Saturday, November 1, 2008

Conservatism Ain't Dead Yet -- Unfortunately

I read in all the blogs and political talking head op eds that this election means the end of Conservatism, the death of the GOP, etc.

I got a bad feeling it is wishful thinking.

Back in 2004, after the Kerry fiasco, other Democrats & Liberals I was friends with lamented what they felt was the worst possible election loss they had faced in decades -- the White House, lost seats in the Senate and House of Representatives. Then you had Karl Rove getting out on TV the day after the election (with that sh$# eating grin of his) talking about how Bush would privatize social security and create an "ownership society" that would create a permanent Republican majority and bury the Democrats for good.

Then Katrina happened, then the 2006 election happened, and Nancy Pelosi becomes the Speaker of the House. And then came Obama....

On Tuesday night we will all (hopefully) be celebrating the election of President Barack Obama, with big Democratic Party majorities in the Senate and the House.

But we should not discount a Republican comeback in either 2010, 2012, or afterwards. Modern Conservatism and the Modern GOP (as embodied by Sarah Palin and her supporters) are great at tapping into this wellspring of anger that exists across the country at the social & economic changes that have occurred in the past 20 years. Those changes that are so jarring -- the influx of immigrants, the disappearance of smokestack jobs, the rise of the geek industries like biotech and IT --- will spread even farther and faster if Obama succeeds. Even if Obama doesn't succeed, those changes are still going to happen because of the way the US economy has been evolving over the past 20 years. GOP leaders may exploit that anger in the population but they can't stop the development high technology industry since THEY as much as the Democrats need to grow the economy.

So as much as I hate to say it, we will be seeing Sarah Palin again at the top of a GOP ticket in the future.

There's also another more scary scenario -- sounds nuts now in 2008 but possible down the road.

Jeb Bush in 2012.

Its a horrible thought. But its the kind of thing the GOP and the Bush family would do. The Bush family loves dynastic rule. Using the logic the Bush family applies towards politics, Jeb Bush will probably have pressure applied to him to restore the honorable Bush family name (that's how they got Dubya to run against Gore). And the GOP will need a standard bearer for their party.

Be afraid.

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