It would be cruel to take too much pleasure in the rightblogger reactions to last Tuesday’s events. Lest we forget, Democrats too have been known to lose faith in their fellow Americans when a big election doesn’t go their way.
So let us, after a brief review of their wrathful ejaculations, focus on their brilliant ideas for getting fallen, Obamasocialistic America to vote their way in the future — mainly by reviving the “culture war” that so brilliantly worked for them in 2012.
By now most of you have heard some of the cries of pain that came after Barack Obama — presumed by many rightbloggers just days earlier to be headed for a historic, landslide defeat — racked up a convincing 332 electoral votes to win a second term.
For example, Kevin DuJan of HillBuzz, who before the election told us he was looking forward to watching MSNBC anchors on election night as they “all realize[d] Nate Silver was lying to them and that there is in actuality a 0% of Obama being reelected,” said afterwards that “America is not the place we thought it was… The electorate really has changed… and it appears that change has come from the generations who’ve attended public schools and have been indoctrinated to believe that big government is good and European socialism is our ideal”; also, “the Ministry of Truth succeeded in pushing voters to choose four more years of wild spending, government intrusion, chaos, and ineptitude.” DuJan added, “it’s tempting to lash out and succumb to anger this morning,” perhaps as an inside joke or cry for help.
Onetime Libertarian Vice-Presidential candidate Wayne Allyn Root, whose “gut instinct” told him “Christians Will Empower A Romney Landslide,” lectured after Romney’s loss about “the speech that Romney should have given,” which contained such sure-fire lines as “we have to change direction before we have no country left to defend” and “Remember Obama presided over a Democratic convention that booed God three times.” Romney must be kicking himself over this.
National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg attacked statistician Nate Silver’s prediction that Obama would win, well, all the states he turned out to win. “The truth is that any statistician can build a model,” sniffed Goldberg, perhaps thinking of the scale-model Munsters car he built in grad school. “They do it all the time… No doubt some models are better than others, and some models are simply better for a while and then regress to the mean… I’m not saying Silver’s just lucky or shoveling garbage. He’s a serious numbers guy. But so are” other pollsters who had Romney winning, etc.
But came the election, and… wait a minute, that Goldberg article is datelined the day after the election. Well, lead times are a bitch — let’s see what Goldberg said later:
If only married people voted, Romney would have won in a landslide. If only married religious people voted, you’d need a word that means something much bigger than landslide. Obviously, Obama got some votes from the married and the religious (such people can marry their interests to the state, too), but as a generalization, the Obama coalition heavily depends on people who do not see family or religion as rival or superior sources of material aid or moral authority.
[blink] [blink] You know, maybe we should just forget about Goldberg altogether.
As we mentioned, the results led many rightbloggers to despair of the American people.
“Maybe we deserve this punishment for taking our lifestyles for granted,” mused WorldNetDaily’s Joseph Farah. “Maybe we deserve this judgment for our own individual and collective sins.” “Mitt Romney proclaimed that Barack Obama was the candidate of ‘free stuff,’ and voters took him at his word,” explained John Hinderaker of Power Line. “Americans choose socialism” ran the headline in Sheldon Adelson’s Israel Today, which must have really enraged the kibbutzim.
Daniel Greenfield at [pause for effect] Sultan Knish likened the election to Hurricane Sandy: “A week ago we sat waiting out the storm when the lights flickered and went out,” he wrote. “…The lights have gone out in America now. They may come back. They may not.” Similarly, Staten Island may never have electricity again, like on that show Revolution.
Which is why America has to wise up: After another generation of Obama, Greenfield continued, “there will be no law, just men with guns and newspapers, and generals in convenient positions, and suitcases full of cocaine in the right hands.” Gasp! Will the cocaine never cease and the darkness never end in Staten America? “The question,” reasoned Greenfield, “is whether a right-wing movement can emerge that will make the vast majority of small businessmen in this country feel as negatively about a Democratic president as welfare voters feel about a Republican president?” If only the GOP had nominated a candidate who could appeal to small business owners! Now we’ll never know.
Under the headline “America goes into the darkness,” culture scold Melanie Philips wrote that “greatest satisfaction today over the re-election of Obama is not being felt in the Democratic Party,” nor in the “corrupt” media, nor even among “the gloating, drooling decadents of the western left who now scent a great blood-letting of all who dare defy their secular inquisition” (though we can attest that they really enjoyed the fuck out of it). “No,” thundered Philips, “the greatest satisfaction is surely being felt in Iran.”
[blink] [blink] Wut.
The Obama administration, starring “Iranian-born [Valerie] Jarrett,” Philips portrayed as happy to see Iran “complete its infernal construction of a genocide bomb to use against the Jews and the west. World War Three has now come a lot closer.” She added, “four years ago, America put into the White House a sulky narcissist with close links to people with a history of thuggish, far-left, black power, Jew-bashing, west-hating politics” whose “agenda has been crystal clear from the get-go: to increase the power of the state over the citizen at home, and to neutralise American power abroad.” And now that he’s been reelected by those treasonous bastards the American people, said Philips, by the end of his second term “he’ll almost certainly have succeeded.”
Look, what we said before about not wanting to be cruel? We take it back.
To be fair, some rightbloggers didn’t blame Obama on all Americans — just the black ones.
“With first post-racial president reelected, ‘F**k white people’ trends,” reacted the staff of Twitchy, Michelle Malkin’s alternative Twitter universe, to tweets like “FUCK WHITE PEOPLE NIGGA, 2 TERMMZZZZZ.” “We’re guessing some of them are sarcastic,” admitted the staff, “but there were enough of them to get a trend going, sadly.”
Maybe the Twitchies were reassured by the countertrend coming from tweeps in the former Confederacy. Or maybe it isn’t so former: Taking things very hard on the racist tip was Occidental Dissent’s Hunter Wallace; he had asked before the election “Can White Northerners Say ‘No’ To Black Run America?” (“If White Northerners choose to renig with Obama in this terrible economy,” he warned, “then White Southerners will lose all confidence in the North”) and, after learning they apparently could not, analyzed the situation thus: “White Southerners are culturally ready to say NO to BRA [Black Run America],” he wrote, “but we were shot down yet again in another Pickett’s Charge” by damn Yankees who “for 180 years… have thrown White Southerners under the bus for the sake of their negro allies…” Wallace thereafter optimistically tracked the progress of a “secession movement” by signatories to petitions at the White House website asking that various states be allowed to leave the Union.
Selwyn Duke of American Thinker learned that Obama’s vote margin in some black districts was 99-1 and declared, “in other words, in some precincts, Mitt Romney was perhaps worth only three fifths of a percent,” which is interesting both as sociology and as math. Also, “it’s clear,” he added, “that most blacks have a prejudice against the Republican Party itself (as some whites do) and refuse to even give its platform a fair hearing.” Duke’s advice to his fellow white conservatives suffering under the yoke of black oppression was to “call them out when they’re bigoted. Even if it didn’t win any more converts, it at least might win respect.” We see Duke is going for more of a Bizarro-Malcolm-X than a Bizarro-MLK approach to black racism, which is sure to provoke controversy in klaverns across America.
“Republicans needed more Lee Atwater and less Karl Rove,” said Glenn Reynolds, referring to the author of the Willie Horton ad. (This reminds us of the old James Thurber cartoon of a woman attempting to pitch a bowling ball overhand: “Oh, all right,” says her exhausted husband, “go ahead and try it that way.”)
Not just black folks, either — for can there be any event rightbloggers don’t like that doesn’t eventually turn out to be the liberal media’s fault? Forbid it, almighty God! At PJ Media Sarah Holt denounced the treasonous media who somehow made last summer’s Democratic convention, aka the “abortionpalooza where we were told we belonged to the government,” look better than the “reasonable [Republican] convention, reasonable concentrating on the economy,” possibly through unflattering camera angles.
Here was one of Hoyt’s very few proof-points: “A science fiction editor posted on Facebook yesterday that we must make sure that we voted for Obama, or we’d be back in the fifties with segregation and without women’s rights.” Man, that liberal media will stop at nothing, huh?
Hoyt, who seems to have had a particularly rough night, said of her “neighbors” who voted for Obama that “they deserve what they get, for their blindness, their willful ignorance,” but added that conservatives deserved some blame, too, because they’d “eschewed politics in polite company” and “become what gays used to be: a minority that’s safe to ridicule,” and if there’s one thing conservatives don’t want to be, it’s like somebody gay.
Hoyt urged conservatives who had gay friends (cut to a bunch of rightbloggers looking furtively at one another) to “ask them about the effects of such closeting of who you are,” but we’re not sure why, as she already had an oppression narrative ready: “I came out as a conservative about two years ago,” she bravely announced. “It hurt my income and I didn’t have the room for it to be hurt. It hurt my social standing with my peers. But I sleep better at night.” Shout-outs to George W. Bush, Karl Rove, et alia — we shall overcome!
For added hilarity, Hoyt also lashed out at social conservatives, saying that she’d “have voted for Santorum only because I’d have voted for Satan himself against Obama,” and then explained her anti-social-conservative bona fides thus: “I am, for the record, pro-life (I am an abortion survivor and wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been botched…) and very iffy on contraception due to my distrust of all unneeded chemical tampering with the body.” Way to burn your bridges, lady.
Some went so far as to revive the extreme solution invented after the 2008 election — Going Galt, an Ayn Rand fantasy in which rightbloggers propose to show all those Obama moochers a thing or two by withdrawing their vital talents (e.g. blogging, teaching at state-run institutions) from the market.
“If Obama is reelected, good hardworking people should give up and go Galt,” Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds quoted a correspondent after it became clear that Obama had indeed been reelected, because this event was “a signal that marxist free-lunchism and free birth control for everyone trump economic well-being and prosperity in the minds of the masses.” And how would this Galt-going be effected? “Get a lawyer and a financial advisor,” advised the correspondent, “cash out as much of your assets as you can, and prepare yourself for a nosedive off a cliff.”
We’re guessing that those Instapundit readers who do not already have a lawyer and financial adviser probably don’t have enough assets to sit out the economy for more than a week, but perhaps the correspondent’s message was meant to be more inspirational than aspirational, and to encourage readers to believe that other Wealth Producers were leaving the grid en masse on their behalf, and waiting for the right moment to revive conservatism with a long radio address.
We should note that some of the brethren remained of good cheer. You have to admire Tom Maguire‘s post-election headline: “The Era Of Big Government Is Over.” The New York Times’ exit polls apparently found that most voters think government is “doing too many things better left to businesses,” which led them to vote for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. “Well,” reasoned Maguire, “that is a pebble upon which we can build a new Republican majority.” Any pebble in an avalanche, we suppose.
In a way, we could say most of the brethren were of good cheer, at least after the initial apoplexy. You have probably read, or else surmised using common sense, that most of them insisted no philosophical change would be required for conservative Republicans to wrest power back — National Review‘s Yuval Levin, to give one typical example, admitted “Republicans are indeed vulnerable to attacks that paint them as plutocrats,” but insisted that “the demographics of the electorate have not turned decisively against them.”
In fact, even when the voter groups they’d been counting on to keep them afloat were shown to have bailed on them, rightbloggers showed an eerie calm. Witness Levin’s National Review colleague Andrew McCarthy discussing the exodus of Hispanic voters from the party: He wrote that “Hispanic political activists (think: La Raza) are statists,” just like “Islamists,” and suggested that if conservatives had to adapt to bring them on board, they should just let them go. Better to stay white and right.
So any fundamental changes — like acknowledging that Americans have a right to medical treatment when they get sick, that gay people have a right to get married, or that in fact any rights exist except those a suburban white man would want to exercise (e.g. the right to bear arms and to see his favorite millionaire pay zero taxes) — are basically a dead issue. But as far as strategy goes — i.e., how to get actual people to vote for them — some of the brethren seemed to vaguely understand that typical Republican electioneering wasn’t going to cut it.
Unfortunately their focus was mainly on the “culture war.” No, they weren’t saying that they should stop waging it with their unpopular anti-gay, anti-woman policies, but rather that they should double down and win it, once and for all.
They certainly saw that the American culture with which they were forced to engage wasn’t going their way — “American culture war has been markedly intensified,” diagnosed George Weigel at National Review, “as those who booed God, celebrated an unfettered abortion license, canonized Sandra Fluke, and sacramentalized sodomy at the Democratic National Convention will have been emboldened to advance the cause of lifestyle libertinism through coercive state power, thus deepening the danger of what a noted Bavarian theologian calls the ‘dictatorship of relativism.'” But to the extent that they had ideas about how to turn the tide, they were confused.
“Elections are won and lost in the politics of the moment, but it’s the culture that makes the nation,” said Andrew Klavan at City Journal. “How can we reach out to struggling workers without sacrificing our commitment to free enterprise and individual liberty? How can we speak to single women without losing voters committed to family values and the lives of the unborn?”
How indeed? Klavan had three ideas: First, you need an alternative to the Lame Stream Media. No, another alternative: “How is it possible,” he asked, “that the mind-boggling success of Fox News has failed to spawn half a dozen imitators at least — especially venues for the libertarian young with their antic sense of political incorrectness?… It’s time for others to step up.” His suggested next wave of future Foxies: “Breitbart disciples like John Nolte, Ben Shapiro, and Joel Pollak.” [blink]
Klavan also wanted conservatives to move big into “the entertainment industry,” but not by actually creating art that normal people want to see: “We don’t need more conservative artists,” he insisted. “We need an infrastructure to support them: more funding, more distribution, sympathetic review venues, grants and awards for arts that speak the truth out loud.” Maybe the same people paying for Fox II can step up. Also, said Klavan, “the triumph of science, the comfort of Western life, and a sophisticated elite virulently hostile to religion have all contributed to an intellectual atmosphere of unbelief,” and this must be reversed by “sound argument made publicly, unabashedly, and without fear.” We’re not sure, but we think he means street-corner preachers. Conservatives, pitch in your spare soapboxes!
Sonny Bunch A commenter at Sonny Bunch’s site compared America to wartime Iraq, where “it took a critical mass of verifiable observations, insurgent excesses, and the develop of credible relationships with key communicators in the real power structures to actually change perceptions in parts of the country… For the GOP, we can’t continue to allow every institution (with the exception of the sub-G.O. level armed forces) to be controlled by the left.” The solution is clear: Carpet-bomb Hollywood!
At the Washington Free Beacon, Matthew Continetti advised conservatives “find appealing and attractive spokesmen and women for a conservative economic message that champions the working and middle class” — we understand Lindsay Lohan is available — “a cultural message that speaks to the anxieties of the white working class” — see the Confederates, above — “and a rhetoric that avoids fodder for the comedy ‘news’ shows and blogs that shape the mindset of young people…” OK, now he’s just fucking with us.
“For too long we have ceded Pop Culture to Liberalism,” groused The Last Tradition. “That has to change and the message of conservatism needs to permeate Pop Culture and make it a ‘cool’ thing again to be a conservative.” How, though, to permeate pop when you alienate homosexuals and single women? “We must engage in Pop Culture: books, movies, TV show, social media and everything else,” deadpanned TLT. “There needs to be a counter insurgency of ideas because every subject is political in one way or another. We have to tilt opinion in an engaging way that gets the results we want.” All right, troops, engage! I mean: Be engaging! Soldier, I don’t like your elevator pitch!
Some had tools to offer: Lee Stranahan, for example, had a newsletter. “Are you conservative, right of center or libertarian leaning?” he asked. “Are you an artist, writer, filmmaker, musician, blogger, podcaster, craftsperson or other creative type?… We’ll give you the fuel, the resources and the know-how to keep up the fight for the values you believe in.”
Others had schtick. “We all recoil at the phrase ‘legitimate rape,'” said Sherif Girgis, referring to Todd Akin’s career-ending gibberish at the New York Times. “[Akin] — like Whoopi Goldberg, who notoriously wondered whether Roman Polanski’s alleged sex with a 13-year-old girl he’d reportedly served alcohol was ‘rape’ or ‘rape rape’ — was glib about distinctions in an area where glib distinctions have been used to shift blame (and shame) from predator to victim.” Goldberg was running for the Senate, too, we guess, so zing! But seriously, folks, “what all pro-lifers seek,” said Girgis (“a J.D. candidate at Yale Law School and a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy at Princeton”), “and what Akin’s comments make harder to realize, is a world in which there is finally no zero-sum game between mothers’ needs and those of their unborn children.” Heads they live, tails you whores go to jail. Thanx and try the human veal!
In the end, it was clear what they meant by culture war: The same thing they’ve meant since the days of Pat Buchanan. At PJ Media, Ron Radosh told us that Oliver Stone was turning our children into communists, but fortunately he had a solution:
For your left-leaning friends and associates, I highly recommend a new e-book written by my friend, the eminent historian Martin J. Sklar. It is called Letters on Obama (from the Left):The Global Revolution and the Obama Counter-Revolution…
In Sklar’s view, the Republican have advocated policies that are pro-growth, pro-democratic, and within the American tradition, while the policies of the Democrats have been regressive, reactionary, and, in Marxist terms, counter-revolutionary. I urge readers to purchase his book – which costs only $4.95 – and engage his argument…
Yeah, that oughta do it. So in general, here’s how it will go: Rightbloggers will bitch about the culture, but because actually contributing to culture — that is, devoting oneself to the arts or workaday journalism — is both politcally unrewarding and really, really hard, they’ll continue to just talk about how badly culture needs reforming (sometimes in $4.95 books) and in their off-hours stuff their hands in their pockets and wait for some neo-Murdoch to pay them to play anchorman.
And why shouldn’t they? They’ve seen Democrats — even two-term Democrats — come and go, but the great gravy train that is modern conservatism never ends. At some point Obama will make some weak gesture toward taxing the rich or something, and they’ll all rush the fence and bark like junkyard dogs. But as soon as the outrage has passed, they’ll trot back to their bowls and chow down.
Or so the big-time bloggers will do. The rest do it without kibble. It’s one of the things we find charming about them. Good job, fellas; now, on to the next catastrophe.