Why Republicans Are Fighting An Uphill Battle In '08
Pity the Republicans, their base is so radical that when they appeal to their base they appal the rest of Americans.
The Republican base is the 28-30% of ideological neoconservative Americans who still support an unpopular war and an unpopular President. The base also has many other defining characteristics that will not be discussed today because war is the issue at hand.
Republican politicians [specifically this time around] are desperate to pander to their base and believe that pandering to their base is the only way to be elected.
The only problem with that notion is when your base is far outside the mainstream there is no way to appeal to the base and the majority of American voters, which are desperately needed to be elected.
On one hand you have John McCain who supports the recent troop surge that most Americans were opposed to and still defends going to war with Iraq although there were not any WMD's or 9/11 connection.
John McCain used to be favored by a number of Moderate and Independent voters before he started keeping company with radical Jerry Falwell, after admitting him to be an extremist.
McCain lost even more credibility with the independent minded when he gave out misleading information regarding the security of Iraq and then made a photo op trip to Baghdad to try to give the illusion of security in Baghdad. His misinformation was quickly noted by correspondents on the ground in Iraq as being "beyond ludicrous."
McCain didn't help himself either when he admitted that he sees no "plan b" for Iraq if the troop surge does not work.
McCain's latest incidents include singing "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" to the tune of the Beach Boys hit "Barbara Ann" and then deciding to use the "Barbara Ann" song at events.
McCain also flubbed when he "joked" to Jon Stewart that he had a present for him — an IED that he could place under his desk.
Leaving some to wonder that perhaps someone who cannot give honest assessments about the Iraq War and has no "plan b" for it, who takes lightly the possibility of having to bomb Iran and makes jokes about Improvised Explosive Devices should not be the next President of the United States.
On the other hand you have Rudy Giuliani, America's so called mayor. Giuliani can't get it right with the Conservatives he needs to pander to because he has been married three times and is just not Conservative enough for the real neocons, even though he advocates war.
Since Giuliani is having a hard time convincing the hardliners that he is a true neocon he has recently begun invoking the spirit of Ronald Reagan (the hero of the right) and referencing to his "leadership" after 9/11, even though Giuliani was slammed by the International Association of Fire Fighters, which is nation's largest firefighters union.
I had once viewed Giuliani as a real contender until recently because of his ability to siphon off Independent and Moderate voters still nostalgic for that courageous post 9/11 leader.
But Giuliani is driving a wedge between himself and the American people by pandering to neoconservatives by advocating an unpopular war and claiming only Republicans can keep America safe, especially if it is him. (wink, wink.) His mob ties aren't helping him either.
So there they are, the Republican front runners who can barely impress people in the same political party that make up their base.
So they have to try even harder to impress "the base" so it's essential to them to hammer extreme on the rhetoric which in turn only alienates them further from the rest of the voters who are a lot smarter and much less intimidated by threats and fear than they were a few years ago.
That's why the Republicans face an uphill battle in '08.