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One common theme woven throughout right-wing blog comments about the McCain-Palin campaign was that McCain just never got tough enough with his opponent, President-elect Barack Obama. Our good friend Ben Keeler at Ohio Politics Blog commented that McCain's debate performances never focused enough on abortion, gay bashing, stem cells, and immigration. Neanderthals like Pat Buchanan and Bill Bennett often scolded McCain for not using the Rev Wright as a hammer against Obama. Conservative commenters everywhere ripped the main media for not telling American voters enough about all of Obama's alleged evil connections and associations. As openly biased for the GOP as FOX News was, even they were not enough for those in the conservative camp whose answer to all challenges is always an escalation of divisive and dirty politics.
What will the Republican Party do now? Is their future to be found in an even more virulent strain of divisiveness and intolerance....or....will the GOP reform itself, acknowledge where it failed, and seek to create a more moderate, more inclusive political party?
This from October 28th....
In skirmishes around the country in recent months, evangelicals and others who believe Republicans have been too timid in fighting abortion, gay marriage and illegal immigration have won election to the party's national committee, in preparation for a fight over the direction and leadership of the party.
One gathering, in Myrtle Beach, S.C., will be hosted by South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson. In an interview, Dawson said that "moderating our party is what caused us to lose power" in the 2006 elections. He said the party must speak more forcefully against excessive government spending and illegal immigration. Link
Steve Benen at Washington Monthly says there is a rumor that Dawson "wants the job" of Chairman of the RNC, and is "considered a leading contender".
Maybe Dawson wins control, maybe not.
Consider, however, what South Carolina's Dawson said...."moderating our party is what caused us to lose power." Dawson, somehow, believes that the last number of years of GOP control was actually a "moderating" of the Republican Party. I dare not ask what extremism would look like then.
Americans were nauseated not by moderate conservative attempts to lead the country. Quite the contrary. We were turned off, for example, by the ugly, fanatical and hateful invasion of privacy witnessed in the Terri Schiavo event. The frenzied and intentional attempt in the Schiavo intervention by Republicans, including the Republican President, to divide the nation into two camps, either for or against "life", was an unforgivable example of radical extremism "going all rogue."
Another example is the hateful, bitterness exhibited during the aftermath of Katrina towards the poor, towards blacks, towards the vulnerable....yet another example of the GOP not giving in to moderation. Boldly, folks like Rush Limbaugh and FOX pointed their fingers at the victims. A Republican administration got tough with New Orleans survivors and let them fend for themselves as the nation watched.
Bashing gays during W.'s reign was not an example of moderation. Instead, fanatically divisive conservatives in Congress sought to amend the Constitution, seeking to forever enshrine intolerance and rejection of human rights into our founding document. Conservatives were being tough, fanatically and divisively tough, not moderate.
The most egregious example of what South Carolina's Katon Dawson (what the hell kind of first name is Katon, anyway?) says was being too moderate in the GOP's approach, was the inexplicable hatred demonstrated by the extreme-right during the immigration bill discussion. "Amnesty" was screeched from the far-right's rooftops.....the "illegals" were going to take over the country, force us all to speak Spanish and turn all of our skin hues darker. How all that was too moderate by the crazy right is...umm...beyond me. What it caused was an avalanche of Latino votes for Barack Obama and the Democrats this past Tuesday. Dawson wants the GOP to take the gloves off and get even tougher.
Roy Blunt (R-MO) stepped down yesterday as the GOP's 2nd man in the House. John
To The Reverend, the landslide win by Obama Tuesday night was anti-climactic. I knew he would win and that he probably would win big. Because I believed that, my excitement level Tuesday night stayed relatively even. What will happen now, after Obama's win, is where I'm going to find continued personal satisfaction, bordering I must admit on glee. Observing the cannibalization that has already started inside the most extreme political party that I've ever seen, is the new gift that will simply keep on giving.
At The Revernd's house, Christmas has come early.