Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Out of steam

This post from Kos makes me smile:
Meanwhile, one wingnut blogger after another is proclaiming that they'd rather vote for Hillary or Edwards or Obama than a Huckster nominee. Over at the NY Times, Adam Nagourney (who I like, really) has finally stopped writing his tiresome "Democrats are divided" stories to focus on something more topical -- how Republicans hate their candidates:

But what is worrying Republicans these days is that this tepid rank-and-file reception to the best the party has to offer suggests that the Republican Party is hitting a wall after dominating American politics for most of the last 35 years. Republican voters are reacting to — or rather, not reacting to — a field of presidential candidates who have defined their candidacies with familiar, even musty, Republican promises, slogans and policies.

“Our party generally has grown stale in its message and we’re not as tuned in as we once were,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican who sought his party’s presidential nomination in 1996 and 2000. “We’re repeating words and phrases that were from the 1980s, rather than looking ahead to 2008. We haven’t been as original and fresh in our presentation as we ought to be. We have been applying our old principles to new circumstances. The world is new.”

Richard Lowry, the editor of the conservative magazine National Review, said the field “has been less than the sum of its parts.”

“The debate among these guys has been so unedifying and so backward looking,” he said. “It’s all, ‘who did what wrong seven years ago.’ They are also not talking about the future, which is a sign of a deeper Republican malaise. The Republican Party has run out of intellectual steam and good ideas.”

There's no bigger sign of this lack of intellectual steam and good ideas than the almost exclusive reliance on fear-mongering to try and scare up votes, whether it's terrorism, Iran, scary brown people, San Francisco, or gays. And in that intellectual void, the party's religious base -- long used, abused, and taken for granted -- have sensed an opening and are pushing that advantage.

Huckabee isn't a corporate con -- he isn't even a millionaire! -- and he certainly isn't a neocon. His foreign policy would actually be predicated on liberal ideals of respect, trust and cooperation -- poison to those who get their foreign policy from Soldier of Fortune magazine T-shirt ads: "kill 'em all and let god sort them out".

He's a theocon, the very people who empowered the corporate cons and neocons the past two decades by their tireless on-the-ground activism while the others kept their fingernails clean in their Wall Street and think tank corner offices. Now that the theocons are threatening to take ther turn at the helm of the GOP, it's amusing how the rest of the -cons in the GOP are suddenly less than thrilled and willing to play ball.

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