This week the blog comes from one of the last Republican bastions in California - Orange County. It’s an ironic location, given that so many see the defeat of John McCain as the death of the modern Republican Party. In 1964 the same doomsayers rang the death knell for another Arizona Senator who failed to become President, Barry Goldwater.
As we saw in 1980, the Conservative movement hardly died and, in fact, prevailed over America for the next 28 years. So, beginning in 2008, we write a new chapter in American politics, but we don’t write a GOP obituary.
One reason is that McCain’s loss was not so devastating as many first thought. Yes, it was an Electoral College landslide for Barack Obama, but McCain did win 173 electoral votes. What’s the significance? Well that’s more than the 159 electoral votes Bob Dole received in 1996, and more than the 168 that George H.W. Bush won in 1992.
If you think the McCain margin was bad, realize that Jimmy Carter won only 49 electoral votes in 1980; and Walter Mondale, a mere 13 in 1984. Those elections marked the end of the modern-day liberal control of Washington, but certainly did not end the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, which just reemerged as a power with the 2006 and 2008 elections. Heck, by comparison to Carter-Mondale, even the much- criticized Goldwater got more electoral votes, with 52.
The U.S. Presidency is a pendulum. It swings from right to left, and back again. It will swing to the right again one day; and if Obama falters, it could swing fast, as Jimmy Carter found out.
Keep an eye on the economy. The public has no patience for failure on this issue. If the economy does not bounce back substantially in two years (and many forecasters I’ve heard don’t think it will), then we could have another upheaval in the mid-term Congressional elections. Remember, the political landscape can be just as volatile as the economic landscape.
Happy Thanksgivings Week! Check back daily at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.