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 LATE SUNDAY 26

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PostSubject: LATE SUNDAY 26   Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:15 pm

i don't know who is more scumbag and cartoony, david frum for having the audacity to keep breathing, or the washington post to give him even a pixel of space on their pages. god this whole thing has become so cartoony i don't know if i can look anymore. but of course i am. and so are you.




Sorry, Senator. Let's Salvage What We Can.
By David Frum
Sunday, October 26, 2008; B01
There are many ways to lose a presidential election. [justify]John McCain is losing in a way that threatens to take the entire Republican Party down with him.A
year ago, the Arizona senator's team made a crucial strategic decision.
McCain would run on his (impressive) personal biography. On policy,
he'd hew mostly to conservative orthodoxy, with a few deviations --
most notably, his support for legalization for illegal immigrants. But
this strategy wasn't yielding results in the general election. So in
August, McCain tried a bold new gambit: He would reach out to
independents and women with an exciting and unexpected vice
presidential choice.That didn't work out so well either. Gov. Sarah Palin
connected with neither independents nor women. She did, however, ignite
the Republican base, which has come to support her passionately. And
so, in this last month, the McCain campaign hasPalinized itself to make the most of its last asset. To fire up the Republican base, the McCain team has hit at Barack Obama as an alien, a radical and a socialist.Sure
enough, the base has responded. After months and months of wan
enthusiasm among Republicans, these last weeks have at last energized
the core of the party. But there's a downside: The very same campaign
strategy that has belatedly mobilized the Republican core has alienated
and offended the great national middle, which was the only place where
the 2008 election could have been won.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.McCain's
awful campaign is having awful consequences down the ballot. I spoke a
little while ago to a senior Republican House member. "There is not a
safe Republican seat in the country," he warned. "I don't mean that
we're going to lose all of them. But we could lose any of them."In the Senate, things look, if possible, even worse.The themes and messages that are galvanizing the crowds for Palin are bleeding Sens. John Sununu in New Hampshire, Gordon Smith in Oregon, Norm Coleman in Minnesota and Susan Collins
in Maine. The Palin approach might have been expected to work better in
more traditionally conservative states such as Virginia, North Carolina
and Georgia, but they have not worked well enough to compensate for the
weak Republican economic message at a moment of global financial
crisis. Result: the certain loss of John Warner's Senate seat in Virginia, the probable loss of Elizabeth Dole's in North Carolina, an unexpectedly tough fight for Saxby Chambliss's in Georgia -- and an apparent GOP surrender in Colorado, where it looks as if the National Republican Senatorial Committee has already pulled its ads from the air.The
fundraising challenge only makes things worse. The Republican
senatorial and congressional committees have badly underperformed
compared with their Democratic counterparts -- and the Republican National Committee,
which has done well, is directing its money toward the presidential
campaign, rather than to local races. (It was RNC funds, not McCain '08
money, that paid the now-famous $150,000 for Palin's campaign wardrobe,
for example.) This is a huge mistake.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.A
beaten party needs a base from which to recover. In 1993, our
Republican base was found in the states and the cities. We had the
governorships of California, Michigan and Wisconsin in 1993, and Rudy Giuliani
won the New York mayor's race later that year. The reform we delivered
at the state and local levels contrasted acutely with the shambles of President Clinton's first two years -- and helped us win both houses of Congress in 1994.I
very much doubt that we will be able to show that same kind of local
strength in 2009. The statehouses were the engine of our renewal in the
1990s; the Senate will have to play the same role after this defeat.
That's especially true because of two unique dangers posed by the
impending Democratic victory.First, with the financial meltdown,
the federal government is now acquiring a huge ownership stake in the
nation's financial system. It will be immensely tempting to
officeholders in Washington to use that stake for political ends -- to
reward friends and punish enemies. One-party government, of course,
will intensify those temptations. And as the federal government
succumbs, officeholders will become more and more comfortable holding
that stake. The current urgency to liquidate the government's position
will subside. The United States needs Republicans and conservatives to
monitor the way Democrats wield this extraordinary and dangerous new
power -- and to pressure them to surrender it as rapidly as feasible.Second, 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.The
best bulwark for a nonpolitical finance system and a national culture
of open debate will be the strongest possible Republican caucus in the
Senate. And it is precisely that strength that is being cannibalized
now by the flailing end of the McCain-Palin campaign.What should Republicans be doing differently? Two things:1. Every available dollar that can be shifted to a senatorial campaign must be shifted to a senatorial campaign.
Right now, we are investing heavily in Pennsylvania in hopes of
corralling those fabled "Hillary Democrats" for McCain. But McCain's
hopes in Pennsylvania are delusive: The state went for Kerry in 2004,
Gore in 2000 and Clinton in 1992 and 1996, and McCain lags Obama by a
dozen points in recent polls. But even if we were somehow to take the
state, that victory would not compensate for the likely loss of
Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and other states tipped to the Democrats
by demographic changes and the mortgage crisis. The "win Pennsylvania
and win the nation" strategy may have looked plausible in August and
September, when McCain trailed Obama by just a few digits. Now it looks
far-fetched.But it is not far-fetched to hope that we can hold
45 or 46 of our current 49 Senate seats. In 1993, then-Senate Minority
Leader Robert J. Dole
(R-Kan.) stopped Hillary-care with only 43 seats. But if we are reduced
to just 40 or 41 senators, as could easily happen, Republicans and
conservatives would find themselves powerless to stop anything -- and
more conservative Democrats would lose bargaining power with the Obama White House.2.
We need a message change that frankly acknowledges that the Democrats
are probably going to win the White House -- and that warns of the
dangers of one-party, left-wing government.
There's a lot of poll
evidence that voters prefer divided government. By some estimates,
perhaps as many as 8 percent of voters consciously cast strategic votes
in favor of division. These are the voters we need to be talking to now.I'm
not suggesting that the RNC throw up its hands. But down-ballot
Republicans need to give up on the happy talk about how McCain has
Obama just where he wants him, take off their game faces and say
something like this:"We're almost certainly looking at a
Democratic White House. I can work with a Democratic president to help
this state. But we need balance in Washington."The government
now owns a big stake in the nation's banking system. Trillions of
dollars are now under direct government control. It's not wise to put
that money under one-party control. It's just too tempting. You need a
second set of eyes on that cash. You need oversight and accountability.
Otherwise, you're going to wake up two years from now and find out that
a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House have
been funneling a ton of that money to their friends and allies. It'll
be a big scandal -- but it will be too late. The money will be gone.
Divided government is the best precaution you can have."It's the only argument we have left. And, as the old Washington saying goes, it has the additional merit of being true.



dfrum@aei.orgDavid
Frum is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the
author, most recently, of "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again."
He served in 2001-02 as a speechwriter and special assistant to
President Bush.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/23/AR2008102302081.html?nav=rss_print/outlook&sub=AR
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PostSubject: Re: LATE SUNDAY 26   Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:30 am

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