Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Moderate Republicans Don't Win Presidential Races

OpinionJournal - The Western Front: The McCain Myth

Brendan Miniter talks about McCain and the DNC strategy. I personally don't think a moderate Republican can win, there's nothing in a moderate to get the base solid support. I didn't (and still don't) believe that President Bush in 2000 was a "conservative". But I did see he at least had some core beliefs in the power of free markets and appeared to have some core values which he was unwilling to compromise. I didn't see any of that in McCain. What I saw in McCain was a social left winger and a respect for the military. What I also saw was a man with a problem controlling his anger, a man who enjoyed belittling others in his own party and a massive sized ego. Having been a Vietnam POW was compelling but this is not enough to get a person the Republican Presidential nomination. All the reasons the MSM loves John McCain are all the reasons why I don't trust him and would never vote for him.

From Miniter:
Now, however, the answer to the question is obvious: Conservatives can and do win elections for the Republican Party. What the McCain Myth ignores is that for now a majority of voters nationwide embrace conservative principles. Talk of
being a "compassionate conservative" notwithstanding, it wasn't maverick moderatism that handed President Bush victories in 2000 and 2004. Nor has the McCain Myth been responsible for padding Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Indeed, Republicans have been winning by sticking to their principles and not bucking their party's ideas on tax cuts, national defense or reforming the judiciary.

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The most interesting advice the DLC is doling out these days has to do with suburban voters. President Bush beat John Kerry in 97 of the 100 fastest growing communities in the country. The Democrats can win urban areas with record turnout but still lose elections. Joel Kotkin notes that Minnesota, traditionally a progressive state that gave us such liberal icons as Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale and Sen. Paul Wellstone, may now be turning Republican. It was the only state Ronald Reagan lost in 1984, but Democrats can no longer count on carrying the state. John Kerry had 60% of the vote in the Twin Cities last year, but the suburbs went to President Bush by a similar margin. "Two decades ago, these results might not have been so disturbing. But now the suburbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul are three times as populous as the Twin Cities themselves," he writes. The problem is Democrats have for too long denigrated suburban dwellers and even fought new suburbs from going up with "smart growth" restrictions, so suburbanites return the favor by voting Republican.

As for Mr. McCain, this all leaves him in the unenviable position of offering a political philosophy--no more tax cuts, moderate reforms to entitlement programs and, among other things, moderate judges--that is actually costing Democrats votes. Paradoxically it's a political philosophy that helps him wield tremendous power in the Senate, where there are plenty of mushy moderates. But the idea that it's a political philosophy that will propel Republicans into the White House is a myth that this President Bush has long since dispelled.

The Minnesota reference was very interesting because when you look at the data, the only significant area which Kerry won was in the city of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Most of outstate MN and the suburbs went to President Bush in 2004. The other thing I wish people would remember is current Senators don't win Presidential races. They just don't. Senator Frist reminds me so much of Bob Dole. A really nice man who has integrity and respect. But being nice will not win an election.


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