Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Random Observations

1. Let me echo the Voegeli comment below: The Republican party has suffered from an IQ and competence gap since Clinton’s humiliating defeat of Gingrich in 1995. Although there are a lot of reasons McCain lost, a big one is that he gave us no confidence that he wouldn’t perpetuate the Republican "culture of incompetence." Let me repeat we’re not talking about high conservative principle--or whether Russell Kirk or Strauss or Reagan or Gerson should be our guide--but ordinary getting the bleeping job done. That "culture of incompetence" showed itself in so many ways in McCain’s "seat of the pants" disorganized and random (especially in terms of message) campaign. I like McCain as a person, but God knows he didn’t convince enough people that he could be a capable chief executive.

2. I’m very immnune to Obama’s seductive charms and so have a lot trouble sitting through TV right now. But I gotta say I really admire the choice of Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff. It was a very partisan choice; that guy is admired for his ruthless effectiveness for Democrats and their issues but not particularly liked. More than anyone else he was responsible for the Democratic 2006 landslide, which set the stage for everything that happened this year. The appointment is a clear sign tht Obama wants to get things done fast, and even that he wants to use this really tough and smart guy to make sure they get done his-as opposed to, say, Barney Frank’s--way. I don’t know what that means in terms of actual policy agenda. Republicans will be mostly stuck with sitting back and watching.

3. I still think McCain might have won the election without the meltdown and the bailout. In retrospect, it’s clear that his genuine maverick move would have been to oppose the bailout. He didn’t do that, of course, because, in his mind, it would have been dishonorably irreponsible and demagogic. But in order to do it, he would have to have demonstrated his maverick mastery of economic issues. So it wouldn’t have worked anyway. The stats supported whoever it was who posted that the election in the battleground states was lost in the suburbs--the land of foreclosures and rapid deterioration of 401 (k) and home values.

Discussions - 5 Comments

I agree the choice of Emanuel was all about competence but it also indicates the emptiness of his emphasis on bi-partisan cooperation--this guy is known for his unyielding partisanship and angry disposition as much for his managerial skill. This tells us Obama wants to get things done fast, that he expects some real opposition from an admittedly hobbled party, that he didn't get the congressional gains he was hoping for, and that he has little desire for compromise...still, I will stop short of saying I admire him for this choice. Also, while I agree that the GOP has seriously suffered a competence deficit this is not entirely delinked from a certain fuzziness regarding foundational principle--part of the problem of energizing the base is that we don;t seem to have a univocal one but rather a series of fractured splinters loosely united in their oppostion to the democratic party.

I agree with your point #3. My Bush derangement syndrome is as strong as anyone's in the contiguous US, but even I cannot help but like McCain. I never did buy the "McSame" label put on him. Without the meltdown, the bailout, Palin, and choosing Romney, he could have gotten my vote. But McCain 2000 is gone.

Let me repeat we’re not talking about high conservative principle--or whether Russell Kirk or Strauss or Reagan or Gerson should be our guide--but ordinary getting the bleeping job done.

On the other hand, the GOP "got the job done" on massively growing government (e.g. Prescription Drug Giveaway, No Fool Left Behind, bailout, etc.), funding Iraq, etc.

Nope, I think this analysis is wrong - it IS about "high conservative principle", which really just means basic governing principals. I think your Rockefeller under belly is showing again Mr. Lawler...;)

Some thoughts,

1. McCain needs to take an even bigger hit on competence. What self serving creeps he hired to manage his campaign! The stories being leaked about Palin are despicable. I think I figured out why the McCain campaign was so clueless and erratic. Apparantly McCain allowed his campaign to be run by a group of renegade middle school girls. I'm waiting for the story about how Palin slept around and had cooties.

2. Has anyone read the new book, "IT WASN'T MY FAULT: THE HEROIC JOURNEY OF A MCCAIN STAFFER"?

3. The hiring of Rahm Emanuel tells us that any thoughts that Obama is going to be a moderate, consensus, reach-out-for- common-ground, kumbaya President should be thrown out. He is going to be very liberal, very bold, and the Democrats are going to hit hard. The Republicans should get ready to rumble or be rolled.

4. My favorite anti Palin detail leaked to the media: According to at least Carl Cameron of FOX NEWS, at least one of the leakers referred to Palin and her husband as "Wasila hillbillies". That is just so perfect. On another thread last week I wrote that upper middle class liberals love it when conservatives reinforce bobo prejudices about the "wrong kind" of white people. McCain's staffers might not know how to win a presidential election, but they sure know the STUFF WHITE PEOPLE LIKE.

5. On second thought, it is a slur to associate middle school girls with the leaking low lifes on the McCain campaign.

Taking on White House staffers from the Bush administration was tantamount to taking a brace of torpedoes amidships.

And then to put people who oversaw the worst communication team in American political history in charge of perhaps the freshest face in that very same political history, ----------------------------------- brain dead. Absolute political insanity.

It was playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded revolver. McCain/Palin thereafter had no chance. The GOP had no chance; we, the rank and file, completely screwed. Completely.

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