By David Beilstein
Some quick thoughts. Got to love Bobby Capehert. A real macher. I appreciate political commentary, obviously.
Wouldn’t be blogging otherwise.
Journalistic combat between colleagues is a special slice of blogging. Bob’s attack on my thoughts regarding the in’s and out’s of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s defeat in last year’s election proved entertaining.
But I still think the Grand Old Party was to blame (overall) for Romney’s defeat.
However, I will admit Pat Caddell’s CPAC breakout—whom Capehert quoted via Michael Patrick Leahy piece over on Breitbart—made some interesting points. If you’re never wrong (an impossibility), there’s never an opportunity to learn. And learning is key and should be a lifetime accouterment.
Says life—and Ma and Pa Beilstein.
But let’s not forget what transpired during this week’s Conservative Action Committee’s festive conclusions. Tonight, Kentuckian Rand Paul, the libertarian-leaning Republican senator, won the CPAC straw poll. If conservatives are blessed, and we better be, this could be great news.
But I’m cautious.
Meaning, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Only two CPAC straw-poll winners have become President of the United States of America: Ronald Reagan, in Nov. 1980, and George W Bush, in Nov. 2000.
Both were two-term presidents with large footprints. Reagan’s legacy is secured. He was, perhaps, the second most successful president in the 20th century. George W Bush’s legacy—well… later.
But many CPAC straw-poll victors go forward with the transient winds of time. Here today, gone tomorrow.
CPAC is a limited spectrum of conservatives. Most are young, and most—in the past—are not apart of the wide demographic that picks the presidential nominee throughout the primary selection process. But if we’re being optimistic (and we should) I’m reasonably confident the overall base of Grand Old Party is ready for significant change.
It’s easy to panic. Too easy.
We thought after nominating McCain in 2008, we’d surely nominate a stickler of a classical liberal this time around. Instead, we picked the loser to the 2008 nominee, John McCain—Gov. Mitt Romney—another moderate.
Another candidate we were told by dozens of pop conservatives if we didn’t nominate, we’d lose in Nov. We nominated Romney; we ate the excrement sandwiches and slurped up the establishment’s stagnant bog.
But still, Obama was reelected.
What’s more, we were told by friend and foe alike, Romney was Goldwater’s ghost personified. Back from the grave and ready to kick progressive, tyrannical ass. I never believed any of this. I’d wanted the G.O.P. to head toward Goldwater territories for seven years, at least—and so, Romney didn’t so much as dupe me, as Obama was so bad, my support was a foregone conclusion.
Still, we were told it was going to be different this time around. The bloom was off Obama’s rose…
Romney stumbled out of a sure win, into a decisive defeat. Those of us who predicted waves! of silent majority rabble-rousers kicking! and screaming! Obama ass-over-tea-cup, back to the Windy City to mope, looked like idealistic bastards.
Blowhards! … Clowns! … Nebbishes! …
So it went, all the excitement and jovial heat, around and around the commode bowl of Nov. 6.
I’ve been more right than wrong when it came to predicting outcomes in boxing matches and political elections. But there’s always a couple you wish you looked back on—inspected high and low with better-trained eyes.
Election 2012 was one such occasion. In boxing, it was Tyson-Holyfield I. But when you’re wrong, you’re wrong.
Better just admit it.
So I wont go off the cuff too far and say the kingdom of God in electoral politics has been reached. We got miles of rough road ahead. Lots can transpire and throw the train over the proverbial trestle.
But political analysis needs contextual awareness. 2012 was a big deal. And those who orchestrated (and were in charge) of shaping Republican electoral narratives have been soundly made to eat crow.
It was a large part of Pat Caddell’s “dance-on-the head of Republican consultants speech” at CPAC.
Republican quasi-pop conservative groupies are out of sight and out of mind. Finally. And I can’t see Republican Party conservatives lining up to vote passionately for another moderate, advertised as a conservative. Whilst the outcome of the future can never be known for certain, I do think Rand Paul’s victory means something.
Something possibly, and hopefully, immense.
I think Paul’s polished unlike his dad. And I think he’s reasonable unlike his old man. And I think the status quo of pop conservatism and moderate Republicanism lost huge Nov. 6, 2012.
They’ve been disqualified.
With McCain, the excuse could always be: eight years of Republican Party fatigue. Financial crisis, Iraq War mess, et cetera. Give the Dem’s a chance. Why the hell not? It’s not out of the question after a two-term presidency for the other party to come into the Oval Office.
But Obama’s job performance was awful after four years. Ripe for defeat, Republicans had the opportunity to own up to past mistakes and run a passionately hopeful and ideological campaign with a conservative behind the truck speeding forward.
No more excuses. I think real change is coming. I think the GOP has a solid bench. I think republicans might have a quick-footed, quick-handed southpaw working his sweat and putting in his roadwork in the background.
I think fortune could smile upon Republican’s future.
…but I’m not sure.