Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Where Do We Go From Here?

Well, our side lost in most of the big elections around here, with the exception of Sen. Cornyn. There is certainly room for disappointment, with (for starters) the results of these elections, with a Republican Party that has seemingly forgotten what its main tenets are, with a mainstream media that absolutely didn't do its job (to say nothing of the outright campaigning by such esteemed publications as the worthless weekly...stay classy, guys), with a lot of so-called conservatives jumping ship for reasons of political expediency, and with the Kossacks and others who took great pleasure in trying to destroy the lives of people who got in the way of their candidate.

With that said, what comes next? Here's my proposed list of things to do:

Republicans:

1. Now is the time to congratulate President-Elect Obama. Pray that God blesses him, and all our country's, and our world's, leaders with much-needed wisdom.

2. That doesn't mean that there is not room to oppose the policies and programs desired by an Obama administration. Of course there's room for that. But there's a way to oppose a policy without tearing down a person. Our party absolutely lost that way with President Clinton, and the other side threw it back at President Bush fourfold.

3. As several people have said, it is time to figure out what this party is going to stand for. The Contract with America was a concise message that resonated with voters in 1994. There was no message this time, and I would argue that what resonated with the base of the party this cycle was Sarah Palin.

4. And that leads to the next action item: do not let the MSM and quasi-conservative pundits tell you that the road to redemption starts with throwing Governor Palin under the bus. This is also not the time for finger-pointing; it is the time for action.

5. Like it or not, the other side holds a better hand at this time. There will be opportunities to work with them on items that are important to both sides. Don't capitulate on your basic beliefs, but work with Democrats to help this nation, 'cos things won't be any rosier on 20 January than they are now.

6. Absolutely, positively, don't be jerks about it. Yes, half the country disagrees with you. That doesn't mean they're any less intelligent or more evil, or that they hate this country. Do not sink to the level to which the other side descended four years ago. Remember the disparaging cries of "Jesusland"? The contempt directed toward middle America? Jim Treacher will remind you, if you really want to revisit that era. (Some of his examples of that behavior are NSFW/language.)

7. Are you still relying on the MSM for news? If so, why? Seriously. There are few reasons left to continue to take a daily paper, or at least the one we have here. Channels such as MSNBC have given us the likes of Chris "thrill up my leg" Matthews and Keith "get a shovel" Olbermann. Why watch them? Stay informed, of course, but understand that there are many sources of information other than the usual suspects. Check out, for example, a list of post-election questions and reasons why this is not the end of the world (NSFW/language).

8. Hey, 2012 candidates? Don't take public financing!

Democrats:

1. Yes, by all means celebrate this win. You earned it, in all seriousness.

2. Remember that it is possible for people to oppose your policies without being evil capitalistic pigs. And while you're remembering that, phase out the use of the oh-so-original "rethuglicans", "republiKKKans", and the like. Now, please.

3. Please stop telling our party what positions and candidates we should support. (For example, I don't know how many times I heard some of you saying McCain should dump Palin because I lost count.) I mean, come on. I haven't seen any of our party telling you that you should run Dennis Kucinich and Michael Moore.

4. I know this will come as a surprise to the MSM, but bipartisanship does, in fact, include taking some ideas from Republicans. It's not a one-way street.

But Snowed, your side didn't do that! Please. If it wasn't NCLB (or, as Mrs. Snowed calls it, Every Child Left Behind) or the Medicare prescription program, it was a $700B bailout.

5. Again, do not be jerks about it (again, that includes you, Kossacks). And don't go around telling us our viewpoint is invalid because our side lost this one.

And for everyone: be thankful it's over!

4 comments:

Rizzo said...

The moral of the story is definitely don't take public financing!

M1EK said...

I see a lot of projection here - NCLB and Medicare reform weren't Democratic ideas, and the way they were implemented was incredibly unpopular with the Dem side. Arguably, Dems hated the bailout just as much as Reps did - some voted for it on either side based on mistaken ideas that it was ugly but necessary; the same kind of populism was to be found on both ends in opposition, though (see Doggett).

I also didn't see anywhere near as much demonization of Bush as with Clinton. The fever swamps of the right still talk about Vince Foster. Find me something like that with Bush.

That Austin Girl said...

Whoa, "Rethuglicans?" I've never heard that one! On behalf of Democrats, I'm sorry. That sucks.

Anyway! I really liked this:

"...There will be opportunities to work with them on items that are important to both sides."

Snowed, I personally am looking very much forward to this. Public education for our kids, retirement security (I hope) for our elders, a physically healthy nation - these are all items I hope we, Dems and Republicans, achieve together over the next few years.

Thank you for reaching out!

Snowed In said...

Mike, I would agree with your perception that the implementation of NCLB and the Medicare reform were pathetic (one unfunded mandate, one completely irresponsible), but the fact remains that they were definitely bipartisan, and actually neither of them were particularly palatable, at least for me.

And since I haven't said it yet, props to Congressman Doggett for voting against the bailout. Now if he'd vote against some earmarks...