Daniel Larison is one of the few conservatives not drinking the kool-aid:
There is a widespread and quite wrong conservative interpretation of the present political moment as being very much like 1993, but where Clinton mistook a repudiation of Bush for an endorsement of an aggressive Democratic agenda it is the GOP that has misread what just happened last year. Most of the right seems to expect a replay of ‘93-’94, and so are sticking to the same tactics that they used then (including the turn to Limbaugh and the return of Gingrich)…
Conservatives seem to have spent the last year rapidly regressing from cheering on lame politicians who could at least intelligently recite their platitudes (Romney) to worshipping pseudo-populists who could not even do that (Palin) to elevating random guys who didn’t like taxes (the Plumber) to rallying around a radio host who makes Romney’s own brand of Reagan nostalgia and three-legs-of-the-stoolism seem deep and meaningful by comparison. Of course, there isn’t that much substantively different between Romney’s opportunistic recitations and Limbaugh’s boilerplate, but at least with Romney you knew that he was capable of saying something else and would have said it if he had thought it was to his advantage. The boilerplate is not only all Limbaugh knows how to say, but if you pressed him to elaborate on any of it he would just repeat himself.
“Still, the report that she refused to prepare for the Couric interview makes everything quite clear. She wasn’t overwhelmed with scripted answers and talking points that they had been forcing on her–she was genuinely at a loss for coherent answers because she had not even attempted to prepare for the questions she would be asked, and so she tried to bluster her way through to rather calamitous results. Far from being a distorted or misleading image of what Palin knew on her own, that may have been the clearest picture of her understanding of the issues that we had in the last two months. In the last few days, I have seen remarks to the effect that “anti-Palin” conservatives are going to end up feeling foolish in the future for having doubted her qualifications, but with every passing day and each new revelation I am even more convinced that everyone who criticized her fairly on her record and statements will have no reason to feel that way.”
–Daniel Larison, conservative writer, 11.05.08
Conservative writer Daniel Larison debunks several of the “pre-arguments/excuses” being made by the McCain camp in case they lose. As always, the bold italics are mine and not theirs:
The candidate and the staff are hard to extricate from one another: McCain chose the staffers and agreed to heed their advice, and they crafted a message-free campaign that they thought suited a candidate defined by his biography. To accuse Palin, as some McCain insiders have done anonymously, of having gone “off message” is meaningless–there has been no message from which she could have departed. For that matter, to credit Schmidt with having enforced some kind of discipline on a rudderless, message-free campaign is not much of a compliment. All that this means is that he effectively organized an aimless campaign as it zigged and zagged efficiently from one incoherent line of attack to the next.
McCain bears the bulk of the responsibility for a poor campaign, as the nominee always does, and the poor campaign was practically foreordained once McCain decided that characteristically moralistic harping on two or three of his favorite issues, which had been his primary election approach, would be the path to victory in November. The campaign was message-free because of McCain’s weakness on policy, particularly domestic policy, which ensured that his response to the financial crisis could not have been very effective. It did not have to be as absurd as it was, but it was never going to inspire much confidence.
External conditions brought the McCain campaign crumbling to the ground, but that was a result of its unsound foundations and poor construction.
FULL ARTICLE HERE.
“If McCain were somehow to prevail on 4 November, the calamity that would befall the Congressional GOP in 2010 would great and would help to erase all political gains of the previous sixteen years. Those conservatives who do not want to be consigned to the wilderness for the next decade or two need to think about the long-term consequences of a McCain victory, which would be disastrous for conservatives both in policy and political terms in the next several electoral cycles. If his insane mortgage-bailout-in-every-pot plan doesn’t persuade people of that, perhaps the prospect of being the minority party for the next twenty years will.”
-Daniel Larison, conservative writer. FULL TEXT HERE.
Daniel Larison, an excellent conservative writer, has a great piece on the tendencies of people to try to compare every two-bit political hack to Ronald Reagan. Mr. Larison has not drank from the Kool-Aid well:
“Reagan didn’t need to learn the names of foreign leaders and conventions for discussing foreign policy when he was nominated to a national ticket, because he had already acquired that knowledge decades earlier. If there were people who underestimated Reagan during any of his presidential campaigns, and I know there were, they did so out of their ignorance of what Reagan’s familiarity with foreign affairs was. There’s some pretty poor reasoning going on among Palin’s fans: “Palin is a governor, Reagan was a governor, therefore Palin will be like Reagan.” What is most remarkable about all of this is that in the desperate effort to make Palin credible even Reagan will be shown disrespect.”
FULL ARTICLE HERE.