Saturday, November 24, 2007

All Is Not Well for the GOP in McCook, Nebraska

Richard Blair , McCook, Nebraska is about as close to the middle of nowhere as any town in the United States. It’s definitely located in a redder than red political zone - in 2004, the county of Red Willow went Bush/Cheney by a whopping total of 79% to 20%. So, when dissatisfaction with the direction of the country seeps into the editorial pages of the daily paper in this town, one which is located deep, deep in the heartland of America, it provides a very interesting data point.

I’m not quite sure how I stumbled upon an op-ed from an assistant editor of the McCook Daily Gazette, but it’s worth a read. If Dawn Cribbs is feeling this way, it should be clear to the Republican Party leadership in Washington that her column serves as a “canary in the mine” for the GOP. It should also serve as a wakeup call for the Democratic Party leadership:

…I sometimes fear we’ve seen the best days of the United States and are now watching the slow decline of democracy and representative government. Few of the candidates bear any resemblance to me, and wouldn’t know how to live as I live if my life was suddenly thrust upon them. How long do you suppose it’s been since any of the front runners had to pump their own gas or carefully watch the total lest they spend more than they have budgeted? I can’t help but be suspicious of those who earn high positions of leadership by spending other people’s money better than the next guy spends other people’s money. Whatever they try to win and to woo my vote, its probably going to be too little, too late.

All of these are hot button items, and the list of things that separate us seems to go on and on and on. Can there be any unity among us?…

Ms. Cribbs expresses a very serious concern, and at the same time, almost answers her own question by just the fact that she asked the question. Yes, there can be unity of purpose among us in the next 12 months. The purpose is righting the ship of state, and that’s not an exclusively conservative or liberal goal. Her column represents a shout out to both the Democratic and Republican parties - fix this mess - the mess that nearly eight years of partisan mismanagement (mostly GOP) has brought to the country.

When a local opinion maker who is far removed from Washington is looking for answers that just don’t exist in the current national political environment, it’s clear that the GOP is in some serious trouble in 2008.

Te only question remaining: can the Democratic Party leadership actually, you know, lead, and give the people of McCook, Ne. a reason to change sides in the culture wars that have engulfed the country over the past 20 years?

File the McCook, Ne. data point along with that of Camdenton, Missouri. Interesting factoid: Senator Ben Nelson, the bluedog Democrat from Nebraska, grew up in McCook. (From a comment to my crossposting at DKos…)

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