Leaders of the party have expressed shock, dismay and chagrin over the electoral loss in the recent voting. Seeming disoriented and helpless, they appear to be searching for a candidate to take on the incumbents.
The Republicans in 2009?
No, the Democrats in 2005. They were dispirited and adrift after Bush’s re-election, and wondering who they could put up against the GOP juggernaut that repeatedly had trounced them since 1980, with a few exceptions. No savior appeared to be on the horizon.
So Republicans take heart The GOP can and will regroup and will start winning elections again. Bet on it, particularly if it gets back to its conservative roots.
Thomas Jefferson talked about the give and take between parties, and after the unpopular Iraq war, unyielding media assaults on Bush, and the usual ebb and flow of political power, the Democrats certainly could have been expected to win in 2008. Added to McCain’s weak performance and Obama’s unrestrained and shameless pandering – taking both sides on virtually every issue including some very conservative positions – no wonder the Democrats won.
But let’s look back for a moment.
In 1989, a tough Republican federal prosecutor named Rudolph Giuliani ran for mayor of New York City against Democrat David Dinkins, who is black. Giuliani lost. Of course. Dinkins had the home-field advantage in every way, including his race. He was New York’s first black mayor.
By 1993, however, the city had so declined into such chaos that Giuliani ran again and won, then was re-elected in 1997 with support from all quarters. He ultimately instituted such far-reaching reforms that he was seen as savior of the city by fighting against the Democrat establishment. Giuliani became the first New York mayor ever to be seen as presidential material, which was ironic since virtually all of them had been Democrats
Could Giuliani repeat this nationwide in 2012 against the “black” candidate Obama after failing in 2008?
Count him in. Big time. Rudy is appearing all over the place and looking strong and ready with good answers for what ails us. He is one of a panoply of superb GOP leaders all better qualified than Obama was like superbusinessman Mitt Romney; nuts-and-bolts governor Sarah Palin; former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee; effective and popular Jeb Bush of Florida; governor Sanford of South Carolina; governor Perry of Texas, Newt Gingrich and a host of others. And don’t think for a minute that Obama is as invincible as he thinks he is. His poll numbers are dropping among independents much faster than previous presidents.
Look back to 1976, when Ronald Reagan was running for the GOP presidential nomination against Gerald Ford. Ford ultimately won because he was seen as more “moderate” just as McCain was seen that way in 2008. Ford lost to Jimmy Carter in the general election, and Reagan was discouraged and considered quitting politics.
But Republican US senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina convinced Reagan that he could win if he stayed in politics. He did and Reagan won big in 1980, and a landslide re-election in 1984. Reagan transformed both America and the world with policies that were seen as far out of the mainstream in the 1970s. Meanwhile, the media savaged Reagan for years as a dumb actor who couldn’t lead without a script, just like they are doing to Sarah Palin now.
So Giuliani, Palin, Huckabee and Romney are in Reagan’s rerun position now, although none is as solidly conservative. And Jeb Bush, Rick Perry and others are expected to be possible contenders. Every single one is a super-solid and substantive candidate with excellent credentials compared to superficial Obama.
2012 will be like 1980. Jimmy Carter, like Obama, came into office in 1976 during a time of economic woe, including runaway inflation. Carter, like Obama, entered office with big majorities in Congress – 61 Democrat US senators and 292 Democrat congresspeople. But his policies did not work over the next four years. And along with Carter’s feeble foreign policy stands – which Obama already is mimicking – a tough and decisive Ronald Reagan won in 1980 with promises of renewed military strength and capitalist tax policies that ended up setting off the biggest economic boom in world history.
The November 2010 midterm election will be a good year for the GOP. Because despite some positive economic signs this Spring, there will still be high unemployment next year, along with many unresolved economic issues (housing, the car companies, health care, manufacturing job losses etc.). This will be coupled to the usual cycle in which the sitting president’s party traditionally loses congressional seats in the midterm election after winning the White House. And the growing Tea Party tax revolt is going to favor Republicans significantly.
Even with a growing economy, Bill Clinton’s Democrats lost the entire House of Representatives in 1994 in a 52-seat drubbing, just two years after Clinton’s first election. This put the House in Republican hands for the first time in 40 years and left Clinton stunned and claiming that he was still relevant although he was clearly shaken, much the way Republicans are today. Ironically, one of the few presidents to buck the trend of losing House seats two years after his election was… George Bush in 2002.
The Republican party still is the party of ideas. Often those ideas do not seem sexy in relation to hyped-up Obama promising a chicken in every pot and “free” this and that for every voter. But while many Americans are dumb as hell and waiting for the next handout (they vote Democrat), many are very astute and are watching Obama like a hawk. And like the people of New York City looking over the wreckage of their once-great metropolis in 1993 and pulling the lever for a Republican like Giuliani for the first time ever, the voters of America are looking over Obama much more carefully than the Democrats would like to think. And taking notes.
Americans voted for Obama in some part to elect the first “black” president – although Obama is mulatto. Beyond that, they seem to like him, but they also are not going to cut him all that much slack for more than a few more months. They want results.
Obama clearly has his work cut out for him. He is passing out stimulus money because that it what Democrats believe in. It will not work. The markets need time to heal themselves, and the depth of this recession will be more than Obama can do anything about by 2010.
By 2012, it is not likely that the economy will be strongly recovered because of the complexity of what has happened coupled to Obama’s wrong response. This is a once-in-a-lifetime collapse. And while Ronald Reagan also inherited big problems, he went in the opposite direction of Obama. By 1982, the economy was worse and Reagan was seen as a one-term president. But his “tax cuts for the rich” soon started to have their real effect, and by 1984, the economy was rebounding strongly and Reagan thrashed Walter Mondale with a ‘Morning in America’ campaign.
Like David Dinkins, Obama’s historic “first black president” magic already is fading. By 2010 and especially by 2012, he will be seen as just another candidate who either did or did not live up to his billing. And when he does not put food on the table except by issuing more food stamps and other government assistance, you can rest assured that president Romney, Giuliani, Sanford, Palin, Perry… or even maybe Bush… will come to the rescue with a real plan for genuine economic revival.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can print out for free my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.