Michael Totten

The Conservative Crack-Up

The “conservative majority” sure didn’t last very long.
Eric Deamer volunteered for a get-out-the-vote campaign to re-elect President Bush in New Hampshire. He even had a gun pointed at his head for his efforts. But now he regrets that decision and pens his own essay in the emerging “buyer’s remorse” genre among intellectuals of the center and center-right.
Read it. Then read his follow-up. Then come on back.
Now, personally, I’m not experiencing buyer’s remorse — at least not yet. I voted for Democrats in Congress precisely so someone will be there in Washington to fend off whatever the right-wing of the GOP decides to throw at us. I have less to regret than Eric and other remorseful souls (like Michelle Catalano) have.
I expected a bunch of crap from the Bush Administration that I wouldn’t agree with or like. What else is new? I was never happy about voting for Bush in the first place, and I’m not happy about it now either. But I’m not wistfully longing for a coulda-been Kerry Administration. The very idea makes me shudder, especially while we’re in the midst of a showdown in the Middle East with the Syrian Baath regime.
Unlike Eric and Michelle, I never joined the Republican Party. I factored in the wholly predictable Republican arrogance and obnoxiousness into my decision well in advance. So I’m not at all shocked that the party is behaving badly and that moderates are taking a walk. I know how they feel because I went through the same thing with the Democrats. If you’re on the center-left or the center-right both of our two parties will eventually steamroll right over the top of you.
If the Republicans want my vote again they are going to have to earn it. They only got part of my vote last time because I needed a port during the storm that blew the old left coalition to pieces. The Democrats could easily play the same role next time if they get their act together while the Republicans lose it. Absolutely nothing is permanent in politics – including the current shake-up. All the talk I hear (even often in my own comments section) about how the Democratic Party is supposedly dead is a laugh riot. The party that wins elections is whichever party is in less ridiculous shape than the other.
Free advice for Republicans! Purge Tom DeLay. You pitched Newt Gingrich over the side, and he was far less worth the bother than the former vermin exterminator from Texas. (Good God, is it really that hard to find respectable normal people for the top roles in Congress?) Give James Dobson the Sister Souljah treatment. Give him the Energizer Bunny of Sister Souljah treatments until he bitterly hates your guts. (I know, I know, that’s about as likely as Nancy Pelosi kicking Michael Moore in the balls on national TV while wearing her heels.) If you think Dobson and his ilk can keep you in power while you’re pissing off the left, the center, and the center-right moderates you’re proving Jane’s Law all over again.

Jane’s Law: The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.

But hey, don’t listen to me. What the hell do I know? I don’t even know who I’m going to vote for in ’08. (Hint!)
Elections are won in the center. If you can’t remember that most obvious of political factoids and the Democratic Party nominates someone — anyone — who isn’t a foreign policy limp noodle, the only place you’re going in 2008 is the political boondocks.