The GOP’s Credibility Gap

Though I nodded to its inevitablity on election night, I am bone-weary of the circular firing squad. It was the social conservatives’ fault; it was Romney’s fault; it was the Tea Party’s fault, et cetera ad nauseam. Now Jim Geraghty of NRO blames Libertarian voters, even though, as Geraghty clearly indicates, all of Gary Johnson’s votes would not have enabled Romney to overcome Obama.

The irony is that at least at first glance, the Romney-Ryan ticket would appear more appealing to libertarian-leaning voters than McCain-Palin: no author of a restrictive campaign-finance law atop the ticket, a more sustained focus on cutting government, a nominee who opposed the bailout of General Motors (and paid a dear price for that stand in key states) and certainly a less interventionist tone than McCain offered in 2012.




I can keep saying it until you get it. This issue killed us, because it was the one issue that we could have used to scare the living hell out of wavering voters, but it was the one issue our nominee could not discuss. In an astoundingly negative election, our greatest rhetorical weapon lay rusting in its sheath. This was beyond taking a knife to a gunfight, this was sending to a gunfight a guy who couldn’t pick up the gun if he wanted to.

Geraghty concludes:

 But it may be a continuing liability for the GOP that roughly one percent of the electorate believes strongly in limited government, but votes in a way that does not empower the GOP to do anything to limit that government.

And why would that be? It can’t be because the GOP has shown no heart for the fight of actually limiting that government, can it? It can’t be because 6 years of GOP control over both branches of government not only did not significantly shrink government, but actually added to it, can it? Nawwww, must be something else.

Via Instapundit, The RSC pulls and disowns an Anti-IP policy paper. Existing Copyright law is a pig trough for lawyers and a boon to big business. It especially benefits industries that all but exclusively give their money to Democrats. Why the hell would the GOP not seize this opportunity to benefit small entrepreneurs and kick their enemies at the same time? Because they haven’t the guts for it. Because they only want to make noise about limiting government. Because they’re Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Sir-Lancelot.

Okay. I’ve Shaken it Off.

Perhaps the worst of all possible defeats are the unexpected. To go into a fight knowing loss is  likely. that one can prepare for that. But to be certain that you will win, and to get ruthlessly denied, that staggers.

I’ve spent a few days trying to figure out what in the name of all things decent this means, aside from Nothing Good. It’s not just that we lost, it’s that I can no longer believe the people who told me otherwise. All the bloggers, poll wizards, and pundits who were predicting an easy Romney victory were absolutely dead wrong. About everything. And that experience would be wasted if I didn’t take it as a wake-up call.

I think Ladd Ehlinger is right: We cannot afford to ignore the cultural razor that the Left has at our throats. When the Todd Akin thing blew up, I made a few clever Photoshops and left it at that.  Did I argue with people who insisted on ranting about “Republican Rape Fans.” No. The argument was too stupid. People would eventually see that, and it would blow over. I let it pass.

Andrew Klavan is right: Life is short, but Art is Long. And Demographics matter far less than ideas. We have them. We need to sell them.

Jeff Goldstein was almost certainly right, in just about every post he’s written since the campaign began. Romney’s weakness was the weakness of those who believed him to have won the election after the first debate: he believed that competence, in the face of Obama’s manifest incompetence, would win through. That would be enough if we had a media interested solely in calling balls and strikes, and a voice in the wider culture. But we have neither, and we cannot continue to pretend otherwise.

I don’t know if there’s any hope for America in 2016 or beyond. I don’t know if hope lies in running a more boisterous, punch-back-twice-as-hard campaign, or in going on a Long March of our own through the cultural institutions of the land. I think a bit of both, and I’m going to make it my own personal mission to forward both missions to the best of my ability.

But I do know this: the next time the GOP nominates some establishment twerp who’s supposed to have a claim on my vote because he stood in line and held his ticket, I’m gonna give money to the Libertarians, and my vote. I live in Maryland, for God’s Sake; every party that isn’t the Democrats is a third party here.

And if the polls tell me that the Democrats have a +6 advantage, I might go ahead and believe them.

(Hat Tip: Jonah Goldberg at NRO)

So, That Happened.

I cannot write today.

I am … “gobsmacked” is the only word that fits. The mind recoils in horror.

I reel between anguish and rage. I’ll get over it. I’ll bounce back. I’ll find a way to deal.

But today… I have nothing.

Which is good, as there won’t be much for the Beast to take from me.

Whence do I come? Why, from roaming the earth and patrolling it…

Why I’m Not Blogging About Sandy or the Election

I lost power for 24 hours, then I got it back. No flooding, save for a trickle that made it into my fusebox and shorted out my smoke detectors, which has since been remedied. Nora even got to have a Halloween.

Not quite conscious of the festivities, but aware that fun is happening. I love this age.

So there’s no way I’m going to bemoan my fate, when New York City is under water to the extent that science-fiction writers dared not imagine a few years ago:

“Dammnit, this isn’t the A Train!”

As to the Election, I am utterly bored of it. Which is to say, I am utterly bored reading about it. There is a level of nerdery in poll-watching that I have not the education to adequately partake of. The damn thing is on Tuesday, and while I’m confident that Romney will triumph, I’m not going to make any kind of prediction on the breadth of that triumph. He might barely squeeze it out, or he might roll over the festering carcass that is the Obama Presidency like a Sherman tank. I have no idea, and neither does anyone else.

If, on the other hand, Obama does manage 270 EV, then he’s only putting off the inevitable. A second term will mean impeachment, at the very least, either over Benghazi or Fast and Furious, especially if he loses the popular vote, as he might very well do. The unemployment rate creeped back up to 7.9% today. Nothing about this ends well for him.

Horses and Bayonets and Buggy Whips and Corsets and Fountain Pens, Brylcreem, Un-Ironic Affection for Cheap Beer, Music Videos…

Appeals to Novelty are so obligatory among progressives, aren’t they? Even when they’re not actually germaine to the point.

ROMNEY: Our Navy is old — excuse me, our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917. The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We’re now at under 285. We’re headed down to the low-200s if we go through a sequestration. That’s unacceptable to me.

I want to make sure that we have the ships that are required by our Navy. Our Air Force is older and smaller than at any time since it was founded in 1947.

OBAMA: You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.

And so the question is not a game of Battleship, where we’re counting slips. It’s what are our capabilities. And so when I sit down with the secretary of the Navy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we determine how are we going to be best able to meet all of our defense needs in a way that also keeps faith with our troops, that also makes sure that our veterans have the kind of support that they need when they come home.

So Romney says that the Navy and the Air Force are old, meaning they need to build new ships and planes, and that we’re short of the number that the Navy says we need.

Obama says that we don’t need to build more ships, because are ships are so new. They have planes landing on them and go underwater and everything (Just like in Battleship!). Plus, he has like, meetings and such with the Joint Chiefs, so he’s totally on top of this stuff, y’all.

Now, either we have a bunch of decaying ships and planes, or we don’t. Either the Navy is satisfied with the number of ships it has or it isn’t. Romney stated that the answer to these questions was Yes, We Do and No, They Aren’t. Obama Stated that the Answer was Look, Shiny! and Trust Me.

Stacy McCain Blogs the Presidential Debate, so I Don’t Have To

The difference between blogging as a compulsive hobby and blogging for a living lies chiefly in how often you’re allowed to take off. Stacy McCain has a thousand things he’d rather be discussing than whatever insignificant quips and dull gotchas emerge from the latest round of Electoral Competitive Grandstanding, but there he is anyway, twittering away and hoping something of worth emerges.

For my money, this would have to be it:

An odd weathervane for a presidential election, but probably a correct one. Obama 2008 seemed to get by on nothing but enthusiasm, the sensation. Absent that, you have a rather standard left-liberal president insisting that the weakest recovery in a century cannot be blamed on the policies he specifically created to counteract it. Such gruel may be lapped up greedily by the chattering class, but it’s not going to feed the multitudes.

Then again, those chaps that beat their arguments into the son of a Wisconsin State Senator seemed rather enthused, didn’t they?

The Change that we’ve been waiting for.

The There, It was Not There.

I did not watch the debates, but I was pretty confident of them. Romney was irritatingly good during the primary debates, weirdly unsinkable despite the efforts of Santorum, Ron Paul et al. He was Iceman: no mistakes. So I knew Romney wasn’t going to screw anything up. And I rather hoped that Romney’s strongest feature – his self-assured sense of basic competence – would compare favorably with Emperor Golden Dancer’s tarnished image. Which appears to be what happened:

For the first time in his life, Barack Obama was cornered. For the first time in his life, he was to be held accountable for his achievements. He was the ultimate affirmative action baby, and he had always been given a free pass. He had always run — for chairman of the Harvard Law Review, for the Illinois state senate, for the United States Senate, and for the Presidency — on promise. Now he was an executive running for re-election, and he was going to be held responsible for what he had done and for what he had failed to do.

So the voters had the opportunity to pick between the confident man, offering detailed solutions to our current woes, and President Lumbergh, who was going to have to, go ahead and, disagree with him?

The Onion Reveals its Raaaaacism

Via The Anchoress, the Parodists of Record wrap a real story in a fake story, causing many to question their true commitment to progressivism:

The New York Times newsroom is reportedly still undecided on whether or not to print a recent letter received from Obama, in which the president threatens to kill another helpless citizen every Tuesday and “fill [his] heavenly palace with slaves for the afterlife” unless the police “stop the darkness from screaming.”

“President Obama’s letter presents us with a classic journalistic quandary,” executive editor Bill Keller said. “If we print it, then we’re giving him control over the kinds of stories we choose to run. It would be an acknowledgment that we somehow give the nation’s commander in chief special treatment.”

Added Keller, “And that’s just not how the press in this country works.”


Do Read the Whole Thing.

The Rage That Dare Not Speak its Name

Yesterday I said five, ten, twenty years. But terrorists are not so lazy as that. Now we have a dead ambassador and two trashed embassies, and the Atlantic has called for immediate discussion.

On the short-term politics, one reason why people who have seen previous campaigns always insert, “Anything could happen, but…” when giving forecasts about presidential races is that, indeed, anything could happen. Political races and policy arguments grind their way along, economic trends push slowly in one direction or another, and then from time to time wholly unforeseen events occur. The political ramifications of this event in the United States are nowhere near its most important consequence. But this counts as one of the wholly unforeseen events affecting the political cycle


I’m going to assume at least, that he knows what he’s talking about, because it remains an impenetrable mystery to me. It seems like what he’s most concerned with is how the murder of our ambassador is going to affect the election. But that may be me putting an undeserved spin on all of this.

Mas Fisher is clearer, and it seems he even has a culprit for all of this:

The movie, like Terry Jones himself and his earlier Koran-burning stunt, have received attention far beyond their reach, which would be modest if not for obsessively outraged media. And yet, here the movie is, not just offending apparently significant numbers of people, but producing real-world damage.

Ah, yes. The Argumentum ad Mohammedia: Muslims May Not Be Offended. If Muslims Are Offended, We Will Find a Convenient Honky to Drive Out into the Desert. Because we cannot, and must not, ever express anger or condemnation, except in the most boiler-plate, diplo-code fashion, against muslims who attacked group A because they share the same nationality as Group B, who committed the unpardonable crime of making a movie that muslims did not like. Because Muslims are Allowed to be Violent. It’s in their nature, you racist.

Stacy McCain sums it all up in an elegant tweet:

Robert Stacy McCain@rsmccain

Obama to Libyan Savages: We Apologize for Getting Our Ambassador’s Blood All Over Your Hands.

 For further thoughts, check out this old Revolutionary Nonsense post.