The Other McCain

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

Rather Harsh, But Hard To Counter

Posted on | January 1, 2012 | 41 Comments

by Smitty

Goldfish and Clowns:

It’s becoming painfully apparent that the conservative movement has learned nothing from, or since, 2008. We continue to eat our own and mount a circular firing squad, not once stopping to consider whether our actions further the conservative cause or merely provide free ammunition to the left. It’s also becoming apparent that we have learned nothing from the 2010 election when we screamed that we wanted non-professional politicians, people who were committed to the ideals of the Tea Party, yet when we got them in the presence of candidates such as Christine O’Donnell or Sharron Angle we ran and hid, appearing only long enough to throw brickbats at them. Why was this?
The answer is it has become more imperative to maintain or improve position within the conservative blogosphere’s echo chamber than to embrace reality. Our commitment is not to conservative ideals, but rather how much credit we get for those ideals. We say we want a revolution, but unless we can assume the position of Washington crossing the Delaware we become quite disinterested.

In musical terms, we are The Ramones, in all their egalitarian glory, but we crave the virtuosity of the Satriani elite.

This is the paradox of American politics, to admire the seemingly effortless performance of the pro, while despising the orders of magnitude more time spent practicing than cranking it out on stage.

And yet, I’m not sure that the GOP nominee is going to be abandoned like O’Donnell or Angle. For all the primary support is scattershot, I anticipate the blogosphere (to the extent that it matters) will turn on a dime and support the nominee. What’s crucial, however, is communicating to that nominee that, in contrast to the cult-like support offered #OccupyResoluteDesk, that nominee can expect to have the hindquarters handed to him, insofar as he deviates from the conservative principles he ran on.


41 Responses to “Rather Harsh, But Hard To Counter”

  1. Anonymous
    January 1st, 2012 @ 11:58 am

    O’Donnell showed her true colors in endorsing someone like Romney.  In the end, they’re looking out for themselves and what they can get out of it.   Romney has no conservative principles and if he should happen to get elected, he’ll do the same thing O is doing.  We elect a conservative and end up with the same thing as before because all they do is follow the leader

  2. herddog505
    January 1st, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

    Problems facing the GOP and “conservatives” that make it hard to present the same kind of united front that the dems do:

    1.  What is meant by “conservative”?  Socially conservative?  Fiscally conservative?  Defense?  Spending?  Welfare?  Guns?  Abortion?  Gay marriage?

    2.  To what extent must a candidate embrace most (if not all) “conservative” positions to be considered authentically conservative?

    3.  Which is more important: winning elections NOW by compromising with “independents” or staying ideologically pure and hoping to draw more and more people to the banner of conservatism?

    4.  What constitutes a “good” candidate?  The dems have MiniTru to shine their resumes and cover up their foul-ups; conservatives haven’t got that, and so must be have HAVE BEEN “perfect” for their careers.

    5.  What’s the most important issue in this election?  Which issues are people willing to sacrifice on in order to get this?

    Conservatives are trying to figure these things out.  Debate is ultimately healthy as it allows people to have their say and eventually agree on something that the greatest number of people can support.

    Unfortunately, while conservatives are having their internal debate, Barry and the dems are ruining the country…


  3. McGehee
    January 1st, 2012 @ 12:38 pm

    It’s also becoming apparent that we have learned nothing from the 2010 election when we screamed that we wanted non-professional politicians, people who were committed to the ideals of the Tea Party, yet when we got them in the presence of candidates such as Christine O’Donnell or Sharron Angle we ran and hid, appearing only long enough to throw
    brickbats at them.

    Pronoun trouble. Both Daffy Duck and Inigo Montoya need to have a talk with the writer about the meaning of the word “we.”

  4. ThePaganTemple
    January 1st, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

    We should only hope that when Mitt’s deal with the establishment goes through and he is the nominee he actually does throw us a few conservative bones here and there. Because when he’s elected that’s about what his conservative policies will amount to. Bones with little meat and maybe some gristle.

  5. EBL
    January 1st, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

    Both sides were wrong on O’Donnell.  

    Castle had to go.  He sucked.  

    O’Donnell was a green candidate who , while conservative, was not ready for prime time.  

    Next time pick a stronger candidate.  

  6. Shawn Gillogly
    January 1st, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

    Agreed. Castle was rubbish. If he was as ‘strong’ a candidate as the Rove elitists claimed, he’s have won nomination. He sucked, he lost. C’OD was torpedoed, but she shot herself in the foot as well.

  7. Shawn Gillogly
    January 1st, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

    Agreed, the ubiquitous inclusive ‘we’ aimed at the reader more than the writer is nonsense.

  8. Shawn Gillogly
    January 1st, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

    More like lots of easily digested fat that can be cut away from his real interests without damage.

  9. Aruges
    January 1st, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

    O’Donnel was a means to prevent the disaster of Castle. Nothing more. She had zero chance of winning the general. I do not usually engage in the “win by loosing” tactic, but in this case it was justified.

    Angle was, sadly, a terrible candidate. She was the best of a crappy field of candidates, but a bad one none the less. We had the eminently beatable Harry Reid and we couldn’t field a proper challenger. I fear that we are headed for a repeat of this against Obama

  10. smitty
    January 1st, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

    I just don’t agree, any more than I think sitting out an election is a swift idea.
    We all have to lead ourselves. That some of us, a tiny few, get on the ballot is a sad existential necessity. But we all need to be in there.

  11. ThePaganTemple
    January 1st, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

    You could have had a conservative candidate on the intellectual level of a Jim DeMint running in Delaware, and he would have lost. A real conservative is not going to win in Delaware. Not in the general, because for one thing its a Democrat state, and for another thing, the Delaware Republican Party is not conservative, in fact they are anything but. O’Donnell did as good as any other conservative could have done, or could have hoped to do.

  12. richard mcenroe
    January 1st, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

    Posted to G&C, awaiting  moderation (I’ve heard that word…)

    I disagree that we are virulently anti-Romney per se. As Melville wrote, “it is the thing behind the mask I chiefly hate.”Romney himself is largely inconsequential, an irrelevant slice of the East Coast GOP club (look at his close business connections with Hunstman, of all people) who is about as significant — and irreplaceable— as any single Big Mac… unless it’s the one being shoved down your throat against your will.The problem is the RNC and the entrenched GOP incumbents in DC who, when told by their party base in a clear, loud, and uncompromising voice what we want, turn around and make a deliberate effort to not give it to us, to the point of actively colluding with the entrenched Democrat incumbents busy looting the country, out of nothing but a desire for comity and mutual profit with their peers.We have to acknowledge to ourselves that the likes of McDonnell and Cornyn consciously believe they have more in common with Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein than they do with the people who keep putting them back in office. Because they do, and they know it. They are all part of one great ghostly Third Party of Incumbency and they will do anything they have to do to protect their benefits for as long as they can keep their aging backsides in those seats, and the future of the country be damned as long as they get theirs.

  13. EBL
    January 1st, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

    Did you say Coulter?  Oh wait hard to Counter.  Nevermind.  

  14. Dcmick
    January 1st, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

    It wasn’t even close.

    And long before the nomination battle, it was clear that Castle was going to go down, and go down hard.  The guy was actually CRYING, crying as if he was somehow ENTITLED to the nomination.

    That s.o.b. 

    For decades he had been pissing on Republican conservatives who had held their nose voting for the jerk, so that he could go down there on Capitol Hill and swan around, and allow his ego to inflate to twice the size of Wyoming.

    And then when he had to come back to lowly Delaware and explain why they should support him being promoted to the Senate, {that’s what it was, a fricken promotion!}, the jerk had NOTHING to say, other than that they were a pack of yokels and idiots who had better damn well shut up and do as they were told.

    Then Rove was running around.

    He THREATENED O’Donnell that even if she won the primary, he would make sure she wouldn’t win the general.

    What a piece of work…..

  15. AngelaTC
    January 1st, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

    Until the word Republican again becomes somewhat synonymous with the word conservative, this trend will continue.  The GOP can’t keep nominating moderates and seriously expect to win.  

  16. EBL
    January 1st, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

    I think a better candidate who was more conservative than the mean could have won that race.  Christine could have won (or at least been competitive) if she did not make so many mistakes.  

  17. Serfer62
    January 1st, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

    Add Boehner…

  18. Dcmick
    January 1st, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

    You’re wrong there.

    What happened is that O’Donnell was obliterated, and she is still in something of a shock from it.

    Her endorsing Romney was a way of trying to rehabilitate her reputation with those who derided her and ridiculed her.  It’s her way of trying to demonstrate some seriousness by supporting the one that those who attacked her presently support.

    Nobody who hasn’t gone through that level of attack can really understand what it’s like.

    Cut her some slack, —————– wish her well, ———- and just ignore her…………

  19. Dcmick
    January 1st, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

    They are sowing the wind………………………… shall they not reap the whirlwind?

  20. richard mcenroe
    January 1st, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

    That would have involved typing Pe – Pelo -P- that woman’s name for symmetry and I’m still slightly queasy from New Year’s Eve…

  21. richard mcenroe
    January 1st, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

    As long as we keep letting these people hide behind the word ‘moderate’ we let them set the terms of the debate and force us to self-identify as extreme.  Remember what the Jesus said about people who were “lukewarm toward Me…”

  22. Anonymous
    January 1st, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

    The idea that either O’Donnell or Angle were “abandoned” is unadulterated bullshit. 

    Angle raised and spent $27 million — $5 million more than long-time incumbent Harry Reid, in a state with a population of 2.7 million. That money came from somewhere.

    O’Donnell raised $7 million plus and spent $6.4 million (almost twice her Democratic opponent’s spending) in Delaware, a state with a population of less than a million. That money came from somewhere, too.

    For purposes of comparison, uber-establishment GOP candidate Roy Blunt, running in a state with a population of 6 million (Missouri), raised about $8 million and spent about $4.5 million in his Senate race.

  23. republicanmother
    January 1st, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

    Would also add, the GOP keeps nominating “bought off” people . Let those who see the same exact donors giving to D’s and R’s on Open Secrets understand.. 

  24. CCR
    January 1st, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    Okay, fine. “We” except for you two.

  25. Charles
    January 1st, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

    Mitt Romney would be the most conservative Republican nominee since Barry Goldwater.

  26. Adjoran
    January 1st, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

    Neither O’Donnell nor Angle were “non-professional politicians,” so the writer doesn’t know what he is talking about from the start.  O’Donnell had run for Senate before and spent years as a political commentator.  Angle had several terms in the Nevada Assembly before her first run for Congress in 2006, and had been a GOP activist from then until running for Senate in 2010. 

    Neither one was inspired by the Tea Party or political neophytes in any way.  They instead sought to catch the wave and ride it into office.  Neither lost because of the Tea Party or because of the dreaded mythical “Republican establishment” or the Trilateral Commission, they lost because they were lousy candidates, as most sober observers attempted to warn the Lemming Conservatives who rode them to defeat in races we could have won.

    Incidentally, the Tea Party Express, Tea Party Patriots, and Freedom Works are NOT the Tea Party.  Nobody elected them, they each appointed themselves in a brazen attempt to coopt the movement and increase their personal influence – and perhaps make a few bucks along the way.  They do NOT speak for the Tea Party; they speak ONLY for themselves.

    If the author wants to see an end to the circular firing squad, the place to start is with the halfwit morons who throw the “RINO” label at anyone who disagrees with them, including people with lifetime ACU voting records, and acting like spoiled three year old brats throwing a tantrum every time something doesn’t go their way.

  27. Adjoran
    January 1st, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

    WHO is shoving Romney down anyone’s throat?  Do you not get a vote in the primaries?  Does not everyone get an equal vote?

    At some point you have to recognize that you are not riding a great big wave of conforming popular sentiment because, if you were, you’d have the votes.

  28. Adjoran
    January 1st, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

    People were warned that O’Donnell and Angle could not win a general election.  The warnings were ignored, and now those who made those stupid errors are in denial because they hate hearing “I told you so.”

  29. Adjoran
    January 1st, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

    Waiter! – I’ll have what he’s smoking!

  30. Jimmie
    January 1st, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

    For all the primary support is scattershot, I anticipate the blogosphere (to the extent that it matters) will turn on a dime and support the nominee.

    The parenthetical is important here. The big bloggers, I am sure, will support the nominee. They’d support a spoiled ham sandwich if it had a Republican stamp on it, I’m quite sure.

    Whether the rest of the conservative blogosphere follows them is another matter, though I’m not sure the thousand smaller voices really matter at all.

  31. Anonymous
    January 1st, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

    As to the “halfwit morons,” wh0 are you referring to?

  32. ThePaganTemple
    January 1st, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

    “We” could not have won Delaware no matter who we run. RINO Castle doesn’t count.

  33. Anonymous
    January 1st, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

    Politicis is not for the faint of heart, for sure. But what it always comes down to is playing the game.   The other thing that disappointed me about her is when she went on Morgan’s show and then walked off.  When you go on a show like that you should be ready for anything, and she wasn’t.  She had a great opportunity to “demonstrate some seriousness” but instead made herself look bad. 

  34. Anonymous
    January 1st, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

    “Does not everyone get an equal vote?”

    Not really. Because of the primary scheduling, candidates that I would support have already been attrited. Early primary voters’ votes are more equal because they have a full field from which to choose. I typically get to select between Candidate A and possibly Candidate B. Not really an equal vote at all.

    This is how an establishment Romney gets “shoved down my throat.”

  35. richard mcenroe
    January 1st, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

    Trouble is, they reap the whirlwind; we live in the trailer park.

  36. ThePaganTemple
    January 1st, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

    Same thing with Nikki Haley, who probably didn’t need to do that. But then again, this is the GOP we’re talking about, so maybe she did need to do that.

  37. ThePaganTemple
    January 1st, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

    The people who made those “stupid errors” were the Republican voters of Delaware, who preferred O’Donnell over Castle by a landslide margin. It was their call, and I did and do support them. Believe it or not, some Republican voters actually want their candidates to represent them.

  38. DaveO
    January 1st, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

    “Conservative” is defined in relation to whomever is around you. Chris Christie is a rock-ribbed conservative compared to the politicians of New Jersey.

    Bloggers and voters (me included) LOVE them some labels: conservative, conservative-lite, and so on. I’ve been reconsidering Rush’s call for adherence to First Principles -those are adequate metrics for determining who is, and isn’t a conservative.

    Secondly, we have to realize that Ordinary Joes going to DC to revolutionize the system is horsesh*t. The Establishment has been entrenched since Lincoln’s reelection in 1864.

    The Establishment knows the people, the places, the organizations (and their updated names) and how the money works to keep DC moving.

    Revolutionaries are good for two things, and two things only: throwing bombs, and being martyrs. We’ve already seen several darlings of the TEA Party endorse Romney, or others who are Progressives. We have our martyrs.

    Until these darlings have seniority, or manage to gain power through en toto replacement of all RINO, and less-than-Absolutely-Conservative congressfolk, we are stuck with the status quo for our lifetimes.

  39. Rethinking Romney | Goldfish and Clowns
    January 1st, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

    […] Thanks to Smitty at The Other McCain for the link. This entry was posted in 2012 Presidential Election and tagged Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Smitty, […]

  40. “We Are the Ramones in All Their Egalitarian Glory…” « Andrew J. Patrick
    January 1st, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

    […] “…yet we crave the virtuosity of the Satriani elite.” […]

  41. McGehee
    January 2nd, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

    …and everybody else in the conservative ranks who didn’t do what your imaginary “we” did.