The Other McCain

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

A Couple Things Wrong, Jim Antle

Posted on | April 11, 2012 | 61 Comments

Jim Antle of the American Spectator gets almost everything right in this column about the 2012 campaign. His two most glaring errors:

Yet if Santorum had done just a bit better in Michigan and Ohio, we could be having a very different discussion right now. Santorum showed future conservative contenders how to go hunting where the ducks are. As the New York Times columnist Ross Douthat observed, a Republican like Bobby Jindal could take the Santorum coalition — Southerners, Midwesterners, evangelicals, Catholics, and Reagan Democrats — and build on it.

  1. Error: Never quote Ross Douchebag.
  2. Error: Bobby Jindal zigged when he should have zagged.
    I remember the Sept. 13 CNN Tea Party Express debate in Tampa, encountering Bobby Jindal as he exited the CNN tent outside the auditorium. Jindal had endorsed Rick Perry and was appearing on CNN as a Perry surrogate along with Objective Political Analyst Erick Erickson.

The Perry campaign was a predictable disaster — “The Phantom Menace” — and the way Jindal climbed aboard that bandwagon irritated me at the time. I’ve always liked Jindal, but Ross Douchebag’s idea that Jindal “could take the Santorum coalition” is based on the presumption that Santorum has no future plans for that coalition.

It’s one of those ideas Ivy-educated Boy Geniuses get, like “Tim Pawlenty, Conservative Alternative to Romney,” or “Second Look at Newt.”

Pundits like to think up clever ideas that impress their peers as “counterintuitive,” but are actually just counter to common sense. The really genius ideas, however, are always the kind of common sense things that seem stupid to people who think of themselves as clever.

What does common-sense genius look like? I remember when Steve Foley called me on Election Night 2010 and said, “Whaddya think about Herman Cain?” That was a genius idea. I remember when Lisa Graas said to me in August, “Hey, while you’re in Iowa, do you think you could go check out Rick Santorum?” That was a genius idea.

Now, here’s another common-sense genius idea: Rick Santorum spends the next four months working on his convention speech. And I mean honing it ’til it shines: Every word, every pause, the whole thing committed to memory and rehearsed until it is absolutely perfect.

So that when Santorum gets his primetime moment in Tampa, millions of Americans will say, “Damn. Why didn’t Republicans nominate him?”

Yesterday, somebody started the “Rick 2016? Facebook page.

Common-sense genius, you see.


61 Responses to “A Couple Things Wrong, Jim Antle”

  1. PhillyCon
    April 12th, 2012 @ 11:29 am

    All I know that Santorum was supposedly “done” after his PA loss.  

    I believe he is the type of politician who doesn’t let the CW affect his plans. 

    I have also studied and experienced enough in politics to learn that nothing is ever etched in stone … Mark Twain non withstanding.

  2. Pathfinder's wife
    April 12th, 2012 @ 11:32 am

    That’s pretty much the way I’m seeing it — however we ride out (or recover from the crash) the next decade will determine what America looks like afterwards.
    But things are not going to go back to the way things were, that I’m pretty sure of.  Rubicon got crossed a while back, probably  in  ’08, maybe sooner.

  3. Pathfinder's wife
    April 12th, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    I’d like to have your level of assuredness — but I just can’t.  

    The rational and common sense stance would be exactly as yours, but I don’t think common sense or rationality even in small amounts is the order of the day anymore.

  4. Pathfinder's wife
    April 12th, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

    Uh, no.  I can honestly say some of the things Santorum said were right, and maybe they needed to be said.  I think they hurt him politically but I could feel where he was coming from, and I admired somebody who had the guts to come out and say them (when he probably knew they’d be used against him).

    Nonetheless, I can see where he’s wrong, or where he screwed up even when he might have been right — and one does not worship an idol in any way but blindly.  Respect on the other hand, is anything but blind.  

    And there’s probably an interesting analogy to what’s going on politically in this country right there.

  5. daialanye
    April 12th, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

    This is what passes for wisdom when one is befuddled by his own biases. Kasich? A believer in AGW. Daniels? Human sleep aid. McDonnell? Looking more RINOish every week. Jindal? Maybe, but he’s beclowned himself a fe times. Scott? I can hardly take that one seriously.

    When evaluating Santorum we need to consider other factors. What if he had correctly been announced the winner in Iowa? More importantly, what if Newt’s ego had allowed him to withdraw before Michigan? Santorum taking Michigan and Ohio, which he easily could have, would have lead to all the pundits asking when Mitt was going to withdraw.

    It’s a fact that a person can learn more from failure than victory… if he’s capable of learning at all. Rick is a pretty bright guy who should be a better candidate down the road than he is now.

  6. daialanye
    April 12th, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

    Gods vs saints. Excellent point.

  7. daialanye
    April 12th, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

    K-Bob is quite correct that Santorum was less skillful at avoiding or countering antagonistic questions than he could have been. This is perhaps a flaw of honest politicians, and those who tend to give excessively detailed answers.

    Reminds me of a salesman I once worked with. One of his customers said, “Joe is a nice guy, but you have to interrupt him to give him an order.”

    On the other hand, Stacy is absolutely correct when he points out the advantages Santorum will have the next time around. He’ll have name recognition to start with, and almost certainly an improved presentation.

  8. daialanye
    April 12th, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

    The Arizona debate was Santorum’s worst, after he took his wife’s advice to smile more. The fact is, “mean Rick” was more effective than “warm and friendly Rick.”

    I blame Karen! And Santorum for taking her advice too seriously.

  9. K-Bob
    April 12th, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

    Ahh, that’s all pretty much in “hypercritical” territory. I’m not gonna be looking at nose hair and liver spots when I choose who to vote for. Especially if it’s some politician.

  10. K-Bob
    April 12th, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

    That was the beauty of his technique. He managed to state his case without causing “moderates” to feel like he was going draconian, and his likeable nature made the typical, anti-conservative screeds seem out of place. It might be more of a fight nowdays due to the Democrat/Media complex, but it’s still the way to go.

  11. ndrose
    April 12th, 2012 @ 10:31 pm

    Do you really think Romney will make the same mistake that Ford did when he let Reagan speak in ’76?  If they give Rick a speech it will be at noon on  a Thursday 😉