In an effort to resist going totally insane with grief, I've been looking for a silver lining in this whole election, and I think I have found one: Scott McConnell's endorsement of Kerry in "American Conservative" magazine.
Although his enthusiasm for Kerry is tepid and back-handed, he was not alone amongst Conservatives and Republicans voicing their concerns about a Bush re-election. Obviously, it wasn't enough for Kerry to win the popular vote, but it is significant. Why?
Clinton's eight years in office burned into people's brains his image as the symbol of the Democratic party. Now, you can debate whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. You can argue whether or not Gore's association with Clinton cost him votes in 2000. You can claim that his behavior reinforced the image of loose sexual mores for Democrats when combined with the Kennedy legacy. Nevertheless, he is an icon that many people still love and respect.
If George W. Bush is re-elected, then he will also serve a total of eight years. He will then become the face of the Republican party, and I'm guessing that a lot of Conservatives don't like the sound of that. Conservatives didn't really like Kerry, but they hoped that Dubya could be cut short in 2004. Then Republicans could re-group, attack Kerry for every blessed thing under the sun for four years, and in the meantime prep someone new for 2008. As it stands now, Bush is going to have another four years to cement his acts, policies and character as those of the entire Republican party. Read McConnell's article. He puts it far more eloquently than I can.
I believe that both McConnell and I would welcome the back-and-forth of yesteryear between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans could call Democrats to the mat when they were spending far too much money and Democrats would hold Republicans accountable for their attacks on the Constitution. Dubya's legacy robs the term "Conservative" of meaning as he spends money like a (forgive the term) drunken sailor. True Conservatives saw the core Republican principle of fiscal responsibility shoved aside for such trivial BS as gay marriage. If true Conservatives have any sense, then they will either work hard to try and change their party from within or leave their "Republican" designation entirely as one that no longer holds any meaning.
The remaining "Republicans" will be left with their icon, and they will come to regret it in 2008...
...if we ever get there.
This is my last post until next week and perhaps my last political post for longer than that. Mrs. Mosley and I are going away for the weekend to see the FSU/Duke game in Tallahassee (where I can be reasonably certain that this time my team will win). I need a break and the next post will likely be a Movie or a Chicken Caesar review, with more of the same to follow. For now, I'm burned out and tired.
But I will be back.