E-Day Minus Seven

Firstly, in order to keep this thing going while I’m building up readership, I’ve issued myself a challenge: one post a day from now until Judgment Day, with the caveat of tomorrow as I know for a fact my job will be making me its bitch. But I need to keep soldiering on so I don’t get used to not writing.

Today’s topic: the rapidly approaching cataclysm for the Republican Party. Misfortune continues to rain down almost continuously on the GOP, much to the perverse pleasure of many (myself included). Aside from losing 5 senate seats being the best case scenario, along with at least 20 house seats, an atmosphere in the republicans must now contend with the conviction of Ted Stevens on corruption charges, who has decided to remain a candidate in the race for his senate seat despite now being almost certainly doomed. And of course Obama has expanded the playing field to such a degree that the GOP is now playing defense in such far flung reaches as Montana, as well as McCain’s lead in his home state of Arizona having dwindled to the point of hovering in the mid single digits. Let us not at this juncture even discuss what’s going on in Georgia, of all places, but suffice to say that there are few states left that can be described as solidly, unassailably republican.

And yet, in spite of the collapse of the electoral map on all three major fronts, the worst recent news for the GOP is the tales of palace intrigue coming out of the McCain campaign. Palin is apparently (understandably) displeased with the fact that the campaign mishandled her to the extent that her nationwide introduction became a miscarriage. She’s decided to handle herself, with the resulting tensions within the campaign now looking like the drawing of battle lines as Palin seeks to save herself to fight again in 2012. The result is the media on both sides reacting to what appears to be an almost complete implosion of the GOP. While the left now openly masturbates over the probable margins of Obama\’s victory, you can smell the whiskey coming off of the right’s lament of same.

And these are just some of the articles being written on the general topic that I will now broach. Palin is now obviously positioning herself to run in 2012, and the media is heavily speculating over Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee eventually following suit. With the conservative media establishment effectively split into what can roughly be described as pro- and anti-Palin factions, we are witnessing the battle lines being drawn and the early stages of the war for the soul of the republican party. Now, this is something we’ve all known was coming. Since 2006 bush’s poll numbers have only declined and the rest of the party along with him. The question that;s been asked about 2008 ever since has not been whether the republicans will be weakened, but how much? With one week left to go, we have a very clear answer: the result for them is going to range somewhere between disaster and FUBAR. With the public set to decisively repudiate everything the party has stood for for the last 8 years, to the point that there is open speculation about this being a realigning election and that the Reagan era may be dead, a period of soul searching has now become necessary. The question is who will prevail: Palin’s clean government, down home conservatism? Huckabee’s religious social conservatism? Or Romney’s economic conservatism? Some combination thereof? And, to the delight of liberals everywhere, is there a chance the rifts between the three could be so deep as to lead to a major split? These are among the questions that the GOP is going to have to deal with soon, as even in the unlikely event McCain ekes out a narrow victory the congress will still be overwhelmingly democratic.

The Republican Party is now at a critical crossroads. After being led very badly astray by the neoconservatives, it very quickly needs to remake itself into a form that an effective portion of the American electorate would actually be willing to vote for. What this form will be will depend on who prevails in the struggle to lead what now remains of the party, but for the time being one thing is clear: It’s a great time if you’re a democrat.