Last week we had an off-year election with three big races — Jersey, Virginia, and New York City. As had been expected, the GOP won in Jersey, and the Democrats won in Virginia and New York.
Or at least that’s how it looked from a simple electoral perspective. In the rightbloggers’ funhouse mirror, it looked different, and very grim indeed: Chris Christie’s win wasn’t so great, because he’s a RINO; Ken Cuccinelli’s loss was even worse than it looked, because it confirmed the moocher and sexed-up women elements of the electorate (not to mention the treason of the libertarians); and Bill de Blasio’s win was the revival of the Mean Streets/ Ramones Leave Home/ Welcome Back Kotter disintegration of a city they love for a couple of years when it’s attacked by Islamofascists and otherwise despise.
Though it had been expected for months, the election of Bill de Blasio as New York’s first Democratic mayor in 20 years hit the brethren hard. They’d loved Rudy Giuliani — at least until he ran for President, whereupon he became a gun-grabbing RINO scumbag — and while they hated Nanny Bloomberg, at least he was a Republican and a rich capitalist. de Blasio, conversely, is a Sandinista, or so we were told based on his youthful enthusiasm for the democratically elected government of Nicaragua. Oh, and he wants to reform stop-and-frisk, a program to which the Fourth Amendment fans of the right usually give special dispensation because it mainly affects black people.
“He’s a Sandinista. He’s communist, I’m telling you, he’s a communist,” analyzed Rush Limbaugh. “New Yorkers, you deserve this Communist for Mayor,” seethed Fire Andrea Mitchell. “de Blasio should he able to turn New York into Cuba really quickly.” “Dem Insider: ACORN Has Been Planning To Elect Communist Kook Bill De Blasio As NYC Mayor Since 2001,” headlined Weasel Zippers. “NYC mayoral candidate De Blasio and his affinity for communist murderers,” headlined Alberto de la Cruz of Babalu.
“The fundamental mythology that fuels de Blasio’s campaign,” said National Review‘s Deroy Murdock, is that “the filthy rich refuse to pay what they should in taxes, and must be shaken down to benefit poorer New Yorkers, whom these dandies have stiffed. It’s a truly touching narrative — worthy of Charles Dickens or perhaps Karl Marx.” de Blasio is communist and literary!
New Yorkers, being communists themselves, gave this communist an almost 3-to-1 victory, which had rightbloggers terrified that a city they’d never live in would be hurled back to the days of squeegee men, loose joints, and cheap apartments. Or 9/11. Or both!
“You’d think the era of the Guardian Angels, Fort Apache and rats on the West Side and bedbugs uptown would be the last things New Yorkers would want to revisit,” editorialized Investor’s Business Daily. “But voting in lefty Bill de Blasio suggests otherwise.” (Wait — the rats and bedbugs are gone?)
“If you have any ability to get out of New York, GTFO!!” counseled The Silicon Graybeard. “Confiscation is coming.” (Can we have your apartment?) “The real middle class will be driven out of the city bit by bit,” prognosticated Walter Russell Mead, “perhaps replaced in part by new waves of immigrants, but they too will head out as soon as they can.” (Same question.)
At Renew America, Cliff Kincaid said “the media whitewash Obama-backed Marxist candidate… still supports the Sandinistas and remains influenced by liberation theology, which was manufactured by the old KGB to dupe Christians into supporting Marxism.” Kincaid then shared with us de Blasio’s action plan for New York: “Cripples the NYPD… dismantles the New York Police Department’s Intelligence Division & Counter-Terrorism Bureau… prohibits the use of undercover operators and informants.” And this is crucial, said Kincaid, because “we have learned terror threats against New York City in the post 9/11 area have included targets such as: The Brooklyn Bridge; Times Square; The Federal Reserve Bank…” All things rightbloggers have heard of!
“For those of us born and raised in pre-Giuliani New York,” said National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg, “[de Blasio] can also conjure images of Charles Bronson in Death Wish, the gritty vigilante flick that symbolized the city in that era… anyone who lived in New York City in the 1970s and 1980s can recognize that while Death Wish may have been a caricature, like any good caricature it captured the likeness better than the subject would have wanted.” Goldberg also mentioned Taxi Driver, The French Connection, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, and Panic in Needle Park, so we assume he spent his New York childhood in movie theaters.
“Remember when subway trains were covered in graffiti, a news hour began with six shootings and everyone who lived in the city had been mugged at least once?” reminisced Daniel Greenfield. “…Bill de Blasio is bringing it back. The muggers are coming back. The squeegee men are coming back. The crazy people randomly stabbing you on the subway, the gangs shooting each other over turf, the race rioters marching through neighborhoods and shouting, ‘Whose streets, our streets’– they’re all coming back.”
Greenfield further predicted the city would go bankrupt, “hundred” of housing projects would be built in Manhattan, and that terrorists would flood the subways with poison gas (“you were downwind when the attack happened. But you still cough a lot. Sometimes blood comes out”). If you try to escape, he prophesied, your plane will be blown out of the sky by terrorists. “You never see the rocket that hits you,” he murmured. “Just the flash of heat that burns you and your girlfriend and your cat in his carrier in the plane’s cargo section and the other hundred and twenty people getting the hell out of Bill de Blasio’s New York City to ash.”
Throughout his essay, Greenfield told the citizens that they have it coming: “…you voted for this. And you’re getting what you deserve… Bill de Blasio is not the New York City you needed, it’s the one you deserved. And it’s the one you got… As the last burning pieces of what used to be you fall into the water, your last thought is of how unfair all this is. But you shouldn’t complain. This is what you voted for.” If you ever went out with this guy, ladies, don’t forget to screen your calls and refresh your restraining orders.
Some of the less-insane rightbloggers flipped over to a no-big-deal POV. “de Blasio is wrong; the city is not yearning for progressive change,” said City Journal‘s Nicole Gelinas. “Rather, his mandate is merely to continue governing the city in pretty much the same way it’s been governed for the last two decades.” Why didn’t the voters go for the Republican stand-pat candidate, Joe Lhota, then? “[Lhota] didn’t bother trying to offer positive solutions for the range of issues people worry about today,” explained Gelinas “– from using technology to help the NYPD communicate better with the public to improving quality of life through better enforcement of noise and other nuisance codes.” Enforcement of noise and other nuisance codes! Say, didn’t Stalin do something like that?
You’d think Republican Governor Chris Christie’s massive win in New Jersey would be a bright spot for conservatives. Yet rightbloggers were at best torn about it.
True, the prospects of a Christie Presidential candidacy had excited many of them in the early days of the 2012 campaign, and some of them remain excited. No less rightwing a commentator than Cal Thomas gushed that the Governor-relect’s victory speech was “the first Christie speech I have seen in several months and it was the first time I didn’t think of his weight before considering his words.” That’s how good it was! Also: “Christie, who had lap-band surgery to lose weight, appears committed to slimming down and looks good. If he can drop another 50 to 100 pounds, he could be in shape for 2016.”
So juiced was Thomas that he offered Christie Presidential campaign advice (though discreetly, by pretending to talk to someone else): “… he might assemble a bipartisan group of advisers …he should focus on what works… he will have to say what he will eliminate and how he will do it, as well as tell voters they must do more for themselves.” America should love being nagged about its responsibilities by Chris Christie.
Thomas also sent a message to his colleagues: “The conservative wing of the GOP will have to decide whether they want purity or victory,” he wrote. “No politician (including the sainted Reagan) is perfect.”
And there’s the sticking point. Though Christie is anti-gay-marriage, anti-abortion, anti-taxes, etc. — pretty much the whole package, wingnut-wise — there are still rightbloggers out there who think he’s a RINO.
Part of that comes from Christie being nice to Obama after Hurricane Sandy, which some of the brethren considered unforgivable.
“Could we arguably say that Christie campaigned for Obama but not Cuccinelli?” said Rush Limbaugh. “Well, I mean, what would you call it when Obama comes to town after Hurricane Sandy and Christie praises Obama to the hilt, one week before the election, after you’ve just keynoted the Republican convention for Romney?”
“Yes, cluster f*cking the nominee of your own party the day of the election when he’s already behind is such a great example of leadership on Christie’s part,” expurgated Some Guy at Red State. “Do me a favor, but don’t do me any favors. In fact, you Chris Christie strike me as a man that can’t be trusted.”
Others had different nits to pick — for example, Christie’s gay marriage record. Wait, hasn’t Christie opposed gay marriage every step of the way? Not quite — last month his administration dropped its appeal against a court ruling in favor of gay marriage.
Some of the brethren offered to be reasonable about it. “Christie is being pragmatic at the moment,” said Matthew Nahum of The American Spectator. “He recognizes the political landscape of New Jersey for what it is, and understands what he can and cannot accomplish… nor does his silence necessarily mean assent or cowardice on the issue.” Ix-nay on the agbashing-fay till we in-way the itehouse-Way, and can start ooting-lay the easury-Tray again!
But others wouldn’t be fooled. “Be very wary of the mainstream media’s new favorite Republican,” scoffed Joseph Curl at the Washington Times. “Christian conservatives react to Christie giving up fight on gay marriage ruling,” howled The Daily Caller. (Surprise — they were against it!)
Cliff Kincaid at Accuracy in Media plumped a lawsuit brought against Christie for signing a law “forbidding licensed professional counselors in the state to ‘engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a person under 18 years of age'” — that is, gay-straightening. “For most of the media, that want to push the Republican Party in a leftward direction, this is a non-story,” declared Kincaid. “But Christie has a lot to answer for, and the suit guarantees that the media will not be able to avoid covering the issue in the months ahead. It seems Christie pandered to the homosexual-rights lobby, perhaps in a bid for liberal votes, and it has come back to haunt him.”
Then there was the question of Christie’s actual governance. Pat Buchanan quoted the Wall Street Journal on Christie’s tough-talking but lame-walking economic record: “New Jersey ranks 49th in the Tax Foundation’s state business tax climate index, ahead of only New York. The state jobless rate is still 8.5 percent, among the 10 highest in the country.”
Jason Pye of United Liberty also noticed that Christie wasn’t really tight-fisted, at least not in the economic sense, but offered some hope of rehabilitation: “Now, one of the most endeared Republican presidents, Ronald Reagan, didn’t have a great fiscal record when he was Governor of California,” wrote Pye. “So what Christie’s view of fiscal policy if he were living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue may not necessarily be a reflection of his record in New Jersey.” Considering the huge deficits Reagan ran up, we must accept the possibility that Pye was being ironical.
Of course everybody in Jersey knew about Christie’s budgets, and they still voted for him — but in rightwing world, that kind of appeal doesn’t matter: the brethren want cuts and nothing but. That’s why, despite their alleged preference for leaders with “executive” experience over the legislative variety, true conservatives prefer Senators who rage, however ineffectually, about gutting the government — such as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, both of whom gave Christie shit this week.
So it was that the only Republican candidate with a record of attracting rather than repelling public affection, even among the minorities and women that the GOP desperately needs, stands in danger of dismissal. Defeat from the jaws of victory, indeed.
In the Virginia Gubernatorial election, GOP candidate Ken Cuccinelli had been badly hobbled by the Republican-led shutdown that directly affected a number of Virginia voters, and by his record on women’s rights as state Attorney General. Yet the race wound up close: After building a hefty lead, Democrat Terry McAuliffe beat Cuccinelli by only a few points and change.
There ensued among rightbloggers a mad scramble for, to coin a phrase, Hope and Blame.
The blame was mostly dumped on the GOP establishment, which had not contributed to Cuccinelli’s faltering campaign in sufficient amounts to please the brethren.
“Yes, Virginia, the GOP Establishment did stick a shiv in Ken Cuccinelli,” wrote American Thinker’s Matthew Vadum. The Party was “stingy” with financial support, and also with a presence on the ground. “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who won re-election comfortably on Tuesday, refused to lift a finger to help his vulnerable fellow Republican in Virginia,” complained Vadum. That RINO! “Even with mountains of cash,” Vadum added, “Christie had no electoral coattails, which is not exactly a resume-builder for a presidential candidate.” Hey, tell Joe Lhota about it! Christie couldn’t even elect a Republican across the Hudson River!
Vadum also hissed a number of other Republicans including Karl Rove (“who nearly lost George W. Bush the presidency not once, but twice,” said Vadum, which is an interesting way to look at it) whose lack of support not only made McAuliffe Governor but put him “in position to secure Virginia for his puppet-mistress, Alinskyite neo-Marxist Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 presidential election.”
“Ken Cuccinelli ‘Stabbed In the Back’ By GOP Establishment,” dolchstoßlegended Star Parker at the Christian Post. “GOP ESTABLISHMENT AND DONORS LEFT THE FIELD,” all-capsed radio shouter Mark Levin. “NOW, NOT ONLY THE LIBERALS BUT THE RINO MOUTHPIECES CONTINUE WITH THEIR MANTRA ABOUT THE DEAD TEA PARTY AND THE RINO FUTURE. ABSOLUTELY APPALLING!”
But for some rightbloggers this was too obvious. What they saw was a dastardly plot to drain votes from Cuccinelli via the Libertarian Party candidate, Robert Sarvis.
Polls indicate that Sarvis pulled at least as many votes from Democrats as from Republicans — which is hilarious for a couple of reasons, not the least being that free-marketers like Arthur Laffer and Steve Forbes had pleaded with Virginian libertarians to vote for Cuccinelli, and libertarian icon Ron Paul actually came to Virginia to tell his fans, “I don’t know whether Ken calls himself a libertarian or not, but I know he’s a constitutionalist, so he’s an ally… The McAuliffes of the world and the Obamas of the world will come and destroy our liberties.”
But this didn’t assuage the Sarvis truthers. They found out a former Obama campaign bundler had contributed $150,000 to the Libertarian Booster PAC, which then contributed $11,454 to Sarvis. (The Democratic and Republican candidates, it should be noted, raised at least $53 million.) Breitbart.com’s Michael Patrick Leahy got the President of the Libertarian Booster PAC to admit, “[w]e probably wouldn’t have spent the $11,000 on Sarvis if we had not received the $150,000 from him [major Democratic donor Joseph Liemandt].” Connect the dots, sheeple!
“There is evidence that most of Sarvis’s 145,000 votes would have gone to Cuccinelli had Sarvis not been on the ballot,” said National Review‘s John Fund. He didn’t offer any such evidence, and even said that “ironically, most libertarians I know in Virginia didn’t vote for Sarvis.” Yet Fund seemed clear that the fix was in: “Lennie Jarratt, a talk-show host whose show airs on Chicago’s WIND-AM, says Democrats in Chicago have used such ‘divide and conquer’ methods for years to plant ringers in GOP primaries and infiltrate Republican organizations with ‘fake Republicans’ who render the party ineffectual,” he wrote. Democrats are bad people, and something bad happened. What else do you need to know?
“But let’s not forget my Libertarian friends, who delivered 7% of the vote to phony-balony Libertarian Robert Sarvis,” said Stephen Green of PJ Media. “Thanks to them, McAuliffe was able to win with a 48% plurality.” At Commentary, Jonathan S. Tobin called Sarvis “a false flag Libertarian candidate that might have taken votes away from the Republicans.” “If you think that Robert Sarvis is an acceptable alternative, here’s a clue,” said Moe Lane on election day, “so does the Democratic party. And they will laugh in your face if they get power… and then the Democrats will do things that you hate. Simply to spite you.”
But in the ruins there was hope: Though Cuccinelli lost among women, some rightbloggers reasoned, he didn’t lose among all women — just the unmarried ones. Or, as Rush Limbaugh put it, “Cuccinelli Won the Wholesome in Droves.” Limbaugh described McAuliffe as “a low-rent placeholder promising people all the sex without consequences they wanted,” whereas Cuccinelli appealed to “married people, people that work, people who are self-reliant and all that.”
Limbaugh added, “to an unmarried single mother, a guy like McAuliffe may be exactly what she’s looking for… They saddled her with a kid. She’s single mother. Probably the husband walked out on her or she kicked him out. Something happened. But she’s owed something, in her mind, and here comes McAuliffe identifying with her. McAuliffe said, ‘Look, if you want to be a receptacle for male semen and not pay a price, I’m your guy.'” (We’re still trying to track down the provenance of that last quote.)
“Evidently the single female demographic doesn’t mind obvious pandering,” sneered John Hayward of RedState. “…They are highly receptive to the notion of government-managed compassion, fearful of the cold terrors of the predatory wasteland that lies beyond the comforting light of Mother Government’s home fire, even when they personally are not much affected by particular policies” — for example, said Hayward, the government shutdown and “the 30, 40, or 50 million people who were supposedly suffering without health insurance,” over whom singletons wept as if the sufferings of other people were meaningful.
Since “restricting the vote to people who are married” was “probably not going to fly,” Hayward suggested “personalizing issues – bringing forth ‘real people’ to talk about how their lives have been directly affected” in ways Democrats didn’t want voters to hear. His first example: “the Kermit Gosnell abortion horror.” If only Cuccinelli had thought of that!
At The Daily Caller, Brittney Morrett suggested a marketing approach. “For years, yogurt has been marketed mainly to one demographic – women over the age of twenty,” she wrote. “One year ago, a stroll down the yogurt aisle would yield nothing but pastels, white, and labels abounding with flowers and promises of better digestive health.”
But lately yogurt companies have been “taking a head on approach to entice men to buy yogurt,” explained Morrett. “Take a look at Dannon. Recently, they started marketing yogurt with more traditionally ‘male”‘color schemes and are calling it ‘The New Protein’… The result? Men are buying yogurt. Same product, different marketing.”
Similarly, Morrett said, “The Republican Party needs to learn how to keep the same product but package it for various demographics.” In this case, they have to go the other way: For example, the next time they want to force women in abortion clinics to be vaginally wanded, they might try dotting the i’s in the legislation with little flowers, and telling the victim that the gel on the wand is probiotic.
Well, that was fun. Now back to Obamacare and Benghazi.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 10, 2013