24 September, 2010

Why Republicans Lost in 2006 and 2008

This is the first part, in what I think will be a four part series. The series will be about the recent elections and what they portend for the current one and for the future.

There were several obvious reasons why the Republicans lost in 2006, and 2008.

  • An unpopular war in Iraq
  • Endless hammering by the MSM on how “awful” things were (quick question, if it was “awful” in 2006, what word describes now, MSM?)
  • Democrat angst over the 2000, 2002, and 2004 elections, especially the Presidential ones.
  • And frankly, the Democrats were better organized.

But there’s another reason, one that Democrats and Republicans of the time both misunderstood, and one that has significant bearing on this election and likely the elections in 2012 and 2014, if not beyond.

Republicans lost their base and conservative independents. But not because they moved too far to the right. Because they moved too far to the left. 2006 gave us the first indication that conservatives had lost faith in the Republican party. The Republican establishment tried to ram “comprehensive immigration reform” down our throats and we screamed in one voice, “NO!” While nothing further of significance would happen for almost three years, it was at this moment that the Tea Party was conceived.

The left likes to demonize George W. Bush (R-USA), but the real reasons they hate him boil down to four things:

  1. The way he talks. The left thinks that the President should be smarter than you and me and sound like it. Obviously, Bush doesn’t sound like it. Whether or not he actually is, is immaterial.
  2. The Iraq war. The left hates it. Nevermind that every prominent member of the Democrat establishment supported it when it was begun. Nevermind that an overwhelming majority of Americans supported it when it started. None of that matters. What matters is that it wasn’t over fast enough and clean enough and no “significant stockpiles of WMD’s” were found.
  3. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito
  4. Katrina. Personally, I think local and state government owns more responsibility for the failures here, and those were controlled by Democrats, but there’s no escaping the fact that the federal government screwed up. There’s also no escaping the fact that the MSM completely invented stories about what was going on that made Bush look bad.

So, they hate him for the way he talks, two events, and Supreme Court picks. They like to pretend they hate everything about him, but his politics on the whole were at worst centrist, and often left-of-center. He gave us No Child Left Behind, prescription drugs for Medicare, huge government growth, and tried to give us amnesty for illegal aliens. One of his biggest allies in this was Senator John McCain (R-AZ). The “moderate” wing of the Republican party flexed its muscles from about 2002 to 2008.

In doing so, they lost the small government conservatives and independents. A lot of us didn’t vote in 2006. In 2008, I voted for John McCain for President (holding my nose), and then left the rest of my ballot blank. Like many other conservatives, I had essentially given up on the Republican party.

In the next post, I’ll detail how the Democrats completely misunderstood the 2006 and 2008 elections and show why that has put them in so much trouble in 2010.

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