Democratic debacles are a mess, but will Republicans clean house in 2014, 2016?
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Democratic debacles are a mess, but will Republicans clean house in 2014, 2016?

Atlantic City : NJ : USA | Nov 14, 2013 at 3:59 AM PST
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Conservatism minus political thought.

The implosion of Obamacare appears to vindicate Republican congressmen to a minimal extent. It turns the tables on the political situation of a month ago, where the government shutdown appeared to ruin Republican chances in the 2014 midterm elections and 2016 presidential race. But does the changed dynamic mean the Republicans will clean house in 2014 or 2016?

Not necessarily. Not unless the GOP does some really effective house-cleaning in the time being.

Allvoices Anchor Robert Weller published an article Nov. 12 titled "Poll says Clinton would defeat divided GOP." It's based on an NBC poll that, if true, is all the bad news that the title implies. In a general election held today, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would beat Republican presidential front-runner Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey in a landslide of as much as 10 percent of the popular vote. Worse, Christie is supported by only 32 percent of registered Republicans, but actually opposed by 31 percent. A Politico poll conversely demonstrates more than 66 percent of Democrats named Hillary Clinton their "top choice."

Weller's figures are supported by websites like Above Top Secret, which explained the current four-way GOP split. A Public Policy Polling survey shows Christie and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tied at 16 percent of the Republican vote, while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) holds another 15 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has 14 percent. In other words, RINO candidates Bush and Christie are tied with tea party candidates Paul and Cruz for 30 percent of the Republican vote, while the rest of the GOP blows away like leaves in the wind.

The only thing beyond a shadow of a doubt through the polling is that Christie comes closest to matching Clinton in a general election, trailing her by a projected 5 percent of the popular vote.

Cruz trails her by more than 17 percent.

The problem is far enough out of control that the intellectually crippled Fox News has weighed in. Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points" memo for Nov. 12 noted that the tea party continues to "reject the moderate wing of the party." O'Reilly identifies a viewer who labels former presidential candidates John McCain and Mitt Romney "moderates" and that this is why "we got crushed!" He accusingly exclaims "Christie is one of them" as though this moderation will afflict the viewer with the plague.

O'Reilly shows a video clip of Sarah Palin shouting, "When you stand in the middle of the road, you're gonna get hit on both sides." Given her mental prowess, I thought Palin was speaking from personal experience, but then I realized she was trying to make a judgment in favor of extremism.

O'Reilly quotes another viewer who says, "[No one] in my house will vote for Christie after his kissing up to Obama during the hurricane. I'd rather see Hillary win. Christie is a traitor, like you, Bill."

I haven't heard anything so asinine in a long time. Let me first say, for all the liberal commentators who I have taken issue with in the past:

If you are the kind of conservative who finds fault with a GOP politician for thanking an African American Democrat for helping him perform a simple public service in a time of emergency -- yes, I think that makes you a racist!

Secondly, what kind of idiot voting conservative says, "I'd rather see Hillary win." It's like Thoreau's Massachusetts threatening to secede from the Union over intolerance of slavery: What do you hope to accomplish with such a Kantian imperative of all-or-nothing logic?

Bernie Goldberg, of all people, did an interview with O'Reilly Nov. 11, and he actually made sense. Goldberg condemned hard-right conservatives:

...because of their ideological rigidity...they're gonna sit home and not vote for him [Christie]...if they do that...because of this need for ideological purity...they will end up helping elect a liberal Democrat.

Goldberg's tea party would exclude "anyone to the left of Ted Cruz." When O'Reilly asks him if Paul or Cruz could ostensibly rally moderate support, Goldberg responds, "If things are horrendously bad, yes -- anything short of that: No!" I think that's a fair assessment. Goldberg says the tea party "has an obligation: They can't be as rigid as they are," otherwise "millions of people who might have voted Republicans, won't vote Republican!"

The only solace conservatives can take is the phenomenon of Elizabeth Warren, who appears ready to possibly split the Democrats in 2016. Carl Cameron of Fox News brands her the "new darling" of the "Occupy Wall Street far left." He interviews Adam Green, a spokesman for BoldProgressives.org, who says, "Many of Hillary Clinton's positions are frozen in 2006-2008.... We're going to be pushing Hillary Clinton not just to take a position, but take the right position." Cameron says the Warren campaign could ostensibly drive all Democratic primary campaigns further left, potentially scaring away big business donors from Clinton -- but this is likely unfounded.

Allvoices Anchor JohnThomas Didymus makes similar speculations in "Why not a Clinton-Warren ticket 2016? (Part Two)." He compares a "socialist-leaning far left" to "what the tea party movement is to the Republican Party." Further, he asserts:

The American two-party system works best when there is a centrist clustering...across the party divide. Recent congressional standoffs over major issues of policy reflect the concerted drift within both parties to the extremes of their...ideological spectra.

This assessment is certainly correct. We should be promoting people like Christie or Clinton to high office, not rewarding the bad behavior of Cruz or Obama. Didymus agrees that Clinton should be chosen above Warren because "bipartisan convergence at the center is the best strategy."

Where I part company with him is where he says "the quest for ideological purity is understandable." I can't see it that way.

Charles Krauthammer told Bill O'Reilly that the only "difference between RINOs and 'true believers' is one over tactics rather than ideology and objectives." In other words, moderate Republicans just moderate themselves "to win." Didymus' moderation and Krauthammer's "ideological" moderation operate on the same continuum of thought between a "New Soviet Man" and the Burkeian, aristocratic "divine right of kings."

Krauthammer says, "We all agree on limited government, a restoration of individual rights, restoration of individual responsibility." But that's an awfully bold assertion. What does limited government mean -- the robber-baron state? What individual rights have been taken away? What does "restoration of individual responsibility" mean -- the vivisection of Social Security or Medicare? Those are not things I would agree to.

Why have we deemed it so necessary to live in this world of historicist relativism? Does eight years of Bush justify eight years of Obama? Does any of this justify the next horror story we elect?

To all those tea partyers out there: How happy are you going to be when Clinton trounces Christie because you voted for Cruz -- or worse, didn't vote at all?

To the leftists still hanging on to the stern of the Titanic while Obamacare slips beneath the waves: How happy are you going to be if Christie wins over Clinton because you voted for Elizabeth Warren? I'm not telling you to "converge toward a bipartisan center" because it's the best chance at winning. I'm telling you to moderate your views because the choice between radical socialism and robber-baron capitalism is hardly just. Think about social justice before you think about "red" or "blue."

If you like to write about US politics, enter Allvoices’ The American Pundit political writing contest. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and Nov. 30. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded in December. If you do not already have a free account, sign up here.

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Sources:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBlH_68xDqU

http://video.foxnews.com/v/2829620023001/conservatives-disappointed-with-2016/?playlist_id=2114913880001

http://video.foxnews.com/v/2831929293001/elizabeth-warren-a-threat-to-hillary-clinton-in-2016/?playlist_id=2114913880001

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While Bill O'Reilly and Charles Krauthammer move in the right direction...neither of them can tell you why to be more 'moderate'---except that it will help politicians win.
larsknutson is based in Loma Linda, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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