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* * * 2008 * * * : Breaking it down, where do Republicans go from here?
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 Message 1 of 5 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameT-o-r-s-t-e-n  (Original Message)Sent: 11/5/2008 3:40 PM
Obama beat McCain 62M votes to 55M, a total of 117M votes.  Obama did edge out W. and is now the candidate to have received the highest number of votes ever.  But turnout was lower this year than in 2004 where Bush also got 62M but Kerry took in 59M, a total of 121M votes. 
So Obama took Bush's numbers, yet McCain fell short of Kerry by 4M.  What this says to me is that, alongside the sea of change in present-day America shifting from center-right to center-left and Obama's appeal, is that McCain was inadequate to many of my fellow Republicans.  Many of us either voted for someone else or simply didn't vote, and the numbers are indicating conservatives largely stayed home as we had no horse in this race.  The push to vote-against Obama never resonated b/c, like moderates and probably liberals too, despite Obama's lefty and partisan record, the notion that he'll lead the nation as President in that fashion doesn't stick.  We all think his ambition outweighs his ideology and he'll end up a centrist a la Bill Clinton.  Like Clinton he sails into the White House with Democrat majorities, but not so much where minority Republicnas can't mario kart some turtleshells in his way, which, guess what Obamites, he likely is happy about b/c that gives him an excuse for not delivering on any number of his promises b/c the Republicans are standing in his way, lol. 
But anyway, if Obama doesn't learn from Clinton's mistakes where Bill tried to advance a leftist agenda the first two years of his presidency only to have his initiatives stalled and fought by minority Republicans, resulting in a democrats-never-saw-it-coming Republican Revolution in Congress in 1994, well then there's a potential for the same thing to happen to him in the next midterms.  Especially after the past 16 years.  Like I said, Clinton had his party majority in Congress for two years, it got reversed by Americans.  Bush had his party majority for 6 years, technically (although Senate was pretty much effectively 50-50 for the duration), and it got reversed two years ago.  The American public is not so much fed up with Republicans as it is Washington--see the democrat congress approval rating and that of its two leaders, Reid and Pelosi, sitting there below Bush's.  The odds are Americans will sooner rather than later set to balance out the legislative branch from the executive branch as we're certainly wary and weary of life under one-party rule.
Getting back to where we Republicans need to go, I'll personally be working on advancing the stature and voice of the more headsy types of my party.  I expect Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor to be names you all will get to know in the coming years as they are both of the fiscal school under the Romney Wing of the party, which I do believe is the branch that most Republicans will come around to advancing ahead of the Culturalist flank since we've now seen what happens when they are allowed to rule the roost. 
It's not that bad for us.  The headline coverage is misleading.  That's not saying they're lying about anything, but looking at the internals of this election, Obama is not impervious, he's not impossible to defeat.  The electoral count, certainly, and the percentages don't tell the full story that the actual votes do when you peel back the layers to examine the state of things.  Turnout was lower, and had McCain contained his base he would've likely bested Kerry's figures, still lose the election mind you, but with about 5M more votes, only losing by 2.5M instead of 7M.  McCain was just a lousy candidate and his live-by-the-sword Maverick Id very predictably turned into his die-by-the-sword ending. 
Now turning the page, I expect not a battle over whether to cut or not to cut taxes, but actual Tax Reform and entitlement reform to be two of the central fronts in the Republican Recovery as we are going to do what we do best and get back to work being pragmatists at making government more efficient, less burdensome, more sensible, and not get distracted along the way with cutlural identity sort of pandering.

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 Message 2 of 5 in Discussion 
From: TreeSent: 11/5/2008 5:52 PM
What do you think of the possibility of congressional republicans taking a position of working across party lines for the good of the country? This is assuming that Obama reaches out as well by politically "integrating" his cabinet and listening to the concerns of republican leaders. Perhaps reaching a status of "agree to disagree" on some issues while working together to try to solve other problems?
I'm not saying for republicans to roll over and play dead, but hoping they might look beyond the partisan politics of alienation and conflict that have typified the last 16 years.

 Message 3 of 5 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameSmigChickSent: 11/5/2008 6:19 PM
Well, Torty, as long as Obama keeps his promise to lower my taxes and give tax breaks and more benefits to my family (among other things, lol), I would gladly vote to re-elect him in 2012. So as long as he really is the non-partisan man of his word that he says he is, the Reps won't stand a chance next election.
But anyway, you don't think Romney's in it (for 2012 I mean)?

 Message 4 of 5 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameT-o-r-s-t-e-nSent: 11/5/2008 6:56 PM
"Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust."
Who said this?   Obama spoke it last night, right.  Only not exactly this way.  Those are the words of President Bush following his historic defeat of challenger John Kerry in 2004, an election that awarded Bush with the most votes ever cast for a candidate for President (until this year where Obama eclipsed it).  Now, I don't want to get too far into dealing with the whole of the Bush Presidency as I'm planning on assembling that separately later, before we all say our goodbyes; but, it is relevant to your question, Tree, to point out that Bush's desire of bipartisanship was a if not the central element to his entire Presidency and his efforts to attain it, to build consensus among Democrats and Republicans (I'm speaking primarily political types here), were failures that ended up disappointing or angering most instead of satisfying most.  It's another installment of the important lesson that you cannot be all things to all people.  Obama's entire campaign is essentially the same only he speaks in soothing rhetoric and his presentation is much better, perhaps even capable of reaching the pinnacle level of The Orator. 
So the notion that Republicans have the audacity to actually dare to work across party lines is inaccurate since we've just had 8 years of a President who himself led his party, which had majorities in both houses of congress, in precisely that aim is not a suggestion that I think pays any respect to prior, genuine efforts.  Simply put, judging by the last 16 years, the Republicans have proven to be an extremely good minority party.  That is, they do work with the opposition party just fine.  The Republican congress was great with President Clinton.  The Democrat congress was awful and disgraceful with President Bush.  The new blood has taken over the White House and I think part of President-Elect Obama's challenge lies in restraining and defanging insipid partisans like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi who have combined to achieve an approval rating far below President Bush's by their stunts in Congress that delay progress and reform out of fthe desire to first satisfy political interests and to optimize their own political power.  As President Obama will have to control these people and resist their liberal agenda if he's going to be the sort of transformational leader he says he wants to be.  So his desire is not unlike Bush's and he'll have his own party in power for at least the first couple years of his Presidency and so we'll see what sort of character the new Republican minority has in conducting their own business in terms of not just working with a Democrat President, but a Democrat controlled congress that has engaged in some of the most disgraceful and obstructionist politics we've ever seen, resulting in their record low approval rating. 
To summarize my point more concisely, it's not as if Bush/Republicans never tried and didn't have a desire to work in a bipartisan fashion; to the contrary it was cornerstone to Bush's Administration.  Bush faced severe congressional opposition that often engaged in maneuvers designed to thwart progress and reform to foster an environment of dissatisfaction in its stagnation resulting in their ability to increase their own numbers since, at the day's end, all anyone sees is the head on top of that totem pole, and so if it's an elephant, then it doesn't mean what the donkey faces on the shaft are doing b/c the head is the one that will pay.  So the desire and the effort have been there all along, it hasn't been returned out of political pursuit of power, and now that they have got it in congress and the next Presidency, it's their task to reach across to the minority party.  And so if history is any guide, the minority Republicans will again be far easier to work with than democrat minorities ever are. 

 Message 5 of 5 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameT-o-r-s-t-e-nSent: 11/5/2008 6:57 PM
smig, no I certainly think that Romney is in a prime position if he wants it....i'm relatively certain he has the desire, but a lot will depend on the conditions over the next 2 and a half years.  
what I was speaking about in the first post here was turning the Republcian page to the future and naming a couple names who I think will do very well in gaining stature and national prominence in the coming couple of years. 

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