Monday, July 21, 2008

Enjoy Your Time in the Wilderness

Patricia Cohen details how the conservative movement is trying to reform and reorganize itself in advance of a Fall debacle at the ballot box. At the end of the article--which ought to prove that I read the whole thing, right?--is a gem from Megan McArdle:
Indeed, to Ms. McArdle, the possibility of a Republican defeat holds a certain romantic appeal. “Younger people are kind of excited about being in the wilderness,” she said, evoking the pre-Reagan years when Republican thinkers plotted their revolution at nonprofit organizations and in bars instead of in the Executive Office Building and congressional majority offices. The longer you’re in power, the more you want to preserve it. “That’s where the Republicans are right now, and it’s demoralizing for think tankers.” Desperation has a way of focusing the mind. As Ms. McArdle said, “When they’re out of power, they have to think in a clearer way.”

When the Republicans were out of power in 1993, they turned, in desperation, to a bomb-throwing backbencher named Newt Gingrich, who favored destructive personal politics and overwrought lunacy diguised as public policy as his means of getting things done. How'd that turn out?

Young people are "excited" about being in the wilderness? Which young people? Because the only enthused, motivated and active young people who are actually accomplishing anything in this country support Barack Obama.

You mean to tell me that a group of people--young conservatives--who can't be bothered to join the military in order to help fight the war they enthusiastically support are, all of a sudden and out of the blue, going to enjoy "adversity?"

Adversity is the one thing that modern conservatives cannot stomach or stand. If they believed in it, they wouldn't have rolled over for George Bush and they certainly wouldn't have rolled over for John McCain. If adversity was something conservatives in this country as a whole could take, they would have nominated Senator Sam Brownback on principle and rejected the likes of McCain and Romney out of hand. Instead, they rolled over and took it.

There's a dirty little secret out there that the media refuses to reveal or discuss--at some, but not all of the McCain events, there are empty seats and people are packed in close to the candidate to ensure that all of his campaign event visuals show supporters, not empty seats.

[judge for yourself--is the crowd being prevented from seating themselves in the top 8 or 9 rows of the bleachers? this photo was taken prior to a John McCain event in Kansas City, MO on July 17, 2008 --hat tip to Show Me Progress.]

You can see the effects of being in the "wilderness" now. And that means empty seats and indifference, and that's not necessarily the best place to be in American politics.


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