Election post-mortem: lemons to lemonade
As the old saying goes, "when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade".
Herewith, a list of some of the lemons from the recent election and the lemonade they could offer.
Election return lemons: the race is over. Obama won. The liberals have two out of three branches of government...with the third (the judiciary) hanging in the balance. Those are pretty big lemons.
Lemonade: conservatives have an opportunity to re-focus our message on our principles and define ourselves in stark relief to the inevitable liberal overreach...and then be positioned to catch those folks in the middle who will soon come down with a case of buyer's remorse.
Strategy lemons: McCain's strategy of "reaching out" failed, (reliable red states turning blue?). Lemonade: "reach-across-the-aisleism" as a strategy is now thoroughly discredited. Good riddance.
Our path is clear: sharpen the differences between ourselves and liberals. Give the public reason to support us by offering a clear, principled vision for conservative governance that applies our principles to the problems of the day. As Ronald Reagan suggested, we have to hold our conservative banner high and define the differences between ourselves and the opposition in bright, bold colors - not pale pastels.
More lemonade: we got Sarah Palin out of the deal.
Tech lemons: we got our tail whipped with new political applications of existing technology. This is important because the Republican Party apparatus serves as the political vehicle of choice for the conservative movement. But the vehicle needs servicing - big time. The other guys are driving a Corvette, and we're in an Oldsmobile. Time to upgrade.
Lemonade: we can do like the Japanese used to do; take a competitor's existing product and make it better, fast and cheaper...then take their market share.
Lemon: McCain ignored the social issues and lost. Lemonade: he lost in large part because he ignored the social issues.
Socially conservative issues faired well at the ballot box...demonstrating that people do vote on the basis of issues when they are actually AWARE of the issues, (note to McCain staff).
Amazingly, we went through pretty much an entire presidential campaign where our guy did little to nothing to highlight the culturally offensive positions of his opposition. Here you had a guy that's been rated as the single most liberal member of the US Senate with issue positions that weren't just to the left of the American public, but to the left of Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer, and it was left to third party groups to raise the issues. Go figure.
If the public doesn't hear the candidate himself make these distinctions, they don't have as much credibility. And, for whatever reason, McCain wouldn't make an effort. It was like taking a knife to a gunfight. When you've got clear advantages on key, salient social issues, you USE them.
Meanwhile an amendment to ban gay marriage passes, (of all places), in California - and by the same margin as Obama's national popular vote total, 52% to 48%.
Economic lemons: the liberals will now be completely in charge of spending. Lemonade: the liberals will now be completely in charge of spending.
We lost an election when the economy seems ready to head even farther downhill...and you can bet it will when it gets its pending dose of unbridled liberal economics. Now they'll have to deal with the political consequences.
More lemonade: The 2010 elections will set the table for the redistricting that will follow the next national census, resulting in new lines for congressional, state house and state senate seats that will impact the political landscape for a decade. If there's a good time to bounce back, that's it.
Legislative lemons: the liberals want to raise taxes, kill conservative talk-radio, end secret ballots for union elections, overturn the Defense of Marriage Act and pass the pro-abortion "Freedom of Choice Act"; and that's just for starters. Lemonade: These are all issues that were NOT highlighted in the campaign, (either by them, or our own candidate unfortunately). Not the kind of "change" that most independents voted for. We can oppose with abandon and be there waiting for them when they "come home".
And the best lemonade of all? We have another stunning example of what doesn't work; and several historical examples of what does - which should make our decision about what to do next a good bit easier.