Monday, October 27, 2008
Everything to Lose
David Frum is a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, an avowed neo-con, and an all-around Republican heavyweight (albeit a hugely wussified one) -- and he's just written the most daunting, defeatist article to come out yet on the GOP's hopes at the polls eight days from now.
"There are many ways to lose a presidential election. John McCain is losing in a way that threatens to take the entire Republican Party down with him.
I could pile up the poll numbers here, but frankly . . . it's too depressing. You have to go back to the Watergate era to see numbers quite so horrible for the GOP.
In these last days before the vote, Republicans need to face some strategic realities. Our resources are limited, and our message is failing. We cannot fight on all fronts. We are cannibalizing races that we must win and probably can win in order to help a national campaign that is almost certainly lost. In these final 10 days, our goal should be: senators first."
While this is shocking in its candor, what Frum has to say about the possibility of a Democrat-controlled executive and legislative branch is shocking for another reason: its hypocrisy.
"The political culture of the Democratic Party has changed over the past decade. There's a fierce new anger among many liberal Democrats, a more militant style and an angry intolerance of dissent and criticism. This is the culture of the left-wing blogosphere and MSNBC's evening line-up -- and soon, it will be the culture of important political institutions in Washington. Unchecked, this angry new wing of the Democratic Party will seek to stifle opposition by changing the rules of the political game. Some will want to silence conservative talk radio by tightening regulation of the airwaves via the misleadingly named "fairness doctrine"; others may seek to police the activities of right-leaning think tanks by a stricter interpretation of what is tax-deductible and what is not."
I would hope that Frum was forced to stifle a chuckle as he typed these words, since it's positively laughable that an apostle of the neo-con gospel could actually claim the high ground when it comes to the enforcement of petty grudges and the suppression of opposition. I have to assume he's hoping that everyone forgets that it was the GOP who, at various points over the past several years, attempted to disqualify the votes of many underprivileged, redistricted areas to create a Republican majority, invoked executive privilege to keep its own dirty secrets, and generally kept the Democratic minority securely underfoot -- laughing its ass off while doing it.
While waging an angry vendetta against those who gleefully oppressed them for so long would be a terrible idea for the Democrats should they take a good portion of the government on November 4th, their outrage would certainly be understandable given the behavior the Republicans exhibited when they had the unequivocal majority.
For the right to not realize this -- or worse, to play the victim -- is ridiculous.
The Washington Post: "Sorry, Senator. Let's Salvage What We Can." by David Frum/10.26.08