Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Message to Republicans Redux

Last week, Mark Joseph wrote an article of advice for Democrats in '08, and I helpfully provided my own advice to Republicans. Well, this week, Mr. Joseph has his own advice for the Republicans.

Most of it is pretty banal. Republicans should hope we put up Hillary Clinton, Gore might be tougher than they think, they should mellow on Abortion just a little bit, and so on. Two bits stand out, however.
Get out from under the Iraq war. Distance your party from it and from President Bush's policies that got the country there. Have your candidates announce that instead of "stay and die" or "cut and run," you will "cut and arm"- i.e. return to the Reagan Doctrine of finding sympathetic forces to arm and support, but rarely if ever invading nations en masse. Arm the Iraqis, leave some military advisors behind to train them and get out of Dodge as quickly as possible.
I don't know that this is a viable option. For one thing, running away from Iraq is running away from President Bush. That might be a smart idea; but will he allow it? And will the party faithful get behind it? For 6 years, the Republicans have been painting President Bush as their hero, and the war in Iraq as a noble and holy mission. Cut and arm? Let's just say that I know how Republicans would react if Kerry, Gore or Hillary Clinton were to propose that.

The other interesting section is under the bit where Joseph suggests they get a black person on the ticket.
Get a well qualified African-American on your ticket. Americans are ready for a bold move on race and you'll likely have two freshly minted Senators to choose from. Condi will make the base stay home on election day, but Blackwell and Steele look good.
It's possible I missed something, but why will Condi make the base stay home? I can think of some obvious reasons, but I thought the Republican base was generally in favor of her (in a "hey look Democ-Rats, we aren't racist after all" kind of a way).

Anyway we'll have to see what happens over the next couple of years. I suspect predictions and prescriptions at this point are going to have very little relevance 24 months from now.

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