06 November 2009

What's Happening

So once again I have committed the number 1 sin of the blogging world in that I haven't posted anything new lately. The only excuse I have is that I've been working like an idiot for the past couple of weeks. In fact, the photo in my previous post was taken while I was on my way to work.

In my copious off time, I've been working on a paper model of Serenity. It's my first cardstock model and it's surprisingly difficult. This is no "fold tab A into slot B" type of paper airplane, there are over eighty pieces printed out on twelve cardstock sheets. It's been a lot of fun.

My copy of "The Gathering Storm" has arrived, and I'm reading through it at the moment. Brandon Sanderson is an apt storyteller, but he isn't Robert Jordan. It's obvious that there is another voice speaking, but he is definitely telling Jordan's tale so I think it will end well.

On the political front, much is being made by the Democrats of Hoffman's failure to take NY-23, but they are strangely silent on the changes in the governorships of New Jersey and Virginia. Virginia may have not been much of a surprise, but New Jersey certainly was. I wish the new Governors well and hope they do good for their respective States.

The Hoffman saga is a horse of a different color, and although the established political parties don't want to make much of it I believe they do know what it's significance is. Time will tell if the RNC actually absorbs the lesson from NY-23 or not, if they do then they will see future success, and if not, they won't. It's as simple as that.

For me it's just a simple question, that being when does a moderate Republican cross the line into being a moderate Democrat? I've said there isn't an ounce worth of difference between the two parties and the NY-23 race certainly reflected that, at least initially. But then, a "moderate" Republican (who was more liberal than the moderate Democrat) got her head handed to her by the Conservative party candidate that wasn't supposed to be able to poll much beyond the normal 5 percent or so. Instead it was the Conservative party candidate that polled well, and the Republican candidate was at the 5% mark.

Party loyalists preach the party line, about how supporting the Party is paramount, that conservative Republicans can't win in "moderate" areas of the country, about how supporting third party candidates just split the vote and hand the race to the Democrat. This did certainly happen in this instance, but the major difference here is that the party candidate never really did have the full support of the party members. She was selected, not by a primary where the voters might have been able to voice an opinion, but by a panel of elites. The voters were understandably upset, and they broke for the candidate they might have supported had there been an actual primary.

The ironic thing here is that conservatives have never been very good at being party loyalists, they see themselves as independents and must be given a reason to vote for a particular candidate. They may hold their nose and vote for the R over the D because the Republican party more closely represents their values, but this is not always the case.

The plain truth is that the two parties must be different, they must have different platforms and their candidates must adhere to those platforms, otherwise there is no clear choice between them. If there is no clear choice, the ones that are left out in the cold (usually the conservatives) usually do choose the "lesser of two evils" and pull the lever with the "R" beside it. Lately, however, the conservatives have been choosing a third party, or they are choosing not to decide (and, like the song says, still making a choice). If the Republican party wants to remain the default choice of conservatives, they need to examine themselves and pull back to their conservative roots. Otherwise they will continue to shed members. This was the lesson that should have been learned during the McCain presidency bid (the only thing that saved it was the addition of Palin to the ticket) and clearly wasn't.

They have a chance again to learn this lesson from NY-23. We will see if they do so.

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