Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for May 21st, 2008

Election Soothsaying

Posted by Mike on May 21, 2008

Election years always bring out the fortune teller in all of us. From amateur bloggers, to professional journalists, to not-so-professional journalists, everyone who closely follows the news tries to figure out who is going to win the election. To the credit of all those I just described (maybe even Chris Matthews), most informed people who try to predict political outcomes do so by analyzing real news events and what the candidates say.

One thing that always bugged me during election years comes from the types who seriously believe that a Presidential election really hinges upon things like the last Packers game before the election or which hemline length is in fashion. With that in mind, I was pleased to see that the Anchoress posted on this very topic.

My favorite part of the post was when she ridiculed astrologers generally as well as the recent batch of astrologers who boldly predicted an Obama victory while simultaneously backpedalling by acknowledging the fact that anything can happen:

Well, there is a reason why “things turn on a dime” is a cliche. It’s because things turn on a dime and anything can happen. I don’t even know if any of the three stooges currently dominating the process will be on the ballot in November, and I have as much chance of being right about that as these folks do. I know the astrologers all predicted John Kerry would win in ‘04. That didn’t work out. One did – I recall – suggest that the 2000 election would be “confused” but then again, everyone was doing spooky-twilight-zone music in 2000, for the start of the millennium in 2001.

The Anchoress’ post sums up my thoughts on this topic, but much more eloquently than I would have put it. It’s a worth a read.

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McCain and the Republican Party Brand

Posted by Ryan on May 21, 2008

I just read this Politico piece by John Feehery on the Republican Party’s relationship with McCain.  His take is that Bush stalwarts like Hastert, Lott, and Delay are no longer on the scene and McCain, ever the frustrating maverick, is now the presumptive GOP nominee. Hence, the maverick becomes the savior in lieu of the Republican’s crushing Congressional defeats of late.

My take is simple: whenever the Republican Party gets wimpy and vague, it is going to lose.  After seventy years of playing identity/socialist politics, the Dems have the (undeserved) reputation of being the “nice” ones.  Republicans don’t have that reputation because ever since FDR, Americans have elected Republicans to do the dirty work of cleaning up Democrat messes (Ike was elected to fix the Korean War, Nixon was elected to fix Vietnam, Reagan was elected to fix everything Carter did, Dubya was elected to fix our image after BJ).  So if we’re going to run a campaign with pale pastels against the Dems, the folks go with the trusty nice people: the Dems. Ugh.  Running to the middle has been our problem because the American people see no differences or alternatives: hence an animus towards the Party in the White House… us! 

It’s not that conservatism has failed, it’s that the potential practitioners wussed out before doing enough great or significant things, falling victim to the Washington big-government=power/popularity culture.  The pale pastel approach will lead to serious electoral disaster this Fall, as it has in those three districts, especially with a potentially jazzed Obama base with a tested 50-state organization, ready to pound McCain and the Republican brand name into serious minority status.

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