The election of Barack Obama would be a catastrophe on the scale of the Great Flood and the Permian Extinction all rolled into one. His ascension to the presidency will mark an end to the American Experiment in self government, open the door for socialism, allow for the payment of reparations to former slaves, ensure the triumph of radical Islam (after turning the White House into a mosque), bring back the Fairness Doctrine, require everyone to become a homosexual, allow the United Nations to run our foreign policy, bring Ahmadinejad over for coffee and some of Michelle’s delicious snack cakes, and turn the United States into a vassal of Sweden.
And that’s not the worst of it.
An Obama victory would also force the Republican party to take a long, hard look at itself and work to discover where things went off the rails. The deadwood and deadheads who are currently in control of the party would be kicked upstairs in order to make room for a new generation of leadership; sobered by defeat, cognizant of the mistakes made in the past, eager to reform everything from the budget process to ethics, and most importantly, able to develop a plan to not only win back power but govern the country once victory is achieved.
A victory by McCain will derail that effort by several years if not, for all practical purposes, shelve it completely. What need is there for reform if we’re winning – even if victory takes the GOP farther away from answering fundamental questions regarding philosophy and identity? John McCain the reformer will find a brick wall if he tries fundamental party reform. Those currently in power are a big part of the problem and it is hardly realistic to believe they will simply fall on their swords and give way to others with new ideas and little baggage to make reform a reality.
If there is a difference in the psyche of the two parties, it is in the way each goes about the process of self examination. Republicans by and large eschew navel gazing, preferring to bull their way ahead with a minimum of self absorbed clutter to distract them. The way the party approached the 1994 elections is a good example. The “Contract with America” was part political testament, part side show, part exercise in turning ideology into governance. It was canny, corny, and brilliantly executed. And after it was realized, the GOP didn’t have a clue what to do with their success except hold on to power.
The Democrats on the other hand are so angst-ridden and emotive when looking at themselves, you half expect the entire party to be locked up and put on a suicide watch. It takes them a lot longer to figure out what went wrong (not liberal enough) and where they should be going (elect more liberals) but when they decide what to do it is for the long term.
Yes, an Obama victory would be bad for America. But if this country can survive a Jimmy Carter, a Herbert Hoover, and a George Bush, it can certainly survive an amateur and fakir like Obama. It will be his incompetence that probably saves us in the end. He has yet to prove himself a success at anything except getting elected. He was a failure as a community organizer, a failure as head of the Chicago Annenberg Project, a failure as a state senator, and a non-entity in the short time he has been a US senator.
With a record like that, how much do we really have to worry about?
I will grant those of you who are wiping spittle off your monitors at this point that an Obama presidency means a much more lefty oriented Supreme Court. We shall see. The GOP will still have the filibuster in the senate. A truly egregious choice could be sidetracked. But even bringing on moderately liberal justices will no doubt mean there will be decisions that will be odious to most conservatives. The key will be to make Obama a one term president while using the next several years to reform the party so that when the GOP is able to win back the House – probably not until 2014 at the earliest – there will not only be a plan for electoral victory but a blueprint for governing as well.
The alternative is for the GOP to continue to wander in the wilderness; directionless, moribund, and with the current leadership more interested in holding on to what they have than seeking to do the things necessary to bring about a resurrection. The party has virtually disappeared from the northeast, the mid-atlantic, and the upper midwest while being challenged in the upper south, border states, the mountain west, and even in the midwest.
There won’t be much of a party left unless Republicans have the courage to take a good long look at themselves, at the last 8 years, at the people who have led them to this near catastrophe, and at a new breed of conservative Republican who could revitalize and re-energize the party and show the American people that the GOP is the party of the future once again.
Obviously, I am not working for a McCain defeat. But his loss would not be the end of the world and could very well be the catalyst for a new, smarter, more dynamic Republican party. It all depends on whether those of us who are in a position to call for change learn the right lessons from a McCain defeat and go about the slow, laborious process of building a new GOP. A party that would not only be capable of winning elections but of governing this beloved country honestly and with the humble realization that the American people need more out of us than moralizing and the tired ideas of the past.