Wednesday, February 07, 2007


The Booman Tribune thinks it's just right-wing propaganda from a new political site whose principal editors came over from The Washington Post, but I believe this really is an accurate account of what the GOP is thinking -- and if so, Republicans still don't understand the world they've helped to make:

GOP Views Clinton As Virtually Unbeatable

What many conservatives regard as the nightmare scenario -- President Hillary Rodham Clinton -- is increasingly seen by veteran Republican politicians and strategists as virtual inevitability.

In GOP circles, the Democratic front-runner is seen as so strong, and the political climate for Republicans so hostile, that many influential voices -- including current and former lawmakers, and veterans of President Bush's campaigns -- have grown despairing. These partisans describe a political equivalent of the stages of grief, starting with denial, then resentment and ending with acceptance....

"If the conservative movement and Republicans don't understand how massive the Clinton coalition is, she will be the next president," former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said in an interview last week....

"We do have to get our act together, and I'd agree with Tom DeLay on that," said Rep. Steve King of Iowa. "At this point, short an inspirational Republican nominee, then I would agree that it's going to be very difficult to beat Hillary if she wins the nomination."...

If you think an inheritor of the Bush mantle can't win in '08, I have two words for you: Joe Lieberman.

If Lieberman was able to sell himself successfully to Connecticut voters in '06 as an "independent Democrat," despite the public's utter disgust with the war, then McCain absolutely could sell himself as a "maverick" -- especially with a gushing national media doing its usual job of selling that notion. (This is what's baffling to me about Republicans -- McCain is so close to what they want, yet so electable thanks to media worship and widespread public admiration, that if they'd just get behind him, they could absolutely win this thing. But the base just won't back him.)

Giuliani, of course, can be described as even more like Lieberman -- he's moderate to liberal on social issues. And Flip-Flopper Romney used to be socially moderate. All of this can easily be sold as Not Bush.

These guys can all sell themselves as fresh faces, unconnected to the hated current regime. Giuliani and Romney have the advantage of not being creatures of Washington -- and McCain, well, did I mention that he's a "maverick"?

The media will happily sell this story because so many people in the media love to mock the Clintons, and the Democratic Party in general, and because so many men in the media feel their genitals begin to shrivel whenever Hillary's name is mentioned. (As for other top Democrats: Edwards is the inexperienced "Breck girl" and a trial lawyer, the press hates Gore, and Obama can be sold as dangerously inexperienced -- though the media attacks on Obama aren't going to be off-the-shelf and prepackaged, so he may have the best chance of overcoming them.)

Oh, one other Republican could win: Condi Rice. She's bafflingly popular -- yet who could be more tied to this administration and this war than she is? But I think voters don't want to dislike her, don't like to think of themselves disliking that sweet prim brown woman, so they tells themselves that she hasn't done any of the bad things she's actually done.


(Via Memeorandum.)

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