Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Obama Defeat Scenario

Yesterday I discussed the political scenario within the Republican Party that could unfold if John McCain were to lose to Barack Obama. As nasty as that sounds to those of us who consider ourselves conservative bona fides and rock-ribbed Republicans, the situation within the party opposite if Obama should lose in November will be unlike anything the Democrats have experienced since the 1950's and 1960's, and would rock that party to its core:

Now, let's turn to the Democrats, a loss by potential nominee Obama would arguably be more catastrophic to the short-term future of the Democrats than a McCain loss would be for the GOP.

Why? Because the Democrats are supposed to win.

But whatever the reason, losing is not an option and an Obama loss would bring out the long knives inside the party walls.

This bitterness between the Clinton and Obama factions will be very personal and very bitter, opening up the possibility for a third faction to develop, one that will argue that Clinton and Obama were both too divisive to win.

This group could, ironically, be led by folks like Al Gore and John Edwards, two other failed presidential candidates in their own right.

Bottom line on the Democrats: an Obama loss would create a nasty, personal fight inside the party that the media will obsess about because the characters are so television friendly.

Conservatives cannot pretend that the present Administration is popular-it is not, and there are good conservative reasons why that is the case. Not only has the President shown a propensity to spend uncontrollably, but he led us into a war in Iraq that we soon collectively discovered was unnecessary (and now can't afford to lose because of what that would do to bolster our enemies in the Arab world), and presides over an economy that is in a badly weakened state. These kinds of circumstances are what generally keeps conservatives home during an election, since they don't want to endorse failed liberal policies or a candidate many don't see as a conservative at all.

In any ordinary year, we would not be discussing whether the Democrats would win in November, but by how much they would win. Conservative Republicans like me would be giving serious thought to how the GOP could stop the bleeding.

The polls are so far showing that this is no ordinary year, however. What is developing is an extremely tight national race, with the sum of all polls being within the margin or error. Further, State-by-State polls in nearly every Southern State and in several key electoral battleground States (including this one), show that McCain could win a sizable majority in the electoral vote. An Obama loss is a serious possibility in November.

Because Democrats won control of Congress in 2006 by running some unusually conservative candidates in key seats-and they plan to repeat this tactic in 2008-Congressional results can't really be seen as an indicator that the country is taking a dramatic turn to the Left. If Barack Obama were to lose, it could be seen as a serious rebuke to the social philosophy of the modern Democratic Party. In a year that they should win decisively, to lose would cause Democrats to re-examine the party's ties to the radical Left-failure to do so could mean more losses.

The Obama camp cannot expect disgruntled conservatives to stay home in numbers. I've spoken with too many conservatives who tell me that they dislike McCain, but will do whatever it takes to stop Barack Obama. Combine this group with the Democrats who say they are voting for McCain (at least one I spoke with told me that they've never voted Republican, but will this year) because of Obama, and Hillary supporters who vote for McCain in protest, and Obama has powerful political numbers aligned against him.

If Barack Obama loses in November, it may not just precipitate a Democratic Party civil war, but a complete restructuring of the Democratic Party as a political entity.

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