country where 50% of the people think like Hillary or Obama? I like our long-run odds better if there's only 20-30% of them thinking that way or even just believing they think that way. If you ever want to see conservatives triumph, they're going to have to persuade some folks. Right now the Dems are doing a better job of persuading them in our direction (by scaring them) than we seem to do by inviting them. If it were up to you, perhaps we'd build a fence around the party and kick out all the unsavory elements (such as the "untrue" conservatives like me). The time for the hissy fit is over. Call me crazy . . . I think we've got a better shot at persuading people to a more rational politics if the folks we're trying to persuade can be demonstrated NOT to have abandoned all reason.

Propaganda can accomplish a lot. Propaganda supported by decades of liberal indoctrination via the media, the entertainment empire, and the educational establishment can accomplish even more. Propaganda sluggishly and ineffectively answered by country-club Republicans (both moderate and conservative), from the president on down, when supported by the aforementioned decades of indoctrination, is almost impossible to beat once it sets in. "They" have done a real job on this good man. It's really rather frightening. McCain has serious problems as a candidate, but I think the GOP has done well to nominate a man who swing voters understand to be highly independent from President Bush.

If you ever want to see conservatives triumph, they're going to have to persuade some folks.

Given that conservatives are demonized by the Republican leadership, never mind the Democrats, I think I can safely predict that the only "persuading" coming from the GOP will be in the liberal direction.

That's certainly been the pattern for most of the past sixty years. The big shift to the left in this country has been brought to you by the Republican party, more often than not.

The time for the hissy fit is over.

Ah, fuck off. Learn to talk to people as if you are an adult speaking to another adult, not a mom talking to her kids. Your kids have to put up with you. I, on the other hand ...


Call me crazy .

You don't have to twist my arm. You were the person here pining for Rudy Giuliani, as if McCain was not liberal enough for you!

The whole Ashbrook crowd is "conservative" only by comparision to their Marxist fellow academics.


If it were up to you, perhaps we'd build a fence around the party and kick out all the unsavory elements (such as the "untrue" conservatives like me

I can't help but notice that people like you have driven the party, and the country, into the ditch. America does not need one progressive party, let alone two. Meanwhile the Democrats maintain rigid ideological purity, and they keep growing. Empirically speaking, which of these looks like the most effective approach?


Conservatism is not what's hurt the GOP. Bush has governed like LBJ. Yet I constantly hear this idiotic refrain about how conservatives need to shut up, sit down, and take a back seat this hear. (As opposed to which other year?)


We have a Hugo Chavez figure in Obama, and a man who makes Bill Clinton look good in McCain. If you're not alarmed by now you must be comatose.

Many cheap shots there, John. To say that McCain "makes Bill Clinton look good" is just the icing on the cake. But it's very revealing of your intellectual level, or of the extent to which your anger has overwhelmed your judgment.

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