Skip to content
About these ads

Conservatives, celebrate the historic victory you won today!

7 November 2012

Summary:  The votes are counted. The Democratic Party defeated the GOP. The Left won a phantom victory. The Right won the real thing.  This is not the full story about the election, which has so many threads (each with its own implications). It might be the most important.  Also — see the posters at the end of the post.

It’s time to add another post to the Smackdowns Page: President Romney will prove an effective President, reshaping America for his constituents., posted in April 2012.  Romney surprised me by hiring top professionals but running an incompetent campaign, most especially by failing to move to the center after securing the nomination (this error epitomized by his choice of Ryan as VP). (Update:) Also, the economy was stronger than I anticipated (which by itself explains Obama’s win).

But that’s not the big story. There are two more important stories at work — longer in duration, larger in effect on America. Stranger and more complex than what I foresaw.

Mourn for the Left!

  1. The effect of the defeats in 2008 and 2012 on the GOP.
  2. The victory of conservatives that will change the course of America

(1)  The effect of the defeats in 2008 and 2012 on the GOP

In November 2008 I wrote that the GOP faced two choices:

Door #1:  reflection and rebuilding

This option would have been far more difficult.  What did the Grand Old Party do wrong?  How should its platform change to better express its beliefs for the 21st century?  How can it offer something to America that is more than a weak echo of the Democratic Party’s solutions, instead of policies attractive only to a small extreme?

Door #2:  Purge the Party, keeping only the faithful led by Rush and Fox

This would have two results:

.

Glenn Beck explained what could be done, & they did it.

(a)  The GOP would become irrelevant extremists, like the Green and Socialist parties, as both membership and (equally or more important) funding dwindle. Few Americans, and even fewer in our ruling elites, have much interest in losers.  No matter how pure their ideology.

(b)  The center of gravity to America’s political ideological spectrum would shift left.  In most of America the primaries would become the key contests in local, State, and national elections, are they are in so many areas today (due to both local political dominance plus gerrymandering).

In 2008 the GOP chose Door #2 (they face the exact same choices today).  But the result was the opposite of what I forecast.

(2)  The victory of conservatives will change the course of America

True victory comes from converting opponents to adherents.  As the GOP has done with the Democratic Party in some many areas of public policy. They differ on what weeds we can smoke, who does what in the bedroom — and about the consequences (contraception, abortion, aid to single mothers).

Look at the similarities in their policies.

  • Both parties serve the banks, lavish public funds on defense contractors, and intend to cut social welfare benefits.
  • Both support the Long War (now based on a campaign of assassinations) against fundamentalist Islam, and the war on Iran.
  • Both are advocates for our mad profitless American Empire, and steadily erode civil liberties.
  • Both support Israel’s interests over America’s.
  • Both approve the massive gulag holding 2.3 million Americans.
  • While both talk big, neither plans large changes in the complex American flat tax system (ie, a roughly flat rate for most Americans except the poor, calculated including all taxes at all levels).

Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement consists of enacting Romney’s healthcare plan — designed by Heritage and other GOP think-tanks, applauded by Newt Gingrich. A plan more conservative than Nixon proposed in 1974, let alone any proposed by liberals.

Conservatives have shifted the Overton Window — the range of thought politically viable at any time — decisively to the Right.  That’s a historic victory, and one likely to continue for some time.

The result has left the Left as orphans, with no political home — while the Right owns the GOP.

The Right should be celebrating tonight. The Left should mourn.  What might change this situation?

(3)  This series about the results of Campaign 2012

  1. Conservatives, celebrate the historic victory you won today!
  2. The votes were counted and one wing of our one ruling party won. Rejoice!
  3. How Obama AND conservatives both won on Tuesday
  4. Civil rights just took a step forward, the slow hard way. The right way.
  5. The hidden major party, the key to political control of America

(4)  For more information bout conservatives and the Republican Party

How the GOP has evolved:

  1. Let’s play round 2 of “Name That Liberal”
  2. Let’s play round 3 of “Name That Liberal”
  3. The evolution of the Republican Party has shaped America during the past fifty years, 8 May 2010
  4. Conservatives oppose the new START treaty, as they opposed even the earlier version negotiated by Ronald Reagan, 24 July 2010

What happens next to the GOP?

  1. What happens to the Republican Party after the election?, 2 November 2008
  2. R.I.P., G.O.P. – a well-deserved end, 7 November 2008 — A history of the New GOP, an ugly story.
  3. Conservative reflections about America – starting to use their time in the wilderness to think, 15 November 2008
  4. Conservatives should look back before attempting to move forward, 5 December 2008

The Republican’s response to defeat in 2008:

  1. Republicans have found a sure-fire path to victory in the November elections, 5 February 2010
  2. Why Conservatives are winning: they use the WMD of political debate, 28 April 2011
  3. The significance for America of Romney’s choice of Ryan as VP, 11 August 2012

About the Republican Party of today

  1. Two contrasting views of the Republican Party, 23 May 2010
  2. Will people on the right help cut Federal spending?, 19 June 2010
  3. The Republicans are serious about the budget. The results could be ugly., 24 November 2010
  4. Why do Rep Ryan and the Republicans want to gut America’s military defenses?, 14 April 2011
  5. Mitt Romney and the Empire of Hubris.  Setting America on a path to decline., 10 October 2011
  6. A modern conservative dresses up Mr. Potter to suit our libertarian fashions, 17 November 2011
  7. Ron Paul’s exotic past tells us much about him, the GOP, libertarians – and about us, 27 December 2011
  8. The key to modern American politics:  the Right-Wing Id Unzipped, 15 February 2012
  9. Why Republicans Need Remedial Math: Their Budget Plans Explode the Deficit, 16 March 2012
  10. What every American must know about the Republican Party, 16 October 2012

.

.

.

About these ads
45 Comments leave one →
  1. Duncan Kinder permalink
    7 November 2012 7:21 am

    It’s too late in the evening for me to respond in any detailed fashion, but – because the nation state is becoming archaic it is therefore innately conservative. Insofar as liberalism, progressiveism and the like have any potency is outside the confines of the nation state.

    The most we can hope for from the nation state is some sort of Metternich arrangement.

    The real problem of liberalism is not that it has failed to assert itself on the national level. Rather, its failure to robustly manifest itself in various transnational, non-national, networked, and other such non-national forms is its actual problem.

    BTW: the elections were not entirely useless. Two states legalized marijuana.

    Like

    • 7 November 2012 7:34 am

      “because the nation state is becoming archaic”

      That’s a theory (I believe first developed by Martin van Creveld). Is there much evidence for it? Not yet, IMO.

      Like

    • Duncan Kinder permalink
      7 November 2012 11:37 pm

      Obviously my earlier discussion of Catalonia, etc., did not persuade you; so you must be a tough nut to crack. Note, however,that the grassroots uprising against the marijuana laws somewhat buttresses my argument.

      I presume you are familiar with the literature about transnational organizations, etc., and likewise fail to find them compelling.

      For the record, I reached my own conclusions about the nation state’s decline during my freshman year in college in 1975, while pondering the significance of the Arab oil boycott, the Japanese auto invasion, the Vietnam debacle, and Watergate.

      As for additional evidence, the time has come for us to roll up our sleeves and generating such.

      Like

    • 8 November 2012 12:55 am

      Duncan,

      I have long supported Martin van Creveld’s decline of the State theory, in scores of posts since 2003! But we must be realistic about the evidence, no matter what our views of the theory. It’s as yet with little evidence.

      The seperatist movements in Europe, such as Catalonia, are interesting. But not yet decisive evidence.

      Like

    • Duncan Kinder permalink
      8 November 2012 4:39 pm

      Here’s some more indecisive evidence:

      Merkel calls for eurozone countries to surrender key tax-and-spend powers

      Prescription aimed at rescuing the single currency is one that other member nations may find hard to swallow

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/nov/07/merkel-eurozone-surrender-budgetary-powers

      I for one am quite content to gather such indecisive evidence; because evidence – to the extent it should be decisive – is apt also to be unpleasant.

      Like

    • 8 November 2012 4:49 pm

      “Merkel calls for eurozone countries to surrender key tax-and-spend powers”

      This is as yet indecisive. Does this show State formation, construction of a United Europe? The last step in a process followed by other great nations: China (a long time ago), Germany & France, the UK, the USA, Russia, India — and now Europe?

      Like

    • Duncan Kinder permalink
      9 November 2012 12:01 am

      If that leads to state formation – rather than further debasement of the existing states – then give me your address and I’ll send you some cigars.

      Like

    • 9 November 2012 12:50 am

      Duncan,

      People have been saying the european unification project would fail real soon — for 50 years. Wrong so far.

      That does not mean that you are wrong about the outcome. It means that your implication that the odds of failure are very very high is probably an inaccurate evaluation. Guessing at odds on large-scale, long-term social evolutions is difficult, and IMO should be done only with great humility about one’s accuracy.

      Like

    • 9 November 2012 11:00 pm

      This article summarizes what is really going on in Europe: “Mexican drug cartels penetrate southern Europe“, EU Observer, 8 November 2012 — “One of Mexico’s largest and most dangerous drug cartels has expanded its activities throughout the world, including Spain, Italy and the Western Balkans.”

      The reach of drug trafficking cartels, in particular the Sinaloa cartel, is one that is frankly global,” said the US deputy assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, Brian Nichols, on Thursday (8 November) in Brussels

      … The Mexicans are not the only ones with an acute business interest in the Western Balkans. Colombians and Peruvians are also making in-roads.

      This topic has been widely covered. In an act of blatant self-promotion, those who want further details should follow my posts on Facebook.

      Like

    • 10 November 2012 1:45 am

      The drug cartels are multi-national businesses, like everything else these days. Free enterprise at work, “markets in everything”. Perhaps a taste of our Libertarian future.

      Like

  2. 7 November 2012 12:50 pm

    The Election did show that the wilder elements of the the Republican party are not viable in a national election. Perhaps this means that the money will now flow to the center/left of the Republican party. A good thing over the longer term. I agree with the thrust of the post, but I do think that the consecutive defeats will have its effect on the more rational elements of the republican party. Perhaps in the longer term pushing the party back to the center.

    I watched the Adam Curtis documentary film “It Felt like a Kiss” last night, it was far more informative to the world we live in than any election night special, i recommend it.

    Like

    • 7 November 2012 2:05 pm

      Thank you for posting the Adam Curtis video!

      “I do think that the consecutive defeats will have its effect on the more rational elements of the republican party.”

      I agree. But then I thought that in 2008! Also, the GOP was crushed in 1932 (although ideological reasons, not the structural weakness of today), and didn’t reocver in a sense until 1952 (Ike’s win). In a deeper sense, the GOP didn’t rebuild its ideological foundations until the 1960s.

      Political parties can spend a long time in the wilderness. Especially when the opposition party co-opts so much of their policy platform, as the Democratic Party has done to the GOP!

      Like

  3. 7 November 2012 3:23 pm

    FM: “Political parties can spend a long time in the wilderness. Especially when the opposition party co-opts so much of their policy platform, as the Democratic Party has done to the GOP!”

    True, New Labour under Tony Blair moved right, and captured the center from the the Tories in the early 90’s, it took the Tories a long time to reorganize, and initially they did drift right, this rightward drift lead to successive heavy defeats at the hands of New Labour. Now they are virtually undistinguishable from Labour, its a matter of taste rather than principle when you decide to vote.

    Like

  4. underscore33 permalink
    7 November 2012 4:08 pm

    i’m not sure there is incentive for the GOP to change. while the moderates of the party will point to Mourdoch and Akin and say “see, the crazies are losing us elections,” i am not sure there’s any evidence that the party leadership is actually listening to it. even the more subtle arguments from Rove about the shifting demographics of the country have been ignored since summer of 2007. if we can accept that Fox News is the mouth piece of American Conservatism, their takeaways last night were:

    – Romney’s campaign failed, he didn’t define himself early enough to counter balance the President’s attacks

    – Obama was reelected by a smaller margin than in 2008, thus showing he has a weaker mandate than the previous term.

    – exit polls show that voters still favor small government, thus as the party of small government, the GOP should not reevaluate but continue to polish its credentials in this regard.

    the people willing to navel gazing weren’t given nearly the airtime of those who continued to beat the drum of the GOP’s virtues. behind the scenes people are going to say that Romney was a weak candidate and that he was never truly conservative, and since the ‘moderate’ failed in the general election, there may be less appetite in the primary to elect someone with a record of compromise. further, whereas they lost nationally, the GOP continued to make gains at the state level, especially in governorships. i don’t think this party believes it is in the wilderness to begin with, and i am not sure they’re wrong.

    one thing that isn’t noted here, however, is that Obama won demographics that are growing, while Romney held those that are losing ground. rural voters, white (men), the religious–these are not growing segments of our voters. i have seen studies out there that show that political attitudes do not shift significantly as a voter ages. so on the other hand, if the GOP continues to lose ground against the urban, minorities (esp. Latinos), women, youth, and the highly educated, then they may not matter how they choose to interpret their defeat. the foundations of schism might already be laid.

    Like

  5. Drake West permalink
    7 November 2012 4:30 pm

    Your concept that the GOP has gained something because the ideology of the democratic party is moving toward the center right is such sour grapes. The parties change their central ideology over time, since FDR time things have moved all over the place. Winning the election is the goal of the parties, not getting the other party to change ideology. That is like telling a Mets fan that they should cheer a Yankees World Series victory because we are all from New York. Nice try. GOP lost because of what Underscore33 says above:

    – the GOP went to war on certain voting blocks, foolishly to protect a declining demographic. Namely single women, immigrants and minorities. Its about voting blocks stupid GOP!!
    – The race was not that close. Obama underperformed his 2008 numbers, which is more sour grapes to call that a GOP gain. Guess what if the team that beats you in the World Series didn’t have as many wins as last year, you still lost.

    In the end FB, you wrote endlessly all season why Romney would win, you were 100% wrong. You could have written more about why Romney might lose and sounded much more intelligent.

    thanks for great fodder. I am glowing in your failed prediction.

    Like

    • 7 November 2012 4:51 pm

      “Winning the election is the goal of the parties, not getting the other party to change ideology”

      I don’t believe that is accurate. Parties are coalitions by powerful interest groups to advance their goals. Many groups seek to influence or even control both parties. Look at drug industry and Wall Street contributions, given on a large scale to both parties for that very reason.

      Like

    • Drake West permalink
      7 November 2012 8:31 pm

      My point is that the parties have names and ideological histories, but seek to morph into winners of elections. In the modern era presidential era, say post Vietnam and Nixon’s resignation, the parties seek to win at all costs, not project a constant platform. Look at the difference between Reagan/Bush41 and GWBush. Which Republican party are we talking about? The one that tries to win the election.

      On the Democrats side the difference between say Carter and Clinton, and now Obama. Nothing so similar there to see an adherence to platform more than a seeking of voting blocks.

      Additionally, Presidential campaign strategies, and surely tactics are on a linear progression of maturity and do NOT cyclically function in a party platform vacuum at all.

      All this, to me, adds up to seeking victory at all costs. There is no victory for the GOP today, they lost the White House against a largely unpopular, centrist, African American incumbent with terrible economic numbers chaining him down to the bottom of the ocean. THEY LOST!!

      Strategically, they got hammered on the ground. Romney should have won by 3 points in reality. Axelrod crushed Rove and redefined national campaigning once again. Obama’s message, emotional on the outside, academic on the inside was a tasty treat for its targeted demographics. While Romney could not keep his message clear, could not explain and could not contain the wackos in his own party from gumming up the works. The Democrats were much better and keeping the airwaves clean and void of red flags from their other national candidates. As such, the polished and unified message has netted them 2 Senate seats and 4 more years.

      This blog entry should be about HOW Romney lost – that would due credit to FM’s amazing researching and writing skills. That post would interest me.

      It does not matter that FM says that Democrats now follow and center right agenda, the fact is the GOP is not in the White House and picked the wrong plays over and over in this race. Winning means everything and for the most part 80% of what a Presidential Administration does is the same as what the other party’s administration would do. So what if want to claim that Obama is not a liberal. Doesn’t at all help the GOP.

      Like

    • 7 November 2012 9:27 pm

      I don’t have the time to respond to Drake’s interesting comment, which raises many interesting issues. Here’s a note on one big point:

      “My point is that the parties have names and ideological histories, but seek to morph into winners of elections.”

      Agreed!

      My point — from the previous comment — is that the political parties are *secondary* actors — in the sense that their actions are driven by powerful interest groups. Events are driven far more by the powerful groups than their instruments, the parties.

      I believe the data better supports this perspective, and that it has allowed for more accurate forecasts. That was the point of this post. My reluctance to boast dampened the clarity of that message.

      Like

    • sglover permalink
      8 November 2012 12:01 am

      “Look at the difference between Reagan/Bush41 and GWBush. Which Republican party are we talking about?”

      Are you claiming that there’s some difference between the two? Other than in some superficial, stylistic matters, what would that be? Many or most of the worst of the Bush henchmen served their apprenticeships **under** Reagan. In every way that matters, the regime of Bush the Lesser was the fruition of the Reagan program.

      Like

  6. 7 November 2012 5:34 pm

    FM offers:

    “Conservatives have shifted the Overton Window — the range of thought politically viable at any time — decisively to the Right. That’s a historic victory, and one likely to continue for some time.
    The result has left the Left as orphans, with no political home — while the Right owns the GOP.

    The Right should be celebrating tonight. The Left should mourn. What might change this situation?”

    This news and insight? Your prediction of a Romney victory has been relegated to the dust bin and now you prattle on and on using Glen Beck?

    What is generally missing here is a continued clear statement of what you, personally, believe in—your moral center. That is all that most people are truly interested in.

    Couple it with your continued denigration of your fellow citizens and what we are left with is an esoteric analysis and celebration of insights of value to whom?

    It grows tiresome. We have major problems and this is what we get here? “Historic Victory” Whew.

    Relevance slinks away in the night. Good luck

    Breton

    Like

    • 7 November 2012 6:30 pm

      What is generally missing here is a continued clear statement of what you, personally, believe in—your moral center. That is all that most people are truly interested in.

      Why would Fabius’s “moral center” be “all that most people are interested in?” I, for one, have plenty of other interests.

      Over the years Fabius has made a consistent statement: The United States is facing increasingly serious problems and is failing to address them. Furthermore, we are not solving our problems because of any lack of ability but because we seem to have made the choice not to. That is a choice that we the people of this country can reverse.

      Seems pretty relevant to me.

      Like

    • underscore33 permalink
      7 November 2012 6:35 pm

      mmm… but think about that statement closely. GWoT has been adopted and expanded under Obama. there is no scenario thinkable for either party in Washington about a nuclear armed Iran. privatization of social benefits is widely accepted by the young left, while spending cuts in social programs for the poor are on the table. in education policy, liberals increasingly favor charter schools and test based incentives for teachers rather than investing in public schools and curriculum that are shown to work. lip service to unions is a given, but union busting is a common theme among Dem mayors. as is pension slashing. then there’s welfare to workfare. even on the environment, clean coal plays well among certain blocks of Dem politicians. despite violence liberal politicians hardly breathe a word about gun control.

      i am not sure i am as ready to concede this to the overton effect as much as i would the fact that most blue dog Dems are rightly moderate Republicans. but in many cases the GOP has been able to shift the dialogue to the right and time and again have been allowed to frame it. the liberals of today hardly look like FDR. maybe that’s a natural reaction to our changing circumstance but it sure feels to me like they have co-opted a lot from the moderate right to remain politically relevant, while the GOP is bat shit crazy and somehow politically relevant.

      Like

    • 7 November 2012 7:26 pm

      “am not sure i am as ready to concede this to the overton effect”

      Underscore33 raises an important point — “why” is among the most difficult questions in human affairs, about which we can only guess.

      “in many cases the GOP has been able to shift the dialogue to the right and time and again have been allowed to frame it. … it sure feels to me like they {today’s liberals} have co-opted a lot from the moderate right to remain politically relevant, while the GOP is bat shit crazy and somehow politically relevant.”

      A perfect description of the Overton window at work!

      Like

    • 7 November 2012 7:56 pm

      Breton is a sharpe person and again provides an interesting perspective. These thing deserve a more complete analysis than I can provide now, but here are some brief points.

      (1). “Your prediction of a Romney victory has been relegated to the dust bin”

      Yes, but predicting who wins is a minor point (a concession to popular interest in the question). Of far greater importance is the policy convergence of our major parties — about which I (and many others) have warned for 4 years — and only now becomes visible to larger numbers of Americans.

      “now you prattle on and on using Glen Beck?”

      Yes. He is a successful and influential figure in our time. As Nietzsche said, the world revolves around the creators of new ideas. He said often these would be monsters (eg, Rousseau, in his personal life).

      “What is generally missing here is a continued clear statement of what you, personally, believe in—your moral center.”

      I talk about morals as boundaries defining America. Such in the long comment threads about torture — where I was in the minority saying it was bad — a shock contributing to my shutting down comments (too much info about America).

      But within those boundaries I seldom discuss morality, as in “why my moral code is better than yours”. Here we grapple not just with uncertainties, but those where we have some basis to find answers. And in such moral questions — is the Left or Right more moral? — I lack sufficient certainty to venture an opinion.

      So we discuss these public policy questions from a utilitarian perspective. There are a thousand other websites for more philosophical or theological debate.

      “That is all that most people are truly interested in.”

      Many people, agreed. With respect to this specific issue, the numbers say you are probably wrong. Volume the past 2 months is a multi-year highs. Today’s might be a multi-year high.

      “Couple it with your continued denigration of your fellow citizens and what we are left with is an esoteric analysis and celebration of insights of value to whom?”

      I write what seems important to me, without consideration of popularity. I post my record — right and wrong — for all to see. What my fellow Americans make of the FM website is not my concern, nor do I have any way to determine it other than by traffic. And what does that tell us?

      More broadly, my job is just to try, just as it is for those of you reading this.

      “It grows tiresome.”

      Thank you for sharing.

      “We have major problems and this is what we get here? ‘Historic Victory’ Whew.”

      Is that a rebuttal? I don’t understand the nature of your disagreement. Can you be more specific?

      Like

  7. Alleinikov permalink
    7 November 2012 7:51 pm

    What do you consider the essence of conservative thinking? Does someone knows some good books elaborating on conservative thinking? Conservative seems to me just another buzzword.

    Like

    • 7 November 2012 8:00 pm

      Alleinikov raises an important question. I have no time for an answer, except to note that I usually use the term “conservative” (in a political context) in an operational way: as a relative measure of a segment on the current range of political opinion in America.

      There are many others definitions, as usual for a word with such a long history in so many applications.

      Like

    • criticaltinkerer permalink
      7 November 2012 8:08 pm

      Here is a harsh description of conservative thinking

      http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/pagre/conservatism.html

      Like

    • sglover permalink
      8 November 2012 12:23 am

      A good rule of thumb is that, in America, people who call themselves “conservative”, aren’t. Among that crowd, I actually don’t see very much of what I’d call “thinking”. It’s more a free-floating set of resentments. Talk to them and you’ll find very little interest in “conserving” much of anything. An obvious example: If our petroleum habit is a problem — which I’d say it is, but it’s open to debate — prudent measures like conservation and economy are simply ignored. For most contemporary “conservatives”, the only acceptable answer is, Get More. And don’t worry about how you do it.

      But if you want a good example of *genuine* conservatives, thoughtful folks with an interest in gradualism and respect for tradition, you could do a lot worse than checking out The American Conservative. One of their regular contributors, Daniel Larison, is one of the sharpest political commentators around.

      It’s a shame that guys like Larison are such a voice in the wilderness, and that “conservatism” has become almost a punchline. By American standards I’m pretty far left (though I think I’d be a plain vanilla social democrat on the other side of the Atlantic), but I’m often frustrated by the mushheadedness of the folks on “my” side. (Anyone who seriously claims the Dems are guardians of leftist values is simply brain-dead ) If the folks in the other camp weren’t such cartoon villiians, maybe the folks in mine would be less flabby-minded…..

      Like

    • Steve permalink
      8 November 2012 5:57 am

      Good question! Maybe start with Russell Kirk who once stated that “conservatism is the negation of ideology”: “Ten Conservative Principles” by Russell Kirk (1993).

      I firmly believe, however, that most people who consider themselves “conservatives” are actually “neo-conservatives” which grew out of the ideologies of former Trotskyites (i.e. Leo Strauss).

      Like

  8. 7 November 2012 9:04 pm

    Our elites have deigned to allow us the illusion that we have chosen our preside(r) in chief. And preside he will, over the continuing collapse of one subsystem after another, until our national consciousness is raised through the unpleasant experience of having to pay attention way more than usual. Harsh reality intruding can be a drag, but it does lead to introspection and increased perspicacity. Path forward, our pols will have a much harder time running the usual playbook on us proles. The widening gap between what we are told by the talking heads and our daily experience is our last best hope for liberty. I say bring it.

    Like

    • Drake West permalink
      7 November 2012 11:14 pm

      Great comment.

      The battle is between the Axelrod’s and Rove’s of the political electioneering machine and the average overworked, underpaid, self absorbed citizen.

      I must say the citizen has no chance…

      Like

  9. Todd Guthrie permalink
    7 November 2012 11:48 pm

    Why no mention of the election victories for homosexuals or recreational marijuana users? Are these now within the Overton window?

    Another election topic: in my home state of California, we saw the results of two recent experiments to incrementally improve the election process here: anti-gerrymandering reform and open primaries.
    I would be interested to hear what Fabius Maximus thinks of the implications, and whether such things should (or could) be implemented on a national level.

    Like

    • 8 November 2012 12:52 am

      “Why no mention of the election victories for homosexuals”

      I agree, that’s big! See the next post at 12:00 GMT.

      I’m attempting to keep the posts short (arpox 1000 words) to maximize effect and audience. So we’ll deal with the many interesting threads of this election in smaller posts!

      Like

  10. Thomas More permalink
    8 November 2012 3:41 am

    Despite the rhetorical jiu-jitsu, FM fails to address the stark fact that he got the outcome of this election completely utterly 100% wrong. Romney did not win. Obama won. Regardless of the detailed consequences of that perhaps cosmetic piece if political kabuki theater, the fact remains that FM really ought to address the reality of getting his prediction completely wrong.

    Like

    • 8 November 2012 4:02 am

      More,

      Was there something unclear to you about the opening paragraph of this post?

      Also, you appear to misunderstand the point of both the April post and today’s. Which is more evidence for my belief that Americans are mesmerized by the horse race of candidates, remaining blind to the underlying trend of our political system.

      That was the clear point of the April 2012 post. The opening sentence gave an estimate: “Romney seems most likely to win”. But that was a detail in the larger point, made in so many posts before and since: both parties share one vision about the most important aspects of public policy. The end of that post:

      Conclusions

      This is the lesson of campaigns 2008 and 2012: no matter how the candidates prance and gibber, once in office they take the difficult measures necessary to execute the will of our ruling elites: to produce economic stability, low taxes for the rich, less regulation (eg, Obama’s JOBS bill; see below), eroded civil liberties, a stronger and slowly combining police-intelligence-military complex.

      There is no reason to fear that America will collapse. But we are on a path to become a new nation, sharing only the name and location of what we once were. There is still time to change.

      That forecast too might prove to be incorrect. But right or wrong, IMO this is the question that matters.

      Like

  11. 8 November 2012 11:59 am

    Closer reading of the initial post and comments seems to imply the shifting of the Oberton window has been damaging for the Right, as it has succeeded in forcing there policies ever further rightward. Perhaps the way forward for them would be the path taken by the British conservatives in the 1920’s, they instated a range of social protections for the urban poor, housing, unemployment benefits, access to health care, that succeeded in capturing a segment of the working class that they still hold today. IMHO the Republicans need to develop a Compassionate Conservatism, and abandon the damaging, and frankly unappealing neo randisim they seem to have adapted. I shudder to think how they would have done if the Economy had been doing well.

    Bill O’Rielly was correct in saying the people want stuff….

    Like

    • 8 November 2012 4:19 pm

      I am explaining this in multiple posts, due to the complexity and non-consensus nature of this analysis.

      The post just up explains that the GOP is not the Right. The Right can win a massive victory while the GOP loses.

      That is the story of Campaign 2012.

      That was my original analysis of the Tea Party. They were shock troops for the Right, fighting for the GOP. History shows the fate of shock troops.

      Like

  12. Thomas More permalink
    9 November 2012 4:07 am

    FM, like so many other commentators, has utterly failed to address his completely wrong prediction that Romney would win this presidential election.

    Moreover, everyone who has posted comments to the effect that the GOP will now realize the error of its ways and become more moderate is spouting nonsense. The Republican party and American conservatives will not become more moderate as a result of this loss: instead, both the Republican party and American conservatives will grow much much much more fanatically far-right as a result of this election.

    Since you’re all wrong and unable to clearly see what obviously in front of your noses, here’s the explanation. The GOP will conclude that their big mistake this election cycle was in nominating a moderate. Thus, in the next election cycle, the GOP will seek to nominate someone much farther to the right even than Paul Ryan. They’ll look for someone to campaign in 2016 for the presidency on policies like abolishing the IRS and declaring war on Saudi Arabia and invading Mexico to end the War on Drugs and establishing a nationwide curfew and mass roundups of suspected subversives into giant internment camps.

    It’s commonly understood in experimental psychology (but a complete mystery to commentators like FM) that when fanatical cults experience a sudden shocking break in their worldview because circumstance contradict their claims, the cults usually become more extreme and more fanatical. This happens because the shocking confrontation with the real world induces the less extreme cult members to leave, so that only the most fanatical and rabid cultists remain.

    Thus we can confidently look forward to a far more extreme right-wing GOP presidential candidate than Paul Ryan in 2016. What policies the GOP will advocate in 2016 we can’t yet say, but they will certainly be far more extreme than even the most rabid suggestions yet made by Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh. Death camps? Numerical IDs tattooed on all Americans? Nationwide nightly lockdowns of every citizen inside their own homes? Declaring martial law “for the duration of the emergency”? Total abolition of income taxes? Complete privatization of all K-12 schooling? Re-legalization of human slavery for poor people in debt? Only time will tell, but considering the extremity of Paul Ryan’s policies, the Republican platform of 2016 will be truly breathtaking in its reactionary conservatism.

    Like

    • 9 November 2012 4:36 am

      Re: More’s comment

      (1) “FM … has utterly failed to address his completely wrong prediction that Romney would win this presidential election”

      A reading FAIL. “Utterly” is false since that is addressed in the opening paragraph. More repeats this claim after I explained this in reply to his previous comment — so we have a double reading FAIL!

      (2) “Since you’re all wrong”

      I my experience (26 thousand to date) comments with such statements are almost always incorrect.

      (3) “Since you’re … unable to clearly see what obviously in front of your noses, here’s the explanation. The GOP will conclude that their big mistake this election cycle was in nominating a moderate.”

      I will respect More’s confidence when he shows us the mansion and wealth earned from his bets. Otherwise we’ll have to assume delusional over-confidence in his ability to forecast complex events.

      (4) “It’s commonly understood in experimental psychology (but a complete mystery to commentators like FM) that when fanatical cults experience a sudden shocking break in their worldview because circumstance contradict their claims”

      As a 30 year long Republican, I disagree with More’s description of the GOP as a “fanatical cult.” In fact, that seems quite daft. I quit at that point.

      Like

  13. Thomas More permalink
    10 November 2012 4:09 am

    FM writes: “As a 30 year long Republican, I disagree with More’s description of the GOP as a `fanatical cult.’ In fact, that seems quite daft. I quit at that point.”

    Lifelong Republicans who have been members of the Republican Party for much longer than 30 years disagree with you, FM.

    “Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult “

    “Someone ought to study the Republican Party. I am not referring to yet another political scientist but to a mental health professional, preferably a specialist in the power of fixations, obsessions and the like. The GOP needs an intervention. It has become a cult.”

    Source: Washington Post op-ed, “The Grand Old Cult,” 2 July 2011.

    “Has the GOP become a cult?”

    “The Republican Party Is Turning Into A Cult”

    Like

    • 10 November 2012 4:20 am

      More meets political rhetoric. Rhetoric meet Mr. More.

      Both parties have engaged is efforts to delegitimize each other. Conservatives have low IQs and are sociopaths. Liberals are closet fascists and … so forth and so on.

      This is necessary to maintain the boundaries between the two organizations as policy differences narrow. When there were differences the parties could argue about policy. Now they explain that their opponents are fiends in human form, and substitute heated rhetoric for thought.

      Bush Jr is like Hitler, or Hitler. Obama is a foreigner pretending to be America, a Moslem pretending to be Christian, and a socialist anarchist pretending to believe in free markets. Blah blah blah.

      Would you prefer the pen on the Left or the Right?

      Like

    • 11 November 2012 10:19 pm

      More points to what I believe is an increasingly common technique to delegitimize opposing views, one with a long history. From my files here’s an interesting article about its history and practice: “The Medicalization of Rebellion“, Sheldon Richman, Reason, 21 April 2012 — “The long, shameful history of using science to stigmatize dissent.”

      Like

Trackbacks

  1. Quick Post-Election Thoughts – Forbes | ReleasesBlog
  2. Jeffers: Both sides face demographic changes – Dallas Morning News | The Intercepting Fist
  3. Realism about the fiscal cliff « Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,497 other followers

%d bloggers like this: