Whenever I hear "The Republicans are done, they will never get elected again," I laugh. Very loudly and rudely. Why?
Since I've been in and out of Politics since I was 15 years old; I've studied American political history since I was 20 and I'm always up on current events and trends (within the Political sphere and the Blogosphere, I will never claim to be hip). One of the selling points of subscribing to the Valley, is that I usually notice issues ahead of time. Two issues this year: Afghanistan and Conservatives and Republicans changing the rules (heck, you can trace the Town hall outbreak right to the Valley) of dissent.
Every election is about a trade. If we vote for candidate A, what are Americans betting on? With President Obama, it was the end of the race issue. When the mask of post-racial healing slipped over Professor Gates, the middle (not the partisans) started to doubt what they were sold in 2008.
Every speech and debate in 2008 that President Obama spoke, he offered to be post-partisan, post-racial and competent to lead the country out of a financial crisis and two wars. Ha! he was none of these things, that is why Election 2012 is in play. Who leads will depend on the results of 2010.
The coalition that President Obama built was on the backs of anti-war activists, Moderate Republicans (or in the words of RS McCain, "The Republicans Who matter"), Conservative Democrats, Liberal Democrats, Independents, Gay voters and Women activist voters.
Within one year, that is broken. The Independents will get their own post. Let's discuss three parts of the coalition who are breaking:
1) Anti-war Voters: To attack President Bush over the past 8 years, every Democrat said, "the war in Afghanistan was the main stage," The Anti-war coalition went one better: No War (while a Republican was in office) was good. With the upping of troops in Afghanistan, the anti-war voters are planning protests again. They don't like being lied to. The Left will have to ride this Tiger they created.
2) Gay Voters: I voted No on 8 for Conservative reasons (that's a post for another day); I read and know in real life, Dan from Gay Patriot. For a majority of the Gay vote, they only stick with Democrats whatever the cost. Well, it cost. During the moments when the Obama Administration had the momentum (January through July), did they promote or support Gay issues? DADT? DOMA? Civil marriage in Maine?
It turns out the influence of Reverend Wright is showing through. If the Gay Left were important to President Obama, he would have spent Political capital to make it real. Nope, nothing happened. A coalition started by a Gay Left Blogger is calling for the rest of the Gay Left not to support the DNC or Obama until their needs are addressed. Without funds, it could be a very cold three years for the Democrats come Autumn 2010 and 2012.
3) Women Activist Voters: Do you remember the PUMA's (supporters of Hillary Clinton)? They never went away. Add some honest women activists who saw the Obama campaign and Administration go after Hillary! and Palin, then add the mammogram issue and questions about the health care Bill and you have another coalition looking for the door.
Look at one Blogger building a female coalition to bring Women's issues back to the Left. Go, Doctor Socks, go! As a supporter of Palin, I hope Doctor Socks' coalition supports women on the Right side of the aisle. Well, if not, it will chew into the 2008 Coalition that Obama built. Heh.
And what are we on the Right supposed to do? Here's an answer for each one:
1) They get along with the Libertarians of the Party (the Paulites and the Buchannites). I hate to remind people that we Jews did not survive the inter-war years in Europe because of isolation. And hatred of Israel (usually hand in hand with the Anti-war) does not help either. Convince the Libertarians and despise those who don't understand the use of "the velvet fist inside an iron glove," The anti-war people live in Idealismland, the rest of us don't.
2) Surprise them. As a semi-Libertarian (Government for certain things, and not in the social realm), offer to support one of the three major issues for gays when the Conservatives take over the Hill in 2011. Or should we wait to do it under President Palin? Either way, what will the Gay partisans argue after that? Votes are to be gained, be ready.
3) Help fund Doctor Socks' party and help give them a larger platform to attack the misogyny on the Left. When Palin wins the Primaries in 2012, offer them a seat at the table.
The Elections are coming -- think outside the box and your regular coalition to win.
My question: What coalitions do you see coming for 2012, Right and Left?