One thing I'm looking forward to in this interminable election is the nomination, by both parties, of unelectable nominees. Both parties have candidates with cross-partisan appeal (McCain and Obama), both of whom should be ideologically acceptable to their bases. And yet there's anger boiling up from the base at them because they have too much appeal to people outside the tribe. Exhibit A: Hugh Hewitt, drinking in Romney's Michigan victory like a nomad happening upon an oasis,
CNN finally stumbles on the key fact: Republicans ultimately nominate the Republican nominee. Not Independents. Not the MSM.
Romney polls anywhere from 12 to 20 points worse than John McCain in the general election, but it's important that people who will cross over to vote for the GOP nominee in a year the GOP has basically no advantage don't get their guy.
Then there's the anti-Obama left, passing around video of this Barack Obama rumination:
I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.
Obama wants to win as big and long-lasting as Reagan did, something that conservatives have been worrying about all year. The GOP leader who worked against Obama in Illinois's state Senate has said "Obama can be to liberalism what Ronald Reagan was to conservatism, and that's a friendly face or likable personality that can move the country left." But the reaction on lefty blogs is… Reagan was bad! Bad, bad!
Ronald Reagan didn't appeal to people's optimism, he appealed to their petty, small minded bigotry and selfishness.
Admittedly, it's pretty damn selfish to worry about 13 percent inflation and 8 percent unemployment. And from another one of the bloggers who brought you Sen. Ned Lamont (D-Conn)*:
Reagan was a psychotic man who nearly blew up the world and used paranoia and fear to change our culture and government in horrible ways. He also wasn't particularly popular, though as a politician, he's worth admiring for his raw political skill. Conservative ideology is based on greed and fear. There's no such thing as a good conservative leader, period. It is a fundamentally bankrupt, corrupt, and fraudulent ideology, and there is nothing laudable about people like Reagan who tap into the worst of America.
Let's, uh, take all that for granted. Obama was "lauding" Reagan about as much as Reed Richards "lauds" Doctor Doom. He wants to grok how Reagan won two landslides, while the critics want to recapture the intregrity and winning tactics of Walter Mondale. Again, I wonder what would happen if the big two parties stick with candidates who can't appeal beyond the base. As ridiculous as Mike Bloomberg is or the Ron Paul third party talk is, that would be the opening.
*This is probably unfair, as Lamont won the primary and was done in by Connecticut's lack of a sore loser law, but it says something about the bloggers' understanding of non-Democrats.