Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The big losers yesterday are ...

The Clinton clan and the Bush clan. Both of their legacies have been pretty well swept away.

It's easier to describe this for the Clintons. Hillary lost, and the rejection was not handled with finesse. Now she'll never see the inside of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave unless she's invited to dinner. Bill isn't "the first african american president" anymore, because we have the real thing. And now that the republicans have been well and truly repudiated, the democrats can feel free to unleash all their built-up resentment at how Bill's recklessness forced them to defend the indefensible because, while he was an SOB, he was their SOB. Sorry, Bill and Hill, they so don't need you anymore. Please stop calling.

The Bush clan is more difficult, and more interesting. They (GHWB and GWB) were the doppelgangers of the Clintons: cautiously right-of-center to the Clinton's cautiously left-of-center. While GWB was pretty broadly right about how to deal with terrorism, their legacy of big government, intrusive statism from the right has been shown to lack appeal pretty much across the board. Karl Rove wasn't an evil genius, he was flat out wrong thinking that the republicans could out nanny-state the democrats. The votes are in, and the Bushes have pretty well taken their party down. Steven den Beste wrote a post years ago about how he thought that Bush was trying to build a long-term republican majority. He was right that Bush was trying to do this, it just didn't play out that way. The republicans need to move on from this crowd.

Public funding of presidential campaigns is toast. Only a sucker would take that bet, after Obama's $600M run. Open fund raising plus Internet-based outreach plus saturation advertising will make the next election a big change from all the previous ones. The talk of foreign money funding campaigns is pretty disturbing here, but don't expect to see anything come of it. The winners won't want to look too closely under those rocks, thank you very much.

The Mainstream Media looks like they're a winner, since they swung the election. However, this is the last burst of Indian Summer for them - it's very likely that Obama will be a weak president, and will be unable to discipline the democratic congress. If his administration shows that it is clearly unable to deal with crisis, the public will wonder why they didn't know much about Obama. The lack of any kind of investigation into B.O.'s background and how he ticks will be pretty glaringly obvious.

The MSM, of course, won't get this. After all, why would anyone focus on what's past? They're so tuned in on what the current breaking story is that they'll struggle to understand the credibility problem that's dragging them under.

As I said a couple days ago, the Republic will survive. It's survived harder tests, and what to do about the big threats are pretty well locked. Iraq is pretty much won, and Afghanistan was Al Quaeda's home base. Even Obama can't walk away from that, although many in his party will want him to.

The best case scenario is that we get something like what's happening in Massachusetts right now. A young, charismatic african american democrat was elected on a transformational message 2 years ago. He hasn't accomplished anything so far, even with a strongly democratic legislature. By "nothing" I mean I literally cannot think of a single thing that he's gotten done.

The worst case will be self correcting, as was Jimmy Carter's administration. It's perhaps lucky for the republicans that the collapse of the New Deal and Great Society (funding shortfalls in both Social Security and Medicare) will happen now, on the democrat's watch.


Weer'd Beard said...

Patrick did come up with some sort of tax incentive for Pharma Companies in the Commonwealth.

He of course doesn't talk about this as "Tax breaks for big Pharma" upsets the donks.

Seeing as I work in said industry, I actually really like this, and its one HUGE reason why I live here rather than my home state of Maine.

TOTWTYTR said...

Nice post Ted. It dovetails nicely with my thoughts. Good point about federal campaign financing. Sadly, McCain was hoist by his own petard in that area. Obama drove a stake through the heart of that and through campaign finance reform as well. Neither will see the light of day again.

Now the hard part begins for Obama and the Republican Party. He has to actually govern and we have a party to rebuild from the ruins of the one we watched be destroyed.