The US Elections 2012 are a watershed. Despite the lesson of 2008 that pairing a mature experienced pragmatist at the top of the ticket with an extreme Rightest in the Veep spot won’t work the GOP did the same again. Admittedly this time the extreme Right Wing Vice Presidential candidate was a clever and articulate espouser of the cause â€“ but no matter. The outcome of the 2012 produced an almost identical result to that of 2008! So although this time around the unique Obama brand was at best jaded and at worst holed below the waterline he still won!
It would be naive to assume that the forces behind McCain/Palin and Romney/Ryan have gone away. They are too ideologically determined and too well funded to do that. But they are now defeated once and for all and for the GOP to regain power they absolutely must move back to the centre. And that doesn’t mean Bush – although Jeb has started making running noises. It means a major rethink and a brand new candidate of the centre ground – or the centre/right anyway.
The parallel with the Right in the UK is striking. All the noise on the Right here is from those who are not too far away from Romney/Ryan ideologically. They graft budget cuts, defense expenditure increases, protectionism (in its Eurosceptic guise) and an anti liberal establishment rhetoric together. They sprinkle in a fantasy that free enterprise will always be preferable to State ownership. They are, they would like you to believe, the only patriots and they often try and paint the Left as somehow traitorous. They see themselves as libertarians bemoaning restrictions on their precious freedoms – especially if it’s foreigners imposing regulation. And yet they fail to see that, as in the US, their day has gone. And whilst the US endured eight years of Bush/ Cheney, the worst American Government of modern times, fortunately here in Britain we have been too sensible to allow the same to happen. Despite a brief attempt during part (but not all) of the Thatcher years.
I hold no brief for the British Conservative Party (or any other Party for that matter) but if I did I would commend and support Cameron – not be an insurgent against him. And if I was Lord Ashcroft I wouldn’t fund websites like ConHome to fire missile after missile at Number 10. ConHome and many of its columnists too closely resemble the American Tea Party â€“ as dead a duck as can be imagined. Like their Republican cousins the Conservatives must now eschew the ideological Right for Centre Right pragmatism. But unlike the GOP they don’t have to find a leader – they already have one – and wonder of wonder he’s Prime Minister. The Tories need to get off his back!!