Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The religious right doesn't own the party.

But they're just now beginning to figure that out. This article from the Boston Globe essentially sums up the difficulties the Bush administration would have had in nominating an openly fundamentalist judge for the Supreme Court--namely, that as it is in the current congress, such a judge would have 49 almost certain votes against her in the Senate (assuming the replacement would be a woman), and even if there were enough votes to confirm, the Democrats would certainly have filibustered.

And this would have been the scenario if Bush were riding high in the court of public opinion, which he is most certainly not, after wasting his "political capital" on privatizing social security and defending the debacles in Iraq and New Orleans--and about to be damaged further by the impending trials of Delay and Abramoff, as well as the impending indictments against high-ranking administration officials involved in the Valerie Plame fiasco.

The problem that the GOP has is that in order to win elections nation- and state-wide with their corporatist fiscal agenda, they have to use electioneering tactics that appeal to a more fringe element in order to put them over the top. Those fringe elements, believing that they are then solely responsible for the victory at hand, wish for a more prominent place in the agenda, as well as a right to be recognized as such and treated with public deferece. This then leaves the GOP in a position similar to that of a college girl trying to get the resident geek to keep on helping her with her homework: enough alluring promises to keep the geek interested, but no actual action or public acknowledgment of the relationship, both of which would hurt her reputation on campus.

Eventually, however, the geek gets bored and realizes that she doesn't actually like him, and is just using him for grades while she keeps on pursuing that MBA student who drives to class in a Mercedes. The religious right is now feeling themselves in a similar position with regard to the Harriet Miers nomination--the only difference being that geeks actually have some modicum of intelligence.

This is why the Democrats can win. Because the liberal message of equality, people first and corporations second, war when necessary, responsive government, environmental protection, etc. will become more and more resounding as things get worse and more malaise sets in about the current state of affairs. The Democrats also have the advantage of not relying on one single monomaniacal special interest group to push them over the top. Minorities, women, choice activists, labor unions, environmental groups, the anti-war movement, etc--none of these groups believes that it and it alone is solely responsible for Democratic victories. We don't have to play hard to get because no group is particularly embarrassed with the activities of any other group. It's just a matter of getting them to work with some degree of coordination and continuing to preach the message that Americans actually agree with.

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