The Perpetual Campaign and Other Depressing Thoughts

1. Yesterday Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote a post on “How to Explain Romney’s Loss to Shocked Conservatives.”

Finally: you didn’t like Romney that much either. So are you really surprised? The entire Republican primary was a search for a “Not-Romney” candidate. In fact, you probably once contemplated voting for Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, or Rick Santorum precisely because Romney was a flip-flopper who invented Obamacare in Massachusetts. Just a year ago, my dear conservative friend, you were likely very much against the idea of Romney being your nominee. So how can you be surprised that other Americans never warmed to him as a choice for president?

Exactly. Four years ago I predicted that Romney would never, ever be President of the United States. But this year I had hoped I was going to be wrong. The only outcome worse than a first-term for Romney is what we have now: a second-term for Obama.

We have another presidential election coming in four years. If the GOP has not learned by then that you don’t beat a liberal from Illinois with a liberal from Massachusetts then the party will deserve to lose again.

2. It’s a shame and a disgrace there are so few consistently pro-life Christians in America. We need to have the courage to speak the truth and call out our fellow believers for endorsing one of our country’s greatest institutional evils. If we can’t convince followers of Christ to stop supporting politicians that endorse the slaughter of innocents then we can never expect to change the course of the culture of death.

3. The Obamacons and their fellow traveler’s are not the reason Obama was elected. But we should take this opportunity to let them know we’re not going to entertain their nonsense any longer. A robust conservative movement must be open to a broad range of opinions. But when an organization or publication (e.g., The American Conservative) goes out of its way to endorse liberals and left-libertarians, then it’s time to stop taking them seriously. We no longer have time for such silliness. If we’re going to rebuild the conservative movement we can’t do it with pundits and activists that are childishly trying to win accolades for being the “liberal’s favorite conservative.”

4. Exit polls revealed that half of those surveyed said former President Bush is more to blame for the current economic problems than President Obama. Although I hope that the respondents were being facetious, I suspect that when it comes to economic matters many Americans really do believe such an idiotic claim. One of the primary tasks for conservatives over the next few years is correcting the profound economic ignorance of the American citizenry.

5. Speaking of blaming Bush, I hope that President Obama will finally show some character and take responsibility for his dismal economic record. The actual influence a president can have on the economy is frequently overstated (see: economic ignorance of the American citizenry). But what Obama can do he has done badly. He owes it to the American people to own up to that failure.

6. There’s no way to spin it: the short-term political outlook is dismal. Future scholars will judge Obama to be one of the most ill-equipped for the job—both experientially and temperamentally—in our nation’s history. That’s cold comfort, of course, for those of us who will have to live through his disastrous tenure. The most optimistic assessment is that Obama will be slightly less incompetent in his second term than he was in his first. That’s not much, but it’s probably the best we can hope for.

7. Now that we got The Most Important Election in Our Lifetime out of the way, let’s move on to truly important matters. Let’s spend some time focusing on culture and our families and our local communities. Let’s spend time on the areas of life we’ve been neglecting during the election season. The perpetual campaign can wait awhile. We can put off starting the 2016 horserace—at least till next week.

  • Craig

    Is it really time for conservatives to circle their wagons and indulge their zygote hysteria?

    • Joe Carter

      If what you meant to say, but were unable to articulate, is, “Is it really time for conservatives to regroup and work to protect innocent human life?” then the answers is, “Yes.”

      • Craig

        Alright, but just be sure to remind women what this means for their non-legitimate rapes.

        • Derek Rishmawy

          Oh, hey, I see what you did there. That’s cute.

    • Frank

      Each week over 21,000 innocent unborn children are killed, 97% for reasons of convenience. Finished? Hardly! We will work harder now than ever. The younger generations are more and more pro-life and anti-abortion. Get ready for more and more restrictions on making abortions harder to get. That you can count on.

    • MLP

      “zygote hysteria” referring to a country with (unfortunately) one of the most permissive abortion regimes in the world


      • Craig

        The country has shown a healthy resistance to the hysteria, as seen in the recent rejection of a two of its most public perpetrators. My prayer is for all zygote hysteria perps go the way of Mourdock and Akin. I suspect all would if all were as equally candid with their beliefs and tried to run for public office. “GFY”?

  • Barry Arrington

    Joe, your analysis of Romney is, of course, spot on. From a conservative point of view this election was never a choice between good and bad. It was a choice between “disastrous” and “even more disastrous.”
    Yes, there is another election in 2016, but will there be a country worth saving by that time? Call me a Jeremiah if you must, but I genuinely believe there is room for doubt. Consider just three facts:
    1. Trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see; debt to GDP ratio north of 120% and rising by 2016. We have seen a debt to GDP ratio that high before (at the end of WWII). But we were fighting a war with existential implications and could expect “normalcy” after the war. This debt run-up is unprecedented in peace time and there is no end in sight.
    2. No plan to deal with the imminent bankruptcy of entitlement programs (unless you consider “kick the can down the road” to be a “plan”)
    3. Nukes in the hands of the Iranian mullahs, possibly as early as next year. “The Iranian nuclear program constitutes the most dire existential threat to the United States in the history of the Republic” Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin (retired), former United States Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. (The quote is from a conference I attended in Jerusalem at which General Boykin spoke).
    I believe this country is in for disruptions such as we have not seen since the Civil War. Barack Obama is singularly unsuited to deal with those disruptions (as was, probably, Mitt Romney).

    • yankeegospelgirl

      Look for Israel to declare war on Iran within the year. If we can’t save ourselves, maybe they can get the job done.

  • Barry Arrington

    Craig, snark is a poor substitute for wit. Write that down.

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  • Mel Mariner

    A little something about how God is in control and ultimately decides who will be in power would be a good thing to remember. So few are remembering that. I wish more writers would at least work that into their perspectives to help people with their fear. Watching Christians be fearful is really discouraging.

    As for the candidates and life, my area went for Obama, just as it did last time, though I didn’t vote for him. But my area also kept a Planned Parenthood backed candidate from winning a seat in the House. That has to mean something. She did her best to vilify the candidate that she was running against too.
    I don’t think anyone is going to understand this election until they put down their preconceived notions about those that couldn’t vote for Romney and actually listen.