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2008 Election &2010 Election &Conservatives Richard Falknor on 05 Nov 2008 10:17 pm

The Incoming Administration: Wrestling the Juggernaut

Few can go to the heart of today’s crises as well as Mark Steyn, Mark Levin, Peter Kirsanow, and their NRO colleagues.

Here are their insights on yesterday’s election and their guidance for our next steps —

Mark Steyn

“An internally consistent worldview”

“Obama was wrong about the surge, and McCain was right. But, because he was right, Iraq went away, and his rightness and Obama’s wrongness didn’t matter. And, in his closing address in that final debate, McCain was left using tough, hard words like ‘honor’ and ‘sacrifice’ that seemed utterly ridiculous after an hour and a half in which the candidates had been outcompeting each other to shower federal largesse for those behind with a couple of mortgage payments. But that gets to my basic point: You don’t want ‘issue’ candidates. You want candidates who can place whatever the headlines happen to throw at you within an internally consistent worldview.

For what it’s worth, I never want to hear the word ‘maverick’ again as long as I live. As I said a while back, that’s an attitude, not a philosophy.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

“A coherent conservatism”

“Mark (Levin), just to be clear: I’m not indulging in the same somewhat moist-eyed congratulations as some of our colleagues. I extend my congratulations mainly in the same sense that elderly British veterans of my acquaintance like to express their admiration of the marvelously innovative ways their Japanese captors found to torture them. The President-elect ran rings round our side, and found many novel ways to torture us.

Yes, you’re right. Acorn is still a disgusting organization and Obama’s fundraising fraud is still outrageous. But nobody wants to hear that now. The problem for us is more basic – the Dems control the language on such issues (‘count every vote’, etc), and they’re much better at demonizing. Why did McCain talk about Ayers but not even mention Wright? Because he was terrified someone would point a finger and cry ‘Racist!’ And in four years’ time the Democrats’ media-cultural-organizational advantage on such subjects will likely be even greater. The salient feature of Ron Jones’ brief appearance on TV yesterday is not that Mr Jones voted ‘a couple of times’ in Philadelphia nor even that he was entirely comfortable about admitting as much on TV, but that CNN’s Brian Todd beamed indulgently and said, ‘I think that’s against the law but it’s okay.’ That’s the way large numbers of the American people feel about Acorn, the Undocumented Auntie, foreign donations and much else: it may be against the law but it’s okay.

So I think our energies would be better focused on examining where we went wrong than in objecting to where the other guys went right. We need to rediscover a coherent conservatism and find someone who can pitch it to sufficient numbers of people. We didn’t have either in this campaign.

(Oh, and you’re right to note that all the folks who told us McCain was the man, from Christopher Buckley to New Hampshire’s primary voters, had no difficulty abandoning him for Obama. Thanks a bunch.)” (Underscoring Forum’s.) 

Read the entire Steyn posts here and here.

Mark Levin

“We face a juggernaut.”

“It will be difficult to voice legitimate criticism of Obama and his policies if the response of his campaign and surrogates these last many months — some vicious and some perfectly fine — is any indication.  I agree with Mark when he underscores the battle ahead.  It is very serious. 

As for the Republicans, it could be argued that John McCain’s nomination, given birth in Mark’s New Hampshire, had more to do with independents and Democrats.  Not until after Florida was he able to garner significant Republican numbers, with some exceptions.  But the party suffers from much neglect and misdirection.  And the nominee is a good man, a great man in many ways, but a flawed candidate.  And we conservatives do need to work things out, and we will.  In fact, we must.  We face a juggernaut.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Read the entire Levin post here.

What’s next, then?  Peter Kirsanow gives us an initial road map on the upcoming dangers —


“Obama will get the most lavish and extended honeymoon in history. Every time he walks to the podium without falling down will be trumpeted as the greatest accomplishment since MacArthur returned to the Philippines. It will be the natural tendency of Republicans to join in the praise, and worse, to try to be ‘bipartisan’ when it comes to legislation that is manifestly bad for the country and abhorrent to conservative principles. This tendency will be magnified by the Republicans’ fear that any opposition to Obama’s policies will be portrayed as motivated by racism rather than principle.


Senator McCain is an American hero, a remarkable man. I can think of few I respect more. But he’s likely to be the first to be leading the charge toward bipartisanship. This would be a mistake of galactic proportions. This must be resisted.”

. . . . . . . . . .

But in the meantime, we still have principles to defend and we must defend them vigorously. Particularly in the first 100 days when many of the most objectionable bills will likely be brought up.

For those inclined to make nice, which of the following Democratic agenda items are you prepared to sign on to so that you’ll get invited to the right parties?

* Employee Free Choice Act
* Fairness Doctrine
* Freedom of Choice Act
* Nationalization of health care
* Estate tax increases
* ‘Comprehensive Immigration Reform’ (driver’s licenses for illegals)
* Capital gains tax increases
* Defense cuts
* Liberal judicial appointments
* Racial and ethnic preferences
* Income tax increases
* Bans on oil drilling
* Global poverty tax/Kyoto

These are but a few. Perhaps the most worrisome agenda items are those that will betray a fecklessness in foreign policy that could lead to a nuclear Iran, a vulnerable Israel, an imperial Russia, and an imploding Pakistan.”(Underscoring Forum’s.)

Read the entire Kirsanow post here.

What is to be done now – not just in the first one hundred days of the Obama Administration – but in the days between now and the inauguration on January 20?   Who knows, for example, what menacing initiatives may surface in this period like tomorrow’s Treasury Meeting here to advance Sharia-compliant finance?

Activists in Maryland and Virginia need to start planning their own concrete steps while drawing on the judgment and experience of other conservatives like those appearing in this post. We can hardly wait for national or state politicians to do the job for us — we have just seen the results of that.

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