An election the Republicans needed to lose

If ever there was an election that was not worth winning, it was the contest of 2008. While it was hard-fought on both sides, had John McCain won, it might have spelled the end of the Republican Party. As it is, the party is well-situated to come back in 2010 and in 2012, if it learns the lessons of this year.

Simply put, all hell is about to break loose in the markets and the economy. The mortgage crisis will likely be followed by defaults in credit card debt, student loans and car loans. We will probably be set for two years of zero growth, according to economists with whom I talk. And the federal efforts to protect the nation from the worst of the recession will probably lead to huge budget deficits and resulting inflation. We are in for stagflation that could last for years.

Had McCain won, he would be the latter-day Herbert Hoover, blamed for the disaster that unfolded on his watch. Now it is Barack Obama’s problem. With the Republicans suffering a wipeout in congressional elections (although not as bad as they feared), the ball is now squarely in the Democratic court. Good luck!

If Obama raises taxes, the situation could get even worse. With a liberal Congress on his hands, he will be constrained to move to the left, if he needs any pushing. When Bill Clinton was elected in 1992, the Democrats in control of Congress gave him a clear message: Either you govern within the four walls of the Democratic caucus or you won’t get our support. Crossing the aisle to get Republican votes, even including the GOP in negotiations, was a no-no for which the president would pay dearly if he transgressed.

The result was predictable. Moderate initiatives like welfare reform were scrapped, the Congress passed tax hikes, and legislation became festooned with liberal amendments. Faced with the need to round up every last vote in the Senate and House Democratic caucuses, Clinton had no choice but to load up conservative bills like an anti-crime measure with liberal pork (like a provision for midnight basketball leagues in urban areas) to get unanimous caucus backing.

Obama will have to move left to appease his caucus. He will become their hostage, and they his jailers.

This dynamic will produce extreme-left-wing governance, which the Republicans can blame for the continuation of the recession and for any worsening. The party will recover, fed by anger at Obama’s policies, and will emerge from this defeat stronger than ever.

But the Republicans must learn the lesson of Founded in the bleak days of the Clinton impeachment, MoveOn developed a grass-roots Internet base. Building up its e-list of activists and contributors, MoveOn laid the basis for the incredible Internet appeal of the Obama campaign. At last count, Obama has 4.5 million donors, most online.

Conservatives cannot count on the Republican Party to fight their battles for them and certainly cannot count on them to win. The right needs to develop cyber-roots conservative organizations to rival the power of groups like The stellar efforts of and its ally,, illustrate the power of such efforts. Together, these groups raised $10 million for an independent expenditure on media in swing states featuring the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s anti-American bombast. And their efforts worked.

Virtually all the polls agreed that Obama would win 52 to 53 percent of the vote, but the surveys varied in the amount of undecideds they found. On Election Day, virtually every undecided voter went to McCain, and Obama’s final vote share was no more and no less than the 52 to 53 percent the surveys had predicted. This unanimity among undecided voters is attributable to the end game of groups like and

These groups have to lead the way in running media to battle against the leftist legislation that will undoubtedly emanate from the Obama administration and the liberal Congress America has just elected. Then they can become the basis for a Republican resurgence, just as was this year for the Democrats.

[To find out more about Dick Morris and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at] COPYRIGHT 2008 DICK MORRIS AND EILEEN MCGANN; DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.

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sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 10:11pm. now has more members, and contributes more money to candidates, than the National Rifle Association, who was the "big gun" (pun intended) in the 2004 election.

The times, they are a-changin'

-Sniffles Dylan

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Tue, 11/11/2008 - 5:52am.

That pretty much says it all. Dick Morris makes a good point about how the left wing kooks have been empowered and they - not Obama - will control the agenda.

You can see it in the appointments already made and those that are being proposed - meaning leaked to see what kind of fire they draw.

Then there are the programs proposed - Fairness Doctrine and seizing private retirement accounts and the civilian service corps.

I guess it is possible that the Republicans can come back in the Congressional election of 2010 after 2 years of this socialist nonsense combined with a certain recession, but they need a plan and a leader like in 1994 and at the moment they have neither.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Tue, 11/11/2008 - 6:28am.

Personally, I like how Dick Morris turned on a dime, after months of spluttering "socialist! socialist!" he now claims Obama won becoz he ran as a "center-right" candidate. Consistency was never a strong point of guys on your side of the aisle though.

Appointments already made? Exactly two? Rahm for chief of staff and his campaign press secretary as White House press secretary? Sorry but I don't see any grave threats to our Republic there.

Sure there have been a lot of names bandied about for cabinet positions but rather than staying up late and worrying about who might be named, why not actually wait to see who is actually nominated? Lots of people with agendas like to throw out "insider information" on who they'd LIKE to see in our new president's's a national parlor game we play every 8 years.

I see you're still stressed over re-implementing the "Fairness Doctrine". I finally found the source of your angst: Nancy Pelosi stating in a one-off interview that she'd like to see it re-enacted....she said this back in 2005 or so and hasn't brought it up since then. Real high priority there. I find it instructional that even though we have troops dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, people like you seem more concerned that Rush Limbaugh be able to continue to get a paycheck. In any event, as I've said before, we don't need no stinkin' Fairness guys can have Hate Radio....we'll take teh Internets!!

The "seizing private retirement accounts" was one...ONE... dingleberry economics professor who wanted to nationalize 401K. She said she didn't see it happening, though. You must've misssed that part. (Or, more likely, they neglected to mention that on Faux Noise).

You Repubs won't be back in 2010 or anytime soon. You lack leadership and you lack a platform ("kill teh gays!" is not a platform, btw). As I see it, you can take one of two paths: Re-invent yourselves as "Democrat Lite" or go all-in and nominate Sarah Palin and go out in a blaze of glory.

Robert, I know it's gonna be tough for you and your kind the next four years, and I'd like to show you some sort of sympathy and kindness. Try as I might, though, I just can't. Smiling

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