Defending the "Truce"

I think everyone knows that I’m not in favor of a truce of any sort with the left, but I’m also not about to say that my word is law – not even on this little blog. Honest people can reasonably disagree with me – and Jay Cost puts together an able argument in favor of the truce. Reviewing the 1896 election, Cost points out that the GOP was able to stop an insurgent Democrat party under William Jennings Bryan on the strength of William McKinley’s moderation, this allowing him to appeal to a section of Democrat voters turned off by Bryan’s populism.

This is a good analysis, as far as it goes – but in 1896, both Bryan and McKinley were not the President. No one knew what either man would do once in office; as is true of most men who aspire to be President, they were a bit of a blank slate for the larger electorate. In 2012, Obama will have been President for more than 3 years, and people will know full well what another 4 years of Obamunism will bring. Given this, the analogy with 1896 as a watershed election doesn’t hold true, in my view.

The election of 2012 will not be about the Republican, it will be about Obama. Sure enough, Obama and his MSM allies will try to make it about the Republican because they won’t be able to defend Obama’s tenure – even more so if, as I expect, the economy takes a further turn for the worse as 2012 approaches. It doesn’t, in a large sense, matter whom we nominate – anyone we nominate will be accused of being a racist, homophobic, anti-immigrant tool of corporate interests and the bitter clingers of Bibles and guns. Anyone we nominate will be portrayed as stupid, ignorant and not up to the job of President. Obama will receive endlessly glowing praise in story after story in print, on TV and over the internet. A billion dollars will be spent by Obama, directly, and probably at least half a billion more by groups coordinating illegally with the Obama campaign. It will be the nastiest, hardest fought political campaign at least since the Civil War, and probably of all time.

In such a fight, appeals to a moderate middle will be drowned out. There will be no moderate middle in 2012 – there will be an attempt on the part of the Democrats to so badly smear the Republican that people will hold their nose and vote Democrat (and/or just stay home out of disgust for the process) while the Republican will attempt to keep reminding everyone that a vote for Obama means four more years of Obama. Who will win depends on who is most successful in getting the battling message out – and trying to tack to the center and appear to be all things to all men will mean less time spent reminding people that Obama is trying to be re-elected.

While there is no upside for the GOP in inflaming passions further than current (in contrast to the Democrats who can only win by generating ever more hatred and anger), there is also no upside for trying to pry a gay voter away from Obama by muting opposition to gay marriage, or a pro-abortionist by backing off support for life. And, of course, if any GOPer does try that and manages to get 1 such voter to switch, 5 pro-family/pro-life people will sit it out, or vote for a Third Party. The GOP needs enthusiasm in the ranks to go toe to toe with Obama and his minions…enthusiasm which can only come from a robust social and fiscal conservative agenda…certainly with fiscal issues predominating, but no retreat from social issues.

At least, that is how I see it.