November 7th, 2012

The day after

I had been dreading yesterday for weeks, and I felt that dread especially keenly in the week leading up to the election.

The arguments on the right that the polls were rigged never made sense to me. When I researched polls I noted that, historically, poll averages have tended in most cases to correctly predict the outcome of elections. Exceptions are very rare. So the only hope I had about that was that, because the response rate to polls has gotten so low in recent years, polls had become more unrepresentative than they used to be.

But the polls stubbornly kept saying the same thing: Romney continued to fall a tiny bit short in many important states. And that’s the way the election panned out.

Last week I also discovered that, when I spoke to a bunch of liberal friends I knew who had adored Obama in 2008, they were all still very supportive of him and very strongly motivated to vote for him. They didn’t say “Mitt Romney, oh he’s a nice guy but I prefer Obama,” either. They had swallowed all the nasty Democratic talking points about him whole: he was going to take away this and that right of theirs, he was a rich whatever who didn’t care about poor people, and all the rest. Those on the right who felt that declining crowds and lack of yard signs meant that enough of Obama’s supporters had defected probably didn’t have the experience I had in talking to so many people who still had a very high regard for him. I saw almost no fall-off in support for him at all.

So I was worried that yes, Democratic turnout would be pretty good. And that yes, lots and lots and lots of people who voted for Obama in 2008 would probably do it all over again. Not all of them, it turns out (Obama lost quite a few percentage points from his 2008 total), but way too many considering his record over the last four years. And strangely enough, turnout for Romney was worse than for McCain, even though he came much closer to beating Obama. So there was a tremendous lack of enthusiasm on the right for the candidate, despite the cheering crowds. Was it his Mormonism? Or did the contentious primary season take its toll? Maybe it was his lack of the common touch? Or lingering distrust of him from those who felt certain he was a RINO? Whatever it was (and perhaps some combination of all of that), it was apparently the right that failed to vote for Romney in large enough numbers.

The left is patient, very very patient. I’m not so sure about the right. But that’s what’s going to be required, I’m afraid: patience. It’s easy to say “we need to take back education and take back the media,” but it’s a lot harder to figure out how to do that. But I am convinced that, until that happens, we will not be winning many elections nationwide.

Mitt Romney came close to winning, a lot closer than John McCain. But close isn’t good enough, I’m afraid. And as I wrote earlier, even had he won it would only have bought us a bit of time (and several SCOTUS nominations, which would have been very helpful). There are those on the right who say “fine, let the country sink ecnonomically, and then people will see the value of conservative policies”—but I don’t get that logic, I’m afraid. It’s possible, but unless they are exposed to conservative thought (which isn’t going to happen in the school system or the MSM), how will they figure it out? Economic hard times are more likely to increase the desire for government dependency, not increase it. As the left is well aware.

I see the polarization of this country increasing. The red and blue states are further apart than ever, and never the twain shall meet. Obama is fond of increasing that polarization and adding to it class warfare, gender warfare, and racial entitlement and resentment. It’s become a winning formulation, and looking at that it’s hard to believe we haven’t lost our way. The question is: can we find it again?

[ADDENDUM: Vanderleun has called our attention to this article, which deals with the same topic: how to regroup? I’m not sure what the author is actually suggesting, though; it’s short on practical measures. And it has the flaw of seeming to suggest that conservatives become the very thing they hate, something commenter “kolnai” referred to in this comment of his:

The critical proportion of leftists has been attained. So now the numbers for us conservatives don’t add up. We need, in effect, a leftist elan for our causes, and in sufficient numbers, to take down the Gramscian institutions, but also to remain conservatives (and not Bolsheviks). It’s as though we must change our nature in order to preserve it…

So the question is: How do we turn the conservative disadvantage into an advantage without selling our souls or becoming Tories? How do we fight like leftists, and effectively, while remaining what we are? This isn’t about libertarian vs. social conservative, establishment vs. grass roots. It’s about how we, all of us, together, can act like Gramscians and Alinskyites in order to overthrow the tyranny of the Gramscians and Alinskyites.

I’m not sure we can. Conservativism is by definition opposed to ideologizing everything. I’m not sure we should, either.

There’s the rub. It seems an almost impossible dilemma, a catch-22, from which there is no way out. We can continue to fight honorably and with half of our souls, as we have – and keep losing. Or we can fight like the scum of the earth with our whole polluted souls – and maybe even continue to keep losing, but granting that we win, perhaps becoming unrecognizable to ourselves.

That is exactly why I called this a watershed election, and why the prospect of its loss scared me so deeply. And I think it’s the same dilemma faced by European conservatives (or what passes for conservatives there these days; not the same as conservatism here), once a population has become seduced by leftist thought and leftist largesse. I’ve quoted Dostoevsky’s “The Grand Inquisitor” before in similar contexts, and now I’ll do it again:

Oh, never, never can [people] feed themselves without us [the Inquisitors and controllers]! No science will give them bread so long as they remain free. In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet, and say to us, “Make us your slaves, but feed us.” They will understand themselves, at last, that freedom and bread enough for all are inconceivable together, for never, never will they be able to share between them! They will be convinced, too, that they can never be free, for they are weak, vicious, worthless, and rebellious. Thou didst promise them the bread of Heaven, but, I repeat again, can it compare with earthly bread in the eyes of the weak, ever sinful and ignoble race of man? ]

88 Responses to “The day after”

  1. Apopkian Says:

    Looks like the founding fathers were wise to give the right to vote only to white male land owners.

  2. LondonTrader Says:

    As I commented a few times I tended to believe the polls and was pretty pessimistic going in to yesterday.

    I also commented that the next stage that I foresee is the Republican party tearing itself in half. The Libertarians, the Tea Party and SoCons will all say that Romney was too much an establishment candidate and that we need a purer candidate next time. This is what happened in the UK where the Conservative party decided it needed a more anti-European candidate. The result was that the Labour party won three consecutive elections and that the Conservative party had to move further to the left than where it started in order to compete.

    So I see the Republicans moving to the right, losing the next couple presidential elections and ending up further to the left than now. And unfortunately the coming crash will not stop this process. The electorate will demand more intervention, not less.

    I hope to be proved wrong.

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    London Trader: see this.

  4. John Says:

    Only they didn’t put it into the Constitution.

    Next election, start by killing all the media-dogs. But by then the percentage of those who prefer to get their bread from the state will be too high to ever elect another conservative again.

  5. vanderleun Says:

    “Or we can fight like the scum of the earth with our whole polluted souls – and maybe even continue to keep losing, but granting that we win, perhaps becoming unrecognizable to ourselves.”

    I would only observe, and only in passing, that — should history be a guide as history traditionally is to the conservative — that people do, must do, and have done things in war that they would never do in peace, and that a people who will not do in war whatever is necessary have, traditionally, been sent down to the boneyard.

    It all depends on whether or not one is in a situation that is still restricted to the game of “winning vs. losing,” or in a game of “victory or defeat.”

    I think the vast mass of those on the right still believe in winning and losing. As long as that obtains the wins of the left will continue.

    The left not only loves the right’s commitment to “fair play” and mumbling about their “souls,” the left depends upon it. And we have, for a very, very long time been deeply devoted to not disappointing them.

    In this we are like the Cyranos of the electorate: “Yet there is something still that will always be mine, and when I go to God’s presence, there I will doff it and sweep the heavenly pavement with a gesture: something I’ll take unstained out of this world… my white plume.”

    Opposing us is a rapacious element driving the great beast of the people that they have made tractable with blandishments and free feed. That element knows what Leo Durocher knew: “Nice guys finish last.”

    If you don’t know that then: “Hold back the edges of your gowns, Ladies, we are going through hell.”
    William Carlos Williams

  6. texexec Says:

    I just ran across an article by Michael Barone that touches on the subject of why this nation is so divided. You can find it at:

    It talks about how we have sorted ourselves into groups, tribes, or whatever you want to call how we are now organized. He recommends an interesting book called “The Big Sort” by Bill Bishop which I have just started.

    I have always thought that a person’s political beliefs are largely determined by his or her cultural environment and this isn’t just geographical. The persons who come to this blog pretty much believe the same things, politically…personal responsibility, small government, etc. But we live all over the place in this country and even all over the world.

    The “bad guys” who elected Obama yesterday live in very different cultures than we do. They watch CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS (actually *I* like some of PBS). We watch Fox. They go to The Daily Kos…we come here. Many of them don’t give a flip about politics and stay uninformed…we immerse ourselves in information about politics.

    I honestly don’t think we can change their way of thinking and they darned sure can’t change ours. I don’t want to get into a civil war where one side defeats the other side and determines how we all have to live.

    So what’s the solution to this dilemma? One solution is to go back to the governmental structure our founding fathers so wisely provided in the Constitution…put government power into the hands of local and state governments. That could be a win-win situation. People could set up government the way they like or else move to a locale where it is the way they like.

    I don’t give a tinker’s dam how people in NYC live as long as I don’t have to pay for it or live the same way. And I imagine they feel the same way about me.

    Federal power would be reserved for things only it can perform…like national defense, same currency, etc.

    Unfortunately getting to this way of doing things will be difficult, but to me it seems the only relatively painless way out of our mess.

  7. ziontruth Says:

    Demography has done to the United States of America and its liberal (classical sense) revolution as it has done to Turkey and its secular revolution. Demography, as Mark Stein says, is destiny. Couple that with the matter of the information monopoly (the MSM) and the recipe for voter lock-in is complete.

    Romney is not essentially to blame for the loss any more than “Western policies lost Turkey to Islamism.” Demography, that slow-running but surely-plowing warrior of undercurrents that fights quietly, until all of a sudden you find the nation to be no longer what you thought it was, has been Romney’s demise. This loss is calamitous not for its mere electoral result, but for the revelation carried in its wake, that the old American nation of self-reliance is no longer the majority.

  8. kolnai Says:

    vanderleun –

    I basically agree with you. But it is a hard question. I find it tough to imagine doing what the left does, but I do concede that in war the unthinkable must often become thinkable. I guess I’d like to see specifics.

    What I’m saying is not that I want us to be lily white and pure. I’m making an essentialist observation, positing a definition. If conservatives do what the left does, with the same doctrinal indifference to all truth and scruple, then we will, as a matter of fact, no longer be conservatives as we understand the term.

    In principle, wouldn’t we agree that someone has to guard the ramparts of morality and truth in civilization, and that if the guardians chose to abandon that hill instead of dying on it then civilization will be a dead issue anyway? Bear in mind I mean de jure. As a basic parameter, there HAS to be SOME LINE we are not willing to cross. And my point about the left is that there is NO line they are not willing to cross. Whatever immorality or ruthlessness we stoop to, they will go stoop lower, endlessly.

    But this is not the same thing as saying that we ought not to fight savagely. I can tolerate crossing many lines before I start to worry. Again, though, as a matter of fact, there IS a line, somewhere, that if crossed would destroy our identity and turn us into what he despise (as cliched as that line is).

    Do you agree with that?

  9. Armchair pessimist Says:

    Theres what you might call the internal Mayflower option. Those of us in blue states pick up our lives & settle in the red states to make them very red. Operate a political cleansing of education and media there. Somehow get off the mainstream cultural grid. Turn our red swath of the country into a “no go” area where the rule of Washington is nominal. This is a project of decades but the alternative is to roll over & die.
    Sorry the e pluribus unum didn’t pan out.

  10. Bob from Virginia Says:

    Obama’s policies will cause pain. We’ll see if demography trumps that.

  11. davisbr Says:

    Sigh. What armchair pessimist said.

    Other than that, I got nothin’.

  12. Baltimoron Says:

    Two thoughts on Obama’s victory:

    First, we’ve known for a long time that Romney was an uninspiring candidate. Anyone who was paying attention to the primaries last year shouldn’t be surprised that people just weren’t that excited about voting for him.
    Second, the biggest thing Obama had going for him in this election was that many people have come to accept the bad economy as the new normal. They blamed Republicans for the collapse and still do. then by the time it became Obama’s economy, things just were the way they were. So he escapes blame.

  13. southernjames Says:

    Tex said: “Federal power would be reserved for things only it can perform…like national defense, same currency, etc. Unfortunately getting to this way of doing things will be difficult, but to me it seems the only relatively painless way out of our mess.”

    Not going to happen now. Obamacare is the law of the land; its onerous provisions were intentionally designed to not fully kick in until after the 2012 election. It cannot be overstated how this radically changes the balance of power/influence between the state and the people, and alters our entire national dynamic. Dozens of new federal regulatory agencies (and since when has ANY fed agency, once formed, EVER been disbanded or failed to grow in size?); thousands of new IRS agents – with that considered to be a feature and not a bug.

    We had our opportunity to have a GOP house, a GOP (or close to) Senate, pushing total repeal or certainly massive scale down bills onto Romney’s desk which he would have signed. That opportunity was lost. The best healthcare system in history of the human race – which was in need of reform, is now going to be dismantled and destroyed instead of reformed. Your hip transplant or knee replacement you’ll need in a few years, will be approved or disapproved by a functionally illiterate paper pusher with a fat federal pension and federal gold plated health care, down at an office which strangely resembles the DMV.

    And there is no turning back now.

    And….Our second amendment rights were hollding on by the slimmest of threads….5-4. Obama will get one-two SC picks and he will also lard up the federal judiciary with leftist judges – all with lifetime appointments. Arbitary and capricious executive orders, OSHA “safety” regs, EPA regs, etc., will all hold up in Fed court when challenged.

    And with 2A getting systematically gutted, that is just one more nail in the coffin for us being a free people and not Euro or S. American “subjects” to our “rulers.”

    Sorry Gerard and others who are already talking about taking up the fight. I am completely demoralized right now.

  14. roc scssrs Says:

    If you’re of a religious bent try this to cheer up (a little)

    After 2010, I thought the great good sense of the American people would re-assert itself. Oh, well. I know a young woman who told me she doesn’t follow politics, but she always votes in Presidential elections. So the King of Cool won again. Maybe it’s just his charming personality and not a complete moral and cultural breakdown. How else to explain that the Congressional approval rating is at 9%– and they re-elect the same House all over again. Unfortunately a win is a win. I really can’t see Boehner and company holding out much longer. My congressman, bless his soul, a Republican from PA, has an ACU rating of 58. I assume he wants to be reelected so he’ll have to deal. I think we’re reduced to tinkering around the edges at best. (I’m trying not to take the long view–it’s getting pretty depressing around here, frankly.)

  15. Loyal Achates Says:

    You guys crack me up. As a visiting leftist I occasionally tour the right-wing blogs to make sure that nothing approaching a viable strategy is emerging and I am never disappointed.

    Not everything in life is a morality play. If you’d spend ten minutes studying economics or environmental science or any other useful discipline it might clear up why the world never seems to go the way you intend it.

  16. Apopkian Says:

    It’s not that bad guys. America will turn into a corrupt socialist country like most Latin America countries. This may sound bad but it’s better than the collapse some people are predicting.

    Everything ends sooner or later.

  17. texexec Says:

    southernjames said:

    “Tex said: “Federal power would be reserved for things only it can perform…like national defense, same currency, etc. Unfortunately getting to this way of doing things will be difficult, but to me it seems the only relatively painless way out of our mess.”

    Not going to happen now.”

    If we can’t do it by peaceful means such as voting in the right kind of Constitutional amendments, we my have to take harsher measures. But non-violent measures like refusing to pay federal taxes en masse should be tried first.

  18. jvermeer Says:

    You’ve said a couple of times how the red and blue states are all locked in. That’s the problem; they aren’t. 30 years ago the GOP had an election lock which could only be broken in unusual circumstances. Then Calif flipped. Illinois, which used to go either way, is gone. Ohio,Florida and Virginia are unsure. Arizona is next. It’s the people who remain deeply divided.

  19. An old friend Says:

    Hi Neo,
    I just sent you an email. Please check your email. Thanks. Take care.

  20. kolnai Says:

    Loyal Achates –

    You may be an expert on economics and environmental science, but you’re a disaster on human psychology. Kicking the people – fellow citizens – you just defeated when they’re down, and venting their frustrations and angst? On a blog, here?

    Oh, right. You’re just a fucking asshole. Not everything is an opportunity to gloat or display what you think is your intellectual superiority. Class – look into it, champ.

    And by the way: let me assure you that you do not want to argue or get into a sausage-measuring contest about “science” with the many professional physicists and chemists who comment on this blog.

    Now shut trap and vanish. Thank you.

  21. John Dough Says:

    Since the late 1990’s, I’ve often pointed out that we as a nation were very close to a tipping point in the electorate wherein over 50% of the population received some benefit from the government. As of the election of 2008 and confirmed again in last nights election we have now reached that point.

    “Those that rob Peter to pay Paul can always rely on the support of Paul”

  22. texexec Says:

    “Loyal Achates Says:
    November 7th, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    You guys crack me up. As a visiting leftist I occasionally tour the right-wing blogs to make sure that nothing approaching a viable strategy is emerging and I am never disappointed. ”

    Viable strategy to accomplish what? Live like you do? Use crappy tactics to win elections and sink to your level of ethics just to win them?

  23. Artfldgr Says:

    Starvation and socialism go hand in hand
    what part of that did anyone miss and not get?

    by the way, go way back to when i argued with huxley how he would lose his freedom, and how he crowed, and i said, when you have no food, you will do what they want to get it.

    hows that for knowing the final chapter by reading ahead?

  24. Papa Dan Says:

    “Apopkian Says: 

    It’s not that bad guys. America will turn into a corrupt socialist country like most Latin America countries. This may sound bad but it’s better than the collapse some people are predicting.”

    Please excuse me if I miss the sarcasm. It is that bad. Between Obamacare and Dodd/Frank the Feds have control of everything. And it simply won’t be a matter of pay to play. Already they’re floating the idea of a Carbon Tax to “pay down the deficit”. From the smiling face of “Dear Leader” to the end of the long arm of the Federal government will be a clenched fist.

    “a corrupt socialist country like most Latin America countries”

    Corrupt Latin America countries will marvel and take notes on how to do corruption right and proper.

  25. Artfldgr Says:

    Loyal Achate i agree with you…

    they didnt come up with a coherent strategy as its a room full of marx’s (not marxists) and boat captains. no one wants to bail, or not be the leader or concede to knowlege over what is not knowlege.

    they didnt even want to find the texts and ideas they needed to refute to make a difference. so they conceded the win to the better prepared opponents who because they focus on the fruit bats as representative, miss out that the real ideas and such come from competent family dynasties.

    but Loyal Achate, you too dont know either.

    sometimes when you win, you lose.
    and the producers are valuable to the new state, the burden that was used to break them, are not. (thats you).

    without the need to corral the producers to obtain their labor, there is no need for the others.

    now, what do materialists (communists) do when they don’t need the material they have and its a burden. hint hint. what is eugenics and euthanasia and genocide, all ideas practiced by the left ONLY (as lex rex negated it until the left rose again)

    when you no longer need the scaffolding you remove it. take a look to the states that the left loves and so on, and learn their doctrines and what they REALLY stand for. the you mighr realize why they send neo nazis to beat up gays in russia and refuse to prosecute the way they do with two race groups in the US.

    Loyal Achate, your not where you think you are either.

  26. sergey Says:

    Never give up hope, never underestimate sophistication of Providence. A lot of things can happen soon, about which we have no idea. One of the greatest forces that can unite nation and make it sober is a war. Pearl Harbor had such effect; 9/11 had. But it was not painful enough for lasting influence. But my gut feeling is something as big or may be bigger is around a corner. I often recollect Wretchard’s “Three conjectures” and impending Iranian bomb.

  27. southernjames Says:

    Visiting Leftist is probably someone like my Lefty Blue State brother, who thinks the epitome of higher civilization is represented by Western Europe. And the fact that West Europe is close to imploding — and could be well on its way back down the dark holes of the 20th century (without Pax Americana to come to the rescue this time) or for that matter all the prior centuries too — he is oblivious and in denial .

    Problem is – we’re not Western Europe. Demographically, historically, culturally, ethnically.

    Problem Two is – when Europe goes to hell as places within it ALWAYS due every few generations, where can people go? Answer — HERE.

    Problem Three

  28. cornflour Says:

    At PowerLine, John Hinderaker writes his interpretation of yesterday’s defeat. For most of Neo’s readers, this will be preaching to the choir, but I’ve copied a key passage below. It supports my contention that voting is a privilege, not a right, and that we need to write a bill that establishes voters as people who’ve either contributed taxes or risked their lives in the military (Occam’s proposal). Furthermore, I’d exclude government employees from elections.

    Insane this may be, but insanity’s not proved by a failure to pass such a bill in both houses of the national legislature. Maybe this kind of bill could be first proposed at the state level.

    Whether or not you think this is a silly idea, I’d like to repeat my earlier comment that this is a time for politically creative thinking, not despair. People who read this blog are capable of that. What do you think we should do?

    At PowerLine, Hinderaker said this:
    Decades ago my father, the least cynical of men, quoted a political scientist who wrote that democracy will survive until people figure out that they can vote themselves money. That appears to be the point at which we have arrived. Put bluntly, the takers outnumber the makers. The polls in this election cycle diverged in a number of ways, but in one respect they were remarkably consistent: every poll I saw, including those that forecast an Obama victory, found that most people believed Mitt Romney would do a better job than Barack Obama on the economy. So with the economy the dominant issue in the campaign, why did that consensus not assure a Romney victory? Because a great many people live outside the real, competitive economy. Over 100 million receive means tested benefits from the federal government, many more from the states. And, of course, a great many more are public employees. To many millions of Americans, the economy is mostly an abstraction.

  29. southernjames Says:

    accidentally posted before I was done.

    problem three – when anywhere else in the world goes to hell, where can people go? Answer – HERE.

    If we go down the shit hole…..where can WE go?

  30. davisbr Says:

    Loyal Achates –

    Actually, quite a few of us here at Neoneocon have, actually, both read books and studied both economics and environmentalism. In some cases, for decades (quite a few of the regular “inhabitants” here are rather older than average, I suspect).

    In most cases, quite different books than those you’re obliquely referring to. Better books. Books that soundly refute the theories of your books.

    We know this, because we’ve read both sets of books. Studied them. So we do actually know and understand what you do.

    But you don’t know what we do.

    And knowing what we know, we came to a total different conclusion than your side did.

    An objective conclusion based upon field data, and sound theory, and historical objectivism.

    Not the revisionism in the “books” that I would bet dollars-to-donuts you’re referring to.

    What that means is that …well, we’re right. Correct. In every sense and meaning of the term. We’re correct in the Platonist sense, and in the Aristotelian sense: the idea, and the practice.

    But we lost anways.

    Shit happens.

    What you haven’t realized, and won’t for while, is that when we lost, so did you. We all lost. Our hope was to prevent that. We didn’t succeed.

    And your side will pay as big – and probably bigger – price for that loss than we have.

    Because. Like Cassandra – for in essence if not lineage, we are her decendents – our prophetic mien is cursed …the Cassandra curse, if you’re relatively unschooled in the classics, is to be disbelieved by the very people who are going to experience that prophecy.

    Those people won’t recognize until it’s too late …sadly, far too late …that we were right.

    More sadly, they will then blame us for being right. And not doing anything about it.

    In that sense, I find it both ironic and humorous the name you’ve chosen.

    Achates. The loyal friend of Aeneas. But, as intimated by kolnai, a character in Virgil’s writing that is most notable in literature by his total lack of character development.

    …truly funny, that.

  31. DNW Says:

    I generally agree with vanderleun regarding some of the problems with the conservative mentality.

    Conservatives have that mentality in part, because as he indicates, their attitude is shaped by a number of assumptions about life which the left simply does not share: the supernatural underpinnings of morality, the existence of objective standards of behavior, the importance of volition in rendering moral action meaningful, and some allowance for or espousal of (usually) eternal consequences and meanings, to name only the most obvious blogosphere type examples.

    Obviously, conservatives and liberals are not playing this social partioning game by the same set of moral rules.

    When you supposedly seek freedom and self-direction, and your opponent clearly seeks control over you and the appropriation of your energies and life chances and property, the outcomes of winning and losing are in nowise symetrical.

    If the liberal loses, he is thrown back on his own resources. If the conservative loses his resources are appropriated and his future narrowed and hemmed in with yet more state imposed obligations and duties to satisfy others.

    If I as a liberal win, I get to extend my control over your economic and private life. If you as a conservative win, then I get another chance to control your life later.

    In the meantime, although I as a liberal feel none of the moral inhibitions you feel, and am saddled with none of the superstitious inhibitions that limit your portfolio of potential social responses, please continue to extend to me all of the human considerations which you would normally extend to someone who is not actually plotting your thralldom and eventual destruction. You must. Afterall, you actually believe all that crap you say you believe in, don’t you?

    This then, as so many have pointed out, is not a game played between moral peers. It’s a kind of evolutionary competition between moral subspecies, one which is more dependent on the other than vice-versa. It’s a game played out with rigged rules and with a set of loaded dice. It’s a game many conservatives seem reluctant to, or even incapable of, facing.

    In my view, the solution is not to become “them” in tactics or morals, but merely to wake up to what is really going on, and what temporizing, even in everyday life, ultimately brings you.

    That said, with leftists as gatekeepers of almost all public institutions, and the private sector now under increasing assault, what footing might be left from which to exercise a little selective leverage, is hard to say.

    Maybe personal relationships and sacrifices? But you know, Aunt Lucy who’s such a sweetheart when she’s not cursing out industry, business, and men, while she lives well off of her state employees union pension, social security and her investments, really should be invited over this Christmas. After all, as you know her gay son never calls her despite the fact that she has left him all her money – except for that which is going to the cats – and …

  32. southpaw Says:

    Neo says:
    “Economic hard times are more likely to increase the desire for government dependency, not increase it. As the left is well aware”
    FDR was well aware of it too, and in spite of the mess he created with every sort of free market regulation and control, they were politically extremely popular. The more things he did to create fairness, the worse things got, and the more he was loved. The only thing that stopped him and the whole mess was WW2. The war didn’t stimulate the economy, it forced him to stop screwing around with it because he was preoccupied with fighting it.
    What can I do? Nothing about the media or the educational system, that’s for sure. But after the despair had finally ran its course, I compensated with anger, and that’s when “Operaton Make Them Pay” started to take hold in my feeble brain. You and others may find this offensive and vindictive, which it is…but while sitting there contemplating the kind of people who voted for this demagogue, I recalled something a vendor from Ohio mentioned to me at lunch a few weeks ago — “it really doesn’t matter to our business who wins the Presidency”. Well, I’m willing to take this guy at his word. So we can and stop outsourcing business to places that believe choosing a socialist doesn’t effect their business. This president affects our business, and since we’re his customer, it does affect his business. 4 of our largest vendors are in OH, NY, NJ, and CA. We can and will do the work ourselves — assuming there’s any business left at all, but since nobody believes this president has any effect on business, they won’t miss it.

  33. Mr. Frank Says:

    For openers conservatives can get over the love affair with ideological purity. Republicans should treat abortion the same way Democrats treat gun control. Shut up about it. We know how you feel. It’s a loser. We all know how Democrats feel about gun control, but they don’t mention it. If they get two more Supremes, you’ll hear about it.

    When election day came how do you think those black preachers who opposed gay marriage voted? Crunch time comes and 90% of blacks vote for the Democrat. It’s like the old ward healer urban machine. Every group gets something. Hispanics get week enforcement for illegals and a chance for amnesty. Blacks get affirmative action and government jobs. Young people get financial aid and easy student loans. Poor people get food stamps, medical care, and rent subsidies. Women get support for abortion and affirmative action. It’s the party of free stuff.

    Republicans offer a strong national defense, a vibrant economy, limited government, and low taxes. What does that do for the person with their hand out? In the here and now, not much. Long term it creates a healthy country with lots of opportunity. I don’t know how you sell that with the current population.

  34. ziontruth Says:

    Armchair pessimist,

    As a guy who likes practical solutions put on the table once the necessary stage of coming into terms with a predicament has been exhausted, I take off my hat to you on your “internal Mayflower” suggestion. Well played, sir.

    I believe the free world will in future consist, not of a collection of states that can form an organization, but of a righteous remnant scattered in various places over the world, resisting the Marxist-Islamic Borg with every ounce of strength just by existing.

    America bless God,
    Israel bless God,
    Then may He save us all, amen.

  35. Jamie Irons Says:

    In re “Loyal Achates” —

    There are few things that are truly reliable in this brief existence of ours, but there is at least one sure thing.

    Leftists will behave disgracefully in both victory and defeat.

    One asks oneself: What could motivate a person who has just basked in the glory of such a decisive victory to behave in such a craven and despicable fashion toward the vanquished?

    Could he be having doubts about the fruits, or the justice, of his victory?

    Jamie Irons

  36. Bob Courtney Says:

    Neo, I think its essential that Republicans include a minority on the next presidential ballot in 2016. Marco Rubio, Governor Nikki Haley or Governor Susana Martinez would be excellent choices. Despite Governor Chris Christie accidentally helping Obama I think he’d also be an excellent choice to be on the ballot. He’s got the backbone to stand up to the media which will be important. Maybe it would also be helpful to put pressure on the leftist media to include more conservatives. Lloyd Marcus, the black Tea Party leader, might be the perfect person to apply that pressure. We conservatives will rise again…count on it! Bob

  37. kolnai Says:

    DNW –

    That was very well said. I’m worried that I come off sounding like some kind of pantywaist who is skittish about getting down to brass tacks. I hope it’s clear that that’s not the upshot of what I’m saying. I just think we need to remember that there are limits (though what they are is another question).

    By the way, are you the DNW that comments at Feser’s blog? If so, I always enjoy what you have to say (I lurk).

  38. stan Says:

    First, you have to correctly identify the enemy. You cannot defeat it if you will not even acknowledge it. The MSM is an active participant in the defeat of Republicans. The MSM does its work every day, every month, every year. And it is more effective in advancing left-wing causes when there are no election campaigns going on. To repeat — they do more damage when there isn’t any campaigning. And the damage during campaigns is pretty frightening.

    Bloggers and talk radio hosts acknowledge that the MSM is part of the enemy; that they are corrupt, dishonest, and shameless. So do GOP voters and GOP leaders in private. But GOP leaders refuse to say so in public. And this gives the MSM cover to keep sticking in the knives. By acting as though the MSM is legit, the GOP endorses the MSM coverage as accurate and fair.

    What would happen if the GOP went on a crusade to demonstrate that the MSM was crooked? They’d get pounded by the MSM. So what? They get pounded by the MSM already.

    If the GOP ever wants to win again, they have to expose the corruption of the news media. They have to take the facts to the people using every other means of communication. And they have to make the case over and over and over. It will cost money and time and effort. There will be casualties. But there will never be victory again unless we start to acknowledge reality.

    Pretending that the ref is not breaking your head and your arms with a chair is not a very sound strategy for winning the fight. Face reality. It may suck, but beliefs in unicorns and fairy dust rarely bring victory. The refs are beating the hell out of us. The judges are on the take. The game is rigged. Pretending otherwise is a strategy for fools.

    It is time to go on the offensive.

  39. neo-neocon Says:

    Jamie Irons: I’d offer a simpler explanation: sadism.

  40. Artfldgr Says:

    One of the greatest forces that can unite nation and make it sober is a war. Pearl Harbor had such effect; 9/11 had. But it was not painful enough for lasting influence. But my gut feeling is something as big or may be bigger is around a corner. – Sergey

    been saying it since before obama was elected and bush was creating the one line in the sand that russia referred to as the “buffer zone”.

    but you have the war wrong…
    the great generation was not made by the war, they were great before the war, so they met the challenge. again, ack basswards.

    where did the good german males that would have opposed ideology go? they were murdered on the battle field…

    where did the great generation go? they were killed on the battle field, and so never got to teach the next generation what they knew that made them act, that made them great.

    so your analysis is off.

    and its why the Fabian glass window has the forge of war, to heat the planet so that they can hammer a new reality.

    in fact, a nice war in the US will finish it off, since the majority of people who will go to war will not be poor welfare peoples who cant operate the equipment, but middle class males disenfranchised by the affirmative action

    (i can name a few right now seeking military as they cant get into school because they are male and finish their phds. so military is their hope as commissioned officers).

    the women that join the military are also mostly of one race too… so a convenient war will sort out the able and educated to fight as you need that to operate things. and they will leave home the dysfunctional as cannon fodder is not allowed after the draft riots.

    oh… and sergey… back then, the acceptance rate for people going in was higher than 75%… today? its less than 25%… the rest are too fat, too stupid etc…

  41. Artfldgr Says:

    “Under Socialism, you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you liked it or not. If it were discovered that you had not character and industry enough to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live, you would have to live well.” George Bernard Shaw (founder fabian)


    do you know this?

    The fact that an old-line southern Democrat had been induced to sponsor the basic legislation so ardently desired by all spokesmen of gradual Socialism was an early and notable example of success for the Fabian technique known as permeation. Fabian Freeway

    i like this one:
    The Fabian Society succeeded because it addressed itself to its own class in order that it might set about doing the necessary brain work of planning Socialist organization for all classes, meanwhile accepting, instead of trying to supersede, the existing political organizations which it intended to permeate with the Socialist conception of human society. Shaw, Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism, Page 186

    to read a large point on it, go here
    and reference tract 41…

    ESPECIALLY read section 19: “Permeating the Liberals”

    What Fabian permeation meant was primarily ‘honeycombing’, converting either to Socialism or to parts of the immediate Fabian Programme, as set out in the continuous stream of Tracts and lectures, key persons, or groups of persons, who were in a position either to take action themselves or to influencing others, not merely in getting a resolution passed, or (say) inducing a Town Council to accept one of the clauses of the Adoptive Acts, but in ‘following up’, in making sure that the resolution or whatever it was did not remain on paper but was put into effect.

    It was not necessary that these ‘key persons’ should be members of the Fabian Society; often it was as well they should not; what was essential was that they should at first or even second-hand be instructed and advised by Fabians.

    Margaret Cole, wife of G. D. H. Cole (fbian founders)

    you read those tracts and you will get that the wealthy fabians sat around and came up with an incremental program… to permeate and convert things. (ie kill the sheep and wear its skin, their symbol is a wolf in sheeps clothing)

    the idea was to return rulership to aristocracy again, and marxist ideas were perfect. who paid engels and marx? you realize that authors are paid, right?

    but why would peoples whose lives hang in the balance want to know the history of the thing that put their lives in the balance?

    Eleanor Roosevelt loved the book “Prohibiting Poverty”, written by Prestonia Mann Martin
    and example from eleanor

    prestonia martin man was a fabian

    you see.. they wrote books, got them published and then gave them to people in a position to change the world.

    some books had such small printings that in some cases only the leaders got to read them!!! so the public never knew about what was in them till years later, but lost interest by then

    Walter Lippmann? a fabian..
    Lippmann helped draft Wilson’s “Fourteen Points”

    how about Richard T Ely?
    Woodrow Wilson was an alumnus of the AEA and was a member on its council

    what did the AEA discuss? check the minutes
    they discussed Fabian tracts. The Fabian Society Summer School. G. D. H. Cole. And Sidney Webb (another fabian)

    you can see the tract here:

    See Sidney Webb’s essay titled “Historic”, and you will find that the fabians also watched them

    ‘Permeation’ is a peculiarly Fabian term, with a very long history. It is first found in print in Hubert Bland’s Fabian Essay – curiously enough Bland was not there advocating but warning the Society against it; but the casual reference shows that it was already in common use. Occasionally it seems to mean no more than what the Americans have taught us to call ‘pressure groups’ – persons organised with the purpose of forcing a particular measure, a particular interest, or a particular point of view upon those in power. Margaret Cole – The Story of Fabian Socialism

    Sangers negro project turned into planned parenthood is an example of such pressure groups. in this case to establish eugenics. the health care to establish euthanasia. they both allow for gradual genocide and population control.

    but hey
    everyone continue on, your doing so well without the history, i cant wait to see whats next.

  42. cornflour Says:

    OK, now I’ll really go crazy and start talking to myself. (What should we do?)

    Scott Sumner writes a remarkably interesting blog on monetary policy, entitled “Monetary Illusion.” Monetary policy is a blind spot for conservatives and their cousins, like me, and I’d recommend “Monetary Illusion” as a daily read. Sumner rarely writes about politics, but here’s an exception

    Worth reading, if you care about what we should do.

  43. Artfldgr Says:

    Pat Buchanan called obama a fabian…
    but since people dont really know the Fabians in detail or that they go back over 100 years… and it was shaws idea to use gas to kill the undesirables (you can see a film clip of him suggesting what Hitler did after that)

    in fact buchanan said:
    ‘Fabian socialist’ Obama ‘is a drug dealer of welfare’

  44. Artfldgr Says:

    i should point out that you would get much the same reaction pat got if you went to an ows person and called them a skiver…

    calling someone a bad name they dont know is bad, dont work, does it? they not only win more debates in ignorance, but its blissness protects them from the labels too.

  45. Armchair pessimist Says:

    Ziontruth, thanks for your kind remarks. Wish to God there were another way.


  46. DNW Says:

    cornflour Says:
    November 7th, 2012 at 4:19 pm
    “OK, now I’ll really go crazy and start talking to myself. (What should we do?)”

    Have more kids.

  47. southpaw Says:

    Does anybody have any idea how Romney managed to motivate 2 million less voters than McCain? It’s puzzling to me that both sides were fooled about the enthusiasm for Romney. He was far better funded than McCain, supposedly had a much more organized campaign, and yet flopped in the turnout category. Seems that some blame should be on the campaign itself – they seemed totally blindsided by the lack of turnout. A lot of the conservative pundits like Rove who were humiliated must have been working off Romney’s internal numbers as well. I think something has to be said about Romney’s managers who didn’t do him any favors. In the end, they seemed to be amatuers compared with Obama’s people who were very accurate in predicting their turnout numbers.
    I think much of this failure has to be laid at the feet of the Romney campaign; given the state of the union, this would have been a slam dunk for a hardnosed professional campaign team.
    Presuming 47% of Americans dummies is maybe partly true; but his campaign team often appeared to be inept and unable to take advantages of gifts that were handed to them.

  48. DNW Says:

    kolnai Says:
    November 7th, 2012 at 3:26 pm
    DNW –

    That was very well said. I’m worried that I come off sounding like some kind of pantywaist who is skittish about getting down to brass tacks. I hope it’s clear that that’s not the upshot of what I’m saying. I just think we need to remember that there are limits (though what they are is another question).

    By the way, are you the DNW that comments at Feser’s blog? If so, I always enjoy what you have to say (I lurk).”

    Oh gee … Hi, and thanks. Now that I look at your screen name, it seems to me that you have also left some comments there.

    Feser has both interesting site material and an engaging manner. It’s also interesting how much hostility discussions of act and potency, form and substance, the status of qualia, and the philosophy of nature, seem to be capable of provoking among his critics. LOL

    Since you are familiar with his site, you know as well as anyone how the most abstruse seeming issues wind up being contended over as if the forms which much of our social lives take, were contingent upon the manner of their resolution.

    As apparently they are, eh?

  49. GaryP Says:

    Yesterday’s events brought a poem of a well-loved author to mind. ‘The Gods of the Copybook Headings’ by R. Kipling.

    We’ll be seeing those guys soon!

  50. gcotharn Says:


    I, also, was blindsided by Romney turning out fewer voters than McCain. I considered the McCain turnout to be a floor, not a ceiling. After 2010, I expected the right to rush to the polls.

    I think we need some time to figure out the reasons for the lower turnout. I propose some combination of 4 reasons:

    1. Romney never made principled arguments which appealed to conservatives. He could have easily done so, at any time, yet chose not to. He did select Paul Ryan, which should have helped. But, still, maybe not enough as making actual principled arguments.

    I have to say that, for me, Romney is a question mark. I was not CERTAIN about how he would govern. He is sometimes too clever in his language. It left doubt in my mind. Such doubt could have depressed turnout amongst conservatives. I hate to keep referencing Reagan, but: no one was in doubt as to how Reagan would govern. In his administration, many matters were never sent up the chain of command, b/c underlings were absolutely certain of what Reagan’s opinion would be, and therefore underlings would act w/o seeking permission. [see Jonah Goldberg quote, at bottom, about Romney’s campaign manager’s disdain for making statements about principle. It explains a lot]

    2. Church of Latter Day Saints: what was the impact?

    2A. Evangelical vote: how big or small? On election day, supposedly, the evangelical turnout was huge. But, was it really? I don’t know the hard data on this.

    3. Romney was not an instinctive candidate: not an instinctive public everyman; not an instinctive public leader; does not have an instinctive ear for politics. How much did voters fail to identify with Romney? I had difficulty identifying with him on a personal level. He seems stiff. And some other personality traits which I will not now belabor.


    neo believes the tough primary campaign damaged Romney. I disagree: I think the tough primaries made Romney a much better candidate; even provided some insulation re certain issues such as Bain — though Bain ended up being an issue in swing state advertising, so the primaries did not fully insulate Romney re Bain. Still: I think the primaries were a plus for Romney. If he had been the only primary candidate, and had completely coasted through the primaries: Obama’s advertising would have still succeeded in demonizing Romney.


    Jonah Goldberg:

    I’ll be blunt: I do not think Mitt Romney ran a good campaign. Don’t get me wrong, I think he worked his heart out as did many who worked for him. I think he made himself into the best candidate he could (which is different from saying he was a great candidate). But I also think that Romney’s theory of the contest was wrong. As I wrote at the time, the Republican convention was a mess. I think Romney strategist Stu Stevens’s contempt for ideas — never mind conservative ideas — was absurd. I think the failure of the Romney campaign to offer a compelling explanation of any kind (at least until the second debate) for how it wasn’t a third Bush term was fatal (as I discussed here and elsewhere). Politics is about persuasion. And persuasion requires making serious arguments. Stevens, by all accounts, has contempt for serious arguments.

    This explains why Romney never took advantage of numerous opportunities to make simple statements which would have gained created some emotional bonding with conservatives. He missed so many chances to make simple little nods to conservatives. It could have cost him some turnout. Probably did. But we need time to ascertain how much.

  51. Bob from Virginia Says:

    Has anyone paid homage to the god Irony, ruler of the universe today? According to his gospel those who thrive for peace and prosperity by electing weaklings and spendthrifts receive something far more demanding than what they bargained for. I just hope my kids are not in the line of fire.

  52. gcotharn Says:

    more Jonah Goldberg, from Sept 7:

    Though he doesn’t say it explicitly, the tone and tenor of Romney’s convention speech suggested that Obama failed because didn’t have the right resume, not because he has the wrong ideas. Stuart Stevens, Romney’s top strategist, has dismayed many on the right by operating according to the theory that Romney mustn’t do anything to offend the delicate sensibilities of some statistical abstraction of a female voter in the Ohio suburbs. Listening to the Romney speech, you’d have no idea he picked a principled, fearless, and brilliant conservative lightning rod as a running mate.

    If Stevens’s theory of the election is right, then the GOP convention was brilliantly executed. But that is a huge gamble — as huge as Obama’s bet that Americans have moved left. Right now, however, it looks too much like a contest between people with the wrong ideas against people without any.

    First: I guess Americans HAD moved left. Damnit.

    Second, re motivating people to the polls: is the right primarily motivated to go to the polls b/c of a candidate’s competence? or, rather, b/c of a candidates avowed principles?

    For me, primarily: principles.

  53. Tedd Says:

    Take heart. Ten years ago, here in Canada, the Liberals looked unassailable, the country was geographically polarized, and Liberal voters were making comments much like Loyal Achates’, above. Now we have a Conservative majority.

    One major difference though: when in power (the most recent time), our Liberals were fairly fiscally prudent. You should be so lucky!

  54. southpaw Says:

    gcotharn – thanks – a lot of good thoughts. At the beginning of this primary season, I was not excited at all about Romney for the same reasons you mentioned – he seems stiff and unconfortable. Like a nervous car salesman, although the comparison is not really fair to him. I liked the messages of a few other candidates more, but in the end, the only comparison in my mind was between Obama and Romney, and although nobody would argue Romney articulated plans or policies until much later in the game, I had no trouble making the distinction between their attitudes on economics, free markets, and liberty in general. While I didn’t necessarily know what Romney would do, I had a good idea of what he wouldn’t, and I assumed, wrongly, that most conservatives would recognize Obama’s capacity to do damage far exceeded Romney’s will to do so.
    I did notice in the last few weeks the effort Romney put out to grab independents by promising to work with Democrats, but I ignored it. Maybe you’re right; maybe a lot of conservatives just sat it out when they heard this, or didn’t make a distinction between Romney and Obama, or couldn’t relate, etc. Even that is hard to fathom. I have heard a lot of silly arguments by the Puritans who maintain Romney is not much different in practice than Obama. I don’t consider Romney a far right guy, but I don’t buy he’s like Obama either.
    But if you are right, we are a badly fractured group, willing to cut off our noses to spite our face.
    Goldberg’s take is something I can buy – they just didn’t understand the game they were playing, and I think that showed through frequently.
    To me, the key to understanding this failure is understanding how these knuckleheads managed to get fewer votes than McCain/Palin, while fully expecting a much higher turnout. That is a gross miscalculation as Goldberg predicted; today it’s a F#$kup of monumental proportions.

  55. neo-neocon Says:

    southpaw: I wonder about the Mormon factor. It might have depressed turnout.

  56. neo-neocon Says:

    gcotharn: actually, I couched my remark about the primaries as a question not an opinion. My opinion, however, is that the primaries both hurt and helped him. They definitely helped him get more aggressive and sharp. But they hurt him with the relentless “Bain, Bain, rapacious heartless moneygrubber” epithets coming even from his fellow Republicans. When Obama took up the Bain attacks, the ground had been well-prepared, and I think the fact that Republicans had made similar attacks made the charges seem bipartisan and therefore even more valid.

  57. parker Says:

    “If you’d spend ten minutes studying economics or environmental science or any other useful discipline it might clear up why the world never seems to go the way you intend it.”

    Why do I suspect this was posted by someone who has absolutely no understanding of what makes an economy prosper and whose understanding of environmental science is limited to the rants of Al Gore? Oh, I know why, he-she-it is a ‘progressive’. You’re in the wrong place at the wrong time toddler. Here, we be grown ups. Thanks for making me laugh.

  58. foxmarks Says:

    Took a few weeks off visiting here. Needed to stop by and gloat.

    After 4 years of dismal Obama, the establishment pick inspired even fewer votes than McCain.

    Romney was never the most electable GOP candidate. He had the shortest coattails and the shallowest support from the grassroots that drive turnout.

    Romney fit the evil Republican caricature so well, the other team never had to play up the Mormonism. That is a mild surprise.

    The next big question is whether financial collapse precipitates civil war, or whether civil unrest precipitates financial collapse.

    You could’ve had 9-9-9…

  59. tjray Says:

    Like neocon, I’m a recent (post 9/11) convert from liberal to conservative. Does anyone out there have any words of comfort? I don’t think that I’ll ever switch back. I think as one ages, one becomes more conservative. We do have an aging population here in the US, right? So, perhaps that is reason to hope.

  60. Huan Says:

    In retrospect I think we should all foreseen an Obama reelection. In 2008 Obama got elected not based on the Democratic platform, Obama got elected as a person. There was a cult of personality around Obama. Though diminished some, that cult of personality remains in 2012. Thus it did not matter that Obama lied about Benghazi or Romney. Thus it did not matter that the economy remains as bad today as it was when he took office. Thus it did not matter that he broke so many promises. To his followers he was their guy, and their vote was his. Loyal fans route for their team even in losing season.

    The Democrats should not assume the turn out in 2008 and 2012 will be duplicated in 2016. It wasn’t about the Democratic turnout, it was the Obama turnout.

  61. gcotharn Says:


    Comfort #1: “[I]n me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33

    Comfort #2: Jeff Goldstein shows the way for the right to gain victory and dominance: reclaim the language.

    Either change the rules, or change the game. And to do so begins — as it always has — with language.
    And the left controls the language precisely because we’ve allowed them to institutionalize linguistic and hermeneutic ideas that are a systemic foundation for tyranny and collectivism. Our language — how we conceive of it, how we believe it to function, how we’ve allowed its abuses to become found truths and bedrock foundational assumptions — is what is moving us inexorably toward authoritarianism.
    The way forward is through a reclamation of language. Because a reclamation of language leads to a reclamation of epistemology — which in turn creates a problem for leftist indoctrination, itself reliant on those incoherent linguistic assumptions that they’ve managed to turn into perceived linguistic truisms.

    He had me at hermeneutic.

  62. neo-neocon Says:

    Huan: I don’t know much about whether the turnout will be duplicated in 2016, but I very much agree with you about the cult of personality. That’s one thing I noticed most strongly among my friends. I’m not sure if there’s much he could do that would cause his supporters to desert him.

    And that’s something he knew from the start. It’s the reason he cultivated the cult of personality, and the MSM picked up on it with the halos around him in photos. We made fun of his affectations that seemed to play up his person that way, but he knew exactly what he was doing and the effect it would have on his followers.

  63. Huan Says:

    we need to sell our ideas better starting now. when i say sell i mean educate and entertain the target audience to first appreciate and believe, later understand, that self reliance and small government are better for everyone. We need to target minorities better. We need to start now so that in 3 years a person can step up onto the platform already built, rather than have to build it against other candidates and then hold it stead in 6 months of campaigning against the democrats.

  64. gcotharn Says:

    re cult of personality, make-believe media, and
    Evan Thomas 15 points quote:

    I think media were worth more than 15 points to Obama. He could not possibly have been elected without their consistent complicity over time. You could say media were worth 30 points to Obama, but: media were worth more than 30 points to Obama: media were worth everything. W/o them: he’s a divorced state senator in IL.

  65. gcotharn Says:


    Comfort #3:
    the fiscal cliff was probably coming, no matter who was the POTUS for the next 4 years.

    “Obama has been elected captain of the Titanic.

    And he inherited the whole decaying mess from himself.”

    That quote is from Rachel Lucas. She has a funny post about watching the election results while drunk at 4:00 AM in Italy.

  66. ron Says:

    Suggestion: start there, get the gist, then rewind and ‘read’ the whole thing.

  67. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Roger Simon today points to “three pillars of our own destruction: the educational system, the media and entertainment (the popular arts).”

    You know what really sickens me? That the GOP might have taken this election if it had been able to nominate a “cool” president, since that seems to matter most to a growing number of voters. That such things matter to such a significant number of voting Americans.

    That a reeling economy due in great part to the actions of this pathetic excuse of an administration, the shameless divisive class-warfare rhetoric, the endless litany of ridiculous comments by Biden, and the dismal outlook held by a vast majority of Americans that we are headed in the wrong direction weren’t enough to derail the re-election efforts of such a pathetic, over-his-head charlatan. That even one person, much less millions of gullible citizens, could be swayed by the incoherent ramblings on twitter of the most vapid of our citizens, the Hollywood elite. And that those who will pay the highest price for the fiscal irresponsibility and crony capitalism practiced by this administration, college-age and 20-something voters, would overwhelmingly vote against their own professional well-being.

    We are a society of spoiled, brain-washed adolescents.

  68. foxmarks Says:

    Older: The cool candidate was Ron Paul. Nobody wanted to acknowledge he was drawing crowds of thousands during the summer. All those kids were peers to the ones who will be paying later. It was an open door for the GOP to the youth vote. The RNC could have embraced RP. Even if he was not the nominee, making a few concessions like auditing the FedRes would have changed the conversation and the turnout.

    Lost opportunities…

  69. Steve D Says:

    It’s a battle for men’s minds, for their ideas. That is where it will be won or lost. The ballet box is mostly irrelevant.

  70. cornflour Says:

    At Belmont Club (PJmedia), Richard Fernandez writes the following. I’ve asked for people’s thoughts regarding “what we should we do,” and Fernandez seems to be of the same mind. I look forward to his upcoming essays.

    Belmont Club (Richard Fernandez) said
    “The future lies in building up new networks and methods for the purpose — if nothing else — of surviving the consequences of this gigantic incompetence. In the next week’s posts I will try to end each one with a descriptive essay or a screen capture video that illustrates some practical idea that can be used to save or make money.

    In the coming years revolutionary acts will be indistinguishable from self-improvement. To be productive and keep as much as possible of what you earn is to be free.”

  71. Bob From Virginia Says:

    Actually Steve D the whole truth may be a lot less dramatic. I just spoke to my daughter. She voted for Obama because after watching the foreign policy debate she did not see much of a difference between the two candidates. Needless to say she had heard nothing of Benghazi or Honduras. She and her husband are tied down with work and school and don’t time for much of anything. They had a copy of the ACA and could understand its ramifications. Finally she said that Romney seemed to offer them nothing they could not get from Obama. I did not ask her if she knew of the messed up SOFA in Iraq, the betrayal of the surge in Afghanistan, the absurd Cairo speech, the insults to Netanyahu or the stimulus to Obama’s green buddies who subsequently went bankrupt. Romney lost the information war especially in foreign affairs. The whole disaster is explained far simpler that I would have thought.

  72. John Says:

    Side note, I wish your blog enabled reply threads. Replying to one comment when its ten comments up the ladder is a pain and then for all you know someone has already made the same point.

  73. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States Says:

    The left is patient, very very patient. I’m not so sure about the right.

    No, neo, the left is DRIVEN. They are filled with HATE, and it is a very effective driver.

    Khan: He tasks me. He tasks me and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares Maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!

    Cons don’t have the same kind of drive, so it appears as though they don’t have patience.

    What the solution is, I dunno. I’ve got the drive but I’m a natural fighter. My first instinct is fight, not flight. So I can’t tell you how to motivate the others.

  74. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States Says:

    John, don’t complain — she might switch to #$%$#@^$@^&@ Facebook comments.

    That POS edits and censors stuff, probably by computer rather than a person doing it.

    The number of times I’ve posted up comments in an FB thread, only to have them magically disappear within a few hours, has led me to largely ignore anything that uses FB as a comment engine.

  75. davisbr Says:

    Hmm. Cool candidates. Cult of personality. I have heard that kind of thing before. Oh. Yeah.

    1 Sam 8

    And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.

    As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you.

    Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

    Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king.

    He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.

    Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.

    He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.

    He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants.

    He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants.

    Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use.

    He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves.

    When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.

    But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us.

    Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

    When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord.

    The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”

    Then Samuel said to the Israelites, “Everyone go back to your own town.”

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

  76. Gary Rosen Says:


    “Needed to stop by and gloat.”

    You would. It’s embedded in your “character”.

    “The cool candidate was Ron Paul”

    Did he ever break out of single digits in a *Republican primary*?? I mean a real primary with a real vote, not those caucuses that can be gamed so easily.

  77. kolnai Says:

    davisbr –

    Wow. Kind of accentuates the meaning of “prophet.”

    I got shivers reading that.

  78. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Foxmarks, Ron Paul was probably the most “uncool” politician who ran for president this cycle.

    And my post had nothing to do with finding and selecting Mr. Cool to run on the GOP ticket. It was about a nation that has been betrayed by its educational, informational and entertainment institutions.

    The last thing we need right now is a bunch of shallow, self-centered Randian “I told you so”-ers who were so blind to their own unrealistic political dreams that they failed to support the only candidate who had an opportunity to defeat the collective vermin that will continue to infest the White House for another four years.

  79. Stuart Schneiderman Says:

    As for the question of why fewer Republicans voted for Romney than for McCain, I think that answer lies in one name: Sarah Palin.

    Romney wrote Palin out of the Republican Party. He excluded her from the convention. When she finally endorsed him, a day before the election, no one really noticed.

    If Palin had been at the convention and had been campaigning for Romney, things might have been different.

    I think it’s a sign of Romney’s deficiency as a politician and his failure to provide political leadership.

    As Newt said many times, Romney is a manager, not a leader.

    I think that the treatment of Palin was a primary symptom of that failure.

  80. gcotharn Says:


    1 Samuel = nice analogy.

    “When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

    This remind of what Sergey points to: the only thing which will stop the death spiral is hitting bottom. There will be nothing to save us.

    “Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us….”

    Yes. We want socialism to lead us. Then we will be like all the other nations, like Spain and Greece…

  81. OlderandWheezier Says:

    I supported Palin and still like her, but I think it’s about time that some of the posters on here get over their crushes on her. Had she chosen to step back from the spotlight even a tad after 2008 instead appearing on every politically-based show that would have her, constantly injecting herself into topics no matter how trivial, and making on-air and online comments when a wiser person would have kept silent, I’d probably regard her in a different light. Or if she’d had enough respect for her conservative base to announce her decision to sit out the GOP primary instead of basking in the limelight while folks on both sides waited well into the process for her to declare.

  82. soupcon Says:

    Would Obama have been re-elected if he was white?

  83. gcotharn Says:

    Older and Wheezier,

    Your objections to Palin are based upon the merits of her actions. Therefore, I have zero problem with your objections.

    The Palin bashers whom I have a problem with … are those who bash her b/c of their own pretensions.

    I plead guilty to having a crush on Palin: how many women are in their early 50s and have as much energy, life-force, and personality? Palin shares a characteristic with the pretend character Flo: they both genuinely like men. Palin does not pretend to like men, and does not merely tolerate men. Rather, she is genuinely fond of manly characteristics and traits. This is rare enough to comprise a legitimate basis for a man to have a crush on her.

    However, I object to your assumption that I am blind to Palin’s faults. I find many women to be attractive, yet foolish. Sarah Palin is not in that group. She has a good (or great) feel for human nature, and for government and politics. She rose from nowhere, and she received zero help along the way. You do not do that unless you have massive talent.

    She works close to the edge, and sometimes she falls over it — similar to a comic who works close to the edge, and some of the jokes fail. Similar, also, maybe, to Ann Coulter, who works close to the edge and sometimes crosses it and says foolish things. But thats okay. Palin does more good, via working close to the edge, than she would if she were just another careful and circumspect McConnell or Boehner.

  84. sergey Says:

    No cult of personality arises naturally, it must be engineered and maintained by well-oiled propaganda machine. Dems have such machine. Those who is accustomed to spectacles of totalitarian parades and solemn ceremonies, as all who lived under communist rule are, recognize stylistics and dramaturgy of such shows immediately. I was really appalled to see Obama’s introduction to public with these Greek columns and all decorum, as if some time machine returned me half a century into the past, to Communist Party caucus in Soviet Union. Some of these aesthetics was present in Hollywood shows like Oscar ceremonies and celebrity shows, but for the first time in USA it was used in political propaganda. And American public has no immunity to this kind of manipulation, so no wonder it works using natural human tendency for idol worship. This the only explanation to this strange disassociation of public perception of results of Obama policies as mediocre at best and his personal rating, as if no failures and crimes, even known and recognized, can tarnish his popularity.

  85. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Fair enough, gctharn. What I refer to are those posting here who for years now have proclaimed her the fittest conservative for the office of President with little more than their own zeal for her as reasons.

    And I don’t mind her playing near the edge. I mind that over the past several years she has insisted on being on record and close to or over the edge concerning trifles that a more sensible public figure would have considered beneath her.

  86. Stuart Schneiderman Says:

    Truth is, comments about Palin have nothing to do with anyone’s crush. Sarah Palin has a following within the Republican Party and the Tea Party. You may or may not like it but she has shown herself to be able to influence votes, sometimes for good, sometimes not.

    I was wondering whether the turnout among certain groups was down because some people who admired Sarah Palin did not like the way the Romney campaign was treating her.

    Her voice was effectively silenced by the Romney team and, for all you or I know, that mattered in the election.

  87. Richard Saunders Says:

    I certainly agree with gcotharm and Jonah Goldberg — Romney did not run a particularly good campaign. By the time of the debates (actually, a lot sooner) he should have been totally prepared for the Bain issue, the GM bankruptcy issue, the Benghazi issue, and the President’s idiotic and patronizing statement about ships and bayonets. He should have been able to knock those out of the park.

    But I don’t think it would have mattered. Olderandwheezier said it — we might have won with a cool candidate. The people who voted for the One were coming out of the voting booth saying they knew Romney would do a better job with the economy — but they still voted for the O.

    Our candidate was square, a businessman, a technocrat, old-fashioned, a hard worker. Their candidate was hip, edgy, laid back, never worked a day in his life, cooool.

    What we’re going to have to face is not that our ideas are bad, or that we don’t appeal to a broad enough ethnic mix. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that, for a large segment of the population, appearance is all. Yes, their brain matter has been vacuumed out and pumped full of dreck. Yes, they think Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are actually newscasters. Yes, they know nothing about anything. Yes, they think “values” are something you get at a storewide sale.

    Too bad. If we want to win a presidential election again, we have to appeal to them. We have to have a cooooool candidate. It’s the ultimate triumph of Marshal McLuhan.

    P.S. But don’t despair. I thought we were done after Goldwater, and eventually we got Reagan. I thought we were done after Clinton and along came George W. It will get better. We know what they did, and how they did it. Now we have to give it back to them, with both barrels.

  88. OlderandWheezier Says:

    Excellent comment, Richard.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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