Saturday, July 18, 2009

'Integrity'? Like Paul F***ing Anka, Baby

Ace of Spades mentions "integrity" in discussing his services last year "as an apologist for the horrible candidate John McCain." I traveled a good distance down that particular road myself -- I'd link some of it, if only it weren't so traumatically embarrassing -- but I knew when to pull the ripcord:

John McCain lost the election Sept. 24 and Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States. Nothing that is likely to happen between now and Nov. 4 can change this outcome. . . .
Democrats are already rushing to promote Obama's coming victory as a mandate for their "progressive" agenda. Conservatives need to begin telling the true story of McCain's defeat, which must be admitted before it can be explained.
That was published Oct. 7 by The American Spectator, nearly a full month before the election. In fact, my spontaneous reaction Sept. 24 to McCain's stunt ("insane . . . I can't see the benefit, either in terms of policy or politics") was almost a perfect bull's-eye. And let the record show that, once everything was said and done, all informed analysts agreed with me that Crazy Cousin John's support for the bailout was the decisive turning point in his well-deserved defeat. (See also Doug Mataconis: "The McCain Campaign: What Went Wrong.")

The question has since been asked, by friends, whether I have any regrets. Short answer: None at all. I didn't vote for Obama and I didn't vote for Crazy Cousin John. Let other people apologize for their choices, but I have nothing to regret. (Don't Blame Me, I Voted For Bob Barr.) So I felt obligated to make this point in my reply to Ace:
If the Republican Party could nominate as its presidential candidate a man whose only apparent political principle has been the advancement of his own ambition and still win, what kind of cynic would call that a good outcome? When the GOP nominates the wrong man, the electoral debacle that inevitably follows cannot be interpreted as evidence that the party should nominate more scoundrels like that.
Which is to say, What Would Paul F***ing Anka Do?

Lots of people disagree with me, and I have no problem with that. They have the right to be wrong. I understand that my habit of being 100% right all the time is annoying to people who are wrong. Yeah, it might be kind of boring if every other blog on the planet was nothing but a series of links like this:
Stacy McCain Is Right!
Once Again, Stacy McCain Is Exactly Right!
How Much More Nail-On-The-Head Accurate Could Stacy McCain Possibly Be?
Holy Freaking Crap! That Guy Could Split Atoms With His Infallible Logic!
Boring, yes. But accurate. What's the point of being a know-it-all if you don't actually know it all? Isn't that why people read Hot Air, because Allah knows everything?

So when I'm right, right, right, right all the time, and other people are reliably wrong like clockwork (e.g., David Brooks), then maybe a good political strategy for the Republican Party would be to listen to me: Do the exact opposite of whatever David Brooks says to do. Cf. "How to Think About Liberalism (If You Must)."

There was a time -- perhaps as recently as yesterday -- when my prophetic omniscience may have been incomplete. As of today, however, just call me Mr. Authoritative Truth. So believe me when I tell you that, even though Ace is wrong about this one thing, he isn't a total whore, no matter what David Frum says.

(Yeah, I did steal that Photoshop. Sue me.)

UPDATE: Linked by Paul Anka Instapundit, and please also see my sentimental tribute to Ace of Spades at the Green Room. And while I have no regrets about my political choices in 2008, that's not the same as having no regrets.

(Regrets? I've had a few, but then again . . .)

UPDATE II: Dan Collins is a genius, and also has some interesting arguments on ObamaCare. Everyone who cares about the future of the Republican Party the conservative cause America the world the universe should commit to memory every priceless word that Dan Collins writes.

UPDATE III: Dr. Melissa Clouthier:
Well, we’re not being screwed, these days. We’re being freaking gang-raped. . . . Does anyone really believe that a John McCain presidency would have sold out the country to the Unions? Does anyone really believe we’d have to be beating back the biggest power grab by the federal government ever?
Yes, and how did this happen? Because I voted for Bob Barr in Maryland? I think not. The GOP nominated as its presidential candidate the only candidate in the primary field for whom I could not vote. (S. 2611.) The most electable candidate in the Republican field, Mitt Romney, quit two days after Super Tuesday.

When the Republican Party nominates a guaranteed loser who -- surprise! -- loses, how is this result to be blamed on those who opposed the nomination, who specifically, accurately and concisely predicted what events would happen? I predicted it on Super Tuesday, and you may read "Bill Kristol & the Idiocy of Hope" -- from Monday, Nov. 3 -- and be assured that I have no regrets about that post, either.

How many times do I have to repeat myself? If you volunteer to be a doormat, don't complain about the footprints on your back.

If the Republican Party can nominate Bozo the Clown with the calm certainty that, on the day before the election, Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes and Sean Hannity will be lecturing conservatives about how important it is that they vote for Bozo -- "That clown is a Great American! He's pulled to within the margin of error in Idaho!" -- whose fault is it that the GOP gets its ass kicked and nobody takes the conservative movement seriously?

Obama, Pelosi and Reid are running roughshod over the Constitution, and this is to be blamed on me?

Fine. It's all my fault. Blame me. Or Sarah Palin. Or Rush Limbaugh. Take your pick. Since it seems absolutely essential to some people that the clueless GOP hacks who orchestrated this disaster never be held accountable for their errors, please don't let me me disturb the search for a convenient scapegoat.

But why keep searching? It was me. Mea culpa.

Whatever you do, don't blame John McCain, or any of the idiots at GOP-HQ who squandered $792 million on the 2008 Republican campaign -- hey, let's hire the Dynamic Duck Duo! -- because if you blame them, somebody might accuse you of trying to be "morally superior."

UPDATE IV: OK, excuse the outburst. I'm just tired, is all. Everybody knows exactly what needs to be done. Except me. I'm the only person in the entire conservative blogosphere who doesn't know anything about politics, or media, or campaigns.

So whatever you do, ignore me -- until it's time to blame me.


  1. I actually read Hot Air less than when Captain Ed and Allahpundit were all up in their own houses, er, doing their own blogs. Mostly because all those political clips bore the crap out of me.

  2. The argument is old, and not very exciting, but you & I are still left with the fact that Obama got elected and is currently damaging the country more than McCain would have. Your/our calculated risk of punishing the Republicans into making some sense may still pay off. But there's no getting around the fact that it's a double-or-nothing bet.

    In a related story, there is much moaning that election losses have left the GOP with no national candidates capable of capitalizing on the ebbing popularity of Obama. That may also prove to be an advantage, as we might legitimately hope that the new leaders who emerge will be better than the current crop. But that may also be a double-or-nothing bet. I hate to keep putting such bets back-to-back.

    But be of good cheer. An energised base, angry independents, and some surprise 2010 victors is still the most likely outcome for conservatives.

  3. On target. I didn't remember the date. But I remember the debacle. And, not only did Brain Dead McCain use the president's "conference" on the bailout as an excuse NOT to debate Obama. He then sat in that meeting for 40 minutes. Got up. And, ran away.

    How did McCain get the nod for the top slot? The media was supposed to deliver "support." Funny thing is the media "fell out of love with him." And, stopped sending up their hoshanas.

    John Kerry was similar. He promised the donks, back in 2006, that his wife would pay for his election bid. Such a bargain. Spritz on the Heinz.

    Politicians? The never learn more than the pig on the way to slaughter.

  4. Damn. Right again, Stacy. How do you do it??

  5. Remember Stacy, no matter how wrongheaded Crazy Cousin John was, he will always have his one, brief, brilliant shining moment.

    He gave us Sarah.

    She fights.

  6. "A bold general may be lucky, but no general can be lucky unless he is bold."
    - Field Marshal Archibald Percival Wavell

  7. AVI wrote: ". . . the fact that Obama got elected and is currently damaging the country more than McCain would have. Your/our calculated risk of punishing the Republicans . . ."

    1. You are definitely wrong about me having any intention of "punishing the Republicans." They did it to themselves. I live in Maryland, a state so staunchly Democratic that no presidential candidate over either party ever bothers to campaign here. So my presidential vote is moot and I have no responsibility for the punishment that the voters delivered to the GOP, at the insistence of the Republican primary voters who chose McCain over the objections of Rush, Malkin, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, Mark Levin and every other conservative with access to a camera, a microphone or a computer.

    2. To speculate on what damage a hypothetical President John McCain might have inflicted on a humanity is an interesting parlor game, but certainly we shouldn't doubt Crazy Cousin John's infinite capacity to fuck up America as bad as he fucked up the Republican Party.

  8. If you voted for Barr, you effectively voted for Obama. Period, contrary to any ohter BS.

  9. I wonder if now we cannot have a reasonable debate, amongst only we Republicans, as to why McCain was allowed to run as our nominee.

    He was never my choice, never my candidate, never my idea of a Republican. In other words, he was never Rudy Guiliani, who would have been a far better campaigner and nominee if he had simply put in place the campaign structure necessary to run a campaign. And yet--McCain put in place exactly the wrong campaign structure and won the nomination--go figure.

    Now, to be certain, Rudy had issues. But his issues pale in comparison.

    I still view what happened in early 2008 as a media campaign for McCain, to set him up to lose to Hillary Clinton, only, the Democrat establishment pulled a switcheroo and handed us a man with zero qualifications and a malleable record that would allow him to stand there and, rhetorically, promise the American people the moon whilst allowing the Democrat establishment to continue robbing the Republic blind.

    I did not vote. I fled the country for the quiet of the Caribbean. The rest is someone else's problem--my money is safely tucked away on Nevis. The tax man cometh, the tax man goeth away with nothingeth.

  10. RSM, point taken on your individual vote. Yet presumably we write in order to influence people.

    Had I spent all my meager fortune on the election I would not have changed many votes, and I assume that is true for you as well. You correctly predicted that Republicans would stay home in droves after his bailout sign-on. But that is somewhat different than advocating that people opt out of the GOP. You may have affected some votes with that.

    Still, I do not so much criticise as highlight the risk.

  11. If you voted for Barr, you effectively voted for Obama. Period, contrary to any ohter [sic] BS.

    I have seen this assertion made many times, but nothing is ever offered to back it up.

    In a plurality-takes-all voting system like most states in the USA use, a vote that is cast for anyone other than the top two vote-getters does not affect the margin of victory between them. It is therefore more accurate to say that a vote for Barr was equivalent to not voting.

    Unless and until we change the method for choosing Congressmen and Electors (and change how the Electors do their jobs, permitting them to meet together in person and forge a coalition) we will have a de-facto two party system. A third party can rise to replace one of the existing two that is perceived as defunct (as the Republicans did the Whigs) but until the "second party" is thus perceived, few voters will want to "waste" their votes by casting them for a minor party.

    Those States that require a runoff when no candidate obtains a clear majority in the original election can have thriving three- or four-party systems (think of the general election as a primary election and the runoff like the current general election, and do the math). If any would pursue a true proportional representation system, many more parties could garner unwasted votes.

  12. Also not an accident -- the fact that McCain graduated at the bottom of his class.

  13. Excellent post, saying what needs to be said far and wide until the GOP gets a clue. I said for years that if it was Hillary vs. McCain my head would explode. I'm still here, I did vote for McCain, and I knew exactly how execrable Obama would be. The GOP is getting not one dime from me and believe me they know why.

    Congress, however, has shocked me with their colluding in the takeover and destruction of this country. I'm not voting for another Dem Lite ever, but I AM working for as much of a wholesale turnover of Congress as I can afford. And we have to keep the pressure on Congress through all these fights. This hideous, con artist thug Marxist with zero accomplishments or resume to be in the WH or anywhere else could not do what he's doing without his strongmen and his love slaves in our Capitol. 2010, folks, 2010. Make them pay.

  14. section9 hit it on the head!
    The CPP(career parasite politician) McCain will be famous for unwittingly bringing forth the absolute class of the entire political field---Sarah Palin

  15. The first step in understanding how McCain wound up on the top of the ticket is to look at the GOP primary schedule. Why on Earth do we let blue state Republicans choose the party's candidate when their states won't vote for him anyway?

    Here's a Brand New Idea David Frum et al won't like: set primary dates based upon the percentage of GOP vote in the last presidential election. If Texas voted the most overwhelmingly for the GOP, they get first choice in scheduling their primary, not Iowa, not New Hampshire. If Iowa and New Hampshire get in a snit, they can fix their luck next time---by voting for the GOP candidate this time.

    What possible objection can the Fauxcons raise to THAT?

  16. Teflon93, that is indeed an intriguing idea, and I say that as a NH Republ... well, that's my registration, anyway. The advantages to a small state opening the primaries are real, but they are not the last word.

  17. Four or eight years of a McCain (John not RS) presidency would likely have resulted in a further draining of political will from conservative citizens. Nothing is so discouraging as having to watch your back because of 'friends' you can not trust. It is better to light the fire and engage the enemy now, while there is still life in the movement, than wait until our side is completely despondent.

  18. I voted for McCain because the alternative was worse. However, the GOP foisted him upon us and then treated Palin like total crap. I no longer call myself a Republican. In national elections where I live this doesn't matter. But it matters every congressional election because I live in place that should send a GOP member to congress but instead sends an outright liar from the Dems (Chet Edwards). The reason is that the GOP, not surprisingly, only runs mini-McCains against the liar.

    The problem is that the Libertarians are so two-faced no one can take them seriously either. Conservatives/libertarians have no real choice, no real home. Thus, no way to stop the onslaught of fascism.

  19. Anyone that blames you for having any part in the debacle is a fool--and I say this as one of those people who urged others to vote for the Senator from Outsized Ego, Arizona. I regret what I did. I should have done what I did in 2000 and wrote-in 'Barry Goldwater', like I've done in lesser elections. In other words: Bravo Stacy for your stand. You were spot-on in your prophecies.

    'Mea Culpa'? No, rather I think: 'Mea mihi conscientia pluris est quam omnium sermo' as Cicero said [My conscience means more to me than all speech.]

    One semi-quibble: true, Mitt was the most electable, but the sad fact was--and is--that he is not to be trusted by conservatives. Living up here in the Nor'east, I watched him as a Senate candidate and then as Governor and he was wimpy and seemed more a conservative out of ambition then out of commitment. ROmney delanda est!

  20. I have advocated for closed primaries which would, hopefully, get Republicans a better, more conservative candidate.

    Mitt Romney, a winner? Where? Not in Texas.

    I just don't believe McCain would be as bad a president as Obama. At the least, the government would be divided and hostile, making legislation difficult to pass which would be welcome.

    And my concern is for the future as much as for the past. There's all sorts of rumblings about a third party. And that's crazy talk that will guarantee the Left power.

  21. "If you voted for Barr, you effectively voted for Obama."

    Some real rocket scientists commenting here.

  22. "I just don't believe McCain would be as bad a president as Obama. At the least, the government would be divided and hostile"

    McCain and the Democrats, divided and hostile? In which alternate reaility? I can't think of an instance in which McCain ever attacked the Democrats with the ferocity he did the conservatives.

  23. Right on RSM. McCain was a loser from the word go. To avoid future McCain's we need spread out the primary season, institute closed primaries, and reduce the influence of the blue states.