Thursday, November 13, 2008

Those Who Ignore History

"Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it," the saying goes. Foolish people are most foolish when they believe themselves wise, and thus ignore wisdom. The lessons to be learned from the 2008 general election are out there, ready to be learned, but those who most need to learn them seem to be most ignoring them. The leadership of the Republican Party appear to be too entrenched in the Grand Old Way of doing things to consider the fact that they lost an election they should have easily won. The winners of the election also fall short of wisdom. Their leadership ignores the fact that they barely squeaked out a win, and an organized, effective opposition would have wiped the floor with them.

The Republican Party needs to just finally accept the fact that the Conservative movement has made them its home. Who disagrees with this??? Senator McCain did. You see where it got him. His running mate was more popular than he was. Since 2000 Senator McCain has been betraying the Conservative movement with moderate, compromising politics. This was no surprise to anyone who paid just a little attention to the news. Senator McCain betrayed his oath to defend the Constitution with the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act, which forbids political free speech in certain circumstances, such as general elections.

It is arguable (I don't have the data, though) that McCain lost by a smaller margin of votes than those he himself lost with his own legislation. In other words, CFRA took away his own win. Poetic justice, but hardly best for the nation. In another irony, President-Elect Obama ignored and loop-holed his way through those same regulations, bringing more than three humdred million dollars into his campaign than Senator McCain did. A huge portion of his campaign donations were from "unidentified small contributors". The figure I saw was close to $360M. Since CFRA does not specifically require vetting of contributions of $200 or less, anyone on earth can contribute, including fictional characters, dead people, and foreign citizens. And they did.

Attempts to call attention to these dirty tricks were labelled "political propoganda", and hence were forbidden to all but the mass media, most of whom blithely ignored all news not advantageous to Senator Obama. Only talk radio and internet newsgatherers (bloggers and online publications) seemed at all interested in unbiased news reporting. Even FoxNews seemed to blow where the popular winds blew it. Talk radio, ironically, is not by any means obligated or considered to be unbiased. Yet, they were among the only ones to report the news stories that the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and the alphabet networks seemed happy to bury.

So, the Republicans lost. It's not the first time. They ignored their conservative base. Again, it's not the first time. What is disappointing is that the last time, they said it would be the last time.

Here's a history lesson: Midway through President Clinton's first term, Speaker Newt Gingrich and the GOP caucus came up with their "Contract For America". They clearly spelled out their conservative agenda, and pratical goals for accomplishing this agenda. The liberals viciously attacked, calling it the "Contract ON America". The conservative people of the United States, however, said (collectively) "It's about time!", voted a House majority for the first time in 20 years or more, and a Senate majority in the next two elections. Then the Beltway mentality kicked in. Lobbyists and cocktail luncheons, gifts, favors, and LOTS of pork corrupted the movement. By 2002, the conservative base knew they had been betrayed. President Bush was talking about a "New Tone" while he was being savaged by the other side. McCain, and the Gang of Twelve derailed the "nuclear option" which would have forced a vote for a Supreme Court nominee by Constitutional means, increasing his own power at the expense of his party, and the wellbeing of conservatives. President Bush was so lost, he nominated Harriet Meyers. After the bitterly contested elections of 2000 and 2004, hardly a voice was to be heard saying it was all just a conspiracy theory (which it was). No one who claimed violations of federal campaign law either provided real evidence, or was called to task for a false accusation! Again, GOP voters were left hanging out to dry, unsupported by the diminishing numbers of elected Republicans.

Over and over, the GOP has regrouped, reinvented itself, and had an epiphany, showing the way to go in the future. Here's a thought: Stop being liberals, and start fighting for your constituents.

If I had to give some advice to the Democrat party, it would be to tell them to be fastidiously, fanatically in compliance with all federal law. Otherwise they may see some of their hard-earned wins reversed. Although, historically, that's pretty unlikely.