Sunday, January 8, 2012

Maybe I'm Amazed...

...but I'm really not.

The current content du jour of political punditry land appears to be the lack of excitement among Republicans, as primary season begins to take off. That, or tongue-in-cheek eulogies for the tea party movement.

To be fair, it's tough to constantly add new content to political sites, meaningful content anyway. Thus, stories follow polls and polls follow stories, in a bit of an Ouroboros Worm scenario. And that will continue, right up until the primaries end and the real campaigns begin.

And to that end, history is quickly rewritten, for the sake of the story. Consider this piece at the Washington Post, supposedly about how the GOP is "stuck.". In it, the writers cite comments from former Senator Judd Gregg and offer the following:
Gregg recalls the buzz in 2000 when McCain barreled across the state in his bus, the Straight Talk Express, running a maverick campaign against establishment favorite Bush.
Well okay, that may very well be Gregg's take on it. And being a New Hampshire native, he is certainly better informed about activity there than most of us. But the comparison is both faulty and dopey. Romney is a Northeastern Republican and, himself, nowhere near being the Washington insider that McCain was and is. Does it really make sense--any sense at all--to expect one of the other Republican hopefuls to light up New Hampshire, particularly given that both McCain and Gregg support Romney?

Romney may have squeaked out Iowa by the skin of his teeth, but he did squeak it out, even though he is far from being the type of candidate that would run roughshod through middle America. And let's face facts: he doesn't need to, given his opponents in the Republican field.

But the point is, this is not evidence for how the 2012 Election will actually go. Does anyone really suppose that Gingrich and Santorum fans will skip election day, because the Republican nominee is Romney? Of course not.

As to the "buzz" in 2000, what I remember is everyone--in my neck of the woods--mocking McCain and his "Straight Talk Express," from the get-go. And given the closeness of the Presidential Election, that's hardly a year to emulate, for either Party.

The Republican Party is not stuck, at all. And the tea party movement is far from dead. These very same predictions were made by pundits leading up to and after the election of Obama. One need only recall Carville's unfortunately titled tome (published in 2009) 40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation to see the truth of this.

It's still an interesting phenomenon, to say the least: Republicans lose big in 2008 and the Party is in danger of collapsing, Republicans win big in 2010 and the Party is in danger of collapsing.

Cheers, all.


  1. Conservatism is always in danger of collapsing. If only the people would see the light of progressivism. :)

    As an aside, why is the European crisis not an indication of modern liberalism collapsing?

  2. Are Republicans even susceptible to a rock star candidacy like the sideshow the Democrats and Obama put on in 2008? Conservatism wouldn't seem to lend itself to this phenomena, but it might be nice to see.

  3. An interesting question, Leaker19. Looking back, historically there was Oliver North in Virginia who might have fit that bill. He lost.

    More recently though, there is Rubio in Florida, who rolled both the Dem challenger and the Repub insider.