Back in the primordial slime. Back when I was an infantry captain, chomping at the bit to get command of my first company. Back when I weighed 155 lbs, had a full head of hair and thought beer was food, I was packed off to Fort Benning, GA, for the 6-month-loooooong Infantry Officer’s Advanced Course. This was during the height of the Cold War. The Soviets were chasing us out of Africa and Central America. The West Germans were looking wistfully at the USSR for cheap natural gas and a warm fuzzy feeling of security. The Nuclear Freeze movement was agitating for surrender. I’d just returned to the States from
three years of debauchery a tour in West Berlin.
One of the first things that was obvious in the course was that large swaths of the US Army did not believe we could beat the Soviets. They really didn’t. It wasn’t textbook defeatism, but it was within spitting distance. The intelligence community was firmly in that camp. We received SECRET/NOFORN (which meant none of the Allied officers in our class could attend) briefings on the Red Army. We were shown what could only be described as a Soviet propaganda video of a Soviet river crossing operation.
Cue the music, maestro.
Artillery is bombarding the hell out the opposite bank of a river. Then the smoke rounds pop. The BM-21 rocket launchers ripple fire 122mm rockets by the dozen. Smoke generators crank up on the near bank. Then the T-62 tanks with snorkels emerge from the near-side smoke screen running flat out, firing main gun and coaxial machinegun as they move.
They hit the river, submerge, emerge on the far bank and charge ahead, still firing.*
This, the intel weenies told us, was how the Soviets operated. They could ford any river in Western Europe from column of march. They were ten feet tall. They could run at a hundred miles an hour. They were made of pure titanium. They had balls of cold forged steel.
For some of us this didn’t ring true. I’d interacted with the Soviets in Berlin in official duties. I’d shopped at their equivalent of a PX at Alexanderplatz in East Berlin. I had transited the Berlin-Helmstedt autobahn and encountered checkpoint guards who were obviously drunk, unshaven, and probably hadn’t bathed in recent memory. I built up a collection of Soviet militaria trading with the checkpoint guards. I was always conscious of the fact that what I was seeing was the cream of the crop: their public face to the Allied brigades in West Berlin.
After one of these diatribes, a friend of mine who had come from the 82d Airborne stood and said, “If half of what you are telling us is true we should just pack our sh** and get off the battlefield. We can’t do what you say they can do. We’re never going to be able to do it. I don’t even understand why we are here.”
His point was that the people who were providing intel to the field army were so enamored with their subject that they were creating a narrative that said the US Army couldn’t win. That narrative was being distributed to the officer corps who would undoubtedly send that message to their units. I don’t know how well we would have done had we been called to the task, but when I look at the US Army’s performance in Desert Storm versus the Russian performance in Chechnya I think we would had done well by our nation.
So what does this have to do with the current political campaign? Everything.
There is an air of defeatism that hangs over the GOP like a miasma of stank.
On the one hand, we have establishment types who are preaching that we can’t win unless the most pliable possible candidate is on the ballot. On the other, we have people who were joined with Bob Dole in screaming “where is the outrage?” as the media ignored Bill Clinton’s failures in 1996. We have people who are still demoralized of the failure of the Clinton impeachment vote. There are people who still can’t believe that Obama was able to win two terms. Others, ignoring the way the media landscape has shifted forever, complain about the mainstream media, their failure to cover the Clintons, and are convinced that the Clintons can’t be beat.
For heaven’s sake, take a deep freakin breath people.
This is not 1992 or 1996.
Keep in mind that in 1992 and 1996 the only source of news available to most people was via one of the major newspapers or news magazines or network news. That isn’t the case. Ask yourself, who do you know under age 70 that actually depends on one of the big three broadcast networks or CNN for news? Twitter, Facebook, and political websites actually drive the news cycle. Network and newspaper dominance ended on January 19, 1998 when Matt Drudge broke the Monica Lewinsky story, a story Newsweek had sat on for some time and eventually spiked.
Hillary Clinton is not Bill Clinton.
I don’t think even Bill Clinton could survive a media era like this. Gawker and TMZ may be left-wing but they are all about the eyeballs. There is no way they would have covered for Clinton the way the White House press corps did and Monica Lewinsky would probably be one of dozens of women that we would know about. Be that as it may, Bill Clinton was liked by just about everyone. In fact, being liked was virtually a religion with him and his likability led people who were his political opponents to help him. There is nothing likable about Hillary. Nothing. The media dropped her like a bad habit in 2008 and she is a worse candidate now than she was then.
Hillary Clinton is not Barack Obama.
Barack Obama, though not likable, has always been able to mimic intelligence and project an aura of “cool.” That, along with his melanin — and I am going to say it, the only reason a substantial number of people voted for Obama was because voting for the first black guy to run for president was cool and self-validating — and his sharply creased slacks was enough to tingle many a leg. Hillary Clinton is not Barack Obama.
Hillary Clinton is a very weak candidate.
Hillary Clinton will carry the Democrat base. Fine. We know that. But even if she carries all registered Democrats, which is unlikely, that still leaves 70% of the electorate up for grabs. Hillary Clinton has health problems. She, as Trump would say, is “low energy.” While she was Secretary of State she missed scheduled phone calls to heads of state because she was napping. Her email server. The FBI investigation. Clinton Foundation sweetheart deals with State Department. Benghazi. The lies about the video to the families of the dead. Libya. Syria. The rise of ISIS. The list goes on and on. This is not to say she can’t win, but she is a very weak candidate who is prone to gaffes, who cannot accept bad news, and is very slow to respond to attacks.
Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) are not on the ballot.
This is important. I think Trump, Cruz, Rubio, and Christie can all beat Hillary. The polls show that even though Trump is the weakest he is still within the margin of error. All four of them are fighters. All four of them are hungry for the job. All four of them think on their feet. Only one of them, Rubio, could even be remotely accused of possibly letting Clinton win out of decorum and I think Rubio is hungry enough that he would not let that happen.
There is a conservative media now.
We aren’t big but we are out there and we are successful in defending our candidates. The beginning of that happened in 2004 when conservative media kept the Swiftboat Veterans alive. Conservative media destroyed Dan Rather’s bogus documents. The media monopoly that allowed Bill Clinton to shuck and jive his way through eight years is simply not there.
Any fight for the presidency is tough.
There are very few easy presidential campaigns. Probably the last one was Bush in 1988. But just because something is tough doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Too many people are looking at a woman with 100% name recognition who is running behind or only slightly ahead of candidates with 30% name recognition and somehow panicking. That is not a sign of strength, it is a sign of weakness. If Hillary was a strong candidate she should be beating any Republican by at least 10 points at this stage of the game. Tough is fine. We will win a tough campaign because we are tougher.
Yes, we are the stupid party.
I am well aware that the RNC is like a veritable black hole when it comes to attracting stupid. I know that most of the GOP consultant class could qualify as a criminal class. I know the establishment types who think they know better are nothing more than leeches. None of that means we can’t win. None of that even means we have to pay attention to them. Super PACs give candidates a way around the RNC. Conservative media can get the word out and run interference. Just because we have been stupid in the past doesn’t mean that we have to stay that way.
None of our candidates are as bad as Hillary.
Really. They aren’t.
Stop f***ing whining for Heaven’s sake.
Do you f***ing like to lose? Because just like quitting is a habit, losing is a lifestyle choice. If you think Hillary can’t be beat and that every possible break will fall her way then for Heaven’s sake, STFU and never post here again. RedState is a site for winners and if you can’t stand the thought of winning, well go piss and moan some other place because winners don’t want to hear your sh**. As one of my old bosses used to say, “we’re sitting around waiting for the other shoe to drop and maybe we’re fighting a one-legged man.” Hillary Clinton is tired, sick, incompetent, mentally rigid and deeply unpopular old woman. She is not ten-feet-tall, she doesn’t run a hundred miles an hour, she’s not made of titanium, and she damned sure doesn’t have balls of cold-forged steel. Man up and stop liking to lose.
*After the fall of the USSR we found this was filmed at a dedicated river crossing site. The river bottom was concreted like a highway. There was Jersey barrier underwater so the tanks couldn’t get off the correct path, and there were permanent markers showing the flanks of the crossing site off camera. So it was staged in every particular. Surprise, right?
Image credit: DonkeyHotey via Flickr Creative Commons