The Republican brand is so thoroughly and deservedly trashed that all Johnny Mac can do is try to relaunch the culture wars by peddling oblique suspicions about Obama’s associates and his character. Hey, what a maverick. But the sales pitch only makes McCain look desperate, and the voters of Chillicothe, Ohio, aren’t buying. They’re even more desperate than John McCain, now that the local pawn shop is the town’s sole viable business. And in Pennsylvania, the Bitter Clingers are dropping their guns and bibles and having a come-to-Obama moment of their very own. ...I'm beginning to understand how Republicans like Lincoln Chafee must feel looking at the takeover of their party by the Movement Conservatives. What should be a celebratory election for me, the downfall of the Reaganauts, leaves me feeling angry and betrayed. The accidents of political and economic fate have brought us an anti-leader, someone who occupies a symbolic space without embodying the substance of what those symbols represent. I read people like Digby telling us that we have to settle for the importance of symbolism rather than actual substantive legislation and we should be fine with this, and I wonder how the the Left Blogosphere became more complacent than the DLC they revile so much. How is this different than being a Blue Dog Democrat? When did triangulation come back into vogue, except this time standing squarely on a party platform that holds rejection of partisan stances as its primary political purpose?
And now Obama has the election all but locked up. Hillary Clinton won’t be permitted to challenge a sitting Democratic president in the 2012 primaries, no matter how abysmal his first term may be. As a result, it’s entirely probable that she won’t run for president again herself, or not successfully, and certainly not before 2016, when she’ll be nearly as old as John McCain is now. She may even find herself marginalized in the Senate for at least the next four years; the Democratic leadership’s pointed lack of interest in her current proposals seems to indicate as much.
This is definitely not what I wanted. But it does appear to be what we’re stuck with. And as a wise person once said, you can’t win a fight with reality. That doesn’t mean you can’t fight to change a particular reality, but you do have to start from the way things actually stand (also known as living in the reality-based community).
People who have been the most loyal to the party, their dedication and service spanning decades, were declared unfit to show their faces and told they were no longer wanted. In the caucuses, they were physically threatened. Others have been sent death threats, have been stalked, have had their property vandalized. The violence done to people within the party is outdone only by the denials that anything is wrong and we'd better make the best of the situation we're in. I can only compare it to being forced to cohabitate with your rapist, something I have had to do in my life so it's a familiar feeling.
Hitching your wagon to the Republicans won't get you far in these political and economic times, even if you can stomach doing so. Since the problem with the Democrats is their abrupt move to the right on social and economic issues, trying mightily to capture the poisoned ground left behind by the Movement Conservatives' mad dash into authoritarian rule, it would also simply move you closer to where they want to be. In truth, Nixon was more liberal than this.
I have no answer to the violence and cruelty than has seized my party.
But I'm thinking.