The Other McCain

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

The Next 1,460 Days: I Still Hope He Fails

Posted on | January 22, 2013 | 28 Comments

If only more people had listened to Rush Limbaugh . . .

My post this morning about how to hate Democrats reminded Andrew J. Patrick of the bitter debate between Jeff Goldstein and Patterico, and Andrew makes a good point:

The Democrats did not respond to getting their teeth kicked in by George Bush in 2004 by embracing civility, by congratulating the President on his re-election. They doubled down on outrage. They fought the President on his second-term agenda tooth-and-nail.
That worked out rather well for them, all things considered.

This is exactly right. You must know your antagonist. You must study his successes, and you must also study your own failures.

One of the great blunders of the Republican Party is that as soon as the 2004 election was over, they began looking ahead to 2008 when they were sure that they would be running against Hillary Clinton. How many anti-Hillary books were published in 2005-2007? So many Republicans bought into the Hillary-as-Antichrist message that in March 2008, when Rush Limbaugh launched “Operation Chaos” — aiming to turn the Democrat nomination fight into an absolute deadlock — his phone lines lit up with dimwit callers who had let themselves be convinced that Barack Obama was actually the lesser of two evils.

Dumb! Dumb! Dumb!

I remember it well: I saw exactly what Rush was doing. It was pure genius, and if enough Republican voters had listened to him — especially in Indiana and North Carolina — “Operation Chaos” may have resulted in such a vicious bloodletting within the Democrat Party that they never would have recovered from it. For want of a nail . . .

Well, there’s no point recounting the history of everything that went wrong the past five years. But it exposed a fundamental problem of the conservative blogosphere: It developed during the Bush years, amid the Global War on Terror, and its accustomed task was to defend the president and the war effort against the Left. As far as fighting elections, conservative bloggers had 2004 as their basic model — the patriotic Republican incumbent vs. the treacherous Democrat challenger — and this proved a poor template for future conflicts.

In general, by 2009, too many Republicans didn’t have any useful memory of how to be the Opposition Party. The experiences of 1964 and 1974 were remembered only by a graying generation of Elder Statesmen types who, unfortunately, were neither tech-savvy nor culturally attuned to the 21st century. The long 12-year Reagan-Bush ascendancy had been followed by a brief two-year loss of power after the 1992 election, but then the latent vigor of the Party Reagan Built came bouncing back with the 1994 “Republican Revolution.” Dole predictably lost in 1996, and the Lewinsky-inspired impeachment drama of 1998 threw the GOP off its game, but by 2003, they were back on top, controlling the White House and both houses of Congress.

Accustomed to success, to acting in defense of power, Republicans (and by extension, many conservative spokemen, including bloggers) were unaccustomed to the task that faced them after Democrats won Congress in 2006 and captured the White House in 2008.

Ah, but Rush Limbaugh knew what he was doing! Rush had risen to talk-radio superstar status during the low ebb of Republican fortunes in the wake of Bill Clinton’s 1992 defeat of George H. W. Bush. In fact, it is now often forgotten that Limbaugh supported Pat Buchanan’s challenge to Bush in the 1992 primaries. Limbaugh knew that Bush was doomed to defeat in 1992, and that the key was to give conservatives a cause worth fighting for. After Bush lost, Limbaugh’s show became the focal point for the Republican opposition that triumphed in 1994.

It should be pointed out, by the way, that Limbaugh is old enough to remember the true Wilderness Years of the GOP, the post-Watergate era of 1974-78, when such eminent figures as William Rusher, publisher of National Review, thought the Republican Party was done for and were ready for Ronald Reagan to lead a third-party movement.

Too many have forgotten that history — if they ever bothered to learn it in the first place — and no one under 40 has any real direct memory of it, so that there is a sort of “Generation Gap” within the conservative movement. If you don’t remember where you were when Saigon fell (I was a sophomore at Lithia Springs High School) or the Berlin Wall came down (I was a 30-year-old sports editor for the Calhoun [Ga.] Times), it’s impossible for you to understand the Cold War mentality, the petri dish within which the post-WWII conservative movement was incubated.

Conservatism was originally and fundamentally about foreign policy: Are we going to stand up to these godless Commies, or not?

Trying to get Americans to listen to conservative ideas on domestic policy has always been much more difficult, and we are really now back to an era that precedes my own birth, which I know only from history books and from tales of old-timers like M. Stanton Evans. We’re back to the Truman era, when the godless Commies who threatened America were clandestine subversives who called themselves “liberals.”

Really, it’s in some ways much worse now. Julius Rosenberg and Alger Hiss were traitorous stooges of Moscow, but today’s “liberals” pursue a Bolshevik agenda of strictly domestic origin. The disciples of Howard Zinn, Saul Alinksy, Bill Ayers and Frank Marshall Davis are most certainly Marxists, and we should not be afraid to call them what they are. Hell, “neo-Marxism” is the fashionable style for young hipsters.

The Sovietization of America is an agenda every patriot should oppose, and when Rush Limbaugh famously said, “I hope he fails,” he was right. That’s why I sided with Jeff Goldstein in his fight with Patterico four years ago. Jeff’s essay “How I learned to stop worrying and love the f-bomb” is worth re-reading today, as we begin the final 1,460 days of this catastrophic Reign of Error.

Are we going to stand up to these godless Commies, or not?

 

 

 

UPDATE: Jeff Goldstein reacts to Andrew J. Patrick, describing Obama’s agenda as “a malicious attack on our individual sovereignty and an intentional plan to undermine our constitutional republic and replace it with an beneficent police state peopled by industrious worker bees, helpfully directed and nudged toward happiness by a permanent ruling elite.” Basically, Sweden, with better weather and uglier people.

 


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Comments

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    He’s failing nicely so far as far as the future of this country is concerned. Of course, that’s a feature, not a bug.

  • http://www.jackiewellfonder.com/ Jackie Wellfonder

    You are on a serious roll today my friend!

  • http://qwertyaltofuori.blogspot.com Red

    Can’t go wrong with a Reagan speech to cap it all off. #WOLVERINES

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-J-Patrick/1525803730 Andrew J. Patrick

    I’m old enough to remember the Berlin wall. I’m old enough to remember most of the 80′s as a matter of fact. Before that…

  • robertstacymccain

    Well, I remember the late ’70s rather vaguely, in flashbacks. Parts of that decade are just an embarrassing psychedelic blur in my mind.

  • Finrod Felagund

    Either Obama will fail or this country will fail. For the sake of the country, I’m hoping it’s Obama that fails.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Busing, the Fall Of Saigon, Solzhenitsyn being put on a plane in the dead of night…memories.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Right now he and his comrades are #WINNING.

  • http://twitter.com/ThatChristyChic Christy Waters

    I was in college when the Berlin Wall fell. It was right after the Tiananmen Square protests. 1989 was an exciting year for those of us who loved America and wanted to see freedom spread around the world. How far we’ve come in such a short time that now freedom is to be mocked, and big govt statism is to be praised and thought of as cool.

    As for me, I hope Obama’s presidency will mirror the crash of the Hindenburg.

  • jsn2

    Obama’s strategy is to stay on the offensive and make the repubs react to what he says and does. All Goldstein is saying is if you’re on defense you are losing, and he’s right.
    Every republican office holder and every pundit/blogger/commenter should just ignore Obama’s next volley and return fire instead. Keep Obama and the left on the defensive, it’ll make the next 4 years go faster.

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  • gahrie

    I love that speech….but I’m sad at the thought that he could give the same speech today……

  • RichFader

    It’s not enough for him to fail. He’s already doing that. He needs to be seen to be failing and pay the consequences for it.

    And my take on Obama v. Clinton was “They *both* sucked.” I think that Op Chaos took up time and votes that might have been better used to pick a better Republican candidate.

  • DaveO

    So long as the press never reports straight facts, it doesn’t matter if Obama succeeds or fails. Without information getting out to all Americans, Obama wins regardless.

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  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    Being cold in Valley Forge, the Whiskey Rebellion. Starting to feel a bit old now, though.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Through the travail of the ages,
    Midst the pomp and toil of war,
    Have I fought and strove and perished
    Countless times upon this star.

    In the form of many people
    In all panoplies of time
    Have I seen the luring vision
    Of the Victory Maid, sublime.

    I have battled for fresh mammoth,
    I have warred for pastures new,
    I have listed to the whispers
    When the race trek instinct grew.

    I have known the call to battle
    In each changeless changing shape
    From the high souled voice of conscience
    To the beastly lust for rape.

    I have sinned and I have suffered,
    Played the hero and the knave;
    Fought for belly, shame, or country,
    And for each have found a grave.

    I cannot name my battles
    For the visions are not clear,
    Yet, I see the twisted faces
    And I feel the rending spear.

    Perhaps I stabbed our Savior
    In His sacred helpless side.
    Yet, I’ve called His name in blessing
    When after times I died.

    In the dimness of the shadows
    Where we hairy heathens warred,
    I can taste in thought the lifeblood;
    We used teeth before the sword.

    While in later clearer vision
    I can sense the coppery sweat,
    Feel the pikes grow wet and slippery
    When our Phalanx, Cyrus met.

    Hear the rattle of the harness
    Where the Persian darts bounced clear,
    See their chariots wheel in panic
    From the Hoplite’s leveled spear.

    See the goal grow monthly longer,
    Reaching for the walls of Tyre.
    Hear the crash of tons of granite,
    Smell the quenchless eastern fire.

    Still more clearly as a Roman,
    Can I see the Legion close,
    As our third rank moved in forward
    And the short sword found our foes.

    Once again I feel the anguish
    Of that blistering treeless plain
    When the Parthian showered death bolts,
    And our discipline was in vain.

    I remember all the suffering
    Of those arrows in my neck.
    Yet, I stabbed a grinning savage
    As I died upon my back.

    Once again I smell the heat sparks
    When my flemish plate gave way
    And the lance ripped through my entrails
    As on Crecy’s field I lay.

    In the windless, blinding stillness
    Of the glittering tropic sea
    I can see the bubbles rising
    Where we set the captives free.

    Midst the spume of half a tempest
    I have heard the bulwarks go
    When the crashing, point blank round shot
    Sent destruction to our foe.

    I have fought with gun and cutlass
    On the red and slippery deck
    With all Hell aflame within me
    And a rope around my neck.

    And still later as a General
    Have I galloped with Murat
    When we laughed at death and numbers
    Trusting in the Emperor’s Star.

    Till at last our star faded,
    And we shouted to our doom
    Where the sunken road of Ohein
    Closed us in it’s quivering gloom.

    So but now with Tanks a’clatter
    Have I waddled on the foe
    Belching death at twenty paces,
    By the star shell’s ghastly glow.

    So as through a glass, and darkly
    The age long strife I see
    Where I fought in many guises,
    Many names — but always me.

    And I see not in my blindness
    What the objects were I wrought,
    But as God rules o’er our bickerings
    It was through His will I fought.

    So forever in the future,
    Shall I battle as of yore,
    Dying to be born a fighter,
    But to die again, once more.

    —George S. Patton

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Through the travail of the ages,
    Midst the pomp and toil of war,
    Have I fought and strove and perished
    Countless times upon this star.

    In the form of many people
    In all panoplies of time
    Have I seen the luring vision
    Of the Victory Maid, sublime.

    I have battled for fresh mammoth,
    I have warred for pastures new,
    I have listed to the whispers
    When the race trek instinct grew.

    I have known the call to battle
    In each changeless changing shape
    From the high souled voice of conscience
    To the beastly lust for rape.

    I have sinned and I have suffered,
    Played the hero and the knave;
    Fought for belly, shame, or country,
    And for each have found a grave.

    I cannot name my battles
    For the visions are not clear,
    Yet, I see the twisted faces
    And I feel the rending spear.

    Perhaps I stabbed our Savior
    In His sacred helpless side.
    Yet, I’ve called His name in blessing
    When after times I died.

    In the dimness of the shadows
    Where we hairy heathens warred,
    I can taste in thought the lifeblood;
    We used teeth before the sword.

    While in later clearer vision
    I can sense the coppery sweat,
    Feel the pikes grow wet and slippery
    When our Phalanx, Cyrus met.

    Hear the rattle of the harness
    Where the Persian darts bounced clear,
    See their chariots wheel in panic
    From the Hoplite’s leveled spear.

    See the goal grow monthly longer,
    Reaching for the walls of Tyre.
    Hear the crash of tons of granite,
    Smell the quenchless eastern fire.

    Still more clearly as a Roman,
    Can I see the Legion close,
    As our third rank moved in forward
    And the short sword found our foes.

    Once again I feel the anguish
    Of that blistering treeless plain
    When the Parthian showered death bolts,
    And our discipline was in vain.

    I remember all the suffering
    Of those arrows in my neck.
    Yet, I stabbed a grinning savage
    As I died upon my back.

    Once again I smell the heat sparks
    When my flemish plate gave way
    And the lance ripped through my entrails
    As on Crecy’s field I lay.

    In the windless, blinding stillness
    Of the glittering tropic sea
    I can see the bubbles rising
    Where we set the captives free.

    Midst the spume of half a tempest
    I have heard the bulwarks go
    When the crashing, point blank round shot
    Sent destruction to our foe.

    I have fought with gun and cutlass
    On the red and slippery deck
    With all Hell aflame within me
    And a rope around my neck.

    And still later as a General
    Have I galloped with Murat
    When we laughed at death and numbers
    Trusting in the Emperor’s Star.

    Till at last our star faded,
    And we shouted to our doom
    Where the sunken road of Ohein
    Closed us in it’s quivering gloom.

    So but now with Tanks a’clatter
    Have I waddled on the foe
    Belching death at twenty paces,
    By the star shell’s ghastly glow.

    So as through a glass, and darkly
    The age long strife I see
    Where I fought in many guises,
    Many names — but always me.

    And I see not in my blindness
    What the objects were I wrought,
    But as God rules o’er our bickerings
    It was through His will I fought.

    So forever in the future,
    Shall I battle as of yore,
    Dying to be born a fighter,
    But to die again, once more.

    —George S. Patton

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Unfortunately, we’re all passengers on that ship — but we deserve to be, for we have failed to pull our shifts on the bridge of Liberty.

  • http://twitter.com/1389 1389

    If Obama is doing all he can to make the US fail, then it behooves us to hope that Obama fails instead.

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  • Esau’s Message

    Americans are not truly uglier than Swedes. Just one helluva a lot fatter.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    I’ve never seen that, but it’s good. I find myself startled that I got almost all of the references. Of course, I’ve read several stories involving The Eternal Warrior.

    When I was young, I used to wonder how a man in the front line of a roman block formation could stand and face what was most likely his death, just by the very finality of his spot on the battlefield.

    As an older guy, who has seen the tomb of the Unknown in three different countries, and spoken at length with old soldiers, and can see our country dying, I no longer wonder how they did it.

    You just do it.

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