Blue Tsunami

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by Michael Bryan

Greatwave

The pundocracy
is widely acknowledging that the 2008 election cycle is not likely to
be kind to the GOP. In fact, most folks are expecting something of a perfect storm. I’m expecting a generational re-alignment. Not only will Obama
win, he’ll win huge: Reagan vs. Mondale huge. Not only will Democrats
defend their Congressional majority, they will extend it by at least 30
more seats in the House (maybe as many as 60) and by 5 or more in the
Senate.

What this means in Arizona is
that Democrats will make pick-ups in AZ-1 and AZ-3 and successfully,
even handily, defend recent gains in AZ-5 and AZ-8. AZ-2 and AZ-6 will
be the last GOP hold-outs in the Arizona House delegation, mainly because the Democrats haven’t chosen to put those districts in play. Obama
may not win Arizona, but McCain won’t have any coat-tails here. McCain certainly won’t turn Arizona into a safe place to be a Republican, as many Republicans hope and pray.

We’ve already seen, through bye-elections in some very red districts,
that McCain isn’t having any positive effect on GOP chances nationally and linking Congressional Democrats to Obama in your messaging is the best favor you can do for your Democratic opponent.

The GOP ‘brand’ has been too profoundly damaged by the last 7 years of
misrule to be easily restored. In fact, The very reason McCain is
the nominee is because the GOP ‘brand’ simply isn’t selling, so the
Republicans nominated their ‘maverick’ to try to distance their 2008
campaign from the wreckage. Unfortunately for them, McCain was forced
to make obeisance to so many core constituencies during the primary that he
thereby severely damaged his credibility as a reformer – now he just
looks like another GOP party hack who is just a bit more of a hypocrite
than most.

I also expect new Democratic
majorities in state houses across the country, including Arizona. We
are only 4 seats away from taking the Arizona House, and I see a clear
path to picking up more seats than we need just here in Southern
Arizona, let alone pickup opportunities around the state. Phil Lopes
will be our new Speaker of the House come 2009.

What
dooms the GOP is the insistence of their base to hold fast to some of
the least productive aspects of their discredited brand, even as their
candidates are getting trounced by Dems
for running on those very themes.

I see highly qualified and competent
GOP candidates here locally who would have the most electoral appeal to Independents
and moderate Dems
having to tack strongly to the right on issues like taxes, guns, gays, and
immigration just to stay afloat in primary contests. The very candidates who
have the credibility and new ideas to rebuild the GOP brand at the
grassroots level are being weeded out by their own party in pursuit of
ideological purity. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. In the short
term, the self-destructive behavior of Republicans benefits my own party electorally, but in the long-run it
impoverishes our politics and deranges the national dialog.

The
result of this chest-beating by Republican candidates for their
discredited and deeply unpopular "movement conservative" constituents
will be that the GOP’s
nominees will be way off message for the coming general elections, or
their primaries will simply produce candidates who don’t even realize
how deeply their own party has been wounded. Such insular ideologues
who never speak to anyone outside their party will be absolutely
decimated in the current political environment.

Candidates who should
be busy recreating the GOP brand around issues average people actually
care about, are instead forced to chain themselves to the very cultural
hot-button positions and consistently failed policy nostrums that
voters are throwing overboard as economic hard times toss the ship of
state. The result will be an electoral Armageddon for the GOP and the
beginning of 40 years in the wilderness they so desperately need to
purge their ranks of the fascists, racists, and kooks who have taken
over and encouraged Republicans to worship false idols.

Those who say that the Democrats
aren’t winning this elections so much as the GOP is losing it are
absolutely right. It won’t matter much when the votes are counted:
either way it’s a bloodbath.

But there is much bad news in such a victory for
Democrats. Many will learn the wrong lessons from it.

When an experimental animal is randomly rewarded it will associate
completely random, even harmful behaviors with the reward and start
repeating those behaviors obsessively in hopes of reward. Democrats are
going to get a huge reward for engaging in the most politically useless
and harmful behaviors. The result will be utter irrationality by my own party.

The lessons that our appartchikis will glean will be that Democrats won by staying on message and talking about the laundry list of programs and policies that "Americans
care about", when the truth is that we will have won in spite of their
nattering along about our list of legislative "accomplishments".

We
could have run the current GOP coalition out of American political life
permanently. We would have forced their remaining electorally-viable remnants to join with the
Libertarians to rebuild something resembling a viable opposition party.  Had we rammed home
just how terribly the GOP has screwed up our country through investigations of
the manifold criminal enterprises of this Administration and a slew of
impeachment hearings, we could have broken the GOP as thoroughly as the
Whigs or the Mafia. But our leaders don’t understood where the
political jugular lies. Instead, we have folks like Nancy Pelosi to
whom the political death sentence that the GOP so richly deserves is
simply off the table.

1 COMMENT

  1. The Crazy John McCain Song.

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    THE CRAZY JOHN MCCAIN SONG

    Lyrics by J.J. Spoons & Willie G. Smith
    Music by Doc. “Skippy” McGhee

    A Product of the Heartland.
    Witten in Beautiful Akron, Ohio USA.
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  2. Adam: There are several other places where the Democrats can pick up House seats. There are also places were Democrats have to be defended.

    But I’m not gonna go into specifics. Sorry James Bretney, Ann, and all my other R friends. You won’t hear it here first.

  3. A couple of thoughts:
    First the easy one. More evidence in support of Michael’s original point is the fact that McCain is getting only about 75% of the vote in Bush Party Primaries even after he wrapped up the nomination. Further, those later primaries had Bush Party turnout rates at about 25% of Dem Party turnout rates.
    A more subtle point involves the use of the phrase “Republican brand”. I have this nagging feeling that some Rovian operative has spread the use of the concept of a “brand” as not just an analogy with commercial marketing but as a way to distract us from thinking of the product. Sort of like saying “It’s not cigarettes that kill you, it’s Marlboros .” It’s the underlying Republican product (philosophy) that is faulty, not just the “brand”. Unfortunately the copy-cat media has latched onto the term and every news report I hear is using it.

  4. I forgot about 30. Andrea’s chances as a single shot candidate are pretty good. She could give us three in Pima. So that means we only need one in Maricopa. Problem is, I don’t hear any chatter about who it’s going to be! Am I not listening hard enough? (And is sweeping 26 and picking up one in 30 too much to hope for?)

  5. Mariana,

    Thank you for your encouragement. I am getting more involved. I met with David Gowan today and am encouraging more of my friends to do so. I called Tom Jenney. We are classmates from our old UHS days.

    I grew up with liberals. I went to UHS on the eastside. I was the lone conservative from the wrong side of the tracks. We got along.

    Liberals are Americans too. A lot of liberals and conservatives died in those towers. I would say on the whole more liberals have died.

    Mr. Bryan is right to rebuke us. How can we take an emergency vote to save Terry Schiavo’s life when we do nothing about Mark Foley or Larry Craig? How can we sit there and say victory is in sight when Wolfowitz could not even tell us how many Americans died in Iraq (the number was 600 at the time)? Then there was Dubai (which I supported), Tancredo (who I don’t) and all those bridges to nowhere.

    Our leaders reflect the kind of people we are. Many in the democratic party have a lot of faith in the integrity and character of Barack Obama. I am not quitting on the General, but let’s just hope that both parties elect men and women of good moral character, because God knows we need it.

  6. James, thank you for the link, interesting read. I’ve noticed your comments on other blogs, conservative ones. You seem to be genuinely concerned with real issues. I suggest -as Francine did a couple of days ago- you get more involved. You are young, educated and you care, that’s exactley what your party needs nowadays.
    Adam, I think 30.

  7. Great post, Michael. I especially love the image. I’m positive I’ve seen it somewhere.

    I want to see the GOP bitch slapped so hard they forget their mama’s face.

  8. I love the enthusiasm but am a little concerned about the House. Which four do you see us picking up? 25 and 26, but where else? I’m not hearing great things from north of the Gila.

  9. “fascists, racists, and kooks” – that’s awesome!

    This is a real possibility. I would say greater than 50%. It makes me a bit sick just to admit this. But Bryan’s right. Not a good time to be a Neocon or a Bush Supporter (which I am unabashedly am.)

    The GOP is relying on democrats who like the PLO “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” This is a losing strategy.

    The GOP has to have an agenda. And agenda has in it values and priorities. And right now, we don’t have it. And Mssr. Bryan is right to point it. Would that other blogs preferrably on the right should follow suit.

    But Bryan, if you think I am going to scurry off this ship like some kind of rat, think again. Unless you put us in ground, round us up as political prisoners or force us into exile, we’ll be around.