without addressing the question of HOW Obama courts these disaffected indies?
i suggest to you that in an environment as toxic as we've got, the only winning strategy is a base strategy. everyone's unhappy, pissed off, disaffected from that little bubble of "hopey changey" we had in 2008. the folks who pounded pavement for Obama in '08 would gladly do it again if they felt like the President shared their values and if the Obama administration had held on to them tightly enough to be able to command them like an army, as before. instead, this administration really seems to have gone about almost immediately distancing themselves from the base and writing off liberals knee-jerk (thinking they could defuse the socialist name calling) while pursuing a quixotic magical bipartisan pony. so here we are, yes, i do think we are in agreement here, at the precipice of a disastrous loss of seats that will be blamed principally upon Obama -- rightly so -- but for the wrong reasons.
exactly. the silence from the White House and Congress is deafening. it's making me question why i have so unfailingly supported a party that seems to view this whole issue with so little compassion or, dare i say it, empathy.
Congress has to step up... yeah, just like they have on health care. this Congress? they have no idea how to step up, and for the most part they have terrible leadership. but that's the thing, leadership comes from the President, not the gang of wild horses in the Senate or herd of sheep in the House. we've had decades of a strong, assertive executive branch, and this one wants to keep punting responsibility for leadership on issues with even the slightest whiff of controversy to Congress? should we be surprised when Harry Reid looks back and says "what, who, me? no we don't have any bills related to that!" weak and timid is all i see from this president, and i'm terribly disappointed, because the sad truth is he wouldn't lose a single vote on health care if he started taking real action to, say, get rid of DADT, which would shore up his GLBT support almost instantly.
i just have one thing to say: this is not 2004. we must stop living in the reality that was the last election cycle. social conservatives do not define America anymore, especially at a time when there are real "bread and butter" issues overwhelming the hot button issues. what everyone should take away from this convention -- which i believe will go down as an abysmal failure -- is how it is reinforcing all the assertions made by the Democratic convention last week. first and foremost, that Republicans and McCain are out of touch. heard much about the economy? heard anything about Afghanistan? how about the deficit? health care anyone? heard any new ideas for the future, or new ideas how to fix our problems?
unless we suddenly vault back into peace and prosperity in 4 years, what the Republicans will go with next time is someone like Huckabee, who has that Arkansas folksy likeability combined with a natural populist appeal and an outsider image. an angry, Buchanan style social conservative like Palin is always going to have much more limited appeal, no matter how pretty the package or sweet the lies. remember, GWB clawed his way to office by offering himself as a "compassionate," "uniter not a divider" Republican palatable to moderates and that still didn't get him over 50%. his reelection had more to do with lingering fear of terrorism. hard core social conservatives alone do not have enough numbers to win in normal circumstances, and their numbers are shrinking, not expanding. go ask everyone you know under 30 what worries them more: gun control, abortion, gay marriage, taxes... or jobs, health care, the environment, housing market. the culture wars are the previous generation's obsession, that's why they are becoming a losing strategy, and the Republicans of the future will have to learn how to placate their rabid Dobsonites at the same time they offer solutions to problems that appeal to moderates beyond just railing about taxes and calling the opposition names. i simply don't see Palin as being a part of that kind of strategy because of her attachments to the current manifestation of the Republican party.