2012: The Comeback Posted by: MichaelW
on Sunday, November 02, 2008
With just two days left until the election (or "coronation" depending on your view) of our new POTUS, I figured it was now OK to give a preview of Election 2012. And given this two-year-long election season, I think it's safe to say that the next campaign will likely kick off approximately twenty-four hours after the election results are finalized. So a short and succinct preview is definitely in order.
Regardless of who wins on Tuesday, the loser will be in a prime position to mount a devastating challenge in 2012. Assuming that the polls aren't completely out of whack, Sarah Palin seems destined to be the next GOP standard-bearer, and my guess is that she has a better than even chance of defeating Obama in the next election. By the same token, if somehow McCain pulls it out, Obama may actually get his electoral rout in 2012, especially considering the fact that he will have had four more years to pad his curriculum vitae. The primary reason why the next challenger will occupy such a position of strength vis-à-vis Tuesday's winner is that whomever is elected will be facing a non-stop fight for political survival starting January 21, 2009.
Just take a look at the landscape confronting our next President:
An economy in the toilet accompanied by a global meltdown which, no doubt, will be laid with much derision on America's doorstep
A belligerent and hostile Iran on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons
the next President faces so many daunting challenges over the next four years, and both candidates have made so many unfulfillable promises, that it's a real wonder anyone wants to take the job.
A growing, and significant, pension problem with regard to state pensions and other liabilities, making the chances that federalism becomes little more than a fleeting memory all too real
An Iraqi state that is stabilizing and yet not stable
A resurgent Russian Bear, complete with expansionist overtones
An as yet still non-compliant North Korea
Social Security obligations that can't be met
Medicare obligations that make the SS problems look like a bad Sunday church collection
Significantly increased chances of deflation or stag-flation (take your pick)
Africa — it's growing more difficult by the day to find any sense of stability or normalcy on the continent
Venezuela — Hugo's not going away, but instead doing his darnedest to out-Mugabe Mugabe
China — growing more powerful in the world market and trying to spread its influence even further in the aforementioned Africa, all while holding more American debt than you could shake a forest at
Congress with a less-than 50% approval rating, typically hovering in the low teens nowadays, coupled with a complete loss of confidence in the major news media, all of which makes the ground for potentially life-changing conspiracy theories quite fertile and explosive
Need I go on?
The point is that the next President faces so many daunting challenges over the next four years, and both candidates have made so many unfulfillable promises, that it's a real wonder anyone wants to take the job. In addition, partisan flavor has so tainted the political soup that half the electorate will be left with an intolerably bad taste in its collective mouth no matter who's sworn in. With these things in mind, it seems to me that the loser of this election may actually be the winner in the long run.
Of course, there's always the chance that whomever's elected manages to make lemonade out of the lemons he's being handed. I don't think it's likely, but it is possible. And who knows what will happen in the next primaries. Maybe Hillary takes what she learned over the past two years and puts Obama out to pasture. Maybe Mitt Romney does the same. Or perhaps the next challenger chooses a VP candidate that alienates his/her respective base so badly that the incumbent wins in a walk. If Palin were to choose Mike Huckabee (or worse, Huckabee were to capture the nomination outright), then I know that ticket would cease to be an option for me personally, and I suspect a lot of other right-leaning independents. Similarly, if Obama were to add Dennis Kucinich, or some equally polarizing figure, to his ticket, there's little chance he could beat the devil-we-know, regardless of how badly the last four years had been for the incumbent.
The bottom line is that, absent a self-inflicted wound, the loser of this race will probably have an advantage come 2012, simply because he/she had not been the President over the previous term. So don't lose heart! Even of you lose on Tuesday, victory is just around the corner.
Or even 2010. There is a reason why the pendulum swings back and forth in politics, and while no defeat is as bitter as it seems at the time, or as delicious as it might taste. After all, if Kerry had won in 2004, we’d probably be looking at a big GOP day on Tuesday. http://scotterb.wordpress.com
Well if Obama doesnt win than Hillary will not be denied her shot in 2012. Obama will have to wait at least 8 years.
If Obama wins than no matter what problems we have as long as he is charge of the printing press, Congress, and the Courts than he will be in office 8 years.
With 20 million illegal immigrants granted naturalized status there is no way the dems will lose in 2010. Not to mention all the extra federal funding that ACORN and LA RAZA will be getting. Redistriciting in 2010 will help incumbents.
In short if Obama wins we are screwed. If McCain wins than Palin may have a shot against Hillary in 2012 as I doubt McCain will go 2 terms.
Obama by himself is not such an issue. Obama with a large Dem majority in both houses, no matter the economy, Iran, China... or perhaps because of, could well put in place policies and programs that may be impossible to roll back. We’re not just talking about an increase in income or corp tax rates here.
I think retired military hits it: if the filthy dems (spit) win tomorrow as they look all too likely to do, they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Remember: no matter what bad things happen in the next four - eight years, they will simply claim that it’s all Bush’s fault. The MSM will be only too happy to go along with that meme, and the Fairness Doctrine will ensure that Americans don’t hear anything different.
It MAY be, as Scott Erb says, that the GOP will stage a comeback in ’10 during the mid-terms. There is plenty of historic precedent for this; the party in the White House typically loses seats in the Congress during mid-terms. I can’t imagine The Annointed One being an especially popular president after his policies further tank the economy by raising taxes, increasing regulation, and adding to the welfare rolls. Further, I suspect that Plugs is right: we’re going to be challenged around the world, and The Annointed One won’t be able to handle it. Dems (spit) may enjoy seeing our country humbled, humiliated and hurt; the rest of us don’t.
Now, ain’t that a helluva thing? Our chances of doing well in ’10 depend on bad things happening to the United States. Hoping for bad things to happen to America so you can get an electoral advantage is just like being a dem (spit).
On the other hand, I think that the filthy dems (spit) are going to take significant steps to ensure that they have every possible electoral advantage in future elections, including an expanded role for ACORN (i.e. voter fraud). And won’t it be nice to be a union member and know that you’re paying dues that will get funneled to the democrat party (spit) to help elect MORE filthy dems (spit)?
I’m not so sure that Palin will be the next GOP nominee, either. I’m afraid that the MSM has done too thorough a job on her, making her permanently damaged goods. Further, I think that the GOP will read the tea leaves wrongly and decide that the problem with the McCain-Palin ticket was that it was TOO conservative. A dem (spit) win will tend to pull the country to the left for the time being, and offering more goodies to the electorate will be order of the day for ’08.
This sucks. It sucks soooo bad.
MichaelW - Congress with a less-than 50% approval rating, typically hovering in the low teens nowadays, coupled with a complete loss of confidence in the major news media, all of which makes the ground for potentially life-changing conspiracy theories quite fertile and explosive.
The fact that both the Congress and the MSM have low "ratings" gets a lot of play around here, but I am not convinced that it is significant at all. Congress as a body may be slightly less popular than a wormy dog after you just got new carpet put in, but the average member seems to be comfortably popular in his state / district. By and large, in any given election, a member of Congress has something like a 90% chance to be reelected. Hell, I’d wager that Ted Stevens is reelected!
The MSM may not enjoy a high degree of trust, but this has been increasingly true for years. What difference does it made? People are hungry for news and information, and the MSM is about the only source (I suspect that they will soon become THE only source). I’m sure that people in the USSR read Pravda and Izvestia even though they knew they were reading government propaganda and outright lies, but at least the Soviet press gave SOME idea of what was going on in the world. Consider: given a choice between only the NYT and nothing at all, wouldn’t you hold your nose and pick up Pinch’s fishwrap?
Its unfortunate, but this won’t be a pendulum swing for the Republicans. Because the Republican leadership will rush so hard to follow the pendulum, they’ll get hit in the face by it when it goes to swing back.
They will try even harder to be "me-too" Republicans or RINOs. There is no Reagan waiting in the wings, I’m afraid. I believe keeping out those not sanctioned by the Republican leadership won’t be allowed to happen again, ever.
As for Palin, statistically she’s gotta be better than McCain. However, I don’t know her real politics. I think, in part, she’s been speaking for McCain. But what I saw in the debate was another Republican that would be quick to grow government. So, I hope she’s not all we have for 2012. I want to a well contested Primary.
And Palin may be moot. She’s well on the way to being Dan Quayled. Its not quite as bad, yet. And its reversible, still. But without a national spotlight where she can demonstrate these claims false, it will become permanent. Just because a core of people who will vote Republican in 2012 guaranteed adore her, its not enough.
That list of difficulties facing the next President is indeed formidable. I think the only way for a President to face such a list is to have a rock-solid set of core beliefs. (Preferably one based on the U.S. Constitution and love of country.) As a whole, the list looks impossible. However, is you know what your beliefs are, then each item can be attacked based on that.
I believe most of the items in your list are worse today because of the perceived weakness of the US. That is because we have not had a President that has had a solid belief in the "idea" of America since Reagan.
People will follow a strong leader, or a strong personality. If they know he or she has a plan based on core beliefs I think the people will give that person time to attack the problems you mentioned.
Assuming that the polls aren’t completely out of whack, Sarah Palin seems destined to be the next GOP standard-bearer, and my guess is that she has a better than even chance of defeating Obama in the next election.
I would be careful to assume that. And republicans should be concerned if that destiny is fulfilled.
The polls aren’t completely out of whack and they are probably quite accurate as they usually are. First impressions are lasting and now that Palin has higher unfavorable ratings, and after she helps McCain lose this election, Palin will fall off the radar for most Americans and be but a fading memory of a historical joke. Palin has a lot of time to educate herself on the issues, refine her stagecraft and redefine her image. But if after the 2010 midterms, Palin starts her run when attention becomes focused on 2012 and she makes any serious gaffes, it will remind even republican primary voters of her inadequate and even damaging contributions in the 2008 race.
Palin needs some help if she is to first attain the nomination, then defeat Obama in 2012. She needs for an Obama presidency to be a disaster. She needs the field of competition from the republican presidential hopefuls to be weak. All the while succeeding in sharpening her performance and regain credibility. It could happen, but I wouldn’t count on it.
And I’m not buying this Palin destiny because she is popular with the base. Popularity always declines after someone loses. Besides, we were told that McCain was loathed by the base, and yet he received the nomination. One just never knows what the field will look like and who republicans will perceive as the best chance to win back the WH.
I look for Palin to be most effective as a republican fundraiser. I can see her speaking for large swaths of republicans, looking sharp and winking suggestively, while raising millions of dollars. Think of her as a toned down and better looking Ann Coulter.
Anybody trying to predict the nominees for 2012 prove their incompetence to do so simply by the act of prediction. If this season has proved anything, it is that you can’t do that. Or we’d be looking at Hillary’s triumphant 60-40 defeat of Rudy tomorrow.
And those predictions were merely one year in advance; now you think you can do four? Give me a break. In four years the losing party will be nominating somebody you’re not even considering right now.