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2008 Elections: The Republicans’ DUI

One of the biggest mistakes my party made this year was not to learn from the results of the 2006 elections.  In the immediate aftermath of that defeat, party leaders should have done on domestic issues what the president did on Iraq, acknowledge past mistakes and implement a new strategy.

Maybe we needed the electoral shellacking we took earlier this month the same way an alcoholic “needs” a DUI arrest.  Only when he suffers a serious consequence of his drinking to realize how destructive his habit has become.  The penalty makes him realize he needs to change.

Given the failure of the GOP to hold true to conservative principles, we deserved what we suffered on November 4.

But, the problem for our nation is that the Democrats haven’t been doing much better.  They succeeded largely because they were the non-incumbent party on the executive level.  At the same time that Democratic legislative candidates enjoyed significant electoral successes, their party’s legislators had approval ratings which made the last Republican Congress and the incumbent president seem popular by contrast.

As Democrats did not suffer defeat for their Congress’s low approval, we can expect more of the same.  They did not experience any adverse consequences for their unpopularity.  Given their leadership’s eagerness to increase federal spending (proposing to bailout the domestic automobile industry and to enact a multi-billion dollar “stimulus” package), it seems they’re hell-bent on going on a bender.

Alas, that the American people won’t be able to cite them with a DUI for two more years.



  1. That is a great analogy! I have friends in AA, and it works exactly like that. They needed a BIG wake-up call to change. Looks like the GOP got it! So, do we stay in denial or move back to health?

    Comment by Timothy — November 17, 2008 @ 12:45 am - November 17, 2008

  2. Maybe we needed the electoral shellacking we took earlier this month the same way an alcoholic “needs” a DUI arrest.

    Eh. I keep hearing stories of folks who rack up multiple DWIs and STILL drive and get arrested. Same thing, only different. I suppose something along the lines of an intervention is required.

    If only we could gather in a room and tell who’s going and why and tell them what they have to do to avoid the same fate. First, and foremost, when the liberals are beating themselves up to hand you the ball, take it and run with it. Don’t just stand there admiring it like Texas v. Texas Tech.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — November 17, 2008 @ 5:17 am - November 17, 2008

  3. Anyone else find it ironic that after years of moaning about ‘Corporate Welfare,’ the Democrats now want to spend $25 Billion of taxpayers’ money to bail out the automobile corporations?

    Comment by V the K — November 17, 2008 @ 8:02 am - November 17, 2008

  4. No joke, what are liberal principles? Liberals are all about being “progressive” and “feelings” and “justice” and “change” and “restoring our place in the world.”

    Conservatives really do have principles. Individual freedom, rights and responsibility, the free market, efficient government, protect and defend, etc.

    The Democrats blamed Bush and “hope and changed” their way to this victory while the Republicans ran around trying to remember where they left their list of principles.

    Now, Republicans are fighting over whether Democrat-lite or Reaganism is the better choice.

    Meanwhile, the liberals are still trying to axe murder Sarah Palin because her conservative principles came through loud and clear.

    Bush played the game of tossing open the doors of the treasury and growing government. Look what it got him.

    The Democrats are drunks who live for power and throwing money in every direction. The only way to beat them at that game is to promise more and dream up even wilder schemes like pet insurance and government financed auto repair and yard service.

    Who was the chairman of the RNC this year? How many “surveys” inspired Republicans to stand and fight? Who is your favorite Republican House leader? Who is your favorite Republican Senate leader? When was the last time they stood strong on conservative principles? Who is the Republican Rahm Emmanuel who is going around the nation and building a slate of candidates to win back the House? We know Schumer targeted all manner of Republican Senate races. What was the Republican defense? Heck, we didn’t even try an offense.

    As TGC notes, we just watched the Pied Piper and ACORN lead the parade. Aside from voting, you really had to strain to find something else to do in this election. And the next one will be just like it, if the Republican Party does not get serious.

    Mid-term elections are critical. Also, the Congressional districts will be redrawn after the 2010 census. If Republicans fail to organize, it is going to be a very long dry spell for conservatism and the free market economy.

    We need a sudden breakout of informed leadership and organization. I wonder if we can get Haley Barbour back on the job?

    Comment by heliotrope — November 17, 2008 @ 9:57 am - November 17, 2008

  5. This might interest you, heliotrope. The reason leftists don’t understand conservatives is leftists see issues in only two dimensions, conservatives see them in five.

    Short version: Leftists see only two facets to any issue fairness/unfairness and care/harm. Conservatives see those facets… plus the facets of tradition, honor, and sanctity (respect for the sacred).

    Given an issue like SSM, the leftist sees only issues of fairness and harm. But a conservative sees issues of respect for tradition, following the law, and respect for sacred institutions… which are concepts that simply do not exist for the left.

    Comment by V the K — November 17, 2008 @ 10:59 am - November 17, 2008

  6. Heliotrope, You are right there was absolutely no Republican leadership here in CA. They didn’t open campaign offices until September, and when they did, they were very lame weak operations.
    There were many of us at the grass roots level who were looking to do something productive – with no where to go.

    Comment by Leah — November 17, 2008 @ 11:30 am - November 17, 2008

  7. I hear you Leah. It seems the pundits only care about where to take the party ideologically, when the party’s real weakness is logistical.

    Comment by V the K — November 17, 2008 @ 12:11 pm - November 17, 2008

  8. greate article keep it up..

    Comment by kumar — November 17, 2008 @ 1:03 pm - November 17, 2008

  9. I think one of the biggest things that conservatives, and I did not say Republicans because I see a distinct difference between being a conservative and being a Republican, need to do is not fall into the easy trap of saying “if only” or “we should have” or “we could have”. We need to find positive items to go forward on and not spend a lot of time in recriminations and Monday morning quarterbacking.

    And as Dan said several weeks ago, we need to set our goals at the local level and work to build from the bottom up. The top of our ticket was not at all effective and certainly did not represent the typical views of most conservatives IMHO. We need to identify people like Governor Palin at our local levels and get behind them. I doubt we will ever change the entrenched uper echelons of the Republican party without building a strong base of like minded conservatives.

    And what do others think about Sen McCain’s less than stellar defense of his running mate versus his seeming rush to sit down with Obama?

    Comment by Not Always Right — November 17, 2008 @ 2:05 pm - November 17, 2008

  10. And what do others think about Sen McCain’s less than stellar defense of his running mate versus his seeming rush to sit down with Obama?

    It more or less confirms what I said about him at the beginning of the campaign about being an egocentric jerk. Remember how McCain’s campaign put Sarah under wraps after the convention? I really think McCain could not bear being outshined by her. And he still resents it.

    Comment by V the K — November 17, 2008 @ 2:26 pm - November 17, 2008

  11. McCain is busy trying to figure out where he goes from here. He let Sarah Palin take the heat, because he is finished with her. He was never “Mr. Republican” and he is convinced that not being “Miss Congeniality” is a high honor. Aside from Leiberman and Graham, does he have friends?

    McCain works in Washington and his family lives in Arizona. He does his thing and the home front belongs to Cindy and she runs it. He didn’t know how many homes they own, because I think he really does not know. They are Cindy’s houses and she has bought some for relatives and I suspect McCain has not ever seen some of them.

    McCain’s driving forces are as unclear as Obama’s. I expect McCain to paddle around with Obama and the Democrats and to fire a few salvos at the Republicans. He dislikes Bush. I believe that in the past he thought seriously about changing parties and I also do not doubt that he entertained running with Kerry. He has at least another Senate term left in him and I do not think that any conservative should ever count on his vote out of Party loyalty.

    Other than his one vote being critical in a near veto proof Senate, I don’t think he is worth trying to woo or coddle. If he has strong principles, some one will have to list them for me.

    He is much like Prince Charles. He is who he is. But he doesn’t have anything to bring to table except his quirky and often out of touch ways.

    Obama will use him in an ego-feeding way and I suspect that McCain will trot along behind him. I imagine a McAmnesty Bill would be a starting point.

    Comment by heliotrope — November 17, 2008 @ 2:36 pm - November 17, 2008

  12. DUI is a good analogy – especially since GW Bush was at the wheel.

    I am currently reading “Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy” and seeing a list of W’s policies in one place gets me to thinking that the GOP now has its own Jimmy Carter.

    But that may not be fair to Carter. Things were already headed down when he took office and he was mostly just clueless but the Carter aftermath was pretty well cleaned up when Reagan left office. Much of the Bush (and GOP Congress) aftermath may be terminal.

    W inherited a decent economy and a GOP Congress and, voila, train wreck.

    Now McCain (and Lindsey Graham) are conspiring with Barry to make things worse:

    Graham said that McCain and Obama are philosophically alike on budget reform, Social Security changes, earmark reform and immigration.

    Deroy Murdock wrote “Bush should retire quietly to Texas, where he can drive his truck, chop wood, and avoid the limelight for the balance of his natural existence.” Is there anyway to get McCain and Grahamnesty to join him?

    Comment by SoCalRobert — November 17, 2008 @ 8:52 pm - November 17, 2008

  13. I still say our mistake was not learning from the Bob Dole fiasco

    Comment by PatriotMom — November 17, 2008 @ 8:53 pm - November 17, 2008

  14. Anyone else find it ironic that after years of moaning about ‘Corporate Welfare,’ the Democrats now want to spend $25 Billion of taxpayers’ money to bail out the automobile corporations?

    No. This is a UAW/Jennifer Granholm bailout.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — November 17, 2008 @ 11:41 pm - November 17, 2008

  15. […] ideas (usually false) of what Republicans believe), we have long been critical of President Bush and past Republican Congresses for not staying true to the party’s Reaganite principles and […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Our Critics & the Meaning of the Word, “Finally” — January 30, 2009 @ 9:31 am - January 30, 2009

  16. […] 2008 Elections: The Republicans’ DUI (November 17, 2008) […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot — April 17, 2009 @ 3:22 am - April 17, 2009

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