Friday, January 27, 2012

RedState Nonsense

In A Dangerous Redefining of "Establishment," I was somewhat critical of the analysis offered up at RedState, with regard to what the establishment is and who is in it:
I don't mean to sound unduly harsh, but it's stuff like this that really burns me up, people redefining concepts to serve their own agenda. And while I'm sure Dan's heart is in the right place, it's a bit much to suppose that he gets to decide who the "real" conservatives are and gets to put the rest into the "establishment" box.
Not wanting to be too harsh with people whose general ideology mirrors mine in many ways, I pulled back on my criticism. No more. Yesterday at RedState, Erick Erickson posted this diary entry, which concluded with:
The fix is in for Romney, which just means when he is crushed by Barack Obama a lot of Republicans will have a lot of explaining to do. Newt may not be able to win. But Romney sure as hell can’t beat Obama either if Newt can’t win. The problem remains — Gingrich supporters intrinsically know this to be so and are happy to die fighting. Romney’s supporters are still deluding themselves.
I make no bones about by general dislike of Newt Gingrich. I think he's untrustworthy, has a weak character, and is campaigning as an outsider, when he the archetypal DC insider. But I understand that others feel differently. And I'm not that impressed with Romney either, though I do think he possesses what Newt--and Obama--does not: executive experience in knowing how to get things done.

The idea that governance is all about ideology is a deeply flawed paradigm; Reagan, for all the accolades heaped upon him for his core principals, knew this. So did Bill Clinton, really. For at the end of the day, it matters just as much who a chief executive listens to, who they put in various critical positions, as it does what their core principals or beliefs are.

Obama has benefited in this regard by having a Secretary of State with a clue. When he has followed her lead, he's come off well. In contrast, when he's listened to others in his inner circle (which he does most frequently)--like Jarrett and Axelrod--he's done poorly, as has the country. It's not that I'm a fan of Hillary Clinton, but at least she has some sense of the pragmatic, the realistic.

If Obama loses the 2012 Election (unfortunately unlikely, in my opinion), whomever takes his place will need to put together a team that has the wherewithal to reorient policy to revitalize America. And frankly, Romney is far more likely to have that wherewithal than is Gingrich. In fact, I'd guess that Gingrich wouldn't listen to anyone, just assume every idea he had was both brilliant and right. But that's just my opinion.

Regardless, the idea that the "fix is in" is both stupid and insulting, as is the idea that Newt would somehow fare far better against Obama than would Mitt. Many Gingrich supporters--like Erickson--are the ones deluding themselves. They ignore Newt's ability to disgust many people, his transparent attempts to take ownership of the Tea Party movement, and his checkered personal past. They bank on the phony meme of Newt being able to crush Obama in debate, even as Romney demonstrates that Newt just isn't "all that," when it comes to debating.

But even worse than claims of the fix being in are the now-infantile attacks against other Republicans and conservatives as being "establishment," as being complicit in a conspiracy to derail Newt. Sorry, Ann Coulter. Your conservative credentials are now suspect, you're a part of this ant-Newt conspiracy, too.

It sickens me, this group on the right--propelled to the political forefront by a movement all about individualism--that now has no problem insisting we all must think exactly the way they do, or else be labelled traitors, faux conservatives. And right now, RedState seems to be leading that charge.

Cheers, all.

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