When one declares oneself to be a conservative, one is not, unfortunately, thereupon visited by tongues of fire that leave one omniscient. The acceptance of a series of premises is just the beginning. After that, we need constantly to inform ourselves, to analyze and to think through our premises and their ramifications. We need to ponder, in the light of the evidence, the strengths and the weaknesses, the consistencies and the inconsistencies, the glory and the frailty of our position, week in and week out. Otherwise, we will not hold our own in a world where informed dedication, not just dedication, is necessary for survival and growth.

William F. Buckley Jr., Feb 8, 1956, NR

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rules of Engagement ....

... Or better yet, -Knuckle-draggers Beware-

I know the title and body of my posting may inflict some fury on the gathered few here. So be it. Call this a moment of calibration before we head along a beaten path (yet again...). I promise to keep it short (not.....)

So a couple of Bloggers get together and tell themselves, "You know, we just got our butts pasted in the elections, the GOP has ______________ (fill in the blank of your favorite cliche), conservatives don't know who the hell they are anymore, and we just elected a guy who has never run anything close to a Dairy Queen. Let's try and break it down and see what happened to us, shall we?" That is the essence of why this came to be. We're not rocket scientists, we're not party apparatchiks, we're not learned folks or scholars. We are four regular Americans, of wide age-range and backgrounds, ... strong individuals who in spite of having varying views and ideas about where the conservative movement should go, all agree that we love the word: Conservative. It unites us in far greater levels than the individual policies to which we differ.

So here we are, a week and days into it, with some great postings from the main contributors (Robert and Jenn) to warm up the kind audience, a terrific level of comment traffic, and a measure of excitement from the four of us that has re-kindled our desires to do something grander than we imagined capable.

All good,... well, almost.

Ladies and gentlemen. This is a plea from me as a person and individual who loves my country more than I love my party, my ideology and myself. The posting "the more things change, the more they stay the same", and the comments that followed made me think that the biggest problem the movement (if we can even call it THAT anymore....) has, is ourselves. Some bullets for you:

* Keep calling people names, go ahead. It is amazing to me that after all this time, all the hard lessons, all the negativity we know that comes with pejoratives, ... that some of us still lob the occasional name-calling bomb for effect. Look, I've done it myself in my own Blog. I'm not on a soap box. What I am saying is that using sophomoric names to make a grander point -while getting a chuckle from a knuckle-dragger here and there-, does little to further your point of view. Holster that crap. Make a point about some body's policy or opinion but elevate your integrity and opinion-reputation by divorcing the policy from the person on your sights.

* I have a little saying on my blog, "nothing is an absolute, ... absolutely nothing" (you DO get the contradiction in terms, .... right?) A fine fellow blogger commented that I sounded arrogant in a comment a few clicks before he pipped-in. Maybe. But what I was trying to say was that we have to stop nuancing everything to death. That some things, -some things- are as black and white as the shine on my dome. Especially when it comes to the basic tenets of what conservative philosophies entail. And yet, my nuance comment was interpreted by another Blogger as some obscure and bland form of conservatism to which she was not subscribing (I am paraphrasing, by the way). This blog is about discovering ourselves, educating others to things that are no longer apparent. Sure there is room for interpretation, but splicing a hair to its infinite molecular level just to show others the cleverness of your debating skills -while cute-, really detracts from the efforts herewith. Simplify.

* Don't just take a s**t, be kind enough to leave one! .... , Meaning, don't be content with just doing a low-level fly-by, dropping a few nukes and getting the hell out of dodge to miss the mushroom cloud,... stay awhile. You had the stones (or ovaries) to blast away at something you thought stupid? Cool, love it! Now shift from your left butt-cheek to the right one, and tell me something I don't know. Tell me a story. Tell me what you would do to correct that which you deemed so stupid to make your nose-hairs curl up. Believe me, I love a good ideology brawl,... but don't land a punch and jump over the ropes,.... where's the honor in that?....

Fella's.... the demographics are changing. My mom has a saying, "If by 20 you're not a liberal, you don't have a heart. If by 40 you're not a conservative, you don't have a brain" (she definitely did not plagiarized that from Biden ...). While that may have been true in her day, ... we're not in Kansas anymore. Younger electorates will veer towards that which is easier, that which promises more, that which espouses more permissiveness of behavior, that which is more "global" in view, that which professes to spread the wealth around, and that which is certainly cooler in perception. None of those things I said describe a conservative ethos of life. We can't afford to alienate people by the messengers. Its easy for Limbaugh to bellow about how "if conservatives ran as conservatives they'd win!"... really? He should get out of his southern command more often Mr. Snerdly. We have a ton of baby-boomers coming into retirement who are scared crap-less that their 401k is worth dog-meat and you want to preach the virtues of "rugged individualism"? Conservatism does not have to be wrapped in the same tart candy wrapper any more. Let's get with the times people.

Reality bites,... and the reality is that we as conservatives have to re-package our ideology in a whole new way, in a whole new tenor, in a whole new angle. The conservative CPU is still on windows 98, sort-of-speak. Stop the name calling, stop the "we are good, they are evil" lingo, stop the "we are free market purists and they are Marxists pigs"...(while true, at least get creative with it....). Let's wrap ourselves in new tunics, get a better bull-horn, and start winning hearts and minds... one beloved American at a goddamn time (I give Rev. Wright credit for that morsel of writing elegance)

Look, we did not start this blog to be another Los Alamos nuke testing ground. Sure we will get the occasional lunk-head or Coulter wanna-be whose opinion-horizon is all lipstick and no pork-chop. Let them spew. The rest of us, should march to a different kind of drummer. 'Cause the beat I've been hearing in some of the comments already sound like an orchestra from the ice age.

Ok.... back to our regularly scheduled programming. My IQ just dropped 30 points ...


Anonymous said...

I couldn't get to sleep tonight so I decided to hop back on the computer! I am really glad I did! This post was in your face and straight to the point and it is exactly what we needed in here!

[* Don't just take a s**t, be kind enough to leave one! .... , Meaning, don't be content with just doing a low-level fly-by, dropping a few nukes and getting the hell out of dodge to miss the mushroom cloud,... stay awhile. You had the stones (or ovaries) to blast away at something you thought stupid? Cool, love it! Now shift from your left butt-cheek to the right one, and tell me something I don't know. Tell me a story. Tell me what you would do to correct that which you deemed so stupid to make your nose-hairs curl up. Believe me, I love a good ideology brawl,... but don't land a punch and jump over the ropes,.... where's the honor in that?....]

T-P.....I literally sprayed my desk with my glass of good ol' sweet tea. That was awesome and said what needed to be said!

If someone has a problem with something we say, then by all means challenge it, that is why we are here! The drop a criticism and leave crap is cowardly and accomplishes absolutely NOTHING! We are certainly not perfect, nor do we claim to be. We are all in this together (at least I thought we were) and only from discussion and debate can we truly grow and accomplish our goals.

Your post is what I tried saying in my comment but like a billion times better. We need to grow up and act like adults and hold ourselves to a higher standard then what we have been seeing lately. Some of the people that we are discussing I had thought were my friends and it is very disheartening to discover that maybe I didn't know them as well as I thought I did! (sigh)

TRUTH-PAIN said...

I hope its having Lauten-whatever his name is as your Senator that is keeping you up at night, and not your recent bout with the flu-bug :)
I really thank you for your words and kind encouragement. I am really a well-meaning soul that has -at times- fallen to the ills to which I speak of here. But the beauty of life is the self-cleansing that happens with experience and wanting to be a better person... a better citizen. I hope we can make a dent in the pissing mentality of today's "look at me" society...
Ok.. back to bed Girl!

Robert said...

Written in that good ol' T-P style!

I think you are right that conservatism has to change the way it is marketed. I am terrified that I have brought my children into a world where the 2008 graduation requirement is to read at a 1984 8th grade level. Of the new voters this year, 80% picked Obama, and 73% of the under 30 voted Democrat. The worse part? 48% of that group did not know which party controlled Congress, and 60% could not cite a single Obama policy that he proposed. Among the reasons they gave for voting for him is that he was cool, and that they wanted to be part of history and selected him because he was black.

So we don't do that by talking about "personal responsibility" or "socialist liberals" because the most significant voting block doesn't care! We have to release "Conservatism 2.0" to get the message out. Albert Einstein said that to do something over and over again expecting a different result was insanity.

To know why you lost a battle you can't give platitudes. "Well John, we lost this football game because one of the referees stayed home. We just coulnd't get a fair shake because the stupid idiot just didn't care."

We lost the football game because our offense didn't score any points. We lost the game because we showed up wearing 1940s leather helmets and the defense bashed in our faces until we couldn't see. Did they get away with holding a couple of times because there was a set of eyes missing? Sure they did. But the refs don't put the game plan together, they don't decide the starting lineup, and they don't score the points.

It is time for a real and honest post game critique.

Joe said...

Conservatism does not have to depend on the past (except to learn from it). It is based on solid present-day truths that worked in the past, work today and will work in the future, whenever it is given more than half-a-chance.

We must contemporize the method, but the message must never change.

Greg said...

This isn't the first time that conservatism has seen a crisis of identity. There was a time when the party of Lincoln had become a racist cesspool of segregationists and anti-semites. I think those days are gone.

Unfortunately, the party of fiscal responsibility became the party of corruption and borrow-&-spend. Republicans also lost their way interfering in private matters (eg., Terry Schiavo). I am quite sure this will piss off at least a couple of people, but the social conservatives are killing the party. McCain got more evangelicals than W ever got, and he still got his clock cleaned. Moderates went for Obama overwhelmingly.

Amazing as it is to me, Truth-Pain is right that people didn't care about Obama's myriad associations with anti-American a-holes. People didn't want to hear that. McCain never articulated a positive, conservative message about how to fix the economy, leaving the door open for Obama to transfix the nation with his ridiculous, unattainable promises.

It's common sense: focus on the core values of small government, fiscal responsibility, strong military and individual rights. Drop the anti-gay, creationist, anti-immigrant faction like a bad habit. The future is with people like Mitt Romney, not people like Tom Tancredo.

My 2 cents.

Robert said...

Thank you Greg. For the record, Romney was my vote for the primary.

You have made some of the same observations that have received such condemnation from some who fail to look inward. The reality of politics is that the nation is ruled from moderation. Rarely is there a true right wing/left wing approach. The problem lately is that the GOP has begun their efforst from somewhere around the middle, so therefore the only way to "moderate" from that starting point is to move left.

There is a place for conservative social issues in the party. The inability to find the commonalities between GOP factions has resulted in little progress.

Please come back often.

Anonymous said...

I for one find this post to be condescending.. It may have been a rewarding rant on your part but not for your readers.
Like that old cliché” if you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen” Or get off of your soapbox.

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

First T-P, your Mom,"plagiarized," Winston Churchill. LOL

Now to your post. Well said but remember that when you place your thoughs and opinions out in the public domain they are available for anyone to praise or attack.

Just as there is , as Rush puts a, "drive by media," there are also drive by bloggers. In fact I have noticed that most liberals are to afraid of either constructive discourse or hearing the truth, or both that in most instances they sign in as anonymous!

That is why in most instances over at my place I do not respond to those who choose to attack and name call because it does no goood and all they are doing is proving thier own incompantance and lack of any ability for intelligent discussion.

I agree with a new face for conservatism. As I said in a comment on the last post it has to be repackaged so that it is not seen as the ideology of the elderly.

We need a group of young energetic and strong conservatives to run for office at all levels, not just the White House.

The message is clear but the problem is that the selling of the message has failed. The approach has been like trying to sell a used car that has a fresh wash job as a factory fresh hybrid that just LOOKS like a 1985 Chevy.

I love President Reagan and we should rightfully use him as an historical example of what conservatism is but we cannot constantly package it the same way he did because his was packaged for the eighties.

One of the lessons that we can learn from him is how to package the message. Reagan took the Country Club GOP and Goldwater conservatism and removed the GOP from the Country Club and packaged conservative values and ideolgy making it presonal and ,"hip," to be a conservative. I heard one pundit say that Reagan made being a conservative, "cool."

Until we get the RINOS out and make the message ,"cool," again with fresh faces and strong ideas we will remain the monority in Congress and visitors at the White House.

Palin, Jindal, Mark Sanford, Michael Steele the new faces. That is one reason why Palin was so popular during the campaign because she made being a conservative look cool. In fact T-P, I give you kudos in being one of the first to notice her. You wrote a post over at your site many moons ago, and if I recall used the word, "cool," in part of your discription of her!

TRUTH-PAIN said...

Maybe you are confusing sensitivities with "heat". I said clearly that I have been as guilty at one time or another of the sins I am describing, so there is no soapbox in sight.
As far as it sounding condescending? Then i regret that your perceptions allows you to gather that sentiment. It is certainly not meant to be. It is a blatant try to correct some behavioral pattern of expression that to me (and i re-iterate that I wrote my points as an individual, not as a representative of anything else) hurts the way others view conservatives.
I do appreciate your opinion, but you brief comment does lend some credence to one of my points, does it not? You made your comment, but left the spine of your indignation absent so we can continue the discourse. Why did you feel that way? ...

TRUTH-PAIN said...

To all,
Please allow me a clarification of style. My style is quite sarcastic when I get rolling, but I do try to tame thay stylistic bent when I am guest-posting or contributing as is the case here. I hope that the messenger (me), does not obscure the message (the post).
As writers, we can never appease the sensitivities of each reader. It is fruitless to try. In my view, better be who you are, and express yourself to the best of your heart's intent, while following the civil behavior that the Blog has established.
I hope some of the readers that found my posting discomforting do give me the benefit of the doubt. This should never be about me the author, it should be about the posting itself.
Robert, Jenn, Sam: You have the Con.

TAO said...

Well, I go on a road trip through Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisana and I miss alot.

First off, lets be realistic, the conservative movement lost because we through our lot behind George Bush and realistically he ran the government very poorly. Thus McCain started the campaign with a handicap.

Then, we got all this crap about marxists, terrorists friends, and all of that. Obviously the hatred and fear that some conservatives feel toward the left is not shared by the majority. The majority of the voters view Liberals as Americans too!

Give up on Soros and all this left wing conspiracy stuff and rather focus on policy for conservativism. No matter how you want to cut it we talk about smaller government and lower taxes but what the electorate sees is do nothing government and personal greed.

I have had my issues with Robert and Jenn when I first started visiting this blog but I am starting to realize that they are seeing the BIG picture.

We can argue that GWB was not a conservative...but he ran with conservative support and that makes him by default a conservative candidate...he has made conservatism look pretty incompentent at running government.

The performance of Paulsen yesterday was just another example.

Now, we can go off and call the American voter stupid, we can claim that they are going to see the errors of their ways...and on and on....

But bottom line that is not going to translate anytime soon into a restoration of conservatism....because right now we look stupid.

I personally think Obama is quite a formidable opponent and he is not going to overreach....so to keep waiting for him to make a mistake to regain power is really sad on our part....I do not consider a winning strategy to be based upon your opponent failing as a real winning strategy.

Winning by default is not winning.

Robert said...

Tao! It was the trip through the deep south that set the lightbulbs off, huh? I encourage it more often...Off the topic, but where did you travel in your souther sojourn?

Obama is a very formidable opponent. Despite the desires that he show himself as incompetent, I believe the contrary.

Thanks for continuing to visit and see what we are about at CC. We know that the big picture isn't about swings in elections, and swings in setiments, but instead is about trends that take place over time. The big picture is that conservatism is dying in the GOP, and for it to have a resurgence we have to look inward before we canbroadcast outward.

Anonymous said...

I was not a fan of McCain's either but I simply have to disagree with you. A vote for anyone else is a vote for Obama. You can tell yourself otherwise but it is still true. The reality is that McCain is a half of a conservative, but which is better, half a conservative or the most liberal presidential candidate ever? I sympathize with you and truly do respect your opinion, I have a hard time disagreeing with it, but it is simply illogical to do anything else as a conservative than vote for McCain.
I am very sorry, but You can not keep me as one of your readers.

Robert said...

People, I wish you would step back and listen to yourselves. No one has defended staying home! No one has encouraged staying home! We are simply debating the reason why people did stay home.

And I am sorry, but if you cannot be objective and rational and see that there are at least a million conservatives who are tired of the GOP putting up moderate candidates, then you are not being honest with yourself and you exhibit the very characteristics that have damaged the party. Blind lockstep with no voice and no thought.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the focus here should be cognition: what you believe, and why you believe it. If there is to be a reemergence of committed conservatives, then it has to be on the basis of core principles, and the ability to articulate those ideals. The point should not be that most readers agree with you, but rather whether most conservative agree with well-articulated suppositions.

I suspect that if you lay these ideas out properly, which is to say without extraneous labels, you may find that a much larger number of people do agree with articulated core principles — that they are actually more “American” than conservative — and wouldn’t that be a grand outcome?

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

I heard from our mutual friend, Rockync, that there was controversy brewing here, so I came to take a look. Reading this post, I find myself agreeing with Robert and supporting his effort.

It may seem ironic that the left is having the same debate: Whither drifts the GOP? Not ironic at all because what one forgets in this debate, whether one is left or right, liberal or conservative, is that while focusing on our differences, we forget our commonalities.

Let me elaborate. As Robert says, we are country men and women first who participate in a noble experiment called American Democracy. We can’t have a democracy without two or more parties. There must be competition and choice for Democracy to be meaningful. We cannot expect our own party to dominate the political landscape. Sometimes the other side wins, and we finds ourselves in the role of “loyal opposition” with the emphasis on “loyal.”

Regardless of political affiliation, we are neighbors first who should greet each other in neighborly fashion when we carry the trash to the street and bring in the mail.

While one may not want to listen to what the other side has to say, there are reasons for doing so. No party is free from chicanery and excess. When our own leaders disappoint, there is always an opposition to force us to rethink our positions. Changing political alignments mirror a changing world. And if we are too stubborn to change according to the exigencies of the age, then a changing of the guard is appropriate.

We should be thankful for the opportunity democracy affords us … that we have this freedom to affirm our leadership every four years … or throw the bums out. Most of all, that we have an orderly process of change without bloodshed.

So lets be friends, listen, and learn ... and appreciate what we have.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

... that is, what we have in common!

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

I find myself in a slight disagreement with you Robert. In your last comment you stated that there are, "at least a million," conservative who are tired of the GOP putting up moderate candidates.

I beleive that your number is considerably low. The conservative base alone in just the GOP rank and file is most likely at least 10 times that or even more and that is where the trouble in the GOP is found.

The leadership is totally out of step with the majority of the rank and file and as such the support as well as the elective power through a strong conservative message matched with the ability to govern in accordance to that message is lost to the GOP.

The next problem arrises from the additude with voters that everyone in Washington is a bumb EXCEPT my Representative and that is why so many failed politicians keep going back to Washington.

Voters are not willing to take a fresh look at new candidates whose ideology may very well better nmatch their own and stick with the comfort zones. This especially applies to party affiliation. The primaries are meant to give fresh looks so that new blood can get on the ticket for a General Election and all that ends up happening is failed incumbants get reelected.

That is where the Dems have succeeded in the last two elections. They had a large slate of new candidates many of which called themseves conservative Democrats or Blue Dog Democrats who had a new face, energy and provided at least some manner of connection with a constituency.

Like (O)CT(O)PUS said we have to talk to one another but we also have to realize that when the opposition is so totally out of whack with Constitutional principles as many on the left are especially those in the leadership it is also up to we the people to set them straight and fight to keep the principles of our Republic sound.

Discourse is good but when that discourse sends this Nation down a path never intended by the Founders then discourse becomes danegerous and the time to stand for principles becomes not just important but necessary.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

I think you are one of the best new finds in the Blogosphere for me personally. I appreciate your words, your ability to capture the essence of the post, and further it is great to see you looking past your initial feelings about the purpose of this Blog. Welcome.

You said
-conservatism does not have to depend on the past-
I fully agree, and I also agree that your comment cannot be taken out of context. Yours is an example of something that can be said by one with the best altruistic and positive intent, and be interpreted by others as discarding the purist conservative ideology altogether. I appreciate your comments and participation. Welcome.

American Girl,
Its OK; not everybody is going to buy into our intent to think outside the box and inter-twine new thinking into the mechanism of conservatism. (is it really new?). Regardless of your militant (if I can describe it as such) stance, I would hope you can still feel welcomed to opine as you feel the urge. Welcome.

What the hell happened here?... :)

My friend, I can always count on you to bathe the Hoi poloi with much-needed wisdom. Cognition. Maybe that is the key element. I want to jump on that more in another post, but I will email you privately as I want to confer with you on some things. Thanks again for participating.

Welcome to the conversation and I am very appreciative of your input.
You are correct in that we can both be critical while learning not to yell at each other.
But be careful,... your pragmatism may become contagious. Welcome :)

Nice to be exchanging ideas with you again. I have always considered your blog a busload of inspiration and a place to find reason without the thorns of thought so prevalent in other conservative Blogs.

Lastly, you said:
-Discourse is good but when that discourse sends this Nation down a path never intended by the Founders then discourse becomes dangerous and the time to stand for principles becomes not just important but necessary-

If I may, discourse is not what is going to send the country spiraling downward. In my view, discourse is just a vessel to help up fill-our the voids of our knowledge, to calibrate our thinking, get a clear view of the opposing view and to make informed decision.

What we do AFTER we have held civil discourse with opposing vews is the crux of the matter.

As always, thanks for your wisdom and insights. Welcome!

Anonymous said...

TAO....We do see the BIG picture and even though I had my issues with you too, I am finally realizing that you too see the big picture. I am a social conservative too, but I realize that isn't a point that we are going to come together on and I have to get past that. I don't mean you and me, I mean we as conservatives.

To be perfectly honest with you, when I first started blogging, I was rather narrow minded. I felt my ways were the right ones and if you didn't agree you were wrong. What I am coming to realize more and more is that conservatism isn't about abortion, or whether someone was wrong for sitting home instead of voting. Its about principles that are missing from this government. From this whole drama that came with the "Robert comment" I am seeing that it isn't about the little things and to concentrate on them are so far beyond foolish. It is about the bigger picture. Although we lost a few readers (which I truly regret), maybe this was a positive thing in retrospect. We need people here that have open minds and can come together on what really matters. It's helped me to understand that conservatism isn't my own little personal view on things, it's a movement that will hopefully make this country more about the individual and less about the government.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I don't know where it comes off condescending in the slightest.

I find it blunt and to the point and I guess some people can't handle that but at this point in time, it was much needed so thank you T-P!

["I for one find this post to be condescending.. It may have been a rewarding rant on your part but not for your readers.
Like that old cliché” if you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen” Or get off of your soapbox."]

This kind of comment is exactly what you are trying to prevent by your post. It adds nothing to the discussion but to personally attack.

Anonymous said...

Move along, nothing to see, no history made here.
Simple explanation: It was disenchanted Republicans who, by staying home or not voting at the top of the ticket, handed the Presidency to Barack Obama.
Turnout in last week’s election increased from four years ago but fell far short of some forecasts largely because many Republican voters either stayed home or left blank the presidential section of their ballots.
In states won by President-elect Barack Obama, turnout was more than five percentage points higher than in states won by Republican John McCain, according to a Globe analysis of data compiled by a pair of researchers who study voting patterns in US elections.Each had predicted significantly higher turnout than materialized on Election Day.I looked at the significant increase in registration and the long lines at the early-voting polling places. It turned out the intensity was one-sided; it was on the Democrats side. I don’t agree with the “stay at home Republicans” who want ideological purity. Something they may never get.Hey look, Sarah Palin tried her best to generate Republican excitement — and she did. But even though I had a hard time marking a check next to John McCain on my ballot, I did so. I didn’t sit at home as many of my Republican or should I say Conservative so called friends did. Yes indeed, It was disenchanted Conservatives who, by staying home or not voting at the top of the ticket, handed the Presidency to Barack Obama.
Plenty of us Conservatives voted for McCain even if we hated doing it.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

I hope this is the last of such postings, the last of such arrogance and condescending behavior on my part,... and I hope to get spanked if I ever get on the soapbox again....
Now lets get to work! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for commenting, Conservative, we have finally have someone that is willing to discuss this rather than someone who just stubbornly holds on to an idea that they can't defend.

I get where you are coming from I really do. I voted for McCain and so did Robert. We didn't sit home on Election Day. Obviously we felt it was important for McCain to have our support. I can not speak for those who have stayed home, because honestly I haven't come across one person that I know of who did. I respect your opinion that those that stayed home cost us the election although I don't honestly agree with you.

"It turned out the intensity was one-sided; it was on the Democrats side."

Bingo! You nailed this one on the head. McCain did not inspire any intensity whatsoever. That is not the voters fault, it is the candidates.

I find that the people who stayed home certainly hurt McCain, I just don't think they alone cost him the election. I will look into what you said more carefully and see what I can find on it.

Anonymous said...

IMO there was no excuse to stay home and not vote just because either McCain or Palin wasn't one's ideal version of a conservative. It's childish, foolish, and in the end dangerous to hand victory to a Marxist.
Conservative don't get a pass any more than single-issue conservatives for being babies and letting the country rot because they don't get their way on everything.
Palin’s contribution both helped and hurt, she did end up having higher unfavorable than favorable in the general. The base loved her but she did herself no favors with the Couric and Gibson interviews. I am not saying she hurt McCain in general. She certainly enthused the base and helped fundraising, but it did turn off independents and democrats. When are the conservatives going to learn that it is a bad idea to go onto liberal TV programs where they are going to just ridicule them and never help them? Such as The View, Saturday Night Live, and David Letterman.