November 05, 2008


Four years ago today, I read a particularly vicious rant on Slate called The unteachable ignorance of the red states. It was part of a series of angry rants written by a bitter liberal authors in response to John Kerry's defeat. This particular angry author, Jane Smiley, seemed to need sedation as she bashed the 59 million Americans that voted for President Bush.

Smiley, who doubtlessly considered (and probably still considers) herself superior to most Americans, exposed an amusing sort of condescension as she sought to make a historical point involving the Civil War during her rant. It would have been far more biting and far less amusing if she had not gotten that history precisely backward.

Her arrogance and ignorance warranted correction, and led to this blog entry, my very first. Glenn Reynolds and Frank J both linked it (then on blogspot), and I've been hooked ever since, some 3239 blog entries, 34,000 reader comments, and 4.6 million page views later. It's been a good run thus far, and one that appears to be strengthening over time.

I'm quite sure that giddy liberals awoke this morning hoping to hear Smileyesque rants and tortured wails of defeat coming from those of us on the right, accompanied by empty threats of abandoning the country and declarations that Barack Obama isn't our President. It is what they did.

Such is not our style, however.

We love the United States. Through every conflict and war through the various permutations of the Democratic and Republican parties, we love the country, not its politicians. We know better than to subscribe to cults of personality, having seen the damage they've done to nations in other parts of the world.

And so we wish Barack Obama great success as our 44th President, because we want our country to succeed, for our children's sake. We want our kids to reach heights and have opportunities that their forefathers couldn't have imagined. We want them to have an ever-better world.

I'm sure that Democrats also want these things for their kids. We just have very different ideas on how to get there.

We now have a liberal President-Elect, a liberal-led Senate, and a liberal-led House of Representatives. They now have the power and the responsibility. We'll see how Hyde Park, Las Vegas, and San Francisco family values fare when applied to the rest of the nation.

Frankly, I have strong doubts about Barack Obama's capability to lead our nation. I will continue to oppose his policies and prescriptions that seem to oppose to goals of our Founding Fathers. But he is my President-Elect, chosen by my fellow Americans. I disagree with their choices, but I respect their right to make that choice. I won't insult them for their choices, but will instead attempt to be more persuasive in the next election.

In just two short years, in 2010, we'll ask our fellow Americans to consider what an Obama/Pelosi/Reid-led government has accomplished.

Two short years.

I can hardly wait.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at November 5, 2008 11:44 AM

I have never wanted to be so wrong.. As a middle class American, my dream has always been to rise above the middle class to be financially independent. Now it seems that the rest of the nation just wants to be middle class.. Striving for mediocrity is no way to raise families; this debilitates character. I just hope that "Spreading the wealth around" benefits us as much as our fellow Americans have hoped.

Posted by: CliffTex1016 at November 5, 2008 12:08 PM

I thought the same looking around the conservative sites I read frequently. The comment sections were not so even keeled, but they were not totally outrageous, and the main posts were congradulatory toward Obama as well as saying they would stand up for the principles they believe in.

I think there is one difference between the right blogsphere and left: we will be less likely to rise up in indignant anger if what the new liberal government does is successful.

Iraq War II is a fine example: they did not want American success there. They preached doom and gloom right up to the point positive gains on the ground grew to such an alarming extent they could no longer do so ---- and then they just shut up about it altogether --- here I'm talking about the liberal media. On the non-official outlets, success in Iraq was still greeted with derision.

The same goes for economic success: when a Republican administration gains it for the society as a whole, we hear nothing but cries of how the wealth gap is growing - the poor getting poor and the rich richer - how the middle class is sinking into poverty, and how things must, must "change."

We will not see that from the right in minority status:

If Obama's trickle up system works --- if it leads to greater prosperity for the society as a whole, if it grows business in America and pushes up the upper class while raising up the lower levels -- just as the trickle down economics grew an economy that helped the nation as a whole -- then conservatives will be happy....

...They will not become more and more angry as the economy grows.

If Obama is successful in foreign policy -- like getting major EU nations to pick up the slack in Afghanistan or Iraq and that shows signs of achieving significant gains, conservatives will not scream bloody murder about it.

Posted by: usinkorea at November 5, 2008 12:38 PM

I gotta tell you...I don't know if it makes me a bad person or misguided (or something else) but I really DON'T want Obama to succeed.

I know it means tough times for our country, but if he succeeds with his policies, then every conservative in this country has been wrong, and we just need to throw in the towel.

If he succeeds, I don't see the uprising of true conservatives that this country needs.

I hope he crashes and burns, and all the people who sheepishly supported him will have to recognize the mistake they made.

I think it's the only way this country is going to get back on the rails.

I don't think I'm bitter...I think I'm just being realistic. Last night I felt personally mad at everyone who voted for Obama. I was considering it a personal insult against me and every other person who just wants to keep this country free and prosperous. But I quickly realized that isn't the right attitude. So now, instead of bitter anger, I just feel bad for the people who have been so mislead.

I might not have got the president I wanted, but I at least have the truth. That's priceless.

~T the D

Posted by: T the D at November 5, 2008 01:38 PM

I made this same comment on your previous post, but I will make it again.

I don’t believe we need despair over the current state of affairs. This country survived the Jimmy Carter administration and we will survive Obama’s. Despite his best efforts Carter didn’t destroy the American Dream. And we only had to live through double digit inflation, France-like unemployment, 1% economic growth, an energy crisis and the highest prime interest rate of any President, before or since. Carter never got a second term. Neither will Obama. The American people will realize they have been sold a pipe-dream. And after Jimmy Carter? a 49 state landslide for Ronald Reagan. Maybe this dark cloud has a silver lining after all…

Posted by: Eric at November 5, 2008 02:57 PM

I want Obama to succeed for the sake of our economy, but what I think will happen as his economic policies are tested, is that his socialist illuminati principles won't work in our country. And frankly, that's what needs to happen. I certainly believe in generosity and a form of equality in America, but it is not the government's role to take from us and give to others. If anything the Church needs to exemplify that kind of selfless, un-legislated giving from the heart, and I think we've made strides in that direction in the past several years with Africa and the AIDS crisis. But we haven't yet been moved by the situation at home, possibly because in comparison to other countries, our standard of living is incredibly high.

Posted by: jeanedcrusader at November 5, 2008 03:05 PM

Oh, and sorry for piling on, but this is from the comments to the previous post. On your site: "Pardon me for being different -- Obama will never be my president, not now, not ever. My maternal grandparents people were butchered by the same Stalinist goons that are now voting for Obama (Ayers, Dohrn, Klonsky, etc.). Count me in the incorrigible opposition that seeks to see this corrupt Chicago turd ripped to shreds in the next four years."

Yeah, classy.

Posted by: Johnny Coelacanth at November 5, 2008 03:46 PM

Obama will be my president. And that sucks.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at November 5, 2008 05:16 PM

I think it stinks that Obama won. I think a lot of people in this country are in for a rude shock at what he is going to do and what he is actually like. I'm furious with the liberal media and their bias. After this, I definitely won't buy their newspapers, magazines or watch their pathetic television programs. They did more than anyone else to help get him elected. I hope the American people remember their bias and hold them to account. In regards to your blog Confederate Yankee, I enjoy it greatly and I hope you continue to blog for many years to come. Rock on!

Posted by: Ditto at November 5, 2008 06:52 PM

If Obama chooses policies that truly make America more free, more capitalistic, and safer, then I wish him success, just as I wished Clinton success in those policies of his that made America better... like welfare reform.

However, if/when Obama picks policies that take America down the path to socialism, I will oppose him with all my might.

Posted by: C-C-G at November 5, 2008 07:17 PM

The One won. Bully for him and his supporters.

However, that does not mean its time to roll over.

The most frightening thing to me that might result from this administration is destroying our victory in Iraq. We are indebted to our brave fighting men and women for their incredible sacrifices and should be eternally grateful for their successes. Throwing them away mocks and demeans the sacrifices in lives we have incurred on what Abraham Lincoln referred to as the "altar of freedom". We owe it to our armed forces and veterans to ensure that does not happen.

Posted by: Teleprompter Messiah at November 5, 2008 08:51 PM

if it grows business in America

The left in the USA has always been business hostile, so that's not going to happen. My crew is seriously considering moving our base of corporate operations to Germany. The German's corporate tax structure is vastly more business friendly than the USA, and they don't have this insane adversarial relationship between business and government.

The German government wants to help us succeed, the US government just wants to tax the crap out of us.

Posted by: PA at November 5, 2008 09:21 PM

One small quibble there, CY, we don't have a "liberal President elect, a liberal led Congress... we have a marxist president and a socialist congress and house.

Posted by: emdfl at November 6, 2008 12:06 AM

As true patriotic Americans... This is OUR DUTY, to deal with, and function. Our Nation is only at stake if we give up. Carter did it wrong, and we elected Reagan. Think about the economy. When election year comes around, "trickle down economics" always works, versus a socialist idea.

Posted by: CliffTex1016 at November 6, 2008 12:46 AM

Tuesday, we got crushed by the Liberals. We lost the Presidency and lost seats in both houses of Congress. Obama won and on January 20th, he will be our president. We can blame the media, the economy, the war, the candidates. They raised more money, got out their voters, played rough, loose with the truth but they won. What are we going to do next time?

We need to focus on a single issue. Obama will wreck the economy with taxes and new government spending. In two years, every representative will answer for it. Conservatives should savage the porkers and big spenders.

In any contest, there are rules. If a basketball team finds itself behind in the final minutes, their players commit intentional fouls. Service academies and religious colleges have strict honor codes yet their teams commit intentional fouls. Why? Fouls are tactical and amoral.

In the 2008 election campaign, Liberals played by one set of rules; Conservatives, another. In a perfect world, everyone would do the right thing, but as we saw November 4th, the world in which we live is far from perfect. To win, we must understand the actual rules and exploit them.

There are rules on campaign contributions, voter registration, citizenship, residency, eligibility, ID, etc. These rules, however, are not evenly enforced. If a voting district permits “tactical violations,” we should first try to make them enforce the law. If we fail, we must adjust our tactics to compensate. Today’s political campaigns are rough. Candidates who are unwilling to run under defacto rules sets should refuse nomination.

Conservatives should organize 527s and “community organizers” parallel to and ACORN. If a Liberal opponent disables the donor information making it impossible to enforce limits on campaign contributions, why should Conservatives just accept this disadvantage? Why should individuals be limited to $2,300 per candidate? It’s a silly, artificial limit. If our opponent exceeds that limit with impunity, why should we not do the same?

If ACORN receives federal funding to register voters and get out the vote, why shouldn’t Conservative Officers For Election Reform (COFER)? If ACORN floods the rolls with registration forms from the Dallas Cowboys, COFER could register the more attractive Cowboy Cheerleaders. If ACORN sends in thugs to intimidate voters, COFER could send in large veterans on Harley-Davidsons to reassure them.

Hopefully, those charged with enforcing election law would do so. If not, we should recognize reality and act accordingly. Please spare me the "high road" lecture.

Posted by: arch at November 6, 2008 06:12 AM

Hyde Park, Las Vegas, and San Francisco family values

Oh, goody, more of the ol' "real" America/fake America rhetoric. Sure worked like gangbusters for Palin, didn't it? The North Carolina county where she made her "pro-America parts of America" comment went for Obama by 18 points.

Obama won because he ran in every part of the country with a message aimed at every part of the country. Until you so-called conservatives learn to resist the temptation to pit certain parts of America against the rest of it and then run only in the parts you like better, you will continue to lose, and deservedly so.

Posted by: Doug at November 6, 2008 08:18 AM
Until you so-called conservatives learn to resist the temptation to pit certain parts of America against the rest of it

Like pitting the rich against the poor?

Posted by: C-C-G at November 6, 2008 08:34 AM

Or black against white or rich against or rich against middle-class or middle class against poor or... Democraps can't live with 'em and can't kill 'em - at least not yet.

Oh, yeah, and did you notice how the one's message changed - depending on what part of the country he was preaching in? Didn't hink so.

Posted by: emdfl at November 6, 2008 09:26 AM

Doug said:

"Obama won because he ran in every part of the country with a message aimed at every part of the country."

Specifically, what message was that? I must have missed that part. All I heard was "Hope" and "Change". I never heard a coherent plan of what he is going to do.

And it is much easier to run in every part of the counrty when you are not concerned about where the money to pay for it came from.

Posted by: Mikey J at November 6, 2008 12:39 PM

emdfl, wasn't it Obama who called Pennsylvanians bitter people, clinging to their guns and so on and so forth? And didn't he say those words thousands of miles away in San Francisco?

Did he ever say those words in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia?

Another great example of pitting certain parts of America against other parts.

Posted by: C-C-G at November 6, 2008 07:11 PM

Nope, NOT my President. A stand-in for Bill Ayers whose election was bought and paid for by George Soros. Free elections require a free flow of information; instead, news media suppressed most of the relevant information.

Not only our first Black president (which under other circumstances I would have been excited about), but our first Red president. Red NOT as in "red state" but as in Red state (that's a capital R). Think Cuba, China, Soviet Union.

Posted by: Kathy from Kansas at November 7, 2008 01:21 AM

I've quoted you and linked to you here:

Posted by: Consul-At-Arms at November 10, 2008 12:33 AM

Obama won because most people are really dumber than they look.

Posted by: tanarg at November 12, 2008 02:05 AM