The Corner

The New Babylonian Captivity

I liked Krauthammer’s response on Fox last night that this is not a time for retooling ideology massively. The GOP young guns are a better bunch than the weak field we had to pick from for 2012, from Cruz to Rubio to Ayotte to Cantor. They are diverse in the right way, but social, economic, defense, and fiscal conservatives. Still they have a challenge — to keep their message consistent, avoid talk of truces on the issues, learn how to speak to and represent women, especially single women, rethink the foreign-policy rhetoric that implies the next war is just around the corner, and reach an accommodation on immigration that welcomes new people to our shores while maintaining social order. The GOP old guard received a hard kick yesterday. They talked only sporadically and defensively about social issues to the general public, had no sharp and oft-repeated messaging on health-care repeal and reform, and tried to win by “bread alone.” If they could not win that way this year, bread alone is not a winning proposition.

Two more things. Below is my chart on social issues in liberal states. We did not win much and will take a media beating over it. But all of our issues ran better than the GOP headliner in the eight states listed, with the exception of Florida’s disappointing results on the abortion and Blaine Amendment issues. The social issues are not to blame. I suspect many voters now believe there is no effective difference between the parties on these issues, no operational outcome on which they can rely. That is not to say there was no difference this time because I believe Romney would have kept his social promises, but a handful of his own dismissive comments about abortion and past GOP performance on the issue weaken the connection in many voters’ minds.

Finally, I received an e-mail from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation yesterday. An inspiring message about carrying on RR’s tradition of comprehensive conservatism with a sunny spirit? Nope, it was an offer to buy special edition Donald Duck pens. Someone was deeply asleep at the switch. This mistimed missive was a good symbolic summary of the day.

We may be on the verge of a new Babylonian captivity for religious conservatives. As we know, the story does not end there.

 *(81% of the vote)

— Charles A. “Chuck” Donovan is the president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

Most Popular

World

Why Trump’s Mideast Peace Deals Matter

After Israel’s resounding victory over the Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian armies in 1967, the Jewish state again offered the Arab world peace in exchange for recognition. And it was again rebuffed. Instead, the Arab League convened in Khartoum to formulate a consensus response that became known as “The 3 ... Read More
World

Why Trump’s Mideast Peace Deals Matter

After Israel’s resounding victory over the Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian armies in 1967, the Jewish state again offered the Arab world peace in exchange for recognition. And it was again rebuffed. Instead, the Arab League convened in Khartoum to formulate a consensus response that became known as “The 3 ... Read More

Battleground Arizona

At an August 11 Trump-campaign event in Mesa, Ariz., the state’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, noted in his remarks introducing Mike Pence that President Trump and the vice president “have visited the state of Arizona more than any other presidential administration in the history of our country,” adding: ... Read More

Battleground Arizona

At an August 11 Trump-campaign event in Mesa, Ariz., the state’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, noted in his remarks introducing Mike Pence that President Trump and the vice president “have visited the state of Arizona more than any other presidential administration in the history of our country,” adding: ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Jared Kushner Was Right

Over the past several years, a new certainty was added to death and taxes: Jared Kushner would fail in his role as the administration’s Middle East point man. It caused considerable merriment among President Donald Trump’s critics (and even some of his well-wishers) when he put his son-in-law in charge of ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Jared Kushner Was Right

Over the past several years, a new certainty was added to death and taxes: Jared Kushner would fail in his role as the administration’s Middle East point man. It caused considerable merriment among President Donald Trump’s critics (and even some of his well-wishers) when he put his son-in-law in charge of ... Read More

The Consequences of Biden

If you have decided that another four years of Donald Trump would be intolerable, and the prospect of four more years of the dysfunctional Trump circus in the White House fills you with dread, fine. But approach the prospects of a Joe Biden presidency with clear eyes and no illusions. Electing Biden would move ... Read More

The Consequences of Biden

If you have decided that another four years of Donald Trump would be intolerable, and the prospect of four more years of the dysfunctional Trump circus in the White House fills you with dread, fine. But approach the prospects of a Joe Biden presidency with clear eyes and no illusions. Electing Biden would move ... Read More