Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 6, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

McCAIN'S PROBLEM....Mark Steyn explains the reality on the ground to his fellow conservatives:

The real story of the night, when you look at their rallies and their turn-out numbers, is that the Dems have two strong candidates either of whom could lead a united party to victory. Forget the gaseous platitudes: in Dem terms, their choice on Super Duper Tuesday was deciding which candidate was Super Duper and which was merely Super. Over on the GOP side, it was a choice between Weak & Divisive or Weaker & Unacceptable. Doesn't bode well for November.

That's about the size of it. McCain may have won Super Tuesday, but Rush & Co. don't like him, the South pretty clearly thinks he's inadequate on the Bible-thumping front, and he continues to do weakly among self-described conservatives and catastrophically badly among those who say they're "very conservative." That's a bummer for Republicans, isn't it?

Kevin Drum 1:26 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (58)

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"That's a bummer for Republicans, isn't it?"
Boo hoo. The party of white men, bigots, and religious whackos.
--

Watched a split screen tonight. McCain and his stepford wife on the right. Obama and his wife on the left. No contest.
--

Summary:
Dem candidates... all of the above.
Rep candidates... none of the above.

Obama/Hillary, Hillary/Obama.. don't care. Just win baby. Jut win.

Posted by: Jay in Oregon on February 6, 2008 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

It sounds like a bummer Kevin, but having been burned in 2004, I think we should assume the conservatives will line up behind McCain to help him challenge the Dem nominee.

I wonder what happens if somehow Hillary and Obama form a joint ticket. Any thoughts on how that might play out?

Posted by: rational on February 6, 2008 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

Sucks to be them, eh?


BWA HA HA HHAA HA HHA A HHAAAA!!

Posted by: fourlegsgood on February 6, 2008 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

At length a universal hubbub wild
Of stunning sounds and voices all confused
Borne through the hollow dark assaults his ear
With loudest vehemence: thither he plies,
Undaunted to meet there what ever power
Or Spirit of the nethermost Abyss
Might in that noise reside, of whom to ask
Which way the nearest coast of darkness lies
Bordering on light; when straight behold the Throne
Of Chaos, and his dark Pavilion spread
Wide on the wasteful Deep; with him Enthron'd
Sat Sable-vested Night, eldest of things,
The Consort of his Reign; and by them stood
Orcus and Ades, and the dreaded name
Of Demogorgon; Rumor next and Chance,
And Tumult and Confusion all imbroild,
And Discord with a thousand various mouths.

Paradise Lost, II

Posted by: James R MacLean on February 6, 2008 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

The color-coded map at the washingtonpost.com is the most user-friendly way to see the state by state results.

Posted by: Rosali on February 6, 2008 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah Kev, but you forgot that Hillary is Satan and Obama supporters will vote for Nader/Bloomberg.

Posted by: Bush Lover on February 6, 2008 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

i don't know about that Kevin. just as easily it could be said that McCain doing well in Blue country is better for the thugs in the general, just as it could be said that Obama thumping in Red country is good sign in the general, and good down ticket. The wingnuts may not love him, but it they vote at all they vote for him over either Hill or Obama, Coulter's comments notwithstanding.

Posted by: trypticon on February 6, 2008 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

Wonder whether anyone sees how a Clinton Obama ticket may be a ticket to 16 years of Dems in the White House... he would be well positioned for the Dem nomination in 2016.

Posted by: bob on February 6, 2008 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

The WaPo's Robert Kaiser, from a chat Tuesday night: "Michael Dukakis was 18 points ahead of George H.W. Bush at the end of the Democratic convention in 1988. Remember President Dukakis?"

I agree that Republicans look like they have some pretty big problems for the general election, but it's silly to put too much stock in anything 9 months from the election.

For example, let's say there's a terrorist attack in October. You don't think that would McCain, no matter who the Democratic nominee is? There are many more mundane reasons too why this race could be closer than most people are guessing.

Posted by: Jason on February 6, 2008 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

I think its only bad news for them if you assume the only way they can win is following the Bush/Rove 2004 strategy of turning out the right's base more than the left turns out their base, and let the middle split.

But with the entire politic's center of gravity shifted to the left this year (as it was, slightly less so in 2000), it makes sense to run as a centrist Republican. I fear 2008 will just be 2000 all over again, and many left-leaning centrists (especially hawkish ones) will fall for it again.

I hope I'm wrong. And I think Obama can negate it by appearing equally centrist.

Posted by: JWill on February 6, 2008 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

This was the passage I was looking for: Milton makes an invidious comparison between the unity of Hell's devils (on the one hand) and the dissension of mankind on the other:

O shame to men! Devil with devil damned
Firm concord holds, men only disagree
Of Creatures rational, ...
Yet live in hatred, enmity, and strife
Among themselves, and levy cruel wars,
Wasting the Earth, each other to destroy:
As if (which might induce us to accord)
Man had not hellish foes enough besides,
That day and night for his destruction wait.

(Paradise Lost, I)

Posted by: James R MacLean on February 6, 2008 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

Do you really, really think that Conservatives hate McCain more than they hate Hillary?

I don't.

If the Dems nominate Hillary, McCain wins.

Posted by: DemsFlubItAgain on February 6, 2008 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

My point in the quotes from Milton, is that I don't think there is any significant dissension among Republicans anyway. Moloch (or Limbaugh) and Sin (excuse me, I meant Ann Coulter) profess to hate McCain because of McCain-Feingold: a minor headache to the Fox Empire, but otherwise not a serious difficulty for the far right. This presumptive breach in the ranks of Pandaemonium shall be repaired fast enough.

You know, "We have always been at war with Eurasia..."

Posted by: James R MacLean on February 6, 2008 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

Clinton a uniter? What are you people smoking out there in California?

Posted by: Richard on February 6, 2008 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

The man who has boasted he knows nothing about economics and wants to be in Iraq 100 years, and who, next to Leiberman, is the only living politician on the planet who wants to embrace and expand Bush's economic and foreign policy, can not appeal to independants. He can't inspire the base. He can't get GOP donors to open their pockets. He can't inspire the masses to open their pockets.

The fact that Republicans hate us does not scare me any more. They can't hate us any more than they have. They can't stoop any lower. They can't be more cynical. The media can't be any more in their pocket. What more can they do to us? They've given everything they've got, without restraint, limits, or a conscience, and we're still standing and stronger than ever.

Bring him on.

Posted by: Memekiller on February 6, 2008 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

Who gives a shit who the conservatives hate? They've just shown themselves to be irrelevant.

Posted by: Tom Ames on February 6, 2008 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

I think it's suddenly dawning on conservatives that maybe they don't have quite as much power within the Republican Party as they thought they did. They can hate McCain all they want, but he's still going to get the Republican nomination because moderate Republicans are finally waking up and taking back their party from the theocrats.

Posted by: mfw13 on February 6, 2008 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

DemsFlubItAgain: "Do you really, really think that Conservatives hate McCain more than they hate Hillary?"

That question is completely irrelevant, for the simple fact that people generally don't show up at the polls just to vote against somebody.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 6, 2008 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

I think the reality is the opposite of what Kevin has described and is quite simple: McCain will be the GOP nominee. Only Obama can defeat him. Hillary won't have a chance.

--Obama has shown he appeals to voters across all regions of the country, not just traditional democratic strongholds, which is where Clinton won on Super Tuesday.

--Obama appeals to independents, and will make a strong case for their votes. If Clinton is the nominee, they will vote for McCain, full stop.

--many within the democratic party will not vote democratic if Hillary is the nominee. I have not heard anyone say they will not vote democratic if Obama is the nominee.

So my call is this: while Hillary would defeat any GOP candidate not named McCain, only Obama has a chance to defeat McCain. The way things look now, Kevin, and every other Clinton supporter, have signed up with another loser.

Posted by: Prince Roy on February 6, 2008 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

Not a real strong analysis. I don't buy that the republicans have a weak candidate at all. A McCain/Huckabee or a McCain/Romney ticket looks pretty good when you are staring at Obama/dull Kansas nitwit or some other derivation. I also don't buy that the democrats have 2 strong candidates. Bum Phillips said it best when someone told him they had 2 great quarterbacks. He said get rid of both because if one ain't clearly better than the other than you've got nobody because there aren't that many good ones to go around. I think that applies here completely but there is a qualifier. We have 1 pretender candidate who has been propped up by the media, the establishment and the blogosphere and another oh, I forgot Oprah and the color of his skin and another candidate that is unfortunately apparently being held back strictly because of her gender and all the travails that go with being part of a group that is considered weaker, dumber, subservient, etc. It is almost as if we've regressed to a time not so long ago when women were considered second class citizens.

I also am concerned that many of Obama's victories come in states where as Karl Rove said the democrats have no chance of winning. These were also caucus states meaning that republicans could and did vote to skew the nomination process. I am also worried that the democratic turnout for many of these states greatly exceeded the republican turnout. Does that mean that republicans turned out en masse to vote for Obama? Does that mean in the general election these same republicans will abandon Obama and vote for McCain? I think so. If Obama is the candidate he will surely get trounced by an overwhelming margin and will gasp give McCain and Huck a mandate to continue with the Iraq war, to continue with the illegal signing statements, to continue disregarding the law, to continue sinking all our tax dollars for decades into the abyss of war and corruption.

But of course we could nominate Hillary who would give us a fighting chance and who would give us a chance at fixing our broken government, at ending the war, at prosecuting some of the criminals in the Bush administration. At least she is competent. Obama doesn't even come across as remotely competent. Every time I see the guy he comes across as smug, arrogant, petulant, and condescending. He even makes terrible speeches like the one he gave tonight. And he changes his mind depending on the audience. I don't even know who this guy really is. Is he liberal? Is he moderate? Is he conservative? Damned I couldn't tell you. I know he wanted to legalize drugs in 2004. Apparently, he came to his senses on that one. Are we sure? He wanted universal health insurance in '03, today he doesn't? What is his voting record like? Liberal. Great. Oh, wait a minute. He skips votes on issues that would mark him as a conservative or a liberal. All in all the guy just doesn't and has never taken a real stand on the important issues. He wants to be mary poppins or something. I think he is the worst candidate I've ever seen since Walter Mondale from the democrats and I've voted for Dukakas, Bill Clinton twice, Gore and Kerry.

Posted by: Gregoryp on February 6, 2008 at 2:23 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know about Hillary, but the small number of hard core Repubs that I know would rather vote for Obama than for McCain.

Posted by: gregor on February 6, 2008 at 2:29 AM | PERMALINK

Where did this idea come from that McCain/Huckabee would be formidable? Whhhaaaaah???

Look, Kansas went Democratic when the Huckabees took over. KANSAS. Republicans started switching parties to get away from them. Talk about neutralizing McCain's "independant" appeal.

I'm praying McCain chooses Huckabee.

Posted by: Memekiller on February 6, 2008 at 2:39 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary will wipe the floor with McCain. Even with rampant deranged Clinton syndrome, and even with skewed media coverage. She is an impressive candidate, and when she is put on stage with McCain in those debates with no filter or lens, it's going to be impossible to ignore. And I guarantee you that there are a lot of Republican women out there who don't think they're going to vote for Hillary, but they're going to vote for Hillary. Whether it's Obama or Clinton, they're going to be on night after night after night and held up against McCain, who, frankly, looks like he might not be alive in November. McCain is winning in states he has no chance of winning in November, and he's losing in the states that any Republican strategy is hinged on. Putting Huckabee on the ticket isn't enough for him to nail down everything he needs to nail down just to be competitive.

America is slow, but the Republican brand name is toxic at this point. The disparity in primary turnout isn't a fluke, and people who are staying home now aren't going to turn around and head to the polls in November to vote for McCain. The Democratic primary is the election, for all practical purposes.

Posted by: Sean on February 6, 2008 at 2:47 AM | PERMALINK

"That question is completely irrelevant, for the simple fact that people generally don't show up at the polls just to vote against somebody."
Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 6, 2008 at 2:16 AM

I'm sorry, but I cannot agree with this. I have seen many elections in your country and mine where many people turned out to vote solely to vote against someone. While I think the potential for this from HRC this year is significantly less than many of her critics/opponents for the nomination do I cannot ignore the reality that there are lots of people that vote solely to be against someone they dislike instead of supporting those they prefer. Indeed, a throw the bums out election is a classic example of a large amount of voters turning out to vote against someone and that is a common phenomena in all democratic societies.

Sorry Donald, on this one I think you are way off the mark.

Posted by: Scotian on February 6, 2008 at 3:49 AM | PERMALINK

Mark Steyn is so despicable. I hate the idea of anyone ever quoting such a scumbag.

Posted by: Anon on February 6, 2008 at 4:50 AM | PERMALINK

Scotian,

I'm afraid I'm with Donald on this one. People get plenty exercised about candidates they dislike, and if they're going to vote anyway, their decision may reflect a vote against a candidate they dislike as much as a vote for a candidate they support. But the fact of the matter is that most registered voters are not all that engaged, and those who lack enthusiasm for their own party's candidate are not all that likely to trek to the voting place and pull the lever for someone they don't particularly care for, simply to vote against someone they truly dislike. Jeez, look at GOP turnout in South Carolina -- it's an overwhelmingly conservative state, but more people voted in the Democratic primary because the republican voters simply didn't feel strongly enough about their candidates to go out and vote.

Posted by: keith on February 6, 2008 at 5:02 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder how well McCain does with the Navy? He killed more sailors in one day than the North Vietnamese did during the entire war.
I saw the movie constantly while in the Navy. USS Forrestall Fire.

Posted by: merlallen on February 6, 2008 at 5:31 AM | PERMALINK

The Dems have two strong candidates?

Maybe if "strong" means a smarmy dynast with negatives barely lower than Bush and Cheney. Despite their problems, the Republicans chose the one candidate with a realistic chance to beat a Dem, and the Dems are approaching the point of choosing a candidate with the best chance of losing to anybody.

Posted by: capitalistimperialistpig on February 6, 2008 at 7:12 AM | PERMALINK

Another problem:

McCain is too old and may not be able to serve as president for 4 years. What a sad way for Huckabee to take over along the way.

Posted by: slanted tom on February 6, 2008 at 7:37 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's real problem is that he is too old, just like Bob Dole. Pragmatic swing voters will simply not vote for someone that old. Babyboomers with older parents know how fast somebody over 70 can go downhill.

Posted by: jimbo on February 6, 2008 at 7:41 AM | PERMALINK

So, I guess we just a little closer to Coulter campaigning for Hillary against McCain. :)

Rush has a dilemma: Does he completely back up over his credibility among conservatives by taking back nearly 10 years of attacks on McCain by endorsing him? Or does he lose even more relevance among conservatives by not endorsing McCain in the general election?

It's one thing for squishy conservatives like Michael Medved and low brain waves conservatives like Mike Gallagher to say they're backing McCain.

But Rush's die hard and even casual listeners will know exactly what Rush is doing when he supports McCain for president. For Rush, McCain IS a liberal. He has hurt the Republican Party. So, for Republicans to run to his aid is wrong. There is no way for Rush to spin his support for a McCain presidency so that he doesn't completely undermine the reasoning behind his 10+ years of McCain attacks.

Either way, Rush becomes even less significant among conservatives, a Barry Manilow playing to a Foo Fighter crowd.

Posted by: tx bubba on February 6, 2008 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

It's obvious that conservatives won't vote Democratic, but if they're turned off by McCain it could negatively impact their turnout and fundraising. As tight as the last few elections have been, that could be signficant, not only for the presidential vote, but for state and congressional races.

Posted by: demisod on February 6, 2008 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

I think a lot of the flak aimed at McCain by big bore Republicans is an establishment attempt to produce a "new", popular (!), reformed and unified Republican party (and a faux "liberal" Republican candidate that draws Democrats)... from today's abysmally unpopular, ethically and philisophically handicapped, Republican party corpse.

Posted by: leo on February 6, 2008 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

Obama/Webb beats McCain/huckabee.

281 Dems in the house

62 Dems in the Senate

Posted by: Chief on February 6, 2008 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

(McCain runs) "catastrophically badly among those who say they're "very conservative." That's a bummer for Republicans, isn't it?"
Not really; those that remain from the party of Eisenhower (and even Nixon) really, really need to separate themselves from the Frankenstein right. The conservatives and evangelists have had their run , had their disaster and should now be marginalized.

Posted by: Stewart Dean on February 6, 2008 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

That's a bummer for Republicans, isn't it?

Until we get that inevitable McCain/Huckabee ticket to grab the moderates (McCain) as well as the South and evangelistas (Huckabee). I'm not at all confident of a Hillary national victory. I think many are completely underestimating the "Hillary Hatred". I can easily see the Dems snatching defeat in November.

Posted by: ckelly on February 6, 2008 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Agreed with Stewart Dean. It's time for the Republican Party to tell the slime that moved in after the Southern Strategy, that they are no longer welcome to practice their hatred and divisiveness. Either the non-reactionaries control the party or it kills itself.

Posted by: freelunch on February 6, 2008 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

I'm still waiting to see more analysis of where the votes came from on the Dem side. I agree that McCain/Huck is a formidable ticket - something I didn't expect to see out of the R side in this election cycle. Unlike the rest of the R slate, McCain retains appeal to the center - which could be enough to offset the numbers of hard right conservatives that will stay home in Nov out of protest. McCain strikes me as a man who will do anything to sit in the Oval office - even putting Huck on his ticket if that's what it takes.

I read a few things this morning that distressed me about Obama losing the Hispanic vote entirely - not surprising given the racial tension between "brown and black." Those same "brown" voters have a friendly candidate in McCain who loses a lot of support on his own side for his immigration stance. A lot of smart political analysts have been repeating for years that Hispanic voters are a critical block that is gaining power. That block gets put into play when they let their own racism against blacks turn them towards the party that wants them shuttled back across the border. Can Hispanics get past their own racism? Will they just stay home? Is that racism enough to drive them into the arms of McCain? Important questions.

Make no mistake, Obama WILL be president of this country at some point. Can he pull it out in 2008 when racist Hispanic voters have the option of McCain, whom half of the R's call "McAmnesty?"

Posted by: arteclectic on February 6, 2008 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

"We have always been at war with Eurasia..."

I think the actual quote is "We have always been at war with Eastasia," although it is true that when the story starts Oceania is at was with Eurasia and then it switches in the middle.

Back to current times, I love the fact that drug addict Rush Limbaugh et al told their minions exactly what to do and the minions didn't do it.

Rush needs to take his viagra and slink off to the Dominican Republic and stay there.

Posted by: Tripp on February 6, 2008 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

McCain/Huck??? McCain doesn't need the bible thumpers badly enough to alienate the indies.
But look at who keeps showing up at McCain's right hand at the victory parties. McCain/FL Gov Crist seems much more likely than McCain/Huck.

But do VP choices really matter?

Posted by: geen on February 6, 2008 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

I assume it is McCain who is the weak and divisive one according to Steyn; Romney weaker and unacceptable. Given that neither would have my vote, I can still acknowledge that both men have demonstrated competence in public and private life almost unimaginable to gatekeepers like Steyn, Limbaugh and Coulter.
They have won elections, succeeded in military and business careers, and in McCain's well-known case, demonstrated a depth of personal character unprecedented in a presidential candidate since Washington.
But he doesn't come up to the rigorous standard of Fred Thompson.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on February 6, 2008 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Do you really, really think that Conservatives hate McCain more than they hate Hillary? I don't. If the Dems nominate Hillary, McCain wins.

Conservatives hated Bill Clinton in 1996 and they hated Al Gore in 2000, and yet Clinton and Gore won the popular vote in both those elections. So who cares who they hate? So what? They hate -- that's all they do.

Posted by: Stefan on February 6, 2008 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Demsflubitagain,

If the Dems nominate Hillary, McCain wins.

Ah, argument by assertion. How banal.

To date the Democratic turnout at caucuses has clobbered the Republican turnout. In my state both the Obama and Clinton caucus vote beat the Republican winner Romney.

I take nothing for granted but at the moment the odds are in the Democrats favor.

"Hillary hate" may turn out to be as ephemeral as "Limbo power."

Posted by: Tripp on February 6, 2008 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

The race here in Missouri was not only closest for the Dems:
Obama: 405,284
Clinton: 395,287

But also very close for the R's:
McCain: 194,304
Huckabee: 185,627
Romney: 172,564

Perfect illustration of the three-way split in the GOP. Huckabee has obviously been very congenial towards McCain on the campaign trail. Many say that the VP slot really doesn't help the ticket overall, but I wonder if McCain's age (as a poster mentioned above) would create a stronger effect with the VP slot. Huckabee obviously would help in that case. However, with Huck on the ticket the fiscal conservatives in the North and the West might stay home. What if he picked Rudy?

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 6, 2008 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Agree with Doc: VP very much matters for McCain given his age, especially if Obama is the nominee. I think McCain picks Crist to lock down FL and free him to campaign in OH and PA. Again, just like the last two elections, it'll come down to the usual suspects, Ohio, PA, Florida, plus CO, VA, NM, and AZ.

I don't think Rudy gets him anywhere, especially with the baggage. Also, vs. Obama, needs a young fresh face to somewhat counter him. Vs. Hillary, don't rule out someone like Heather Wilson -- she's a veteran and an Air Force Academy grad and I don't think the prosecutor firing scandal is enough to take her down. Plus, she helps steal NM back.

Posted by: Blue Moon on February 6, 2008 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

McCain is going to be the republican candidate. My larger concern is, with his advanced age, who is his vp going to be. Its a good bet that any second term will be the vice presidents. God help us if its the Huckster.

Posted by: jblym on February 6, 2008 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Free Lunch: Quit suggesting Latins & Blacks oppose each other. We have interbred for over 500 years. The fear is these two minorities work together creating the new super majority. And remember 'lunch bag,' those who play the race card are really the racists.

Posted by: officious humilitas on February 6, 2008 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

officious humilitas,

What explains the high support Latinos gave Hillary?

I'm serious. I haven't really heard an explanation for this.

Posted by: Tripp on February 6, 2008 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin misses the Republicans' real source of weakness: the incumbent Republican President whose approval ratings have been lower for longer than any modern President, and will probably remain in the 30s for the rest of this year.

Fact is, an awful lot of the Republican voters who distrust or dislike McCain do so because he is not more like George Bush. Republicans who dislike George Bush are more likely to vote for McCain than for either Huckabee or Romney. The problem for McCain, should he be nominated, is that trying to "unify the party" by appealing to supporters of his current rivals will have to involve emphasizing the areas in which he agrees with the President -- and outside the Republican Party, that is a vote-loser.

Historically, the White House can change from one party's control to the other's when the incumbent President is popular personally (for example, Ford) or has good job approval ratings (for example, Clinton). But when the incumbent President is unpopular, partisan control of the White House always changes, whether or not that President is a candidate himself. The record of past Presidential elections tells us that any Republican nominee will labor under an absolutely crushing handicap this fall. This doesn't have anything to do with Rush Limbaugh or the evangelicals, or with John McCain for that matter. It's all about George Bush.

Posted by: Zathras on February 6, 2008 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

(McCain runs) "catastrophically badly among those who say they're "very conservative." That's a bummer for Republicans, isn't it?"

Not really; those that remain from the party of Eisenhower (and even Nixon) really, really need to separate themselves from the Frankenstein right. The conservatives and evangelists have had their run, had their disaster and should now be marginalized. Posted by: Stewart Dean

One can only hope.

A similar thing happened in Washington State back in the early 1960s. The safe and sane Republican crowd exorcised the John Birch wing at their state convention paving the way for three terms of Dan Evans, one of the best governors the state's ever had. The fringe has been just that pretty much ever since.

Posted by: JeffII on February 6, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

The real issue with McCain is his age.

This is so for many reasons, by no means the least being that he is so well known and liked / disliked that his age is one of the few factors that could cause people to change their minds about him.

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on February 6, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp: What explains Latin support for HRC? Extensive Clinton outreach going on two decades. Latins are very loyal. The Clinton campaign also sewed up Latin politico support early on with the backing of Mayor Antonio Villaraegrossa and Speaker of the Assembly Fabian Nunez. The UFW endorsement helped also.

Republican Latins do remember one thing though about the Democratic Party. It's the Democratic Party first, Hispanics last!

Do take notice of my preference to use the term 'Latin.' The main reason, we assimilated many generations ago.

Posted by: officious humilitas on February 6, 2008 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

BTW: Do count on Latin support for McCain. As a national co-chair for Hispanic outreach, we are organizing every waking moment.

Posted by: officious humilitas on February 6, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

"I read a few things this morning that distressed me about Obama losing the Hispanic vote entirely - not surprising given the racial tension between "brown and black." Those same "brown" voters have a friendly candidate in McCain who loses a lot of support on his own side for his immigration stance. A lot of smart political analysts have been repeating for years that Hispanic voters are a critical block that is gaining power. That block gets put into play when they let their own racism against blacks turn them towards the party that wants them shuttled back across the border. Can Hispanics get past their own racism? Will they just stay home? Is that racism enough to drive them into the arms of McCain? Important questions.

Make no mistake, Obama WILL be president of this country at some point. Can he pull it out in 2008 when racist Hispanic voters have the option of McCain, whom half of the R's call "McAmnesty?"" Posted by: arteclectic on February 6, 2008 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

WOW, the racism dripping from this comment is staggering, especially from someone that clearly supports the post racism/partisan candidate Obama yet there doesn't seem to have been much condemnation of it from other Obama supporters here, why is that? It was well known that Clinton had the advantage with Latinos because of extensive outreach and major endorsements from major Latino leaders. To try and argue that it is Latino racism that is causing Obama to lose the vote is despicable, especially when it is done so as it was here with absolutely no evidence to back it up aside from the belief of the writer. I see nothing in the reasoning to indicate that this is based on more than perception, and the kind of perception that sees it this way and asserts such a serious thing unsupported is one I would argue has no credibility whatsoever.

I am really not impressed that this comment was overlooked while chastizing Tripp, while both are arguing the same thing the one I quoted was far more explicit in how this was done.

Keith:

I disagree with you and Donald in terms of how broadly based this argument was being made only. As i have said I have seen too many elections where it was to vote against someone that brought out significant numbers in the past, particularly throw the bums out elections. I do not see it as being the general reason why people go to vote though, just that I think Donald significantly overstated the principle/idea that generally people don't turn out to vote against someone, it all depends on the level of animosity involved and there are many elections that get won by the spite/anger against a candidate/party throughout the history of democracies including America.

Posted by: Scotian on February 6, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian: Well-written!

Soon the'ultra-right, not-so-bright' CPAC attendees will get it. Theses ultra-conservatives advocate the party of Reagan. Yet, it was President Reagan who signed IRCA in 1987. IRCA was an amnesty. HRC, Obama and McCain all advocate comprehensive immigration reform. Ultra-conservatives are losing their voice in the R party. They best come to terms with their indifference. Wait for a 'back-backlash' coming soon on immigration. A small loud minority made freat impact shutting down reforming legislation. the 'silent majority' wants comprehensive reform on all issues.

As for the race card between Blacks & Latins, it doesn't exist.

Posted by: officious humilitas on February 6, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

The liberals win. McCain, Hillary, and Obama are all ultra-liberal.

Posted by: Luther on February 6, 2008 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK
What explains Latin support for HRC? . . . Do take notice of my preference to use the term 'Latin.' The main reason, we assimilated many generations ago.

Clinton's support among Hispanics is strongest among Hispanics that continue to speak Spanish as their primary language. Her advantage is weaker among those who speak English as their primary language. Your preference for "Latin" because of its connotation (to you, at least) of assimilation in discussing Clinton's advantage among Hispanics is therefore inappropriate.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 6, 2008 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

By the gods, it is great to see how far things have come since Bush declared in November 2004 about his "political capital" and how he was going to spend it.

Well, when he started threatening Social Security early in 2005, he spent it all, right there, right then (and he found he didn't have enough to buy squat) - though it really did take the country a long time to really realize it.

Having been riding high - or so he thought - as king of the hill, emperor of the universe, potentate of all the realm, he shot his wad that time. People who had swallowed the 'gosh golly, I'm just one of the boys out clearing brush' hucksterism began wondering if he really did have their best interests at heart. And, of course, he didn't. So, one by one, they began bailing on Bush. By November 2006 it was fully spent, and since then his radioactivity has damaged the Republican party and conservatism, for a very long time on into the future.

And here we are, pretty much right back where we were in 1996, with the GOP having NOTHING for a candidate, and the Democratic candidate - whichever it turns out to be - will just flat out kick their arses back to their Nixonian stone age. At least for 8-16 years, since this time it won't be only four years until the next changing of the guard in the Dems.

McCain a strong candidate? Memekiller got it right with this:

McCain is winning in states he has no chance of winning in November, and he's losing in the states that any Republican strategy is hinged on.

If he can't carry the Red states, does anyone in their right mind think that he will win ANY of the Blue states? The uber-right will stay home, not having one of 'their' candidates in the fray. So he may likely lose several of the Red states, too. They didn't like Dole in 1996, and he got smoked.

Bye, bye, permanent Republican majority!!! It couldn't happen to a nicer group of Nazis...

Posted by: SteveGinIL on February 6, 2008 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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