Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Wrong Right

I was braced to read (via Sullivan) of one conservative feeling very much like myself regarding the coming electoral contest. Being mainly:

Gaining 35 seats in the House is impressive, and it will be the second-largest turnover in my lifetime, but after the overhyping of Republican chances for the last year it will seem anticlimactic and unsatisfying.

I will add that the overhyping was as much a product of the progressive fever swamp, your Silvers, Marshalls, and Yglesiasi than the overheated vents over at FUX. The reasons are several: the surety of consensus in the light of historic trends (Matty and Josh), the need to attract eyeballs (Josh and Josh), the desire to appear knowing, and to please the new corporate underwriter (Nate); all aided, to be sure, by fractious and cowardly insecure Democratic elected officials, a no-shit, tough-shit economic landscape, and a chief executive as willing to frustrate his allies as undermine his enemies.

Ignored by people who should know better are the mitigating factors, frequently enumerated here, of big wheel demographic trends, GOP failure and brainlessness, a politico-infotainment media which pays attention only to itself, and the essential practicality of a broad electorate that has become less and less susceptible (my theory) to the blandishments of brain-dead political ads.

Weeks ago I insisted that Democratic losses would be on the low side of what's predicted, at the time something like 15-20, and that both houses would remain in trembling Democratic hands. I see no reason to change this view, even if the under has been upped to 35.

What very few in the business have bothered to consider, and what will be a big topic in a week's time, are the fatal implications for a GOP which has inhaled a bunch of belligerent nitwits without grasping the power needed to keep them from running amok, and the old party from flying to furious pieces.

Monday, October 18, 2010

As Promised

The weekend slipped away before I could make good on my promise (made in the comments to the last post) to follow-up a couple points from last time, main one being how no one in the "free" press is bothering to consider what will happen in the GOP should the blockheads fail to take the House as promised (w/ the Senate looking safer for the Dems by the day.)

I'll tell you what: a fucking bloodletting the likes of which haven't been seen since Lincoln's re-election. Not only are the furies set to devour the dim Bohner and the canting Cantor, but there is sure to be a viral host of T-P'ers injected into the body of the party at several levels (Personally, as a worshiper of the Aqua Boogie--the lad was surely confused on this point--I am rooting for Rand Paul) who will certainly bring a final air of disaster to the Grown Old Party.

Of course, the MSM will make the turmoil out to be a positive thing, the GOP will gain seats after all; but falling short of summer's lofty goals, after spending all that money, will NOT sit well for a bunch of Red constituencies which have been persuaded to hold fire until now. Also will dawn the reality that they are utterly screwed for '12.

One aspect of the Tea Party phenomenon also gone unremarked on is how it's really a breathtaking repudiation of the system of conferred majesty which rendered that squalid little man, you remember--the war criminal?, the nomination in 2000. That little twerp was massaged into the job starting right after his dad beat Dukakis, the inevitable, and fatal, political logic of which has been commented on here many times.

Nope, they may end up with Mike Huckabee and some desert state sheriff as his running mate in 2012, but by God, no more rich asshole sons of rich assholes.

For in sucking-in the Great White South a generation ago, the Republicans not only gained a couple generations of dependable electoral gains, they also took in an essentially populist, chip-on-the-shoulder, lost-cause white belligerence which tends to look terrible on television, especially when it is elderly, out-of-step, and losing.

I'd say any smart and poised conservative political movement could have made definitive gains this cycle, but you can't define shit when you don't stand for anything, beside anger at the present and power for its own sake. The GOP is a party shot-through with craven and dumb fuck-ups, bound to fuck-up in three weeks.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Midnight In The Garden Of Goobers And Weasels (cont.)

How can I forget you, my several readers? But what can I say? I wish we lived in more interesting times.

But wait, Will (I hear someone say) aren't the times interesting enough already? To which I'll reply that while we don't lack for incident, interest is sorely lacking. "Tis a dull circus indeed.

(You will have to pardon me, The History of Tom Jones is on the nightstand, and I find Fielding's high style contagious.)

Which is to say this has been the drearyist election season in ten years, thanks in large part to a media entertainment apparatus devoted to the fortunes of the Republican party, even as it burns, crackles and blows away. Precious little space is given anywhere to considering the outcome if the GOP does not win control of both houses, or even the House itself, an event which I still very much doubt. Instead we are given polls and profiles to understand, tactics and policies to bicker over, and a recent history of the Congress and Obama administration which no Democrat is entirely comfortable embracing or running from. Noise and anxiety predominate; and, I submit, that it isn't an accident that these are two products delivered most reliably via your TV set.

Which is to say the magic lantern is trying to reproduce the best possible conditions for magic lanterns. For just as surely as FUX has consumed the GOP, the entire political arena has been moved to the confines of the Box, where a reality prevails which, though familiar, bears no relation to what obtains in everyday life.

(Note that I avoid any notion of the "real world", as TV has ambitions of depicting that, and in truth a great many consider television to be as much a part of their real worlds as, oh, school, their jobs, or social lives.)

We don't vote on TV yet and, I believe, most people who take the right seriously enough to do so regularly, and reliably in an off-year, are not moved by their passions as much as TV would like us to believe. I also think Americans are still a fundamentally practical people who have at this late date also grown fairly sophisticated to the ways of advertising. Which is to say the two pillars of potential GOP success this season look a bit shakey to me.

Indeed one may consider all the money spent on TV ads to be a sign of how ineffective they are. Put simply: why run 100 if 10 will do the job? Consultants have an answer for that, of course, but it is self-serving.

Of course another, very big, reason why the season lacks excitement is an administration hellbent on promoting its brand of technocratic skill which mocks the passion, and several of the political ideals, which put it there in the first place. At best it is understandable and annoying, at worst--e.g. where it "works" to end DADT at one end of town while defending it in another--it is schizophrenic, enraging. In such an environment it is hard for Dems facing reelection to know who their friends really are.

UPDATE: Ambinder re: DADT (via Sullivan)