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 November, 2008


 A Center-Right Country?

A “Center-Right” What?
By Al Owens

Have you heard the latest? We’re still a “center-right” country. That’s what Republicans keep telling anybody who’ll listen. It’s their way of clinging to their sanity after getting taken to the woodshed by “the most liberal senator in the U.S. Senate.”

Instead of self-examination, Republicans are lining up to redefine the role Democrats should play for the next two years.

I’m sure Democrats are open to the redefinition until they double over in laughter. Heck, they may even start showing they’re proud, once again, to call themselves liberals. It can’t hurt.

It’s not enough that Republican analysis begs for snickers, they’re even offering a bit of advice to the new president-elect. “He’ll have to learn to govern from the center,” they now claim.

Of all the people in this country who aren’t qualified to give us political science lessons, it’s the people who lost control of congress two years ago, and who lost it even worse this past Election Day. The presidency, too, was snatched from their paws.

What’s worse, the very candidate they’d chosen to advance their “conservative agenda” had been somebody who was arguably as “center-right” as anybody in congress – until they tried to pull him in their direction.

John McCain has now returned to Sedona where he’ll probably seek an exorcism and a bar of soap before he returns to Washington, thanks to the kinds of Karl Rove styled politics he’d played during the campaign.

While his opponent kept talking about issues, McCain kept talking about his opponent.

The result? 8,302,853 more people voted for the alleged “socialist” than they did for the “patriot.”

What’s this world coming to? Well, for starters the terms “socialist” and “patriot” could get ripped from the conservative playbook. They just didn’t work.

It’s just like Republicans to claim that the people who beat them will have to change to suit their wishes, or we’ll all perish.

They were wrong before the election. They’re even wronger (my non-word) after it.

They’re flooding talk-shows with conservative spokes-models claiming the reason Democrats beat them was because they’d failed to reaffirm their “conservative values.”

Well, wasn’t that what Sarah Palin was for? She, who had even more “executive experience” than did Abraham Lincoln, but with none of the wisdom, was the supposed embodiment of hard line in your face conservatism.

While Republicans are scrambling to find new footing in today’s decidedly Democratic environment they should listen to a liberal or two.

I’m volunteering my services for that purpose, right here and right now.

First, lose the arrogance. Republicans may brag about being the “party of Lincoln,” but right now voters still see you as the party of George W. Bush. That’s not a good thing.

Second, if you’d like to win an election (for a change) develop a coherent message. “He just said lipstick on a pig,” is not a coherent message.

Third, stop trying to imply your opponents don’t really love this country.

And, too, bag the notion that war heroes will automatically become Presidents of the United States. That’s not necessarily a valid one with the American voter these days.

The past five presidential candidates who’d served in combat zones - lost. George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, Al Gore, John Kerry and now John McCain were beaten by men with little (George W. Bush) or no (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama) military experience.

Fourth, and this may be difficult, but try to appeal to minorities for a change. Of course, that’ll mean you’ll have to stop hinting that every tax dollar finds its way to minorities who don’t do anything to deserve it. I told you it would be difficult.

Fifth, stop playing the “associations” game. Brandishing the name Bill Ayers, didn’t win you many votes.

Finally, stop claiming liberalism is the same as socialism. Being a liberal doesn’t make anybody an automatic disciple of Karl Marx.

In fact, Mr. Conservative, the voters on November 4th, had ample opportunity to choose between Karl Marx (your pathetic definition), or Karl Rove (mine) - and they chose the lesser evil of the two Karls.

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net