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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Christopher G. Adamo
Bio: Christopher G. Adamo
Date:  February 1, 2006
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Topic category:  Other/General

Hillary, Judicial Filibusters, and Other Paper Tigers

For Republicans to allow the opposition party’s candidate to define their own nominee, as well as how they plan to run their race is inarguably bad strategy. But planning to do so in response to an opponent who only garners support from sixteen percent of the electorate is the height of stupidity.

The conventional wisdom is that Bill Clinton won his two terms as President by portraying himself as “moderate.” Yet such an appraisal of Clinton’s successes, if presented as the entirety of the situation, is fundamentally flawed.

Clinton did indeed downplay his unwavering devotion to the liberal agenda, especially during the election cycles. But neither in 1992 nor 1996 did his charade gain a majority of the vote (and in both elections, turnout was historically low). Rather, his success resulted from the fact that his Republican opponents had typecast themselves in the insipid “center,” and thus garnered even less from the electorate than did Clinton.

The senior George Bush won handily over Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis in 1988, when it was perceived that Bush would represent a continuation of the conservatism of his predecessor, Ronald Reagan. However, right from his inauguration, Bush sought to distance himself from Reagan’s unabashed conservatism. In the end, he succeeded, to Bill Clinton’s undoubted delight.

So it is with great disappointment that, as America braces itself for the looming eventuality of another Presidential election cycle, and with past lessons presenting themselves as patterns for success and failure, some Republicans seem determined to flounder and stumble themselves into a repeat of recent defeats. This need not be the case.

In a CNN/Gallup poll, released on January 24, the liberal Democrat/media axis was aghast to learn that barely one sixth of respondents were committed to voting for Hillary Clinton if she should choose to run for president, while fifty-one percent say that they would never do so. Hillary’s fate ought to be sealed, and her presidential aspirations should go down in flames.

However, this interpretation of the polling data conveys only part of the story. She could not, at least at this point, convince a majority of the voters to support her, but neither did her husband ever do so. And he nevertheless succeeded in winning and serving two full terms. So, it is by no means guaranteed that her effort would ultimately fail.

In light of Hillary’s abysmal lack of popularity among the general public, it is indefensible that among conservative strategists and pundits, the prevailing thinking has been that she is nearly invincible, and thus that the only possibility of defeating her is to run a candidate who essentially mirrors her.

For Republicans to allow the opposition party’s candidate to define their own nominee, as well as how they plan to run their race is inarguably bad strategy. But planning to do so in response to an opponent who only garners support from sixteen percent of the electorate is the height of stupidity.

In light of past Republican Presidential successes that bear a direct correlation to the conservatism of the candidate, the last thing those on the right should consider is any vain attempt at moving to the left. Moreover, the same principles apply to the ability of the conservative agenda to prevail in Washington on a day-to-day basis.

Consider Tuesday’s successful confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Here again, a historically staunch supporter of the Constitution triumphed, despite a profusion of threat and bluster from the Democrats.

In the waning hours of the confirmation process, a vain attempt at a filibuster was attempted by John Kerry and Ted Kennedy. The fringe-filibuster effort was quickly turned back, and in the final tally, Alito was confirmed by a margin of fifty-eight to forty two. Such numbers make it absolutely predictable that a post confirmation “spin” of the situation will no doubt be advanced by the party leadership.

This vote of less than sixty might be construed as a warning to Republicans that Democrats could indeed filibuster any subsequent candidate, were President Bush so “extreme” as to nominate another pro-Constitution justice to fill the nest vacancy. Instead, the real message, which should be loudly trumpeted by the entire GOP establishment, is quite the opposite.

Republican resolve, combined with a solid majority in the Senate, ought to ensure that if a filibuster ensued, the so-called “nuclear option” would be successfully invoked. Thus, the real lesson of these events is that if Republicans remain unshakable in their determination to overcome Democrat opposition, it will quickly dissipate into thin air.

For more than a dozen years, Republicans have been in control of their own political successes. Thus they are equally culpable for their frequent failures and capitulations. Hopefully, this reality is finally beginning to dawn on them.

Christopher G. Adamo

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Biography - Christopher G. Adamo

Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming and has been involved in state and local politics for many years. He writes for several prominent conservative websites, as has written for regional and national magazines. His contact information and article archives can be found at, and he can be followed on Twitter @CGAdamo.

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