Thursday, November 6, 2008

One Oklahoman's "Take" - Larry, of "My Take" blog, from Roland, OK gives his after-election take.

Why the Republican party was rejected on November 4th

Posted by Larry on November 6, 2008

Now that Barack Obama has been elected as our country’s first African American President, we have a little time to reflect on how this massive change in our country has came about. You see, Obama didn’t do this alone. He managed to excite a lot of new and experienced voters at the same time and he had a lot of help along the way, the media and the Republican Party itself included.

I do believe President George W. Bush had a hand in the rejection of the Republican Party. I have stated before that I personally believe President Bush is a good and decent man who has surrounded himself with advisers who have given him some very bad advice. This advice, coming from people like Karl Rove and Vice President Dick Cheney, shaped the Bush presidency into one that has been perceived as heavy handed in foreign policy and inept in domestic policy, both by the American people and by the world community. This perception is partially correct, although not as much as some of the media would have us believe and John McCain was never able to completely distance himself from the Bush administration. He therefore shared the undeserved complete blame for the economic meltdown that cemented Obama’s lead among the voters.

As for the McCain camp itself, it never seemed to find it’s footing in the rushing waters of the campaign. It appeared at times that John McCain was casting around blindly, trying to find what would work. They had an uphill battle against a masterful politician and they blew it. It seems to me the McCain campaign changed when it became clear he would be the nominee and started hiring former Mitt Romney staffers to fill his campaign slots. As independent as John McCain is, this caused his campaign to start looking and acting like the Republican party establishment and that simply did not work.

Do you remember how Joe McCain, John’s brother was going public with his thought that the campaign advisers needed to let John McCain be John McCain? Could it be that there was more than just a shred of truth in that? My brother told me something not long ago that really makes sense. He said he wanted to hear what the candidates had to say, not what their advisers told them to say. Maybe if McCain had stayed with the original campaign strategy that won him the nomination, we could have seen a different outcome.

When I first became involved in this election process, I supported Mike Huckabee, the former Governor of Arkansas. He was and still is, a man of incredible integrity and a very capable leader. I still regret his losing the Republican nomination for President and maintain he would have been a much better candidate than John McCain. I believe he would have been able to defeat Barack Obama and prevent our country from having the most liberal politician we have ever seen as our President. Instead, the Republican party establishment, along with groups like the Club for Growth and talk radio hosts such as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh chose to ridicule his candidacy and the man himself, saying he was not experienced enough to be President. Because of those attacks, the Republican party rejected the most capable candidate we have fielded since Ronald Reagan and we now have a much more inexperienced man as President elect.

In actuality, the Huckabee campaign shares part of the blame for his not winning the nomination. As his campaign got underway, most people gave him no chance of winning, but he went surprisingly far for the amount of money he was able to raise. I believe part of the problems for Huckabee started when he hired Ed Rollins as his national campaign chairman. Up until that time, Huckabee was seen as an outsider and a very fresh face indeed. Chip Saltsman was doing a masterful job of managing the campaign, but Rollins made his presence known by trying to go negative, when Huckabee himself did not want to do so. He convinced Huckabee it was necessary because of the negative ads ran by Mitt Romney. Even though Huckabee came to his senses and pulled the ad, the damage had already been done and I am not sure he ever fully recovered from that.

As it became clear Barack Obama would be the Democratic nominee, Huckabee himself warned of trying to demonize the man in an attempt to defeat him at the polls. From CNN:

Former GOP presidential contender Mike Huckabee called Barack Obama’s candidacy “a landmark achievement” Tuesday, and warned fellow Republicans not to demonize Obama.

“Republicans will make a fundamental if not fatal mistake if they seek to win the election by demonizing Barack Obama,” Huckabee told reporters in Tokyo, according to a report by Agence France-Presse.

The problems with Barack Obama are many, but the McCain campaign was never able to get the voters to focus on the details of what Obama plans to do as President. The William Ayers and ACORN issues are important, but the voters did not want to hear about them. Instead, they preferred to hear what Obama would do for them as President. Because of that, the cries of “spread the wealth” coming from the McCain campaign, as true as they were, fell on deaf ears. A majority of voters seem to believe “spread the wealth” wasn’t such a bad thing. If you don’t believe that, just look at the electoral college vote count.

The Republican Party shares a large part of the blame for the sweeping defeat it suffered on November 4. They have had a chance to effect positive change on America in general and on Washington itself, particularly in the way the business of running our country is performed. If they had taken a lesson from Huckabee’s playbook in Arkansas, they would have figured out that the people wanted their leaders to govern and accomplish the will of the people. They chose to focus instead on staying in power, rather than doing what they were elected to do. We have seen numerous scandals from within the party and when some of the most entrenched members of Congress, such as Ted Stevens of Alaska are involved, it’s very hard to convince the American people that our party is the party of change.

A multitude of issues and problems has contributed to the fall of the GOP. Our party leadership has fallen completely out of touch with the people who make up the party, the people who actually cast the votes. When they rejected Mike Huckabee ie. a candidate who came from the people, instead of from the party establishment, they rejected us. They do not seem to realize we need new leadership that will be firm in moving the party in the direction of the people. Our party is no longer able to focus only on issues of national security. They need to understand other issues are of grave importance to the people who make up the Republican Party. They have failed in that regard and because of that, our party is out of power and our country is now faced with an Obama administration that will change our country forever. In reality, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

That’s my take!


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1 comment:

  1. Kudos to you my friend. I think you have pretty much nailed it.


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