Wednesday, November 07, 2012


From Ace Commenter Brian, at his place --
I don't want to spill too much ink on this, but I do want to make essentially one point: postmortems on the right today are circling the idea that the demographics of the country have changed, and the GOP has failed to respond adequately to that. Both of these things are true, but I think they point to a more fundamental truth.

Obama won this election because he was running to be president of the country that actually exists. Romney lost because he was running to be president of a country that does not.
There's more at the link, of course. And you should read it. You may not agree with some of Brian's observations, but you'd be well advised to consider them carefully.

The larger question is this -- could the country that doesn't exist ever exist again? Because if it can't ever exist again, we have much to think about.


Gino said...

nope, it cannot.

social advances/liberties will not recede barring the total meltdown of society.

Steve Taylor said...

I hope it can. We need to take into account that the election was close to 50-50 in the popular vote. Problem is that the population centers where the electoral votes are tend to be easier to "organize" by those experienced in such matters.

I hold out hope that this election was an anomaly - a perfect storm with the first affirmative action president, a compliant media, and political correctness. If, for example, it was a President McCain that had run up the same failed record I'm guessing that the "old" standards would have still applied.

Even assuming the most optimistic view that the nation can return to its constitutional origins, we are still far too close to the tipping point of no return if we haven't yet crossed it.

We live in very troublesome times.

Anonymous said...

The democrats won because they lied about what they were as they ran. Obama is the biggest liar. They pretend to be tight fiscally, and champions of the underpriviged. Exit polls show that 60% of voters want smaller government. The only problem is that 10% of these 60 consistently get snookered by the "we care more rhetoric" This will be proven when the Dems ulitmately over-reach (they can't help themselves) and the economy tanks, and the duped 10% swing the other way. The only problem is that we've got real problems that will be worse by the time that happens.

I have one more observation and that is that Social issues hihacked economic issues with many voters who decided to that the obtaining of their special interest needs trumped the overall needs of society. This patchwork quilt approach by the dems often works, but a quilt built with patches falls apart more easily.

Night Writer said...

I didn't look at it as voting for a country that doesn't exist, but as voting for what the country can be.

Anonymous - when I first read your comment, the tiny letters on my monitor (and with my older eyes) I thought you referenced "patchwork guilt" instead of "patchwork quilt". I'm thinking I may have been right in the first place.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

We have collectively decided to ignore economic reality. So I've decided to cheer for "The Reality Strikes Back."

As for social issues, at this point I wouldn't have trouble voting for a drug legalization or gay marriage candidate because it's inevitable. There's no use in dying on those hills.

In other words, I'm hoping the Republican Party moves more towards its libertarian wing. The president and Democratic politicians in general don't give a damn about liberty and that's the place to attack them.

Night Writer said...

Appropriately, I was reminded yesterday of Kipling's "The Gods of the Copybook Headings". (In Kipling's time, a copybook was used by school-children; a page would feature a proverb or eternal truth maxim printed at the top and the students would re-write it repeatedly to fill the page.) Speaking of "eternal": this was written in 1919, showing there really is nothing new under the sun - and that the consequences are always the same.

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Brian said...

As for social issues, at this point I wouldn't have trouble voting for a drug legalization or gay marriage candidate because it's inevitable. There's no use in dying on those hills.

Spread the word, W.B. Spread the word.

Brian said...

Thanks for the link, BTW.

In all seriousness, though I've been a fairly reliable Democratic partisan (with some libertarian proclivities) since about 2004 or so, I am serious about wanting the GOP to be a viable, center-right party. I'm not interested in a one party permanent majority for anyone.

Bike Bubba said...

I would agree with Brian that Obama won on the merits of running for the votes that actually exist, but with one caveat; that the "country that actually exists" is one that is in deep denial about the end results of the course Obama wants to take.

If one considers the likely results of Obama's policies--five trillion dollars more debt in 2017 even with the tax hikes Obama wants, and another million people out of work--it's the GOP that is the reality based party, not the Democrats.

Another example; when Clinton gave chutzpah a bad name by asking the country how bad it would be to have a President who would repeatedly lie. I would have expected that even liberals would have howled him out of the auditorium for that one, but no.

Reality has suffered hard times lately.

Anonymous said...

Reality has many explanations, Kipling's "Just So Stories for Little Children" being a wonderful example of one series using stories to figure the world, and thrill them with the power of imagination, and Joseph Campbell's "The Power of Myth" identifying the common features of human cultures myths that explain the human perception of reality. I'd argue that Economics belongs closer to this kind of explanation: a reality that has certain features that can be identified, rather than an absolute truth that exist a priori and can therefor be a beacon to "truth." So when these posters argue that deviation from one particular economic path will inexorably lead to annihilation, I roll my eyes and turn into Pooh Bear, "Oh Bother!" You're looking at Pooh's butt and haven't a clue as to why he's stuck. But by reading Steve's perfectly incorrect explanation and fantastical "what if.." excuse for reason, I must aslo sadly come to the conclusion that we are doomed.

Night Writer said...

I'd say that Pooh - "a bear of very little brain" - got himself stuck because he only thought of the moment and satisfying his immediate wants without a thought to the future or consequences, assuming he could go through Rabbit's tunnel the same way he always had. When he got stuck he thought it was merely bad luck and not the result of anything he had done.

Cause and effect is not a fairy-tale, and there is no new "science" that is going to find a solution. While we have many ways of defying gravity temporarily, gravity always wins. Funny how the things Kipling mentioned in 1919 persist today.

Of course, for Pooh, "austerity" - plus a great deal of pushing and pulling by his "community" eventually freed him but, IIRC, there was no indication from him that he'd learned anything from the experience.

Let's also look at Rabbit in this case, the wealthy 1-percenter who for some reason had this vast stockpile of honey. Do rabbits even like honey? Did he produce it himself or buy it? Did he accumulate it through wise and frugal savings against a time when honey might be in short supply? Does the Dept. of Homeland Security know he is hoarding honey?

And why, after all his work and wisdom, did he keep giving more honey to Pooh, who would have eaten still more if there had been any left? Did Rabbit's wisdom desert him? Did he think he was actually doing something for Pooh's own good? Did he cave to Pooh's expectations because he didn't want to appear mean? Did he himself learn any lessons, or will he again wind up sometime in the future with no honey and an unsightly eyesore (not Eeyore) in his parlor?

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