The GOP has been caught faking it

by Staff

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For the past year, I’ve been watching the Republican Party like a hawk.

I’ve witnessed the party jump from bandwagon to bandwagon, praising Sen. John McCain, then Rudy Giuliani, then Gov. Mitt Romney and then Mike Huckabee. Republicans cycled through the candidates, eating them up and spitting them out. The candidates were either flip-floppers, too moderate, too conservative or too liberal, and it didn’t seem like a well-balanced candidate was in sight.

Democrats celebrated as Republicans scrambled. As a Democrat, I felt this was the perfect opportunity for my party to easily beat the weakened Republicans in the White House race.

Then, to all Democrats’ surprise, the voters came full circle back to McCain. It’s not far-fetched to say that McCain will win his party’s nomination. But this sudden turn-around has left the stench of confusion in the air. Did the GOP’s struggle to pick a candidate confirm that it’s falling apart? And why is McCain winning by a landslide when most members of his party don’t like him?

It’s because Republicans are playing a trick on the Democrats. They will glorify his weaknesses in an attempt to win support from the right and Independents, and in an attempt to scare the left.

The Republicans know not to show the enemy their wounds. But although they’re still up and fighting, the Republicans have been waving the white flag for a while. Desperation calls for desperate measures. Therefore, Mac is back.

But Republican Party is in a much different place than the left. Republicans realized they don’t have a perfect candidate who will be devotedly loved, like Sen. Barack Obama is to the left. So they had to find the next best person; someone who would be the most threatening. So the most threatening candidate they could pull from their hats is an old man who has more moderate and liberal supporters in their party than any other constituent.

This strategy is billed as brilliant by the conservative media. However, I must give the GOP an F for effort, because this tactic will fail.

Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton have support groups as large and loyal as this current administration’s opposition groups. Democrats are so pumped up for their return to the White House that they’ll be voting in mass numbers – and it won’t be for McCain.

McCain is conservative when it comes to social issues pressing the country and has been quoted as saying our government should make the war in Iraq last 100 years. Having those opinions ensures that he won’t be winning over Democrats.

But McCain’s biggest dilemma is that he isn’t held too fondly on the right. He’s more popular than other Republican candidates, but that’s not saying much because none of the Republican candidates are making voters swoon over them. He supports closing down Guantanamo Bay and has been looked down upon for his liberal stance on immigration.

McCain’s too conservative for the liberals and too liberal for the conservatives.

Instead of realizing the weakness he’s bringing to the party, the GOP has played it off as if it’s a great strength and that he’ll be able to beat whichever historic Democrat presidential candidate.

Keep dreaming.

The main difference between the parties right now – and what will ultimately lead to the destruction of the Republicans’ chance at the White House – is that Republicans are pretending they’re content with McCain, while the Democrats are in love with both of their frontrunners.

Both parties show a troubling split, but the left has a much easier problem to fix. Obama and Clinton have very similar policies, while McCain could easily be running as an independent instead of a Republican.

The Republican party has been too injured by McCain’s dividing the party, and the strong-willed persistence of conservative Huckabee isn’t helping to unify the party either. As November draws closer, the right will be seen crumbling, as the left will be standing strong with loyal support and hope for either candidate to be president.

Who’s the grand ‘ole party now?

-Amanda Strouse is a journalism senior.

-This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec. Send e-mail to Anonymous letters will not be printed – include your full name, major and year in school.

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