The Corner

Time to Reassess

Sometimes it is easy to draw quick lessons from a defeat — but this is not one of those times. Frankly, the scope of this defeat, not just for the White House but in the Senate and down-ballot races as well, is enough worse than expected that it requires a lot more sober, and lengthy, analysis. Despite spending a billion dollars on the presidential contest, despite unprecedented “ground game” efforts by more outside conservative groups than ever, despite having a president with a horrid record to run against, the Republican presidential ticket looks like it garnered even fewer votes than G. W. Bush did in 2004, when something like 15 million more people now call the United States home than just eight years ago. The wonderful Bush effort then should have been a floor, not a ceiling.

Plus, the Senate results were atrocious. Bright new conservatives lost. Foot-in-mouth conservatives lost. Establishment retreads lost. Moderates lost. Way too many people lost, even in solidly “red” states. Republicans obviously are missing something.

The whole country is in for a rough, rocky, even frightening four years. Conservatives and Republicans must refuse to break key principles — but other than that, politically speaking, we need to take a little time to reassess. We’re doing something very, very wrong, or maybe many “somethings.” We might need a whole new strategic paradigm — and we need enough humility to acknowledge that, right now, we obviously don’t have the right strategic answers. We need some time to clear our heads. We just lost, badly. We’re not going to win again by making snap judgments about what went wrong.

Quin Hillyer — In addition to National Review, Quin Hillyer has written for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New Republic, The Guardian (UK), and Investor’s Business Daily.

Most Popular


If Amy Wax Is Wrong, Let’s See the Data

Regarding the kerfuffle Jason Richwine addressed here earlier, the economist Glenn Loury has posted an impassioned plea to his Facebook page. Loury, you may recall, hosts the video blog where Wax made her controversial claim that black students at Penn Law School rarely graduate in the top half of the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

San Francisco Bans Fur Sales

San Francisco has banned the sale of fur. From the CBS-SF story: San Francisco has become the first major U.S. city to ban the sale of fur clothing and products. Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a measure that prohibits the sale of fur clothes, accessories, even souvenirs in stores and ... Read More

For the First Time in Weeks, Relief Sweeps over Austin

Making the click-through worthwhile: The Austin bomber is done in by one of his own devices; some new numbers suggest that a small but significant portion of Trump voters are tiring of the chaos and aren’t showing up to support other Republicans in 2018; and the mixed news for conservatives coming out of the ... Read More

The Baleful Effect of #MeToo on Campus

Remember the series of hurricanes that pounded the Caribbean last summer? Something like that has been occurring on college campuses, as they're hit by one destructive mania after another: diversity, Title IX, anti-speech protests. Now it's the #MeToo Movement. In this Martin Center article, British academic ... Read More
Politics & Policy

A Time for Choosing

This year’s Conservative Political Action Conference was controversial. Invitations to European nationalist populists such as Nigel Farage and Marion Maréchal-Le Pen (the niece of Marine Le Pen) caused many longtime conservatives to question whether they still belong to the conservative movement. Vocal critics ... Read More