Cross-post note: This also appears at Marry in Massachusetts.
Already, our own smarmy elephant, Willard Mitt Romney, is raising money and doing well in polls (third behind Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee for 2012). He's hired staff and consultants too.
The next GOP go will depend on magic that John McCain lacked the skill to perform. Sure, the next candidates must separate themselves from the chaos and failures. Yet, to keep the core of the party's voters, they can't reject even the most disastrous Republican ploys. Those would include:
- Tax cuts are sound financial policy that grow the economy
- What's good for big companies is good for America
- Borrowing and spending hundreds of billions and calling it defense is sustainable
- Invading other countries will make us safe from terrorism
- Redacting the Bill of Rights is the American way
- Empowering the Executive Branch at the expense of the other two is good government
- We can win every war and our economy will always return to an endless growth spiral if left alone
You really, really have to want to believe, beyond self-delusion, to accept that package.
Consider just a few examples of the 2012 harbingers. President G.W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would have us believe they were fooled into a trillion-dollar misadventure in Iraq by bad spy reports. Karl Rove, Bush's long-term chief adviser, holds that it was not bad ideas, merely a campaign-fund disparity that caused McCain's loss. On the economy, Bush's current ploy is that all the bad stuff that led to the terrible stuff took place before he was in office — not his fault or that of his party.
Bad advice. Bush puts the onus on invading Iraq on the “intelligence failure” falsely claiming Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and the will to use them. Rice regrets reliance on “flawed intelligence” leading to the invasion of Iraq.
Economy? Not Mine. Bush has tap danced around the GOP Presidents' total financial failures. Then in his recent ABC interview with Charlie Gibson, he did the rich-kid finger-pointing avoidance thing:
GIBSON: Do you feel in any way responsible for what's happening?
BUSH: You know, I'm the President during this period of time, but I think when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived in President, during I arrived in President.
I'm a little upset that we didn't get the reforms to Fannie and Freddie — on Fannie and Freddie, because I think it would have helped a lot. And when people review the history of this administration, people will say that this administration tried hard to get a regulator. And there will be a lot of analysis of why that didn't happen. I suspect people will find a lot of it didn't happen for pure political reasons.
Some of us bloggers and MSM types note (with unconcealed glee) that his time-line would place the blame on his father's administration. We can also add that he avoids the judgment that without great help by external economic forces at home and abroad, Reaganomics and its variants destroy economies.
Trust Us. More obviously for the regrouping of the GOP, Rove's outrageous spin on the loss to Obama is a call to return with vengeance and hope. He would hold that they didn't lose because their policies and plans were bad, rather they were just outspent. Hence, donate more next time and we'll show those filthy liberals!
Tricksters and fabulists
Let us not conflate the honorable and politicians. The battle for 2010 Congress seats and the 2012 head office are underway. It certainly was long before November, when McCain's weakness and Bush's irredeemable failures were too obvious.
Again, Democrats, even in their centrist and quivering kneed totality, have to try to rescue the nation from the other party's economic failure. Moreover, unlike previous administrations in which the GOP at least did a better job with foreign affairs, we face disdain, distrust and hatred from much of the world as Bush's legacy.
Already to hear their advance tricksters and fabulists tell it:
- The economic problems were inherited, not the GOP's fault, and caused by companies not by government
- We can, in fact, have guns and butter, regardless of they way it looks now (and in the past 20-plus years).
- The tragic loss of thousands of American and tens or hundreds of thousands of others', plus the towering debt, was justified.
- Republican politicians and bureaucrats are wise and pure of heart. Incompetent spies fooled them into bad actions (which continued for seven years unabated).
- Give rich people more money and tax cuts, and they'll do the right thing by the rest of us.
- Give the GOP enough money, and they'll not only smack down the Dems, they'll make American perfect again.
One astonishing take is that some voters, many in fact, will buy into that bundle of crap. Republican magical thinking is certainly much easier to deal with than the adult bearing of responsibility and working to fix problems. Another astonishing take is that we'll hear such absurdities repeatedly for the next four years.
Meanwhile, Dems will be busy trying to keep America afloat and steer it into calm waters. Some group of them must act as a truth squad though. If we as a nation are not to repeat stupid, incompetent and delusional blunders of recent years, the bad and terrible ideas need constant exposure.
Republicans need more than new candidates. They need workable ideas instead of fantasies.