The Perpetual Campaign and Other Depressing Thoughts

The Perpetual Campaign and Other Depressing Thoughts November 7, 2012

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.

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