Wednesday, November 17, 2004

I Only Have Time To Gloat

I was obviously wrong when I predicted a Kerry victory. I was close. It came down to one state, Ohio, and even then, there is more than a bit of controversy regarding the outcome in the land of the Buckeyes. Nevertheless, closeness doesn't count in presidential elections, and Nostradamus I am not.

So, while I admit my past mistakes, allow me to take solace in the fact that I was right about one thing - my prediction of the makeup of Bush's second cabinet, and his foreign policy outlook for a second term. Perhaps solace is the wrong word. This is the one I wanted to be wrong about, whereas the election I wanted to get right.

I am too busy at work to commit to a full blown essay today, so I will simply remind the reader of this post in which I predicted Bush would "stay the course" by selecting a cabinet and a foreign policy that closely mirrored the first four years, both in personnel and direction.

Despite the predictions of realists like
Gregory Djerejian, the neoconservatives and hardliners have not been marginalized. On the contrary, as this article and this article suggest, they are more entrenched and emboldened than ever.

It will be interesting to see how moderate conservatives and realists react to this affirmation of prior policies. Will they reconsider their support? Will they feel like they've been had? In a bizarre sense, moderate Republicans control the country. I know that might sound counterintuitive to many, but hear me out. If you consider the make-up of the House and Senate, moderate Republicans are the swing voters that the Democrats must appeal to if they hope to derail even a portion of the far-right's agenda. Moderate Republicans in the Senate (Hagel, Chafee, McCain, Snowe, Collins, etc.) can provide the margin of victory in a given legislative battle, assuming the Democrats can maintain some modicrum of discipline and unity. Without the centrists, the Democrats are powerless to hinder the far-right juggernaut gaining momentum in Washington. In that respect, they alone control how far they will let the extreme factions within the GOP determine the direction of the country. Will they succumb to the Hammer, or will they show a little backbone. Wither will your allegiances fall Greg et al?

[Update: E.J. Dionne took up the issue of the moderate Republican dilemma in an editorial in yesterday's Washington Post, and is trying to make a plagiarist out of me. Here is what Dionne had to say:

So will moderate Republicans stand up? Or will the Republican right render them even more impotent than they were before Nov. 2?

With our nation's capital now under even firmer Republican domination, conservatives are claiming a mandate for everything from the partial privatization of Social Security to a transformation of the judiciary. The moderates have a choice of going along with a swing to the right or fighting for the power to influence policies in their direction...

But if Washington's Republican leadership uses its power to ram through a conservative agenda while denying moderates any meaningful role, moderation will have no chance. Will the moderate Republicans take a stand, or will they continue to be complicit in their own powerlessness?
I concur Mssr. Dionne, and all apologies for not having read your column in a timely manner.]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?