The New York Times' polling website, FiveThirtyEight.com, is showing the odds of Obama winning the Presidency at 85 per cent. This number has been going up dramatically for the last couple of days as the polling numbers are starting solidify around a must-have Electoral College win for Obama and a nice-to-have win in the popular vote.
This is not lost on conservative bloggers who see the inevitable on Tuesday: an Obama second term. And in the modern world of reporting news before it happens, conservative bloggers are already writing Mitt Romney's political obituary. Erick Erickson, ultra-conservative blogger for redstate.com in a scathing editorial referred to Romney as "unprincipled" and the "silly putty of politicians." He writes:
"I've been reading the 200 pages of single spaced opposition research from the John McCain campaign on Mitt Romney. There is no issue I can find on which Mitt Romney has not taken both sides. He is neither liberal nor conservative. He is simply unprincipled. The man has no core beliefs other than in himself.
Mitt Romney ... is a man devoid of any principles other than getting himself elected. As much as the American public does not like Barack Obama, they loath a man so fueled with ambition that he will say or do anything to get himself elected. Mitt Romney is that man."
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Romney's Etch-a-Sketch campaign strategy very nearly worked. While "liberal" heads exploded its strident inconsistency, what was more shocking was polls showed that, for nearly half of Americans, this was OK!
It is unlikely that this unprincipled strategy will work again. Obama's battle for the White House has been primarily a battle against an ostensibly slow recovery, hampered by a gridlocked congress. In reality, the recovery has been remarkably good considering how deep the hole was. BusinessInsider.com shows the historical fact that economies perform better under the Democrats. By 2016, the economy will be in full steam again and a new Democratic nominee (Hillary Clinton 2.0?) will be crowing about Obama's success and arguing why it should continue.
In the meantime, conservatism in the USA will face an unprecedented crisis. It is no longer a proud animal; it is a fearful one. Unrelenting demographics shifts will continue to make the USA a majority-minority nation -- a nation where there is no majority race. We can expect an inevitable xenophobic backlash from fearful conservatives: calls from the right for more restrictive immigrant policies and talk of making English the national language. (Americans should look north to Canada before going down this rocky road!) They will be shouting at the rain as this backlash will run counter to America's evolving demographics.
The conservatives will split -- the Fearful Conservatives on one side, the Embracing Conservatives on the other. Embracing Conservatives will embrace the demographic change, distance themselves from religious demagoguery, and return to the conservative credos of individual freedom, self-reliance, and fiscal prudence. If they let the politics of fear take over and the only principle remaining for the conservative movement is power-for-power's-sake, then today it's Romney's political obituary we are writing and tomorrow it will the obituary of the conservative movement itself.