Friday, December 19, 2008

The narrative arc

Just happened to come across a Nov. 27 commentary by John Zmirak and was struck by this:
Few remember it, but Pat Buchanan's eloquent 1992 convention speech -- compare it to any delivered at this year's festival of ass-covering and breast-beating -- was an enormous popular hit. The convention crowd, which whooped and wept, and the general public (as measured by the overnight polls), were deeply moved by Buchanan's heartfelt, carefully crafted words. It took several days for GOP commentators (like "virtue" addict Bill Bennett) to make the news circuit informing America that our nation had been frightened by Pat's "extremism." That shaped the consensus that Buchanan's speech had spoiled the convention. When George I limped through the rest of the campaign, shrugging and shambling like he didn't actually mean it, and lost to the brilliant demagogue Bill Clinton, the way had been prepared to blame Buchanan (and by extension, his populist supporters) for this defeat. Thus began the purges on the Right.
Notice how closely this tracks the Establishment elite consensus of how that awful, angry populist Sarah Palin cost John McCain the election. Now we have the blogosphere to push back against the elite consensus, but we must push very hard and keep pushing. Filthy, ignorant and discordant rabble though we may be, we at least have high-tech pitchforks now.


  1. Brillant Stacy, absolutely brillant. I would have never thought of it that way. But you're precisely right.

    One other thing Sarah has over Buchanan: She's much better looking, which deflects a lot of the Left's vicious criticisms. And she seems to be much more political savvy too. Witness the very latest turning down of the payraise.

  2. the liberal on the boardFri Dec 19, 10:29:00 AM

    Notice how closely this tracks the Establishment elite consensus of how that awful, angry populist Sarah Palin cost John McCain the election.

    liberal like myself understand that palin saved the mccain campaign

    he had no backing, no volunteers, no press, no shot until palin came on board to energize the republican chances since it was laid to waste by bush and friends

    and to be fair, her amazing performance at the convention was as good as it gets

    however she was a double edge cutting both ways, if she had been more capable mccain might be the president today

    now there are other things to consider;

    would a candidate more capable been able to energize the campaign as much as palin?

    I don't think so, romney would have been brutalized for his pagan religion, rudy would have been brutalized for his corruption and being a drag queen, thompson would have been brutalized for being inept.

    so palin did both, she gave mccain the best shot, she then cost him the very shot she created

    the liberals really really hope palin is going to run in oh twelve, the proble, we see though is the fact that she is going to have to face a primary where she will be brutalized by whoever else wants to be president...but man, we really want her to win the nomination

  3. Lib, you make a good point. It was hard for people to say, "yes, she's ready." Of course, none of us can imagine that Joe Biden is suited to the Presidency, but there's never much point in complaining of double standards, they exist and you deal.

    OTOH, Sarah Palin is no dummy. If she's back in 2012, it will be after having helped elect a lot of Republicans in 2010, effectively governed Alaska and been re-elected, and being clearly, unquestionably qualified for the office. The fire will still be there and anyone with guts enough to step back into the breach after the shitstorm she faced will have earned much the same sort of respect that Clinton found by the end of her campaign.

    Of course there will be other primary candidates. Good ones. If she makes it past them, she'll be a strong candidate.

  4. like "virtue" addict Bill Bennett

    ....whose "Book of Virtues" did not include a section on chastity...

    Second item: high-tech pitchforks are no match for old-fashioned guns and ammo.

  5. I supported Pat at the time as he was a real person in that what you saw is what you got. Today we have candidates concerned with constituency politics and show a different face for each one. And Eric, while Sarah is better looking and has a natural ease with people, Pat has a much better acumen with just about everything. And to Robert, I bet Pat would have written his own speeches as well. I hope history is better to Pat than the party has been.