Yes, it’s very early, but looking ahead to 2008 fills me with joy. I’m not a gigantic fan of HRC, but I’m confident that she, or any of the other leading democratic candidates, will make mincemeat out of the potential Republican candidates.
None of the Republicans, despite their best efforts, is likely to win over the base of the party. Some of the evangelical base may hold their noses and vote for them, but they are not going to galvanize the party the same way that Reagan did in ’80 and ’84 or W did in ’00 and ’04.
Let’s take them one at a time:
McCain is despised among the religious right, mainly because he has taken positions in the past that they can’t forgive–
1–He authored and was a leading advocate of campaign finance reform (a thorn in the side of the conservative base) otherwise known as McCain-Feingold legislation,
2–He has criticized the Republican Right as “agents of intolderance”, remember this great quote:
“Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right,” McCain said in 2000.
3–He supports a practical approach to immigration, which conservatives, especially conservatives in Arizona abhor:
His approach would:
* Create a temporary worker program for unskilled workers from other countries.
* Promote working with foreign governments to provide incentives for illegal immigrants to return to their home countries.
* Enable illegal immigrants to apply for permanent legal status after paying back taxes and a fine of at least $2,000, and completing a six year temporary worker program.
4–McCain has equivocated on the issue of same-sex marriage and gay rights:
From CNN: “The constitutional amendment we’re debating today strikes me as antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans,” McCain said. “It usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states do not believe confronts them.”
and then this:
The Arizona Republic: Aug. 26, 2005 12:00 AM
Sen. John McCain said Thursday that he supports an initiative that would change Arizona’s Constitution to ban gay marriages and deny government benefits to unmarried couples.
All of these things have led conservatives over the years to distrust McCain, to never consider him “one of them.” So what does he do? Does he keep the straight-talk express alive? Does he hold true to his positions and hope to win over independents? No, he veers hard to the right:
From the Boston Herald:
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Republican presidential candidate John McCain, looking to improve his standing with the party’s conservative voters, said Sunday the court decision that legalized abortion should be overturned. ”I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned,” the Arizona senator told about 800 people in South Carolina, one of the early voting states. McCain also vowed that if elected, he would appoint judges who ”strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States and do not legislate from the bench.”
He kisses Falwell’s ass:
Falwell and McCain first made peace in a face-to-face meeting a few months ago. In a sign of their improved relationship, McCain has agreed to be the graduation speaker at Falwell’s Liberty University on May 13.
and he hires all the thugs who smeared him last time:
Taken together, the moves provide the strongest indication yet that Mr. McCain intends to run a far tougher campaign than the one he ran in the 2000 primary. And they come as he transitions from being a onetime maverick to a candidate seeking to gather his party around him and create an air of inevitability about his prospects for winning nomination.
Yes, all of this might convince just enough conservatives that he can be trusted, but in doing so, he will alienate the people who won him New Hampshire last time, the moderate independents. And he has eliminated any chance of rogue conservative Democrats crossing party lines. If he’s the nominee, he will get wiped out.
The last thing the GOP is going to want is a flip-flopper from Massachusetts.
The video says it all. He has flipped on abortion (imagine the ads McCain will run with this clip) so hard his head must be spiining.
Check out this quote from 1994 on gun control, from Boston.com
In his 1994 US Senate run, Romney backed two gun-control measures strongly opposed by the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups: the Brady Bill, which imposed a five-day waiting period on gun sales, and a ban on certain assault weapons.
“That’s not going to make me the hero of the NRA,” Romney told the Boston Herald in 1994.
At another campaign stop that year, he told reporters: “I don’t line up with the NRA.”
And as the GOP gubernatorial candidate in 2002, Romney lauded the state’s strong laws during a debate against Democrat Shannon O’Brien. “We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them,” he said. “I won’t chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety.”
so what does he do now? How about join the NRA. Seriously:
“I have a gun of my own. I go hunting myself. I’m a member of the NRA and believe firmly in the right to bear arms. In our state . . . there are a series of laws restricting gun ownership in various ways. Over the past four years, I’ve worked very closely with the Gun Owners’ Action League here, which is an affiliate of the NRA, and we’ve made some changes which I think they feel have been positive steps. And so you are going to see that, I think, hopefully, in other states as well, as they make progress, perhaps further than Massachusetts has.”
And I won’t even go into what evangelicals really think about Mormonism…..
There are rumblings out there that Rudy dropped out in 2000, not because of cancer, but because they had polling that showed he was going to get wiped out by HRC, from The Chris Matthews Show…..
Ms. BUMILLER: I was city bureau chief for The New York Times when Rudy Giuliani was running against Hillary Clinton, and there are an awful lot of Republicans in New York City and New York state who think that the real reason he dropped out of that race was not his prostate cancer, but the fact that he was significantly behind Hillary when he dropped out. And there’s a lot of Republicans in New York right now who have a lot doubts about his ability to win the primaries and the elections. A lot of Republicans.
In my opinion, what wins elections is a combination of firing up the base, and winning enough independents in key states. The GOP used the base brilliantly in both 2000 and 2004, but with these three as the likely candidates, I don’t think they can run that play again. And this phony turn to the right by all three (even Rudy is trying a little), will only expose them as inauthentic, both to their base and to the media, while at the same time, it will alienate independents.
If one of these three is the candidate, and Iraq is still the shithole is is today, I predict a blow-out….. a 1984, 1980, 1996 type election with huge swaths of the border states and southwest turning blue. Even one or two southern states could turn.
Not to mention the Senate, where 21 GOPers are up next time versus 12 Dems….
Cross-posted at Daily Kos