.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Sunday, November 09, 2008

How McCain Lost The Elites Like Althouse

This is actually a repost of my rebuttal to Ann Althouse's post, "How McCain Lost Me". I am taking it easy on Sunday, as I get over my cold, but I also thought a few of you might want to read it here if you are no longer a frequent Althouse reader.

First, and most importantly, please read the outstandingly well-reasearched post on How McCain Lost Me. This is what I wrote, in reply.

--

I enjoyed Professor Althouse's post, and I welcome it as a kind of closure about the matter.

But here is where I think she is dissimulating.

Althouse has braved 4 years of liberal hatred of her blog for having voted for President Bush (note, which she did at the last minute in 2004, on her way to the polling station. It would be interesting to see how she could justify that sequence of events, in a similar post). She could have been in loyal opposition had she stuck to McCain, but she wouldn't have been as relevant, and possibly would've been seen as doctrinaire or worst of all for a blogger, out-of-touch. Well, apart from the real "worst-of-all": racist.

It's obvious that Althouse is not doctrinaire -- she was leaning McCain but would've been happier with that if the Senator had chosen JOE LIEBERMAN as his running mate.

Later, she states as a reason why she didn't opt for McCain is that he never really articulated his conservative principles fully.

What is wrong with his picture?

She would've been happier with a Lieberman pick, but one of her stated knockdowns of McCain was because he couldn't make sense to her as a conservative.

If this is true, this is a lot of hooey. Let's connect the dots as to how and why.

McCain was her default choice because Professor Althouse felt national security was paramount to her for a while. In her mind, McCain would be the best choice given that criteria. His support of the Surge, when it was unpopular and divisive, allowed the Iraq War to be won.

When national security was shunted to the lower rung of importance in October, you saw her remembering that McCain had stated that economics were not his forté. He was honest, but honesty in politics is a killer -- that's why the unprincipled or the liars win elections.

Incidentally, President-Elect Obama is a liar. He's lied, and covered up his troublesome past and associations repeatedly. When things become too hot, people go into hiding like Rev. Wright/Bill Ayers; he puts a muzzle on his spacey running-mate; and his stated political objectives are erased, having gone down the memory hole, like his recent 'change.gov' website about the Civilian Defense programme. Lastly, when all else fails, he throws people "under the bus", like his own now sadly deceased grandmother. But that's okay, because though he knows squat about the economy either, he never said he didn't.

See, this is the paramount point to the elites in academia and media, types like Hitchens, Buckley Jr. and yes, Professor Althouse.

The worst sin anyone can make is appearing to be incoherent, because incoherence can possibly mask a lack of knowledge.

George Bush didn't seem remarkably intelligent to many of these types, but no one can doubt the strength in his views and principles, which he vigourously projected until about late 2005.

Ironically, if the liberals had been right and McCain were really Bush II, we might not be having this conversation. Only once in all of the campaign, did John McCain seem anything close to a real conservative: at the Saddleback Forum. His speech at the RNC was, if you know his history, a reworking of a much favoured stump speech, "FIGHT! FIGHT! STAND UP!", so I don't count that.

But this is the man Althouse wishes would've articulated his conservativism better, and who she would've been happy had he chosen a socially liberal Democrat, Joe Lieberman, as his running mate.

This is how I interpret this above and her reasons for not backing John McCain at the end:

1. He did not understand economics, the most important issue.

Like many people who deal in the world of knowledge, Althouse didn't like that McCain stated he didn't know something. It's a deadly sin to admit that, not because it's true, but because he's unsophisticated enough to think it won't count with her and others like her.

That it later turned out to be the "something" upon which this campaign was defined, was of course, the nail in the coffin in her mind.

2. He lost the ability to make the experience argument.

The Blame Sarah Palin reason, which Charles Krauthammer also mentioned in his election post-mortem.

This is a red herring argument, because it is not about Palin herself, but about the lack of strategic acumen shown by McCain.

How deadly is it to people who deal in logic and words all day, that McCain showed himself to be lacking in logic, the basis of tactics, he an old naval commandant?

I would say that it was huge, and goes to explain a lot of the elite Republicans distaste not just with Sarah Palin, but because _McCain_ showed a chink in his tactical armour.

It opened up a can of worms about his future decision-making skills as potential President. He never recovered.

3. He never defined himself as a principled conservative.

Which really didn't mean much to people like Althouse, the quasi-conservative, in the first place.

They were upset that McCain couldn't make an argument, rather than what the argument was itself.

4. Erratic and incoherent, he lacked sufficient mental capacity.

Again, another intellectual argument against John McCain, and by now you can see this is just circular reasoning.

So let's examine the two choices in practical terms: there were two men in this race, from whom Althouse could've chosen.

One was an ex-law professor whose cool persona was seconded brilliantly by an admiring, forgiving media.

The other was a wishy-washy, elderly career politician who not even Republicans wanted, but who were determined to use as their foil to bring down the other Leftist choice.

It wasn't enough. People who win elections are always those who choose to be FOR someone, rather than someone to be AGAINST.

I suspect Althouse wanted to be FOR Obama, but she convinced herself that she was AGAINST McCain first.

Unfortunately, this is the type of duplicitousness that has lost her not many, but a few regular commenters -- who knows for how long.

In fact, to many of these posters, you can retitle much of this post to "How Althouse lost me".

--

Labels: ,

12 Comments:

  • While I'm not liberal myself, I'd have to feel a lot worse about Althouse to give up on her over there. I get more of a sense of boredom or confusion on her part than actual liberalism or even elitism. Christopher Hitchens though, is full of bile about the election, in particular anti-Palin bile. He still gets me sometimes, but eye-rolling is my frequent response. I did like his Bloggingheads beatdown of Alterman though!

    By Blogger Ron, at Sun Nov 09, 05:25:00 pm GMT-5  

  • While I'm not liberal myself, I'd have to feel a lot worse about Althouse to give up on her over there.

    Me too actually.

    I get more of a sense of boredom or confusion on her part than actual liberalism or even elitism.

    Confusion certainly, and perhaps a need to ingratiate herself with someone (who, I don't know, perhaps her kids).

    It's been pointed out to me by more than one person privately, that her recent pro-Obama posts have been laughable in terms of logic. It's like she's straining.

    I haven't been reading that regularly since the last Presidential debate (when she posted that strange "earpiece" thing), but I did read one post that I couldn't believe Althouse would write. It was in defence of Obama, and quoted Matthew from the NT. Wow.

    Christopher Hitchens though, is full of bile about the election, in particular anti-Palin bile.

    Sure, he truly is a Socialist who leans hard Left socially, but more importantly, he is a contrarian.

    He still gets me sometimes, but eye-rolling is my frequent response. I did like his Bloggingheads beatdown of Alterman though!

    Heh, I didn't see that, but with your recommendation, I shall hunt it down. :)

    /listening to Dinah Washington's "You're Crying" and had not realised how close the opening was to Gosford Park's iconic soundtrack it was. Check it out on iTunes, "Walking to Shoot".

    ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Nov 09, 05:36:00 pm GMT-5  

  • And here I thought people only read Althouse for the comments.

    I was originally drawn to Althouse because she was blogging from Madison, a city near and dear to my little heart. I never thought it mattered much what she wrote because bright bulbs like you (and others) are always on hand to take her down when she is wrong. It is perfect symbiotic relationship. But if commentariat fly the coop, I hope they flock here.

    Hey, one technical thingy: Every time I open Sundries, the third video from your "Alaska Welcomes back Palin" loads automatically and plays. While I can never get enough of her, it's annoying because the sound for the clip loads too and cuts in to whatever else I'm listening to. I only ask to find out if anyone else experienced the same. It could be some weird setting at my end.

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Sun Nov 09, 06:19:00 pm GMT-5  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Sun Nov 09, 06:28:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Chicken Little: That 'technical thingie' happened to me several times yesterday. If Victoria changed something, it worked for me.

    It is perfect symbiotic relationship.

    I've said that off-blog more than once. She's the shark; we were the lamprey eels. Is there any truth to the statement that sharks either move or die?

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Sun Nov 09, 06:30:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Hmm, guys, that techinical thingie happened to me a few times last week too. But not in the past two days.

    Please let me know if it happens now, Chickenlittle. I'm sure by now, that particular segment with Palin is out there on Youtube.

    I 'lift' the videos from ADN using a special trick, so it maybe embedded with more than what I bargained for. :)

    More later, I'm off to din-dins!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Nov 09, 06:35:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Ruth Anne, maybe you're on to something. Sharks live "forever" too, I heard. Goodness knows it's hard to keep moving, but if you want to outlive others in the big bad sea, you better move along.

    Incidentally, never saw a better fileting of topics than Althouse did in many of her vlogs. For that alone, she always commands my interest.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Nov 09, 06:38:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Vic, I enjoyed your summation/rebuttal - I did read Althouse's column (tho' I swore off AA, Glenn linked it & curiousity got the best of me). I appreciated her effort to justify, but still found she contradicted herself, but I think that's how she is able to still view herself as an independent intellectual (not saying she's not that, I wouldn't presume to know her that well).

    Had to comment here because this is the first I've read of the "ingratiate herself with someone" theory -- (well there have been a couple of intimations, but I'm not positive if they referred to the same thing)Anyways, I really think the tone of AA's blog changed after she went to that wedding (in Charleston?) - I really think she was either swayed by her son(s) & their friends or she just wanted to be "cool" in their eyes. I know I presume a lot, just my hunch - besides I found that hammock picture extremely weird --- meow!

    By Blogger Laurie, at Sun Nov 09, 08:00:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I had to go, too. Enough of pushing her kid's blog turned me ill. Don't think McCain is an economic genius? Wait until the new owners of DC begin. Let me know how it turns out.

    By Blogger dr kill, at Sun Nov 09, 08:22:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I became jaded w/ Althouse re: politics a while ago, but the mix of topics and commenters keep me going back.

    My peeve with her blog lately has been the practice of giving commenters tags; she has even gone so far as to prompt people to make their comments "interesting," or "amusing" or something. I mean, barf. I absolutely could be imagining it, but it seems like it has caused some commenters to try a bit too hard. I have feared more than once that she herself might just ruin her blog's best asset--its comment section. But I digress, sorry.

    By Blogger knox, at Sun Nov 09, 08:38:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Please let me know if it happens now

    Odd, it's fixed now, but it was doing it this afternoon.

    I rebooted, so perhaps I my machine was living beyond its means on cache. I taught it a good lesson!

    By Blogger chickenlittle, at Sun Nov 09, 09:00:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Had to comment here because this is the first I've read of the "ingratiate herself with someone" theory -- (well there have been a couple of intimations, but I'm not positive if they referred to the same thing)Anyways, I really think the tone of AA's blog changed after she went to that wedding (in Charleston?) - I really think she was either swayed by her son(s) & their friends or she just wanted to be "cool" in their eyes.

    Jeez, Laurie, you have a fine eye for detail, a great memory, and the ability to connect the dots.

    I do remember that 'guess where I am' blogpost, which revealed where they were.

    Remember she posted a footsie photo, and I did too, since we had remarkably similar photos?

    I know I presume a lot, just my hunch - besides I found that hammock picture extremely weird --- meow!

    Uh, yeah, it was very strange...

    I'm not sure you are right, because it would presuppose that Professor Althouse is so easily influenced, as to lack character, which I don't think is the case. But there is something about the family/friends situation that makes sense, you're right.

    I do remember thinking after her posts after the Couric interview, that she had immediately soured on Palin, though.

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Nov 10, 04:15:00 am GMT-5  

Post a Comment

Who linked Here:

Create a Link

<< Home


 




Advertise on blogs
British Expat Blog Directory.