Monday, November 3, 2008

There Can Be Only One!

No, unfortunately Connor MacCleod of the Clan MacCleod is not one of our ballot options. Dude took out the Kurgan--obviously Bin Laden would be no match. Plus, Connor's immortal, so it wouldn't matter how long it took to find him.

Election Day is finally here, such as it is, and there can only be one president. Accordingly, our distinguished panel have submitted their predictions for the final outcome. But before the maps, a few thoughts of my own.

How did we get to this point? "Conservatives" jumping ship to vote for the most liberal major party nominee ever. Open and vociferous mockery of our VP candidate's intelligence (again). Democrat takeover of middle America, and hijacking of major GOP platform planks like tax cuts and responsible budgeting. And most importantly, a well-packaged but unproven youngster's defeat of our stalwart war hero (again). Haven't we learned how to win these things? Haven't we been through some of this?

It's easy to blame the McCain campaign, and say, "That's not the McCain we remember," or "He had a bunch of Bushies advising him to sling mud." But 2008 was not 2000 redux. This is the McCain who lives in a post-9/11 world, a McCain who had a new message for a new situation. We weren't riding highs this time, but worrying about past and future lows. We didn't have a distrusted Dem in the White House to run against, but a wickedly unpopular Republican pres to run away from. And we weren't leading for most of this race, but clawing to stay neck-and-neck. You can bet you would have seen more negativity from Obama if he had been trailing a few points. Regardless, the climate was dismal even before the economic meltdown, and McCain's put up a hell of a fight.

But still I ask, how did our party arrive here? Simple. We relied on wedge issues to win our last two contests, and forgot what happens when the wedge works against you. We morphed pro-growth policies into naked apologetics for greed and excess. We squandered our political capital on instant gratification, and allowed our capitalists to slip further into self-gratification. We were more concerned with not unplugging Terry Schivo than with cutting pork, and too wrapped up in the FMA to reign in Fannie and Freddie. We are the ones they warned the country about, and we proved our critics right in nearly every respect. Only in the area of national security have we succeeded, and our gains there won't be fully appreciated until we're all too senile to care. We might deserve the ass kicking we're going to get tomorrow, and we can only hope the Dems screw up one-party rule just as much as we did. (especially once one of the 'swing' justices croaks)

I'm still somewhat optimistic about overall performance, and I think Obama's overpolled in many places. Even so, we may lose states that haven't been challenged in a generation. So, without further ado, the maps, and your comments! (it appears our only real disagreements are MO, NC, and FL)