November 08, 2004

Some Advice

Virginia Postrel has some advice for political parties that lose elections.

I told you so. The party that hates America will lose. The party that imagines no positive future, offers no "vision thing," will lose. The party that thinks it is better than the American people, that makes large segments of the voting public believe they are its enemy, that convinces people it wants the government to boss them around and destroy the things they love, will lose.
Guess when she wrote that? Yep. That’s right. She wrote it in 1998. When else (ahem) could such a paragraph have been written? She continues:
On November 3, that party was Republican. The GOP went down to humiliating defeat, losing close race after close race, plus many that weren't supposed to be close. The party lost its solid grip on the South and collapsed in California. It managed to lose seats in the House, an extraordinary result that even Democratic pundits failed to predict. And it deserved to lose.
No kidding. I might have voted for Republican candidates in an alternate universe, but I didn’t in this one. It may have been slightly unfair to think of Ken Starr as their guy the ballot, but only slightly. They ran against someone not on the ballot themselves.
Republicans sold out their economic base, invested all their hopes in scandals involving a president not on the ballot, and ran as the party of scolds, pork, and gloom. No wonder their voters stayed home.

This election was a test of the notion that Republicans can scorn anyone who talks about freedom, treat issues as matters of bribery rather than principle or vision, alternate between patronizing and ostracizing immigrants and women, regularly denounce American culture, and generally act obnoxiously toward the country they supposedly represent--and still win, because the Democrats are worse and Clinton is a sleaze.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at November 8, 2004 08:26 PM
Comments

Yes, and our last election refutes every single worthless word the contemptible Postrel wrote in 1998.

Posted by: Kay Hoog at November 8, 2004 08:36 PM

You know, this "sticking it up the liberal elites" stuff has got to wear out some day, you'd think. Seriously, which side of the cultural divide is more likely to be successful in imposing its values on the people who don't share them in the forseeable future?

Posted by: Mork at November 8, 2004 09:13 PM

If cultural imperialism means equal rights for women, respect and assistance for the poverty stricken, equality for all before the law, free speech, freedom of the press, free assembly, freedom of religion etc?

Then bring it on.

W's words have reminded me of Garry Wills book "Lincoln at Gettysburg," in which he compares Lincoln to Pericles and argues that Lincoln hijacked the Constitution and substituted the Declaration. W has implicitly scolded conservatives and said "If you truly have the conscience of a conservative and a belief in the Declaration of Independence, how can you abandon your brothers to tyrrany?"

W, for better or worse, has utterly remade the face of conservatism for the 21st century. The word may have bad connotations today, but he has set us on a moral crusade.

Posted by: spc67 at November 8, 2004 09:37 PM

Kay Hoog: our last election refutes every single worthless word the contemptible Postrel wrote in 1998.

Um, no, actually it bolsters her argument. That's why she dug it out of the archives.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 8, 2004 09:52 PM

As someone who supported efforts to fight genocide i n the Balkans, I can vividly remember Republican obstructionism back then. Obstructionism was bad then, and its bad now. Only its worse, because US troops are on the ground, and leftist support for Michael Moore's "militiamen" results in dead Americans.

Posted by: FH at November 8, 2004 10:13 PM

Michael J. Totten: Um, no, actually it bolsters her argument. That's why she dug it out of the archives.

Um, yes, it refutes her argument. So does the 2002 election and let's not forget the election back in 2000.

The people have spoken, and they have spoken against a party whose traitorous, morally bankrupt shenanigans have gone on for too long. The sooner the democrats realize this, the better, but I doubt they ever will, and it is a shame because they are just going to keep getting trounced on.

Posted by: Kay Hoog at November 8, 2004 10:33 PM

Not to speak for MJT, Kay Hoog, but I think he means that this time it was the Dems who failed to offer the "vision thing" and made "large segments of the voting public believe they are its enemy" -- and therefore this time the Dems lose. I think the logical conclusion from this is that if the Republicans get back to their scolding, gloomy, obnoxious ways, they too will be rejected. Because people want to elect leaders with "vision" who don't make them feel like the enemy.

Posted by: Jennifer at November 8, 2004 11:34 PM

America is great, because America is good.

It was good to boot Saddam. The Dems better get used to that idea, if they want to win in the future.

Was it "worth the cost"? For any mother who lost a child, it may well not be. Each death is a tragedy.

But 9/11 shows, like Madrid and Breslan, that fighting while killing terrorists is not the only way that terrorist connected deaths happen. Arguably, fighting terrorists (killing them and some good guys dying) is better than letting them strike again, and again, and again -- while playing cops & terror cells.

The Dems need to accept that it was GOOD to boot Saddam. Goes with the Norm quote above.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at November 9, 2004 12:14 AM

Kay Hoog,

Virginia Postrel voted for George W Bush.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 9, 2004 12:55 AM

In 1998 the voters had a choice between Republican vinegar and Clinton's candyfloss, and naturally they picked the candyfloss. By 2000 the GOP had something more nutritious than vinegar to offer, but the Democrats didn't offer anything more substantial than candyfloss -- and with Clinton's departure, they were running out of candyfloss. These days the Democrats are selling concentrated vinegar and blaming the voters for not liking it.

Republicans have proven they can correct their mistakes. Can the Democrats do likewise?

Posted by: Michael Brazier at November 9, 2004 01:31 AM

“Republicans have proven they can correct their mistakes. Can the Democrats do likewise?”

The answer is no. The Democratic Party will continue to disintegrate. There is no way the moderates can ever sufficiently marginalize the far left wing elements. One can only join the Republican Party and work within its structure.

Posted by: David Thomson at November 9, 2004 02:25 AM

One can only join the Republican Party and work within its structure.

I don't understand the mentality of anyone who wants to live in a one-party state.

Posted by: Mork at November 9, 2004 02:36 AM

If I had to pick a way for the Democrats to come back from this defeat I'd have to recommend stealing the Republican's positions on, well, pretty much everything.

As for the Democratic Party being finished, I'm going to wait and see before planning the funeral. They got 48 percent of the vote this time, if they can regroup then they might be able to win in 2008. Political parties are fairly resilient organisations, particularly when they are as large as the Democrats.

Personally, I hope they do recover. One party dominating the government of a country, even in a democracy is not a good thing in the long run. If they can't regroup, then I hope that a new party grows up to replace them.

Does anybody here have any ideas on what a replacement party for the Democrats might look like? Policies, voting bases, that kind of thing?

Posted by: sam at November 9, 2004 04:30 AM

"I don't understand the mentality of anyone who wants to live in a one-party state."

I agree.

So Dems...stop being such leftwing idiots and give us a choice.

Sincerely,

America

Posted by: America at November 9, 2004 05:34 AM

It's kind of sad that we're all just quoting Postrel's introduction, because her list of recommendations at the end of the article is actually the best part. (It might have made things clearer for Kay Hoog, who understandably but incorrectly assumed the attack was on Republicans and not on the defeatist, pissy tone.)

Posted by: Sean Kinsell at November 9, 2004 05:41 AM

Mork,

Many of us do not want to live in a one party state. We want the Democratic party to go the way of the Whigs and a new party to replace it.

What does the Democratic party stand for today?

No change to the bankrupt Social Security Ponzi scheme

Pacifism in the face of state-sponsored Islamic terror

Any form of abortion performed at any time up to and past viability, paid for by the taxpayer

Socializing medicine

Bankrupting the pharmaceutical industry

Transforming the American economy to a continental European model through increased regulation, increased minimum wages, increased taxation levels, and increased protectionism

I'd much prefer to see the Republicans destroy the Democrats, which will lead to the Republican party splitting in two. Maybe we'll get a new party with more of a liberty orientation out of that, which is about the polar opposite of the Democratic agenda. I can't see any reformation for the socialists who control the Democratic party.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at November 9, 2004 05:55 AM

"I don't understand the mentality of anyone who wants to live in a one-party state."

Another political party will inevitably be born. Indeed, the Republican Party will likely split up. The Democratic Party, though, is too far gone to save. The crazies have control--and will refuse to relinquish it. Political assassination is not legal in the United States. Thus, it makes more sense to leave the sinking ship.

Posted by: David Thomson at November 9, 2004 06:07 AM

Why is the Democratic Party doomed? Is it abortion, gay rights, or any of the social issues? Hell no! The Democrats are royally screwed because of the pervasive dishonest pacifism. Too many of their influential people are overly hesitant to employ America’s military. That’s it in a nutshell. I do have other reasons to offer---but this is the key one. The others are purely secondary.

Posted by: David Thomson at November 9, 2004 06:15 AM

"Another political party will inevitably be born. Indeed, the Republican Party will likely split up."

If that happened there would probably be an alliance between the remnants of the Democrats and one of the new parties. Which bit of the Democrats would go where is anybodies guess, but there would be a major scramble for voting blocs in the aftermath of any such collapse.

"Political assassination is not legal in the United States."

I dont think it's actually legal anywhere, its just that it doesn't happen in the US. At least not beyond the lone lunatic with a rifle level.

Posted by: sam at November 9, 2004 06:34 AM

Hey Mork,

I don't want a one-party state. I want my old Democratic party back---the one I've voted for since Walter Mondale. The one that wasn't held hostage to social radicals and virtual traitors. Until that happens, I'm voting straight 'R'.

Posted by: David in Jesusland at November 9, 2004 07:18 AM

And how did they respond to the election loss, and to such advice? By impeaching Clinton almost immediately. And what price did they pay? They controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress for all but one year since the 2000 presidential election.

Posted by: Katherine at November 9, 2004 07:57 AM

SATANIC CHRISTIANS

http://english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/101/399/14550_Christians.html

Posted by: Croissant at November 9, 2004 08:08 AM

I loved that article.

Posted by: Ewin at November 9, 2004 08:45 AM

So Katherine, how do you suggest the Democrats go about becoming the majority party again? Because that's what these threads are about. Same-old same-old from the Democratic Party establishment has been trending badly for some time now. (Really since 1980; Clinton was a blip, in large part because in 1992 he was very much from outside the Democratic Party establishment.)

Something needs to change, and simply screaming louder that Republicans are evil doesn't seem like a good bet.

Posted by: Mark Poling at November 9, 2004 08:54 AM

If you're unhappy with the democrats and don't want to match lockstep with the GOP, register as an independent/unenrolled, and join the centrists. Enjoy decent discussion among people who recognize the merits of what both sensible democrats and reasonable republicans say. Leave the bleating and caricatures to the wingnut yelling heads.

Join us in promoting common sense advocacy of the things the broad middle cares about and sometimes even agrees upon. If we start now, maybe both sides will field better candidates than in 2000.

Michael, I know there's bound to be a certain amount of conservative triumphalism among the posters in the aftermath of Bush's win, but the tilt and the tone of the majority of posters here does not seem so promising these days. Not to blame one side or the other exclusively, but the exchanges between the winners rubbing it in and the bitterness of losers sure gets old fast, doesn't it?

Posted by: bk at November 9, 2004 09:53 AM

The Majority-Center voted Bush.

Shame on us for gloating. Instead we should bend over and take it from the fringes again, do what we are told by the MSM and Hollywood (i.e. our betters).

Posted by: Captain Obvious at November 9, 2004 10:04 AM

David Thomson: The Democratic Party, though, is too far gone to save.

Please. They got 48 percent of the vote. That's roughly what Dubya got last time around.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 9, 2004 10:59 AM

See below. With sentiments like this, we are a lock for eight more years!

www.fuckthesouth.com

Thank you all for stuff such as above!

Posted by: Karl Rove at November 9, 2004 12:16 PM

I've clearly made a fool of myself and I apologize to Totten and others.

Posted by: Kay Hoog at November 9, 2004 01:20 PM

The Euros are showing the Dems how they can win against the GOP:

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3994867.stm

"Court rules Vlaams Blok is racist

Blok president Frank Vanhecke has plans to launch a new party
Belgium's highest court has ruled that the Flemish far-right Vlaams Blok party is racist.

The ruling means the Blok will lose access to state funding and access to television which will, in effect, shut down the party."

Leftist judges need to step up and ban the GOP in order for the Dems to get a majority again.

Posted by: Karl Rove at November 9, 2004 01:43 PM
Does anybody here have any ideas on what a replacement party for the Democrats might look like? Policies, voting bases, that kind of thing?

So long as it doesn't mirror the current one where they see themselves as smarter, more cultured and more sophisticated than their adversaries. It's one thing to feel that you have better ideas or a better plan than the other guy, but to feign in all respects that you are his overall better just ain't gonna cut it. That's the first sign failure written in the wind. However, looking the DNC's current navel gazing they seem not to have figured it out yet.

Posted by: Bill at November 9, 2004 04:46 PM
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