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The Liquid List:
"I say, lets get out there and grab a prominent progressive religious leader and put him in charge of the party. We need someone who can look the likes of James Dobson in the eye and call him a bigot in a way that'll appeal to those 'Red Staters' who care so much about faith and values."
You would think... except that this is the same logic that compelled people to nominate Kerry as the Democractic candidate thinking "Hell, if people are so concerned about the war and terrorism we'll give them a decorated war hero!"
... and they smeared him.
Its not about the candidate, its about the infrastructure. In the current climate, expecially here in a deep red state there are few, if any candidates, that the Democrats could run that would stand a chance against a Republican. At least not for any higher political office.
Take the Carson / Coburn race for example. Brad Carson was about everything that Oklahomans said they wanted in a candidate. He was a hell of a nice guy, well spoken. He was religious, he was economically conservative but willing to make sure that Oklahoma got its share of federal money, he was for the war in Iraq and supportive of the President's "War on Terror". He was pro-life and against gay marriage. He was even pro-gun!
Smeared as a liberal.
I joke sometimes that the Democrats could run Jesus himself and still lose. Because its not really about the issues so much as it is about perception. If you repeat something enough then it becomes, if not true, then enough to cause doubt in people's minds.
Democrats are fighting a very established network of misinformation. The Republicans have worked very hard to coordinate their bases of power. From the minute that the Democrats pick a nominee the message goes out from pulpits to A.M. radio to trade magazines to cable news shows that Candidate X is a threat to everything we hold dear.
From the outside its a remarkable (and dismaying) sight to behold.
The Republicans don't even have to have a good candidate, though he still has to have a smidgeon of charisma (hence the Bob Dole defeat!). The network of pundits, preachers and powerful people will do the rest to create the conventional wisdom.
I think its a mistake to think that a Democrat could simply piggyback on the message created by the GOP network and use their own message against them, because in the end the system was created, in large part to get Republicans elected and the people involved have no qualms about turning on their own message to defeat a threat to their party.
Case in point... Brad Carson, a pro-gun, anti-abortion, religious, social conservative = EVIL.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, a pro-gun control, pro-choice, social liberal = not EVIL.
Can you spot the difference?
As Rush Limbaugh himself has said: "The only people I've ruled out (endorsing) are the Democrats."
That's principle for ya... or Ben Shapiro, writer at TownHall.com
So why would I vote for someone who is the epitome of the liberal Republican? Specifically because he is a liberal Republican. In California, nothing else will cut it. It's very easy for pundits to espouse the candidacies of hard-core conservatives like Bill Simon and Tom McClintock. But they have no chance of winning. None. In California, politics trump principle every time.
Politics trumps principle every time.
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