Friday, December 5, 2008

Mike Duncan, RNC Chair, Reaches Cosmic Conclusions About Chambliss Victory

With those beady eyes, does Mike Duncan, chairman of the Republican National Committee, see something that many of us don't see?

Of course I'm disappointed about the victory of Republican Saxby Chambliss of Georgia over Jim Martin, along with the lost chance for a filibuster-proof Democratic majority. Nevertheless, I was amazed by the gleeful–or desperate–crowing by Duncan in Politico.

How significant was this victory? According to Duncan, "Sen. Saxby Chambliss's re-election...was a tremendous victory for the people of Georgia." Really? We're talking about a Republican incumbent who was forced into a runoff in the South. 

The results were apparently of national significance: "Georgians refuted any notion that the ideology of the country has shifted to the left. ...Notably, Chambliss won in spite of strong support by President-elect Obama and Democrat organizations for Jim Martin. Georgian’s clearly sent a message that any rhetoric about a liberal mandate is nothing but hot air." 

So despite the fact that the South proved to be out of step with the country during the 2008 election, we should view the national mood through the prism of Georgia. We should also disregard the fact that Obama's "strong support" consisted of one radio ad. (I also noted the use of Democrat organizations instead of the correct adjective Democratic–a usage that was once demeaning but is now just silly. There's also the mistaken use of the possessive in "Georgian's sent..." But that's just me–a non-Joe Sixpack, liberal elitist who values good grammar.)

According to Duncan, we may even be on the cusp of the mid-term elections: "In the first contest since the presidential election and what many believe is the first race of the 2010 cycle, Republicans won because we coupled a strong, conservative candidate in Saxby Chambliss with a solid ground game that reached out to millions of Georgians and turned out the vote."

And how did they reach millions? "The RNC’s investment in technology over the past two years allowed our Republican team to maximize every volunteer’s time and every contributor’s donation on behalf of Chambliss, creating a get-out-the-vote effort that overwhelmed Democrats in the state."

If the RNC's technology is so cutting edge, how come they didn't put it to maximum use during the presidential election? Wasn't it Obama who, according to the Washington Post, raised half a billion dollars online? Didn't he, according to Wired, use the Web as a tremendously effective online networking tool?

I'm reminded of the conclusion by legions of conservatives, right after the election, that we live in a "center-right" nation. These characters continue to spin themselves into an alternative universe with all of their happy talk. Unless they realistically assess their failed policies over the past eight years, they won't regain ground–which is fine with me.

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