The Silver Lining In A Vast, Dark Cloud
Not only did Obama demolish John McCain, the Democrats added significantly to their margins in the House and Senate.
This has already spurred discussion on whether conservatism is dead or the country is now “center-left” instead of “center-right.”
Here’s what I would say to that.
In 2004, George Bush beat John Kerry 51% to 48%.
Today, the Democrats are as fired up as they have ever been, conservatives are completely demoralized, the Republican Party has done an awful job, George Bush is less popular than Nixon after Watergate, McCain was widely disliked by conservatives, and Barack Obama/DNC had a war chest at least 200 million dollars bigger than the McCain campaign/RNC — and as a result, Obama won 52% to 47%.
In other words, despite the staggering advantages the Democrats had in this election, including a candidate who undoubtedly drew in millions of black voters who wanted to pull the lever for the first black President and millions of other voters gripped by white guilt, it only led to a shift of about 4% of the American public from the Republicans to the Democrats. That’s what a “landslide” amounts to, folks — 1% more of the vote than George Bush received in the 2004 election.
Does this election prove that the country has shifted to the left? No, it proves that with almost every factor in their favor, the Democrats can win big — but, the same could be said of the GOP.
With that in mind, the key over the next two years will be for the Republicans to…
1) Fire their base back up by acting like conservatives and fighting hard against the Democrats, especially on big issues.
2) Raise hell and hold filibusters to prevent the Union Card Check, the Fairness Doctrine, making D.C. a state, and other policies designed to block Republicans from power.
3) Come back strong in 2010 and get enough state legislatures to help keep the gerrymandering in our favor while adding enough senators to make filibustering easier.
Then, in 2012, we can try to knock out Obama and add more seats in Congress.
It’s possible — if the Republican “leadership” in D.C. can start acting like they have half a brain for the first time in years.
Update #1: This post was updated to reflect Obama’s final percentage of the vote.