Who is this “Republican insider” who takes intraparty grievances to the Washinton Post‘s Chris Cillizza? I’d really like to know.
“I’d personally enjoy all the ‘we can’t nominate another Republican In Name Only’ crowd getting a stomping by an incumbent with an 8.5 unemployment rate,” said one senior party strategist, granted anonymity to speak candidly, warning of nominating a strictly conservative candidate like former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.
It’s happened before. In 1964, conservatives got their way when Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater beat out New York Gov. — and proud moderate — Nelson Rockefeller for the Republican nomination. Goldwater’s conservatism didn’t sit well with the country at large and Johnson won with 61 percent of the vote, the largest popular vote percentage in modern history.
So…LBJ’s taking up the JFK mantle had nothing to do with his 1964 win? Nothing at all?
Four years later, Republicans — showing their lesson learned — nominated establishment favorite and political pragmatist Richard Nixon. (Nixon had been defeated by John Kennedy in 1960 and declined to run in 1964.) Nixon ended eight years of Democratic control of the White House when he beat Vice President Hubert Humphrey in the 1968 election.
Interesting paragraph, and very revisionist. Nixon governed from the center-left, and the left still hated his guts. Reagan ran to the right a few years later against a president of the left, and won. The left, by the way, is never called on to learn from the beat downs that Nixon and Reagan inflicted on Democrats at the polls. Namely, run or govern too far to the left and you will lose big — Humphrey, McGovern, Carter and Mondale serving as the object lessons.
John McCain, Bob Dole and George H. W. Bush might offer object lessons that the Republicans should fearlessly stand for conservatism. But the “senior party strategist” isn’t quoted entertaining that possibility.
After the customary riff on immigration with a poke to get conservatives to just forget about the rule of law already, we get a few moderates on the record:
“They won’t get it this year, as Romney is viewed as too moderate, so blame will go to moderates,” said former Virginia representative Tom Davis, himself a leading moderate voice within the GOP. “The narrative will be McCain and Mitt are too much like Obama.”
The problem that Romney has disagreed with Romney on so many issues: Not entertained as a possibility.
Mark Salter, McCain’s longtime consigliere and a lead strategist during the Arizona senator’s 2000 and 2008 presidential bids, agreed that no matter the results this November, it will almost certainly not trigger a 1964-like reassessment of the party.
The lesson of 2008: Not learned.
This is the problem with moderates: They stand for nothing and have a loser’s mentality. They don’t understand the ruthlessness of the left. They don’t fight for anything that lasts. They’re not leaders, just reeds in the wind, looking around to blame others when their own lack of principle leads to nowhere but defeat. It’s the same mentality that fretted about the dangers of Sarah Palin while clueless Joe Biden teeth-flashed his way into the vice presidency behind the most leftist president we’ve ever had.
I still want to know who that “senior party strategist” is who thought talking to Cillizza was going to help in some way, and on what ethical basis Cillizza granted that person anonymity. That little act of cowardice, like Cillizza’s story, helps no one but Obama.