The Corner

The Real Story

I’m writing about this for my USA Today column, but the Frank Rich hissy fit is a perfect example of the real story of the election. The story is not that the GOP is self-destructing, it is that the conventional wisdom is being shown to be ludicrous. For some time now Frank Rich, Sam Tanenhaus, and countless others (including David Frum) have been arguing that the GOP is a rump party and the only way for it to survive is for it to embrace me-too Republicanism of one flavor or another. The story of all three major races (Va., N.J., and NY-23) is that this conventional wisdom was incandescently wrong and ill-advised. Hoffman and McDonnell owe their success to the support of independents (the independents all of these people said wanted moderate, Democrat-lite policies) and to Republicans determined to stay true to conservative principles. Not only was the conventional wisdom wrong, the idea that there’s a “civil war” within the GOP revolving around this argument is nonsense. The GOP is an unapologetically conservative party, providing a choice not an echo, and — horror of horrors — it’s working.

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