Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cause for hope?

I've always felt that Republicans had a political advantage over Democrats due to the simple fact that they always seemed to have their act together.  No matter how morally bankrupt their platform was or how inept their candidates were, they still managed to out-maneuver the Democrats politically by being organized, staying on script with their message, and defining the issues in ways to their own benefit while demonizing their opponents.  It was a tried and true formula that was often successful - the election (with the help of the Supreme Court) and reelection of George W. is evidence of the success that can be attained with shrewd planning and disciplined execution.

Recent events make me wonder if the Republican Party has lost its mojo, and thus its advantage in elections where the electorate is sharply divided.  At the national level, the all but concluded presidential primary process was a debacle of the first order, with Republican candidates inflicting more damage upon one another than any Democrat could have hoped for, and it has produced a presumptive nominee that no Republicans seem to really like - that's how desperate they are to attract the elusive moderate "swing-voters" who apparently will decide the general election.

And here in Maine the political plight of the Republican Party is even more bizarre, with the party in disarray and squabbling going on between the "mainstream" leadership and various factions within the party.  The last two Republican State Conventions have been hi-jacked by radical groups, with the Tea Party taking charge of the convention two years ago and writing a platform that showcased all of their favorite talking points; this year it was Ron Paul supporters that took over by outmaneuvering the party leadership to elect one of their own as chairman.  The Paul supporters then proceeded to elect delegates who support Paul over Romney, which is not the result  the "leadership" had intended for the convention to produce.  Confusion, acrimony, accusations and name-calling reign.

So my question is, can the Democrats get their act together enough, just this once, to take advantage of the situation and maybe actually win some elections that they should win anyway (if they could just convince voters to act in their own self-interest).  If Obama were reelected together with a Democratic Congress, it's just possible we might be able to get some things done to restore economic fairness and social justice to America. Is that too much to hope for?

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