Find Equipoise, Move On, Refocus.
Tomorrow — or I guess today — comes the cleanup; when thousands, perhaps millions, of right-wing heads explode, it makes quite a mess. Also, notice that the polls were right. I wonder if I can get invited when Nate Silver is sworn in as president? OK, somewhat more seriously: one big thing that just happened was that the real America trumped the “real America”. And it’s also the election that lets us ask, finally, “Who cares what’s the matter with Kansas?”
– Paul Krugman just being his lovable self. (HT: NYT)
I admit defeat. To the extent that I proudly wear the vaunted jersey of Team Conservative and represent the hopes, dreams and values of our movement, I just got bread-trucked. And then the truck backed-up and did a few doughnuts on my meticulously-manicured lawn. I suck the odious dregs of vituperation and defeat through a sipping straw and hereby congratulate President Obama on his victory.
I do that to clearly and completely disassociate myself from the debasing and auto-beclowning conduct displayed by Mr. Krugman above. I hate doing it. But I choose to lose in the matter that befits a gentleman.
Given that George W. Bush (Election 2004) is the only Republican nominee since his father in 1988 to crack 50% of the national popular vote in a Presidential Race, we obviously need to nominate Jeb next time if we want a prayer.* I joke, but in a serious vain; we have a problem here on the Right. We haven’t lost properly lately, and until we figure out how to do a good, hard and unpleasant After-Action Review we and America are not going to be any better off in the 2016 Election four years hence.
Back when college football (and the wide world of sports in general) still had a modicum of dignity and class, a famous Alabama Head Football Coach issued the perfect description of how to win properly.
I always want my players to show class, knock’em down, pat on the back, and run back to the huddle.
We regrettably have fewer like Bear Bryant and many more like Chris Matthews. He thanks Hurricane Sandy in the rather evil and provocative quote below. Never let a disaster go to waste, Christopher.
“I’m so glad we had that storm last week because I think the storm was one of those things. No, politically I should say, not in terms of hurting people. The storm brought in possibilities for good politics.”
As aggravating and hateful as Matthews can typically be, he is no better for his own than he is for America. You can see the fundamental decline in people when they no longer know how to even succeed. If a winner even needs to gloat, they fundamentally devalue their own victory.
This level of bile and contempt from people like Matthews and Krugman particularly grates. These people have many times the net worth of most of the dreaded 1%. They have success, prestige**, and a bounty of all that life in modern America has to offer. They don’t have the equipoise to live a happy life in their own blessed skins. Woe betides any society that vaunts and honors those who dishonor themselves.
It brings two things to mind that need to be thrashed out by intelligent people. We live in a nation governed by a leadership that routinely chalks up $1.5Tr in annual deficits and has failed to even pass a budget for three consecutive years. This is not a random, stochastic result. This is the deterministic result from the failures on both the right and the left.
Both the American Right and The American Left have lost their gallantry. The Left, as Dr. Steinberg explains in pain-staking detail, has become almost a secular version of The Spanish Inquisition. In a paper entitled “Purifying the World: What The New Radical Ideology Stands For” we see how and why Krugman welcomes not having to care what’s the matter with Kansas and Chris Matthews is thankful when a (expletive-deleted) hurricane makes people see things his way. If they stand in the way of The Purification, Staten Island can sink and Kansas can burn in a prairie fire. The left cares now about perpetuating an ideal. A dying America is acceptable collateral damage.
The Right stands not blameless. We are not sufficiently introspective. When you go on a run of elections from 1992 through 2012 and your popular vote total only cracks 50% once, you are lucky if your party even continues to exist.
We are close to completely conceding our country to a party that has not even bothered to pass a budget in the last three years. We have to grasp the nettle, not back down. We need to make our leadership actually put forward a painful path that will legitimately and ferociously reduce government spending and simplify the tax code so that it raises revenue rather than fosters corruption.
It’s quite possibly the path to the next Goldwater Election. Then again; Ronald Reagan was what climbed out of that flaming pile or wreckage. The hard truth will save us, the soft sell will ease us down the road to perdition. We cannot concede victory to those who have no clue how to behave when they’ve won.
*- I jest, but sometimes you just have to.
**- Yep, outside my world, and for reasons I admit to not understanding; Chris Matthews and Paul Krugman both enjoy a certain prestige and glamour.