I have written at length before concerning Doug Kmiec’s abject abdication of reason in the service of his new idol, Barack Obama. As I explained then, Kmiec has basically thrown away all credibility with the only group that would ever be interested in giving it to him – pro-lifers. Let us be serious for a moment: neither Barack Obama nor his supporters have any use for an individual who wants to amend the constitution to outlaw abortion. I predicted then that after the election, Kmiec would be preaching to a lot of empty pews, as he suddenly found everyone disinterested in what he had to say.
Well, here we go. In the immediate aftermath of the election, Slate decided to host a roundtable of “conservatives” featuring such luminaries as Kathleen Parker, Kmiec, and Christine Todd Whitman (presumably Andrew Sullivan and John Cole were unavailable). You can read the whole exchange here if you are so inclined. What I want to call your attention to, however, is one particular exchange involving Douthat, Kmiec, and Tucker Carlson. Douthat opens up with this salvo which makes the utterly correct point that Kmiec has been a useful idiot for Barack Obama. Kmiec’s response is… well, it’s beyond words, to be quite honest, but then they have never come up with an effective way to communicate uncontrollable sobbing through a computer. The money shot, however, comes from Tucker Carlson (!), who lets fly with this:
Hey, Doug. Toughen up. Seriously. I’ve read suicide notes that were less passive-aggressive. *****But if you are going to blame him, do it directly, like a man, without all the encounter-group talk and Pope quotes. People often attack the religious right, sometimes with justification. But as you just reminded us, there is nothing in the world more annoying than the religious left.
You know, there’s an awful lot of navel-gazing going on within certain sectors of the conservative blogosphere right now about how to get the feckless and unthinking (like Kmiec) back in the GOP camp. It’s really not that difficult. Allow me to illustrate our necessary strategy:
That’s right, boys and girls. There are identifiable reasons why solid voters on both sides show up more or less to any given election, and if we’re going to navel-gaze, let’s navel-gaze about how to improve our side of that particular balance sheet. But I see no identifiable benefit to navel-gazing over losing the crowd Kmiec is currently associated with – well, the key to understanding that crowd is very simple:
They always hate the people currently in power because they have no identifiable set of principles other than vague dissatisfaction with their life, and
They like shiny objects.
This, to me, is completely sufficient to explain the phenomenon. If we’re truly interested in getting these people back, well, the next time around 1. won’t be a problem. Also, the next object we trot out should be shinier than John McCain (although it will be difficult to find one quite as shiny as Barack Obama). This won’t fix the most serious problems we face, but it will sure obviate the necessity for embarrassing exchanges like the one above.