There's this weird bit of logic going around conservative circles that the reason for George W. Bush's failing, Obama's triumph, and the recent drubbing of Republicans that the GOP has moved too far from its conservative base. It wasn't -- get this -- conservative enough.
The theory is faithfully echoed by our two "favorite" local conservative blogs (we'll spare you some of the other wonky shit they've posted in the wake of the Obama win; it's not worth reading, not at all).
From Babalu: "As it is, the big winner tonight is conservatism. Hopefully our party has gotten the bipartisan bug out of its system and will begin to think about WINNING rather than compromising for a change."
From Moms 4 Sarah Palin: "I am a Reagan conservative, and there are many of us left who intend to re-take our party. That will be our focus now. I believe Sarah Palin will help lead that charge. After taking some much needed time off, we will begin to explore our core conservative values here, and perhaps we can engage in lively discussion ON THESE ISSUES."
This thinking will get the GOP nowhere. Americans don't want politicians who follow without question some abstract political ideology. We want leaders who are attuned to their problems and offer viable solutions. Republicans aren't out of touch with conservatism; they're out of touch with the people.
Conservatives will not win until they realize that access to affordable health care ought to be a right and not a privilege; that all hard-working Americans, and for that matter people across the globe, deserve a decent living wage; that if we ignore the bottom rung of society, it won't disappear;that the government should concern itself more with regulating the freewheeling titans of industry than deciding what women should do with their bodies or commitment deserves endorsement; and that all children should receive a decent education.
If American history was a football game, the liberal team would lead by something like 84 to 7 now. Civil rights, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, the ecological movement, workers' rights, minimum wage, and equality before the law are all liberal movements. Conservatives might have racked up more years in the White House in the past half century, but liberals have done more to actually change this nation for the better.
This unfounded painting of liberals as socialists is nothing new. The man whom historians have time and time again judged to be the greatest president of the 20th Century had to deal with detractors calling him Stalin Delano Roosevelt. And yet under FDR's "socialist" regime, we overcame the Great Depression, won WWII, and emerged with the superpower status we all take for granted today.
I'm not saying we should all march blindly to the beat of the liberal drum, but, folks, to suggest that Republicans have failed because they weren't ideological enough is simply batshit. Americans didn't go to the polls Tuesday in support of any archaic ideologies of left versus right; the only ideology in their minds was the one that should matter: politicians should serve the people, not the ideologues.