The election’s Tuesday, and the whole political blogosphere is one endless screaming rah-rah for one candidate or another. We advise against all direct contact with it from now till next weekend.
The preemptive victory dances of the left blogosphere are, as we never tire of paraphrasing Jed Leland, no concern of this department. But we can offer you some welder’s glass through which you may safely view the rightbloggers’ state of dudgeon in these last, horrible days of this wretched campaign.
Most rightbloggers seemed to grasp that no final case for Romney they could make would reach undecided voters, and spent their lung power pumping up hopes of a Republican win.
Some were cagey about it: Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds quoted a Republican who said of the RINO Romney, “Romney was not my first, second, or third choice, but I will crawl over ground glass to vote for him,” and postulated, “A lot of Republicans — and, judging from polls, a lot of independents — feel this way. If there are enough of them, Romney will win, and win big.”
Very qualified, this optimism — but Reynolds had more: While he acknowledged that “people on the Right” didn’t show up for John McCain in 2008, he believed they would do so for the father of Romneycare because, for one thing, these people of the Right “stood in line for hours at Chick-fil-A restaurants to buy chicken sandwiches in response to politicians’ bullying,” he said — or because they hate gay people, take your pick.
Reynolds also pleaded the magic of the movies as evidence. He cited the hit rightwing documentary Obama’s America: 2016, which at $33.4 million gross is the #2 political documentary earner of all time, and should do as much to elect Romney as the #1 political documentary earner, Fahrenheit 9/11, did to elect President John Kerry in 2004. Reynolds added that the PotR also “packed houses at the ‘Hating Breitbart’ premiere,” which film as of November 1 had made $55,606 at the box office.
Not all rightbloggers were as guarded as Reynolds. Many were convinced by predictions by Michael Barone and Dick Morris that Romney would not merely win, but would win in a landslide. (“You can bet these predictions sent shock waves through the inner circles of both campaigns yesterday,” said The American Catholic.)
Maggie’s Notebook didn’t need anyone’s outside confirmation, as she’d “had a gnawing feeling way down, deep inside, where my intuition resides,” that “the Republican Party is going to clean the Democratic Party’s clock!”
Here’s what convinced her: “Well, if you have listened to broadcast news reports over the past few weeks you have noticed how often the word ‘narrative’ is spoken. It has been used multiple times to describe the Mainstream Media’s slant on this election cycle. And I do mean ‘slant’ -as in bias.”
It wasn’t very clever of the Mainsteam Media to reveal their “narrative” plot in their very own broadcast news reports, and because of this, continued Maggie’s Notebook, “slowly, the veil the MsM had drawn cross Mitt Romney was ripped and shredded and cast aside. Suddenly, America saw a man who was not promising pie in the sky. In fact, if anything, he was offering blood, sweat, and tears, much as Winston Churchill had offered many decades before to the Brits.” We’re still looking for the transcript of that Romney speech, but if that doesn’t accomplish victory, Maggie’s Notebook assured us, there was always “the combined prayers of millions of God’s people imploring their God to intervene and help them save their country. Combine the prayers of millions of Catholics to those of the Evangelicals and miracles WILL HAPPEN.” Throw in unstinting use of bold and italic type, and they can’t lose.
Israpundit reported that the bellwether state of Israel “is not just blue and white; it is solidly red.” Cute, but how does that increase Romney’s U.S. vote total? Because American citizens living in Israel get to vote absentee, Israpundit explained, and “the total vote from Israel-80,000 ballots-is huge… 7,500 Israel-based Floridians voted; another 3,500 voted in Ohio; and 3,500 more voted in Pennsylvania…. If the vote from the front-row is so lopsidedly for Romney, that can only mean one thing for the direction it will influence the vote back in America.” Now, if Jewish Palm Beach voters go rightwing, we’ll have a better explanation than we had in 2000.
Glenn Beck’s The Blaze offered a roundup of “THE BIGGEST NAMES PREDICTING” a Romney landslide including Karl Rove, George Will, and Glenn Beck. The Clermont Tea Party had their own “Landslide” metric: “Romney Rally Outdraws President By A Landslide.” That is, the Clermont Tea Party told readers that Romney’s last-minute rallies in Ohio outdrew Obama’s, and provided several pictures — some of Romney rally crowds, but mostly of their own members standing by the sides of several Ohio roads as they dashed around the state waving signs accusing Obama of murder in Benghazi in hopes that the President would see them.
For example, outside Lima, “there was some confusion as to where the President’s entourage and the press would drive by us,” the Clermont Tea Party reported, but though “the press ultimately went a different way than we did… we were perfectly situated to be seen by the President and his motorcade.” This is what victory smells like.
At HillBuzz, the wonderful Kevin DuJan said he would watch MSNBC November 6th, because “I really think that Chris Matthews’ face is going to melt off completely on Election Night. Rachel Maddow will sit there in stoned silence. Al Sharpton will scream ‘RACISTS! THIS IS ALL RACIST-ISM!’… It’s going to be marvelous seeing them all realize Nate Silver was lying to them and that there is in actuality a 0% of Obama being reelected.” Well, you can’t say he doesn’t have hard numbers.
Wayne Allyn Root, the 2008 Libertarian Party vice-presidential nominee and author of Millionaire Republican: Why Rich Republicans Get Rich–and How You Can Too!, continued the proud tradition of libertarians for Romney, predicting “Christians Will Empower A Romney Landslide.”
“I’m not a pollster,” he admitted. “…My polls are my gut instincts.” Not that Root didn’t do research: “While the media and pollsters talked about ‘Romney’s single female gap,'” Root wrote, “I talked to married women and found them angry, offended, motivated and mobilized to defeat Obama.” There’s that liberal myth dispensed with! Then, “while the media talked about ‘Romney’s black voter gap'” — yeah, we were looking forward to that too, but Root pulled a change-up: “I talked to white voters and found them angry, offended, motivated and mobilized to defeat Obama.” No point talking to black voters, we guess, married or not.
Anyway, more important than any of these blocs in 2012 would be the “Catholics and evangelical Christians,” Root told us, because, as one would expect of Christ’s followers, they feel “seething anger” and “are sick of turning the other cheek,” and thus will turn their godly rage on the atheist Obama. “Chick-fil-A was the subtle hint of what’s coming on Nov. 6,” added Root. “I guess New York Times pollster Nate Silver didn’t notice.”
Ah yes, Nate Silver: The sports stats guy who reported the 2008 election with impressive accuracy has been putting Obama’s chances for Tuesday around 80%. Silver’s polling barely bothered the brethren before this year, but because his predictions conflict with their anticipated victory, he is now presumed to be lying and sabotaging his own career on Obama’s behalf. Robert Stacy McCain, for example, claimed Silver “may continue telling that to his readers, but Nate cannot actually believe that.”
The most spectacular such response was that of Dean Chambers, the fellow who created “unskewed polls” that show Romney winning in a landslide, so there. Chambers explained that Silver’s model couldn’t be right because “Silver is a man of very small stature, a thin and effeminate man with a soft-sounding voice that sounds almost exactly like the ‘Mr. New Castrati’ voice used by Rush Limbaugh on his program. In fact, Silver could easily be the poster child for the New Castrati in both image and sound.” Plus liberals suck.
At National Review, Katrina Trinko denounced “those on the center and on the left laughing at those on the right ‘unskewing’ the polls or questioning the partisan breakdown in the polling sample,” because “it’s unfair to conservatives to simply mock them for questioning the partisan breakdown of polls.” No fair laughing! That would upset the heretofore gentlemanly conduct of the campaign.
Others just raged at the unfairness of everything. PJ Media’s Zombie, for example, told readers that this election had no October Surprise, no “last-minute, unexpected, shocking scandal to rock the presidential election,” because “everything [Obama’s] ever done is scandalous… Anyone’s who been paying attention since 2008 has literally been in paralytic shock every single day. We spent October 2012 exactly as we’ve spent every month of the last four years: Our jaws on the floor, aghast, stupefied, unable to breathe.” No wonder they write the way they do.
Some took a conciliatory come-let-us-reason-together approach, at least for a couple of paragraphs. After nobly declaring that, should the election not go as hoped for whichever party, citizens should nonetheless assent to “give and take, concessions, and a willingness to forgo partisan advantage in the interest of preserving our republic,” Mark Tapscott added that “somebody ought to sit Harry Reid down next Wednesday morning and have a ‘Come-to-Compromise’ talk,” and attacked the Majority Leader’s “narrow-minded, shrill take-no-prisoners partisanship.” Tapscott made no mention of the House Republican leadership’s approach to compromise, but he did use the word “compromise” six times, and so must be counted a uniter rather than a divider
Those of the brethren who refrained from predictions of victory focused on stray outrages.
In a district Obama carried handily in 2008, early voting was suspended due to a bomb scare. Talk radio host Teri O’Brien announced she would ask her guest that night “whether democrats are planting fake bombs in Winter Park, FL.” Who knows, worth a try, right?
A faction of rightbloggers kept after Obama on Benghazi. Some, like Peter Ferrara at The American Spectator, continued the earlier hair-splitting over Obama’s post-Benghazi remarks (“Obama was referring to terrorism in general, including the original 9/11 attacks in New York…”). At American Thinker, Karin McQuillan declared that under Obama “official American policy is to avert civilian casualties in Muslim countries at any cost. If it requires the sacrifice our American soldiers’ lives, so be it,” which will surprise anyone who’s been following Obama’s drone program. And Day by Day, a comic strip for people who think Mallard Fillmore is a RINO, implied that the President was in league with jihadis, showing an Obama silhouette declaring “you eat the flesh of swine, are as whores.”
Oh, there was one last-minute Obama thing rightbloggers decreed a “gaffe”: When Romney’s name was booed at an Obama rally, the President said, “Don’t boo, vote. Voting is the best revenge.” At this mild joke the brethren pretended to be mortally offended.
“Hard to believe that the guy who promised to ‘punish our enemies’ is now talking about voting for ‘revenge,'” harrumphed Jonah Goldberg of National Review. “I understand Obama is bitter. That’s been obvious for a while. But it’s just a weird and narcissistic assumption that his supporters want ‘revenge’ too.” Then, finding there was no clip of the rally crowds turning on Obama in shock and disgust, Goldberg added, “Doesn’t mean it’s wrong, though. Which makes the whole thing even creepier.” It Obama wins, we expect Goldberg will be really creeped out.
“Barack Hussein Obama, in a moment of desperation, took the gloves off the other day,” reported Nelson Abdullah of Noisy Room, “when he told his supporters at a rally in Springfield, Ohio that ‘Voting is the best REVENGE.'” We didn’t know Obama yelled the word like that — maybe Abdullah saw a reenactment. “If Obama studied history instead of law while in college,” Abdullah continued, “he might have recalled the famous words of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto after his attack on Pearl Harbor, ‘I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.'” We must say, as turns of the tide go, this seems rather weak.
At the Washington Examiner, Byron York claimed the “Obama campaign struggles to explain” what York himself called “a seemingly offhand utterance.” That is, someone asked an Obama spokesperson about it, and she explained that Romney was “frightening workers in Ohio into thinking, falsely, that they’re not going to have a job” with his misleading Jeep ads. “And the message [Obama] was sending is if you don’t like the policies… then you can go to the voting booth and cast your ballot.”
Aha, cried York: “The problem is, the president was actually not speaking in the context of Romney’s highly-controversial [Jeep] ads… In fact, Obama had not said a word about the Jeep controversy when he said ‘revenge’… And even after the ‘revenge’ remark, it took Obama six paragraphs to get to his discussion of Jeep.” Then he reproduced Obama’s entire speech to prove this — the smoking gun! Clearly what Obama really wanted revenge for was Kenyan colonialism.
Our personal favorite of the week was Eliana Johnson of National Review who, apparently still rattled by October’s Lena Dunham ad, went ballistic over a tight-fitting Obama dress singer Katy Perry wore at a campaign concert event. “The Obama campaign has repeatedly appealed to women as if the feminist movement never happened – that is, as a monolith who can’t get sex and reproduction off the brain,” Johnson sputtered. “Sandra Fluke and Lena Dunham have relayed the President’s message quite clearly: women should and do decide whom to vote for based on sex, birth control, and abortion… Singer and songwriter Katy Perry is the latest lady to objectify herself for the benefit of the President’s campaign… Her message: I’m a sex object and I endorse this ad. Backward!” We guess if Perry dressed more like Holly Near, honor would be saved.
Well, soon this horrible thing will be over and we will be forced to live with the result. We have no idea who’ll win, but whoever does, there’s one thing we can count on: The brethren will react full-throatedly — either with victory howls, or accusations of voter fraud.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 4, 2012