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Conservatives shouldn’t take McCain’s defeat personally.
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Ideologues tend to see election results in ideological terms. Right now, “progressives” are congratulating themselves on the triumph of progressivism. But Obama will be the next president because millions of non-ideological “swing” voters — those I call the Ordinary Americans — saw him as the superior candidate. A vote for him was not, in the eyes of those key voters, an endorsement of any ideology.
Yes, “Bush fatigue” was part of what happened Tuesday. Yes, Republican “brand damage” is a real phenomenon. But if you’ve ever talked to a true independent voter, you know their mantra: “I don’t vote for the party. I vote for the man.”
Good candidates win elections, and bad candidates lose. John McCain was a bad candidate and he lost. Those who try to put an ideological spin on this election will miss that basic point.
Don’t blame yourself, and don’t listen to the pundits who are trying to spin Tuesday’s result as demonstrating the failure of conservatism. The only failure of conservatism in this election cycle was the failure to produce a consensus alternative to McCain.
Last night, at an Election Night party at the National Taxpayers Union in Alexandria, Va., none of the conservative activists were in tears over McCain’s defeat — although some of them were among the same Romney supporters who’d cried when their candidate quit in February.
What I saw last night was a clear-eyed determination to move
forward with the conservative agenda in the Obama era. As Paul
Jacobs of Citizens in Charge told me, “We’ve got ‘em right where
we want ‘em.… There is no way that Obama and the Democrats can
live up to expectations.”
Dry it up and move forward. We’re at rock bottom, with nowhere to go but up.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?