The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

“We’ll Fight Again Tomorrow”

Posted on | November 8, 2012 | 91 Comments

– by Wombat-socho

The post title, of course, is from Michelle Malkin’s morning after column, which was a bright torch amid the gloom of Obama’s victory. Indeed, conservatives must stand tall, resist the siren songs of “moderation” and “compromise” and continue to present America with a choice, not an echo. We must take note of things that went wrong, but keep in mind that there were things that went well; these are both summed up well by Dana Loesch. So, to echo Lenin, what is to be done?

We can start with Bill Quick’s angry post-mortem. As much as I respect Ed Morrissey, Bill is absolutely correct to savage him for the “messaging” nonsense he’s spouting, which is no different from the kind of crap we used to mock Thomas Frank for pooting forth. We’re dealing with people that would rather be hip than smart, and “fairness” has always been an easier sell than the fable of the Little Red Hen, especially if you’re one of the hipsters who wants their bread and circuses for free. Bill also makes the point that we were wrong about the polls and Nate Silver was right; our desire to believe that America was still a center-right nation blinded us to the ugly reality of the polls, and as happens every time you wish away bad news or unpleasant facts, they come back to bite you.

We can then look to Mark Levin, who called for Karl Rove to get off the stage, and linked to this Bloomberg article that openly mocked Rove as “Biggest Super-PAC Loser”. Stacy and others have been saying for years that the Establishment GOP and their consultant pilot fish need to be forcibly retired, and this massive failure on the part of the Establishment calls for not just retirement, but a wholesale application of wooden stakes and decapitations. This is the second Presidential election in a row that we have lost thanks to The Powers That Be anointing a “moderate, electable” candidate who was promptly painted as a soulless monster by the Democrats and the press (BIRM); in the end, they turned out not to be so electable after all. Worse, their much-vaunted ad spending didn’t buy us victory in the places we needed it the most, while Obama’s Operation Narwhal identified marginal voters and got them to the polls.

I think the conflict between the Washington Establishment and the TEA Party needs to come to a head, and we need to make sure the TEA Party wins. We need to build on those populist networks and rebuild local GOP party organizations from the ground up, allying with the Ron Paul libertarians to take power away from Washington and return it to Richmond, Austin, Nashville, Raleigh, Salt Lake City and the rest of the state capitals. We need conservative precinct captains and volunteer cadres who know the territory (and their neighbors) far better than any last-minute PAC-sponsored crew of door-knockers ever could. For too long, we’ve allowed the party of Main Street to be run from K Street, and now in this moment of defeat, we have a chance to reach out to the Stewart Adelsons and Bob Perrys and convince them that they can get more bang for their buck by supporting the little grassroots platoons instead of the big, plush headquarters that spent so much and accomplished so little.

This local emphasis also addresses the problem of culture change. We have a Kulturkampf on our hands and have had for decades, but we’re beginning to fight back effectively. This is another area where we have an advantage over liberals. On balance, we tend to be more polite and friendly, less snarky and prone to hectoring and preaching. We can use those advantages to reach out one on one to disaffected minorities and other people who are getting hosed by the seemingly endless misery of the Obama Depression. We may not change enough minds in two years, or even four, but we have to remember we’re playing the long game. It took the progressives most of the last century to get their hooks into education, entertainment, and news media, and it may take us just as long to take them back or (more likely) supplant them with schools and media of our own. That doesn’t mean we should give up; this is a #WAR, and we are all Breitbart’s soldiers in it.

Once we control the local parties, from townships to state committees, WE will be the ones deciding who the candidates are. We will have the ability to block another “moderate” like Mitt Romney or Stacy’s Crazy Cousin John from the nomination. We will take our government back at every level. It all starts with us, in our precincts and wards, building a political force of extraordinary magnitude, purging the Karl Roves and any other talking head who thinks they can control the party from a K Street office. It starts with you. It starts today.

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  • Tim Jamison

    Agreed with one observation. I have several conservative leaning friends who absolutely hate & fear the Tea Party. I have tried without success to change their minds. This brand name has been so demonized by the MSM that just a mention of it drives squishy, low information conservatives to the other side.

  • Finrod Felagund

    The way you change that is by making sure they’re no longer low-information. Ask them why they hate a group whose motto is Taxed Enough Already, and ask them why they want to pay higher taxes. You’ll find out that they believe crap that’s just not true from the MSM.

  • Adjoran

    second Presidential election in a row that we have lost thanks to The Powers That Be anointing a “moderate, electable” candidate

    Odd, I seem to recall both nominations being settled by democratic primaries. In fact, both nominees had early missteps and fell behind at least once, and had to fight their way back. Some “anointing” those were, eh?

    Neither do I see an alliance with Paulbots or Libertarians as likely OR productive. These people have proven themselves to be unreliable allies time and time again. They will happily share our stage to get THEIR message out but the second they don’t win, they are gone, sitting out the election and bragging about it.

    And the LPers generally want us to get rid of “social conservative issues” and go along with their libertine, anything goes philosophy. I’m not giving an inch on Life issues, period, for anyone, and I am not alone. So it sounds like this new coalition is going to be an assembly of malcontents. Good luck with that.

  • Adjoran

    Well, Dan Quayle was proved right about Murphy Brown, but a fat lot of good it did him or his career.

    Being right doesn’t win the PR war, unfortunately.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    This is the second Presidential election in a row that we have lost thanks to The Powers That Be anointing a “moderate, electable” candidate who was promptly painted as a soulless monster by the Democrats and the press (BIRM); in the end, they turned out not to be so electable after all.

    We need better conservative candidates. Retread losers do not work, be they Newt, Santorum, Allen, Thompson, etc. Newt’s a statist, Santorum (God love him) would have lost if he was the nominee, Allen is sort of statist and establishment, Thompson old and tired. But Mia Love was awesome and she lost. So I am not going to get too hard on losing in this cycle.

    What makes this especially bitter is there was enthusiasm to defeat Obama. Unfortunately Mitt could not close the deal with enough voters. It was close. A combination of bad luck and some over cautious campaigning at the end. Instead of playing like Eli Manning, Mitt ended like Tony Romo.

    Here is another issue: negative campaigning works (if done right) but it depresses the vote. Obama started early and managed to depress voters who may have be persuaded to Mitt to stay home. Given the low turn out, both Democrats and GOP voters stayed home. I suspect we will find that it was out of apathy in the face of relentless ad onslaught. Mitt never got them back. Rove’s campaign seems to have been ineffective. These Super Pacs should spend a few million figuring out why and fixing it.

    Obama at the same time worked its GOTV to identify people who are unlikely to vote but who can be persuaded to get out. It worked. Not big numbers. Just enough to have him win all the important states.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Perry could have won. But that would have required him not melting down in the primaries. So in the end, he was not viable. And Herman Cain could have won, but that would have required him being able to be vetted. So he was not viable.

    Don’t kid yourselves, Newt and Santorum would not have won. They would have performed worse than Mitt Romney did.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    The tea party has been vilified by the left. It is a blood libel and completely false, but unfortunately it has poisoned the well with those anyway left leaning (who might be persuadable to vote GOP).

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  • Finrod Felagund

    Fortunately we’re not going to be running Dan Quayle for anything.

  • Adobe_Walls

    Since in the end we were doomed to loose anyway, I don’t buy the argument that nominating Mitt was the best we could do. Mitt was the most electable, moderate candidate who upon being elected “might” have done some good. Wasn’t it better to have lost running a Goldwater rather than a Rockefeller in 64, given that we lost anyway?

    The GOP is not a conservative party period. It may be possible to capture it and then make one in time. But I don’t see how that can possibly happen in time. We are faced with staggering menu of possible catastrophe’s in the near and long term. I had little hope that we’d avert disaster even if Romney had been elected. He was not the man to drastically shrink the government.

    We can however take some comfort in the knowledge that those who voted for Comrade President will starve to death first.
    The divide in this country is simply too great to bridge and in the end that might be for the best.

  • Matthew W

    “Odd, I seem to recall both nominations being settled by democratic primaries.”

    Bullflop !!!!!

    I live in Illinois and by the time I got to vote , the deal was done.

    Maybe only half of the Republican primary votes actually mattered. (That’s why I HATE New Hampshire and Iowa)

  • Wombat_socho

    Where in the post did I say that Romney was the best we could do? Also, fie on your pessimism, sir.

  • Matthew W

    I suspect that your “friends” aren’t leaning very much towards conservatism if they hate and fear the Tea Party.
    Sound more like mushy headed moderates if they are cowed by the MSM.
    Tell them to grow a set and join us.

  • Matthew W

    Top notch post Wombat !!!

  • Wombat_socho

    You have inserted a comma and a capital letter where they do not belong, making two groups out of one. I disagree with you about the Ron Paul supporters; some of them fit that stereotype, but others have proven themselves willing to do the work on a local level.

    As for being an assembly of malcontents,we have always been the Party of “No”.

  • Wombat_socho

    Especially if you sit around moaning that it doesn’t.

  • Wombat_socho

    Thank you.

  • rosalie

    I like Cain, but I don’t think he was ready or would have won.

  • Matthew W

    I am most proud to be a member of the “HELL NO !!” Party !!!

  • rosalie

    The Left stick together and accomplish their goals that way. We don’t do that because we think (and they don’t). So we can’t use their tactics.

  • Matthew W

    Liberals are Liberals first and foremost.
    They are political 24 hours a day.
    For them, the ends do justify the means as long as THEY get power.

  • slp

    Thank you for your perceptive post.

  • Adobe_Walls

    I’m merely pointing out that we couldn’t have done any worse if we had chosen a more conservative candidate. As for my pessimism, I’ve never been able to distinguish between pessimism and having a strangle hold on reality. As Stacy pointed out in his post “… Conservatives warned that the re-election of Obama would have disastrous and irreparable consequences. In the wake of what happened, it ill behooves us to say now that the future offers anything but a descent into squalor and despair. If our arguments before Election Day were correct, we can scarcely enhance our credibility after Election Day by pretending that we can prevent what we previously said would be inevitable. The re-election of Obama heralds the advent of the post-American era.”

    I submit my pessimism places me in good company.

  • ThomasD

    My disagreement with Quick is always the same. His perverse ability to blame it all on conservatives, while simultaneously pointing out what a big government statist Romney is.

    Quick, with his hatred of all things socon, is useless to conservatives, republicans, and anyone who is truly serious about beating back the nanny state.

    He’s Andrew Sullivan without all the pillow biting.

  • Quartermaster

    Indeed. Your pessimism is very well placed. Christians moved into the GOp in very large numbers in the late 70s and played a very large role in electing Reagan and Bush I. In fact, neither would have won without the various activist Christian organizations that started up in the late 70s. They tried to gain entrance to the county and state committees and got “put in their place” in rather humiliating fashion. All they ever got was a few bones thrown their way and then told to stay away until the next election.

    One of the big problems we conservatives face is the fact that the GOP started as a leftist party and has remained true to that since it was founded. Look at what it does when it’s in power. It consolidates what the Dims passed and entrenches them. The GOP, as just one example, raised social spending about 8% more then the Dims did. It was Nixon that gave us EPA and the NEPA which now haunts the entire country. Some of the most damaging stuff done by FedGov is the result of GOP actions.

    The problem with the GOP is utterly intractable. I used to be in the belly of the beast and know whereof I speak. I wish I could give better news, but the GOP is what it was when Lincoln fought his illegal war, and that Leopard is not going to change its spots just because conservatives want it to. Cain is right to call for a new party.

  • Quartermaster

    I am compelled to say they are not conservatives. They prove that by acting in a knee jerk fashion over the TEA Party. Conservatives are not low info voters.

  • Wombat_socho

    We couldn’t win together, so now we’ll try it separately? What could possibly go wrong?

  • Quartermaster

    BY the by, Ed Morrisey is a notable squish. He’s not a conservative by any lights except those of a stark raving mad leftist. He has pulled Hot Air a long way from what it used to be with Michelle Malkin.

  • Wombat_socho

    I think that’s more than a little harsh. At the very least, he didn’t slobber all over Obama while claiming to be a conservative.

  • Wombat_socho

    I remember him when he was doing the “Captain’s Quarters” blog in Minnesota, and there was no questioning his conservatism then. I don’t read him as often as I used to, but I’m going to politely disagree with you on this.

  • Charles

    First you say you want to present a choice, not an echo, then you echo Lenin asking “what is to be done?”

    What you describe, controlling the local parties, deciding who the candidates are, blocking moderates, purging various figures – that’s all very Marxist-Leninist and not at all conservative.

  • Charles

    Could have done worse, could have lost the House.

  • jsn2

    OK. I give. What is BIRM? This is the 2nd time today I’ve seen the acronym without explanation.
    If I was a hip trendsetter I’d be hangin with Jay-Z and Beyonce` and creatin my own acroynyms, IYKWIMAITYD!!

  • William T Quick

    Hey, TD: The only socons I despise are the ones hell bent to legislate their religious whims into laws that control me. If that shoe pinches your tootsies, keep right on screaming at me. I’ll wear it as a badge of honor.

  • jsn2

    I figured it out – but I repeat myself. I only feel slightly uncool, the digital world is complicated.

  • AngelaTC

    Ron Paul is staunchly pro-life who has repeatedly introduced that would define life as beginning at conception, thus allowing the Congress to craft legislation to protect life without needed to overturn RvW. The GOP will never allow it to be brought to the floor.

    If you speak with Ron Paul people, TRTL is one of the biggest draws in the over-30 crowd.

  • AngelaTC

    Foreign policy is the issue that creates the biggest divide. Spending and life we align on.

  • AngelaTC

    How can you say that when it’s worked so well for the Libertarians and the Greens!

  • Wombat_socho

    No, it’s small-D democratic and quite conservative. I am not saying these people should be taken out and shot -and if you thought I was actually recommending that we cut Karl Rove’s head off, I’d like to introduce you to the concept of hyperbole, since you seem unfamiliar with it- I am saying they need to be replaced as the “leadership” of the GOP.

    And excuuuuuse me for quoting Lenin. I guess I should just flush all that larnin’ Russian and Soviet history down the memory hole so I don’t give people the heebie jeebies.

  • Wombat_socho

    We should move forward on the things we agree on, and leave the rest to be settled later – or at a more local level of government.

  • AngelaTC

    Are they in the city? The TEA Party hasn’t seem to overcome the liberal influences of the major metropolitan areas.

    Pity we can’t repeal the 17th Amendment.

  • Wombat_socho

    I don’t think so either…the constant drip drip drip of sexual accusations was killing him.

  • AngelaTC

    I don’t disagree with you. How is it that they have been able to brand socialism as a happy cheery benevolent form of government, while tainting the moniker “radical” right that believes in personal responsibility and small government?

    We need to do that.

  • Matthew W

    At least while Cain was there, it put CONSERVATIVE topics out there.

  • wg

    Get Robert A. Heinlein’s ebook Take Back Your Government. It is a textbook to how to take back your local political party.

  • Adobe_Walls

    I submit that we and the GOP have not been fighting together at all, except to the extent that we and our principles are cannon fodder for the party. The GOP is not and has never has been the party of conservatives only the party that uses conservatives.

  • ThomasD

    Whims? Yeah sure, whatevs. Way to avoid your silly conflation of candidate Romney with conservatism.

    But since you clearly live in a fantasy world of zombie socons hell bent on…

    What exactly? Taking control of your uterus? Making you wait until noon on Sunday to buy a bottle of merlot?

    So, by all means continue with your badge wearing, they probably match the foil on your head.

    Oh, and that screaming you hear? It’s not me, it’s coming from inside your head.

  • atticusfinchus

    I liked Cain. He had spunk.

  • Orrin

    The first Tea Party group or Super PAC that spends its money on building a modern and effective voter database/targeting/GOTV system, not to mention recruiting WINNING candidates, such that they WIN both primaries AND general elections, will take over for the establishment. Until then, even if they “replace” the establishment, they’ll be just as lame as what we have now.

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