Thursday, October 09, 2008


Unlike, say, David Brooks, David Frum doesn't see much to admire Barack Obama. And yet, anticipating an Obama victory, he's concerned about the haters:

Those who press this Ayers line of attack are whipping Republicans and conservatives into a fury that is going to be very hard to calm after November. Is it really wise to send conservatives into opposition in a mood of disdain and fury for the next president, incidentally the first African-American president? Anger is a very bad political adviser. It can isolate us and push us to the extremes at exactly the moment when we ought to be rebuilding, rethinking, regrouping and recruiting.

The problem is that Republicans looking at their own recent history are likely to conclude that "a mood of disdain and fury for the next president" would be quite useful -- after all, they declared Clinton the Antichrist and then won back Congress two years after he was elected; sustaining their fury, they investigated him until he slipped up, and that probably got them close enough in 2000 to steal the presidency from Clinton's VP, who otherwise should have sailed to victory on a wave of peace and prosperity.

In fact, if McCain loses, I think a lot of Republicans are going to say it was because he timidly steered clear of the gutter -- at this week's debate, for instance. I think Daniel Larison is right:

...they are going to adopt something like Vietnam revisionism in which they express certainty that their candidate could have won if he'd just been willing to do whatever was necessary.

Never mind the fact that McCain and Palin just concluded a joint interview on Fox with Sean Hannity that was all Ayers, ACORN, and "air-raiding villages." (McCain at one point paraphrased the last talking point as "bombing villages and killing innocent civilians" and Hannity actually corrected him -- "That quote is 'air-raiding villages and killing civilians.'" McCain dutifully accepted the hand-slap, parroting Hannity. Gotta get that line of the week out correctly, Senator!) And never mind the fact that Team McCain just released an interminable Ayers ad, while the Murdoch print press, also working hand in glove with the McCain campaign, has decided that ACORN merits front-page treatment.

Frum, of course, wants people to buy his how-we've-lost-our-way book about conservatism, but it's no bestseller, and that's no surprise. Right-wingers aren't going to try to do anything differently after this election if Obama wins; they're just going to keep slinging the same mud, wait for him to make mistakes and/or struggle with problems that can't be solved quickly, and then blame whatever's wrong on his evil terrorist-coddling, voter-fraud-countenancing, America-hating inner core, which they tried to warn us about, but which John McCain was too much of a wuss to denounce when it counted.

(Larison link via Instaputz.)

No comments: