The Corner

Re: Winning/Losing

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.)

[UPDATE: A reader writes:

Are you still here?

Not officially. This morning Aunt Zeituni’s deportation order was redirected to my pad.]

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist. That’s to say, his latest book, After America (2011), is a top-five bestseller in ...

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