Monday, November 3, 2008

Bill Kristol & the Idiocy of Hope

Tuesday, I'm voting for Bob Barr. On Feb. 7, the day Mitt quit, I swore a blood oath that I'd vote Libertarian this year rather than vote for Crazy Cousin John. (I live in deep-blue Maryland, so it's a "free" vote.)

My vow, however, did not mean I wanted the Democrats to win. I never want Democrats to win anything. So my Libertarian vow didn't make me neutral, but it did make me more objective than some of the GOP cheerleaders who are now doing backflips and shaking their pompons on Fox News, telling you there's still a chance of Republican victory.

Those people are not your friends. They are not helping you. When Bill Kristol starts talking lunatic gibberish about McCain filling "an inside straight," he's only making himself ridiculous, and if you believe his crap, it makes you ridiculous, too. And let me remind you that the GOP has reached its current pathetic state by heeding Kristol's advice.

The Monday before Super Tuesday, Kristol endorsed McCain and accused McCain's Republican opponents of indulging "a temper tantrum." At the time, I wrote:
McCain got 48% in Illinois, 51% in New York , 52% in Connecticut, and 56% in New Jersey -- all states that Democrats will carry easily in November. But in Florida
he got only 36%
, and today, he didn't even break 50% in Arizona. These aren't the kind of numbers that indicate a strong Republican candidate. McCain is not a conservative, he will lose in November, and Kristol doesn't even seem to care.
When all was said and done, McCain only got 47% of the GOP primary vote. So 53% of Republican primary voters had "a temper tantrum" according to Kristol, and they are the problem with the Republican Party, not him. Think about that, and then ask yourself if the New York Times would give a column to someone whose advice might actually help the GOP.

Conservatives scoff at the idiocy of Obama supporters who actually believe all that "Hope" crap he's peddling. (Obama's going to pay my car insurance!) We recognize this as the kind of absurd naivete that demagogues exploit. So what about the naivete that Kristol's exploiting? How are Republicans who heed his bad advice -- who watch Kristol on Fox News and say to themselves, "Yeah, he's right, Mack can win this thing!" -- really any wiser than those idiots who think Obama can work miracles?

Objectively, it was wrong to believe in February that McCain could win in November. But tomorrow night, when the GOP absorbs one of the worst beatings in history, Republicans will tune in Kristol on Fox News and listen to his explanations of what went wrong without acknowledging his own role in what went wrong.

If conservatives don't understand that you're being misled and swindled in this process, that bandwagon psychology is being used to convince you to support candidates and policies that aren't conservative and lead to political disaster, you're going to keep wandering blindly down the road to oblivion.

I'm voting for a loser Tuesday, but at least I'm doing it with my eyes open.


  1. I'm a black guy that voted for Bob Barr (I'm in Georgia) because I've never voted for a Democrat or Republican. I don't like either party. BUT I'm from a family of former civil rights activist that marched with MLK along with former Black Panther party members. You may call it "crap", but seeing an 85-year old black couple look at Senator Obama as the affirmation of King's dream is some powerful stuff. They are not voting issues but a symbol and that's the way it goes (just like those Palin supporters who look at Palin as a symbol of "real America".

    All that being said, I think Bill Kristol is trying to play the reliable "I TOLD YOU SO" if there is a surprise. Heck with sounding ridiculous as you say. IMO, I feel the race is 52% Obama, 48% McCain at this point.

  2. John you may be making a poor decision with your Kristol bashing and your Bob Barr vote.

    This morning another senior Republican pundit, John McCain, said John Mcain is going to win:

    "The pundits may not know it and the Democrats may not know it, but the Mac is back! We're going to win this election." (John McCain quote courtesy of Mark Haperin's The Page)

    This election is so confusing. John Mcain bashes Kristol. John Mcain agrees with Kristol. John Mcain says that John Mcain will not win. John Mcain says that John Mcain will win. John McCain is going to vote for Bob Barr. When will this John McCain confusion end? (Probably never.)

    Agent Orange Peel

  3. Excellent post. This is the kind of thing that makes me start breathing again after I get all anaphylactic when I see how impervious the neocon ideological cocoon is.

    Despite my intense commitment to the pro-life cause - no, perhaps because of it - I couldn't vote McCain. Ten minutes spent on Chuck Baldwin's website provided me more policy positions to agree with than an entire election season with McCain.

  4. RSM, I'm going to respectfully disagree. Not because I pay any particular attention to Kristol or any other pundit, anointed or self-declared. I read widely and compare all of it to my experience and understanding of people.

    The first result of that is that the polls are, at best, worthless. No race swings from 1 to 10 point differentials overnight unless there's fresh video of a poodle in lingerie involved - or at least a declaration that the voters are bitter racists and rednecks. The polls are just another political-information product being peddled by the same guys who produce and present all the other biased, mostly useless political-information products. Some pollsters are reporting hangups of up to 80%. You might as well have a blog and count comments. The turnout assumptions are laughable.

    This remains a center-right country. John McCain is a center-right candidate. No he isn't a solid conservative. Career military men rarely are. We were not offered a strong conservative candidate. Romney has spent much of his career not being conservative and is cursed with a "nearly lifelike" demeanor. Fred Thompson distinguished himself by concealing his rhetorical and intellectual gifts even more completely than McCain had. This makes them poor candidates. We did not have a viable conservative in the running and if the Republicans had fielded a conservative he would have suffered from the damage that pretenders have done to that noble school in recent years.

    The public is still very receptive to conservative candidates and governance, but has learned to reject those who repeatedly call themselves conservative. They know it when they see it - repeatedly announcing that you are conservative is a negative.

    McCain did find and name a conservative running mate. One who is a phenomenon unto herself. There are entire, significant demographics who declared her "our Sarah" almost on sight. Identification like that is rare and priceless. It will benefit McCain.

    Voting booths are still trusted to be private. (Expect the libs to attack that soon, as they have every other aspect of the vote - undermining the institution is their goal) People will go in and punch a button that they would never discuss on the phone with a stranger who also wants to know how much they make a year, how old they are and whether they go to church or own guns.

    McCain wins.

    And yes, feel free to mock if it turns out otherwise. But if I'm wrong it will not be because I'm reading some nozzle in the NYT or am clinging to a vague hope. I'm simply refusing to believe the negativism being peddled by the other nozzles at the NYT.