MSNBC correspondents David Schuster and Tamron Hall spent some time trying to shape the battlefield for today's elections in their afternoon news show yesterday. They featured DNC Chairman (and outgoing Virginia governor) Tim Kaine, an oddly implausible fellow who tried to test run the narrative by which his Party plans to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat after all the hanging chads are examined.
Kaine actually claimed that things looked good in Virginia, where his would-be successor Creigh Deeds will not only be defeated in a landslide, but punished after the fact by a dizzying White House spin insisting that the defeat came because he was a lousy candidate, not because the people of his state despair at the way the Obama administration has mishandled every crisis within reach on the national level.
Kaine also tried to be blithely reassuring about New Jersey, where the bungling cesspit administration of Jon Corzine is on the ropes in a reliably Democratic state and where the biggest unreported story of the campaign is why challenger Chris Christie hasn’t fought back against Corzine’s ongoing subliminal ridicule of him as fat by pointing out that Corzine is really bald and in addition has a very bad resting face that makes him always appear to be wondering who, in the immediate crowd around him, he has decided to have for dinner. (Christie wisely decided to bring the fat issue into the open at the end of the campaign, thus making himself part of America’s most maligned minority, victims of a nasty “weightist” attack orchestrated in a Democratic White House as willing to use a soda tax as its predecessors in Democratic state houses throughout the South once were the poll tax.)
But the race for which Kaine summoned up the most enthusiasm was, oddly enough, New York’s 23rd Congressional District, where the official Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava, who had been hand picked for the nomination by a handful of party bosses, recently pulled out because of a mass migration of Republican voters into the camp of Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.
Preparing for a possible but far from certain Hoffman victory (and echoing the old Communist principle of “maximizing the contradictions,”) Kaine had a new story line ready for such an outcome. It wouldn’t be so bad because it would represent a further purge of the moderates from the Republican Party, which soon will definitively have been taken over by the dread Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Lynn Cheney, and other extremist mullahs. A Hoffman victory would foreshadow, Kaine grimly chortled, other conservative/moderate bloodlettings in next year’s Republican primaries for the Florida Senate and Texas Governor nominations. It would mean that a brutal cell division promoted by the Palinites was shrinking the Republican Party to such insignificance that in 2012 it would face a Goldwater-like catastrophe.
Pollster Scott Rasmussen has shown how shallow this analysis is and how vain the hopes behind it. Republican voters do indeed overwhelmingly regard themselves as conservative (which is why in NY-23 they rejected the emotionally moist and politically limp Scozzafava, who was for abortion, Obamacare, the Obama stimulus, and the scurvy card check legislation promoted by anti democratic union moguls, and who, immediately after pulling out of the race, embraced her Democratic soul mate Owens and began recording robocalls for his candidacy.) But only slightly more than half of conservative voters see themselves as Republican. This means that to broaden their outreach, Rasmussen points out, Republicans should look to the right. “The sweet spot for Republicans,” Rasmussen concludes, “are core issues that unify conservatives while dividing more moderate voters.” One such issue is obviously Obamacare, which conservatives are united in opposing, and a Republican who supports it, as did the hapless Scozzafava, will drive away more voters than he or she attracts.
Appealing to conservatives, therefore, may be more a growth industry than a death sentence for Republicans, if it is accomplished pragmatically and without creating the death squad mentality that characterizes the left wing of the Democrat Party. There are twice as many conservatives in the country as liberals, Gallup told us last week. And this trend appears to be growing in an era marked by a fetid combination of weakness, narcissim, and unbridled power hunger in the White House. Conservatives, to paraphrase the late Irving Kristol, are liberals and moderates who have been mugged by Obama. And those like Tim Kaine and his MSNBC enablers now trying to create a narrative that will make today's electoral results look good may ultimately be sorry that they were not more careful in what they wished for.