The Self Made Pundit

I'm just the guy that can't stand cant. ___________

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Well, that was a nice election for once.

While I am pleased that the Democrats won a big victory in Tuesday's election, I am concerned about my Republican friends. Will they be at a loss this week, wondering how to react to such a devastating electoral loss?

In a spirit of graciousness, I would like to offer some advice to the Republicans. As a Democrat, I think I can speak with some authority about how to respond to a big electoral loss.

The first thing you should do (after sobering up) is replay the campaign of every heart-breaking close electoral defeat of the Republicans in your head. Now, this might sound like wallowing in self-pity, and it is. However, engaging in such an analysis also helps you to learn from your mistakes. It is only by analyzing your close losses that you can identify the one or two things your candidates could have done differently to have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Armed with such knowledge, you'll be better prepared to win next time.

Consider the three razor-thin losses that will apparently cost the Republicans the Senate. Republican Senators Jim ("No") Talent of Missouri, George ("Gracie") Allen of Virginia and Conrad ("Montgomery") Burns of Montana all had moments in their campaigns when a different word or act might have made a difference.

Perhaps Senator No Talent would have won if Rush Limbaugh had been less restrained in mocking the effects of Parkinson's disease that Michael J. Fox exhibited in the campaign commercial for Democrat Claire McCaskill. If Limbaugh had not merely imitated Fox's tremors, but had thrown himself from his chair and thrashed around the floor for 30 minutes, perhaps that would have been more entertaining to the dim-witted sadists whose votes the Republicans were apparently seeking.

Senator Gracie Allen would probably have won his race if he just hadn't called that dark-skinned campaign worker of his opponent, Jim Webb, "Macaca." The insult "Macaca" might have been too exotic for Allen's usual voters, making Allen sound effete and French. If only he could have thought of some other, more-recognized, slur. Maybe he should have tried the successful approach of Bob Corker, the Republican Senator-elect of Tennessee, and asked the dark-skinned young man if he had come to Virginia to look for white women.

And then there's the heart-breaking apparent loss of Senator Monty Burns by some 1,500 votes. Perhaps voters were turned off by his gaffes, including insulting out-of-state firefighters who had come to Montana's aid as lazy, and claiming that President Bush has a secret plan to end the war in Iraq. The first gaffe made him seem mean, and the second made him seem clueless. By contrast, if Burns had claimed that Bush had a secret plan to send brave out-of-state firefighters to put out the fire in Iraq, Burns would have come off as far more credible. Given the strategic prowess demonstrated by Bush, such a claim might even have been true.

Engaging in such hypotheticals should be fairly easy for my Republican friends given their experience in pretending that Bush is not an incompetent and corrupt president. None of these hypotheticals reaches the heights of unreality of their deranged fantasy that Bush has the brains and judgment to run a government and direct a war.