A Funk of the Republican Foot Soldiers
Since we're on military metaphors for political campaigns...
On Wednesday, Politico had this fun bit of reporting:
Ten months before Election Day, Republicans are facing a threat that spells serious trouble for GOP candidates from the top of the ticket down to the most obscure races. The problem is the funk of the foot soldiers.
So far, the story of the 2008 campaign on the Republican side is what’s not happening.
Ambitious Republican politicians at the state and local levels are not deciding that this is the year to make a bid for higher office.
Republican contributors are not opening their wallets and writing campaign checks.
Most striking of all, Republican voters are not heading to the polls to vote in the GOP primaries in anything like participation rates of early years.
The word "meltdown" comes to mind.
Some Democrats worry about the electability of one or another Democratic candidate, and some point to head-to-head match-ups between various Democrats and various Republicans. The fact is that the polls show all the major Democrats beating all the leading Republicans, and the various margins of victory are irrelevant. So are the high negative ratings of a couple of the Democrats.
As was the case with the national polls, over the past year, which showed Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani far far ahead of their nearest rivals, polls this far out are irrelevant. Barack Obama has closed or caught Hillary in most current national polls, and Rudy is toast. That's what just a couple weeks of voting can accomplish. Most people are only beginning to pay attention to the 2008 horse races, so much if the polling has to do with name recognition and preconceptions. That all the leading Democrats are already polling ahead of all the Republicans means that there is already an inclination for people to support them, even before most people have really heard what their candidacies are about. Anyone who has watched any of the debates knows that all the leading Democrats come off even better, once you see and hear them, while all the leading Republicans come off as best described by IOZ:
It is the single most preposterous collection of human beings ever to share a stage in the entire history of the human race, a catalogue of human failure, the ultimate proof of the folly of our species and all its works in this world.
At this point, the Republicans' best hope- and probably their only hope- is that the occasionally nasty Democratic internecine warfare will so split the Party that reconciliation is impossible. Hopefully, the recent candidates' truce will help. Debate on the issues is one thing, but the personal and personality attacks should stop. Any thinking Democrat who would consider enabling the Republicans, this year, isn't thinking at all. Too much is at stake, from beginning to deal with global warming to the Supreme Court. As I've said many times, none of the remaining Democrats have what I consider to be an adequate plan to get us out of Iraq, but none of the Republicans even seem to realize there is a need to. We cannot afford four more years of Republican rule. Period.
Many Democrats have problems with one or another of our candidates, but the Republicans are so desperate that they're already beginning to give up. No money, no candidates, no motivation for their base to head to the polls. If we stay focused on what matters, it will be a political bloodbath. As that Politico article concludes:
A recent poll from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found a telling statistic: 74 percent of Democrats are looking forward to the primaries, compared with 49 percent of Republicans.
With numbers like these, it’s little wonder that so many Republicans are content to watch the 2008 election from the sofa.
Let's keep them there.A