In order to really get a sense of the sea-change that is rushing upon this country, we need to look at W through Republican eyes for a moment.  I know, sounds yucky, but bear with me for a minute. It might turn out to be something you like – so follow me over the fold…
Consider the various branches of the Republican coalition: libertarians, big business republicans, old-school conservative isolationists, and, of course, the religious right.

I haven’t been to a horse track in 20 years, so I don’t know what the next thing better than a trifecta is (a quadfecta?), but ol’ W has hit it:

He’s alienated the libertarians with the patriot act.
He’s alienated the business class with the deficit.
He’s alienated the old guard with his Iraqi adventure.
And he’s alienated the religious right with Miers.

Here’s the bottom line:

In Republican eyes, W is going to be remembered as their Jimmy Carter.  They will despise him for a generation, and then 25 years from now invite him to give the invocation for the Republican national convention in 2028 or so.  

The next generation of fundamentalists will say “He was such a godly man, but he surrounded himself with greedy and corrupt men, from Cheney on down.”  The business men will say “We came so close, but Cheney couldn’t keep the nutcases from taking over the asylum, and now we’re back in a semi-socialist state.”
The old guard still won’t have any time for him, but they’ll mostly have died off by then. (How many Eisenhower Republicans are still around today?)  And the libertarians will have swung over to our side of the aisle.

This is not the time for triangulation and putting a finger in the wind via polls.  This is the time for boldness.  People are comparing 2006 to 1994, but the closer comparison may be 1974, when a crop of reformers swept in after Watergate, to be followed two years later by a Democratic president.  We need to be laying the groundwork now for our version of the Reagan Revolution, and 25 years of hands on the tiller.  We need to be funding progressive think tanks, and developing bold new proposals to yank the conversation back to the middle ground it had a generation ago – and then head left from there.

The proposals I’ve seen floated for our version of a “contract for America” are good, but they’re only a start.  They simply move the conversation back to the middle ground and sweep away the craziness of the recent discredited reich.  I’ll have more to say about this in another diary in a few days, though.

For now, just savor the image of a discredited W, struggling to merely hang on having lost his brain trust, a compliant congress, and most significantly, all four factions of the Republican party.  To him it’s going to seem like forever until 2008, if he makes it that long.

Today’s menu special: schadenfreude, served cold.

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