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Red October

By Barbara Gordon - Posted on 27 October 2008

In an indication of just how desperate the situation is becoming for Senator McCain's campaign, both candidates are spending this final week of October campaigning in traditionally red states. McCain has all but conceded every swing state but Pennsylvania, and Obama is counting them all as likely wins. So the battle for states moves into red territory, with McCain trying desperately to hold the line.

That this campaign should end with a focus on the Republicans is somehow fitting. From the very beginning of this race -- two years ago now -- it was assumed that the Democrats were united in their rejection of Bush and his party, that independents would likely vote blue as well, and that Republican voters were the lone unknown. After all, last year GOP afflilation was at its lowest point in fifteen years, and Bush's disapproval rating from within his own party reached unprecedented levels. So pundits and candidates alike wondered, "What will the Republicans do?" Would GOP voters reject their own candidate to signal their disapproval of the last eight years and the priorities of their own party? Or would they rally around their nominee?

And the GOP voters have decided to send a message, it seems. Ten percent are polling for Obama -- that's a marked increase in the last several weeks. Ten percent say the selection of Sarah Palin as a runningmate has made them less likely to support McCain. And these are just the ones planning to vote -- apathy and dissatisfaction among Republicans is so high that GOP turnout is expected to be low, with many Republicans voters choosing to allow their abstentions to make a statement.

It seems that many Republican voters like those of us here at Republicans for Obama have decided to say, "Hey, enough is enough." We want the party to realize that it can't continue to throw whatever candidate it wants out there and expect us to follow like lemmings. It can't continue to sell-out to the religious right and the neocons and expect us to offer our unconditional, unquestioning support. It can't continue to stand on a platform of war and socially divisive politics and expect to be any kind of positive force in this country. It cannot resort to deficit spending indefinitely. And it seems our message is getting across: Newt Gingrich admitted yesterday that this "is not where we should be. This is not bad luck." He's conceding the state of the party and the state of this election are not the work of the fates -- no, our party did this to itself.

And that's where, in spite of likely defeat, we win: we're turning heads. And this has been our goal her at RFO all along. Yes, we realize we're forfeiting a presidential administration. And yes, we're helping to elect a Democrat (who, incidentally, we believe is better suited for the office). Yet although our own party's candidate may lose, this is not a loss for our party. If we have convinced our party to step back and rethink its priorities, to realize that it cannot take our votes for granted, to realize the need to reorganize and redirect, then this is a long-term win for all Republicans.

Senator McCain needs to get this through his thick skull and into his brain:

He is not a conquering general. He is not a distinguished admiral. He is not cut out to be a leader. The times he shined the brightest is when he rebelled against the establishment for a higher purpose, but he has abandoned that part of himself to try and emulate or exceed his father and grandfather. What he needs to understand is that the days of inherited power have all but ended 50 years ago, if not a century ago.

I doubt he will understand, let alone accept this, even if his campaign and career come crashing down upon him.


Sticker/sign tally in Orange County, CA:

  • Obama - 5
  • McCain - 2
  • (As of 2008/10/24)

Excellent post, Barbara!  As this election starts to wind down I share with you the deep sense of satisfaction that we have stood together and are having our voice heard.

I am so thankful to RFO for providing a place to come together and share our hearts and our minds on this very important subject.  What we've done here is no small thing.  Indeed, together we may just make a monumental change:

- in our party

- in our country

- for our children

- in our world

And I'm thankful to the Democrats for finally giving us someone we could vote for (and boy did they! :)  It's a shame such vision and leadership couldn't have come from our party.  Maybe, sometime in the future, the Party of Lincoln will once again have a Lincoln. 

There's no doubt that this has been a bitter sweet experience.  I didn't think that the majority we had from 2001-2006 would last forever, but I'm not sure how prepared I am for the trouncing we're about to go through.  It's going to be a long road back.
I just hope we learn from it.  If we don't, I believe our party may be lost forever.

"God forbid we should ever be 20 years without a rebellion..."

~Thomas Jefferson to William Smith 1787 

Excellent post and yes we are turning heads. As for forfeiting an administration, I don't feel bad, guilty or sorry for supporting the candidate from the other party. I am sad that our party has come to this but better now than before it's totally too late. 

Golf11, NYC
Vero Possumus

Absolutely. I felt like if our party could win with McCain/Palin, then the GOP was lost to us for at least another two decades.

Very true, Barbara. If they were to pull it off, in their minds it would legitimize the hard right turn the party has taken. I see this year as our chance to slap our party back to reality. Apparently 2006 was not enough for them, so maybe losing all control and becoming a minority will wake them up.  


RFO Outreach Coordinator

The enemy of "the best" is not "the worst." The enemy of "the best" is "good enough."

Jan. 20, 2009: The End of an Error.

The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

I have been informed that the submarine pictured above is the wrong make and model. Apologies.

I think Republicans across the board are feeling the need to change. I'm voting Republican for City Council here in DC as I always do. Patrick Mara is a pro-choice Republican that's running for councilman and I hope one day he will be mayor of our city. But I'm voting Obama for president! The GOP has been hijacked by religious extremists that refuse to acknowlodge that their policies are causing poverty right here at home. War and a lack of access to legal and safe abortion are the top causes for poverty and crime all over the world, and we're seeing it that it's the case here too. I wish the party of small government would return! I lived in MA before moving to DC, and I can tell you that under Mitt Romney who did not veto legalizing gay marriage, MA created thousands of new jobs. I don't care if gays get married, it doesn't affect me being married to my wife and it creates massive amounts of revenue. Catering companies, hotels, limo rental services, wedding photographers, florists, greeting card stores all experience a boom in business (and boy, do we need it!) from legal gay marriage. Let's make the GOP the party of small government again, before things get any worse.

I think the Republican party would be wise to remember that there are many people in America that would support them if they weren't so intent on defining their base by religion. Using religion to build a party makes me very very uncomfortable.  

I'm not talking about the natural attraction of like-minded people. I'm talking about the active courting that has been done over the last ten years.

Pull people together based on political policy that doesn't require trying to make the voter feel ashamed or 'wrong' for disagreeing with the party line. I've never considered myself a Republican because I agree with Gay marriage, the chioce to have a safe abortion if needed, the freedom of ALL religions (that don't harm animals or humans) and that I'm not a member of an evangelical church.

Since I've been of voting age, this is what the Republican party has offered me.

If the party were to go back to a more fiscal, socially responsible party then I would join. I'm just not ready to join a party that calls parts of America 'Un-American", calls my friends an abomination, tells my mentally ill family members that they need to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps because they shouldn't get a 'hand out'.

Sorry I'm rambling on and on... but if the Republican party is to rebuild, then consider attracting people my age. 30 and under. We are coming up and we've been watching. Our experiences are more diverse, we're more open to change and differing opinion. 

I truly do hope that the Republican party would open itsself up a bit for those of us in the middle. I'd love to have a party to go to, but as it is now, there isn't one.


I believe in the Republican party. I really do. There are some great ideas and perhaps they just need to be separated out from the 'knee jerk' political ideology that seems to run rampant throughout the party these days.  

yes, Jen. We're hoping the response to Palin will be a wakeup call for the party.
We were fortunate in Nebraska to have republican chuck Hagel and his family. People here called him a traitor when he spoke for obama. This party thing has been carried to darn far. If we can't get back to respecting each other, I see no need to have two to three party country any more! i don't understand why americans can't debate in a human way, instead of like cats and dogs ready to tear each others eyes out! I think we need to change, an I'm hopeing my grand old party learned a good lesson about lieing,name calling, hate baiting, and racial statements in this election. Obama I think did a good job 90% of the time staying above the fray, but there has been a few times I was disappointed, but not as much as I was in Mccain. He ran a negative campagne 99% of the time. It made me sad and mad at the same time. I am ready for change in both partys, and I'm hopeing this is the time for that change.

NASCAR legend Junior Johnson supports Obama for President.

Every day I talk to someone else who's never voted for a Democrat, but now they're voting for Barack Obama. They realize that Barack understands what we're going through here in North Carolina. And they're ready for change.

So I've made up my mind, and I'm ready to get involved. I know that I could never have won a race without my pit crew, and I know Barack can't win this one without us.

I've been told that in some parts of the country this is a bigger endorsement than any General or politician ever could make.....
As a huge NASCAR fan, I agree.  Everyone well known or in the public eye should take a stand for Obama and the change this country needs.  These last few days before the final countdown are driving me crazy.  Hoping for landslide victory!

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