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One brave soul at National Review stands up for Newt

One brave soul at National Review stands up for Newt

As I pointed out the other day, National Review demeaned itself and its many talented writers by going overboard in its attempt to demonize Newt Gingrich, including a cover which should live in conservative infamy.

Newt as crazy outer-space martian is what passes for analysis at what once was, and in many ways still is, the premier conservative publication.  Sadly, Mark Steyn, someone for whom I have a lot of respect, has the lead article in the upcoming issue which will be devoted almost entirely to creating a cartoon caricature of Newt.

There was a reflexive reaction from some writers at National Review to defend, but Andrew McCarthy so far appears to be the only writer with the courage to stand up not so much for Newt, but for conservative journalistic integrity which was sorely lacking.

McCarthy published his dissent today (h/t JimMtnViewCaUSA in the Tip Line), Gingrich’s Virtues:

I respectfully dissent from National Review’s Wednesday-evening editorial, which derided Newt Gingrich as not merely flawed but unfit for consideration as the GOP presidential nominee….

The editorial surprised me, as it did many readers. I am now advised that the timing was driven by the editorial’s inclusion in the last edition of the magazine to be published this year, which went to press on Wednesday. The Editors believe, unwisely in my view, that before the first caucuses and primaries begin in early January, it is important to make known their insights — not merely views about the relative merits of the candidates but conclusions that some candidates are no longer worthy of having their merits considered….

Regarding former Speaker Gingrich, I have no objection to the cataloguing of any candidate’s failings, and Newt has certainly made his share of mistakes. But there ought to be balance — balance between a candidate’s failings and his strengths, balance between the treatment of that candidate and of his rivals. The editorial fails on both scores.

Gingrich’s virtues are shortchanged — his great accomplishment in balancing the federal budget is not even mentioned, an odd omission in an election that is primarily about astronomical spending. His downsides are exaggerated in two unbecoming ways.

For the Editors to single out Gingrich for this kind of raking — particularly when his accomplishments in government dwarf anything his rivals have managed to achieve — fails the test of judgment conservatives expect from National Review. The transcendent mission of our founder calls for explicating principled conservative arguments about the great issues of the day, not “winnowing” intra-GOP primaries….

Second is the personal stuff. As the Editors point out, Newt has been a major figure in our politics for a very long time. We all know the marital history, and we all know it is relevant. There is, however, no need to dwell on it beyond saying it is obviously an issue voters must weigh — though hardly the top of the list. Yet the Editors make it the top of the list. It is Count One of their indictment, and they make sure to spell out that we’re talking not only about divorces but also about multiple marriages to “mistresses.” Later, just in case we’ve been too dense to get the Newt-is-a-betrayal-waiting-to-happen point, the Editors conclude by admonishing Republicans “to reject a hasty marriage to Gingrich, which would risk dissolving in acrimony” — the lasting impression they decided was worth emblazoning in big bold letters at the top of the homepage all day long. This has all the subtlety of Obama’s class-warfare tropes….

…  I would not complain if my colleagues were simply assessing both sides of the ledger and deciding that other candidates are preferable to Gingrich. But to conclude that he is unfit, as the Editors do, is not only wrong; it is a gross exaggeration.

Read the whole thing.  This excerpt has not done it justice.  While the column is directed mostly towards Newt, McCarthy also defends other candidates whom National Review disqualified.

In McCarthy’s dissent we see the cream of the conservative punditry showing a great deal of class at a time when many others are not.

Kudos to Andrew McCarthy.


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What a novel idea – give the voters the candidates pros and cons and let them decide, instead of deciding for them.

    I agree. Especially when there is no individual who is the ideal candidate for everyone. It would indeed be helpful to identify the optimal correlation with our own positions.

    It doesn’t help matters, or people’s interest in politics, when the journalists submerge the wheat in chaff. Many (or most?) people acting responsibly just don’t have the time or resources to separate them.

The Political Class has decided that no mater what the rank and file of the party might want, It WILL be Romney.

Our elites are so use to the old way of campaigning, they are not responding to the new way we citizens want to do things very well. Transitions are often painful, as National Review and other DC pundit class types are going to discover.

I saw the piece and agree Andrew’s article is more along the line of what I’d expect at NRO. As I stated there at comments our time is better spent at this point developing a plan to beat Obama not shooting possible soldiers in that effort. Its early yet..why short the process.

I think the Republican Talking Heads are nukking futs, or else, they are trying to throw the election to the Democrats.

I was close to a straight-party-ticket Democratic voter for all my adult life, until I got a ring-side seat of the Democrats at the national level putting their party’s interests ahead of their nation after voting to go to war in Iraq. I voted for George Bush the second time around, because he won me over, and because I really, really disliked John F’n Kerry’s history of thoughtlessness.

Then the Democrats failed in their responsibility to us, gave us an unvetted candidate, and disastrous policies as a mask for a whole new order of public incompetence and corruption. As far as I am concerned, a Keynesian stimulus might have worked, was never tried, in favor of a massive program for kickbacks based on unripe technology.

I am still a Liberal, I just know that our country will prosper to the extent that the current crop of Democrats, and the President, are swept from office.

Into this atmosphere of great need, our “Republican” and “Conservative” talking heads have lost no opportunity to magnify the relatively small flaws of their own candidates. I don’t understand this. The Republican field has several solid, acceptable candidates, and should have had a couple more, but for the lack of support by Republicans.

Sarah Palin could have won this election handily. So could Rick Perry, or the Cain/Gingrich ticket (which would have been SUCH fun!). Indeed, out of the whole field, Ron Paul was the only sure loser in the bunch, although Bachman and Santorum never really got off the ground, and Romney comes across merely as a more-competent version of what Obama would have tried to be. Every frontrunner has met a firestorm of negative, exaggerated criticism from the people who should be telling us about their strong points.

The recent behavior of the conservative establishment has reminded me of the tactics usually employed by the Dems/MSM. Rather than just supporting their preferred candidate (and we all know who that is, even though they demure, saying they’re “undecided”) and arguing against the others, they’ve been setting out to utterly destroy their boy’s opponents.

After all of this effort to shove Palin and Cain and Gingrich off the stage, if Romney gets the nomination and he fails to win, and I suspect he will fail (because when a progressive and a progressive-lite compete for the presidency, the progressive typically wins), I’m going to be pointing my finger at National Review and everybody else in the GOP establishment and laughing at them for their insistence that it was absolutely critical that we nominate the ONE PERSON who could beat Obama. I’ll be laughing even harder if Obama wins in a landslide, and I’ll be sure to keep bringing up Palin and Cain and Gingrich every chance I get.

I’ve about had it altogether with the GOP and the Republican establishment and their obsession with nominating the “next in line” and then telling us that it’s critical for the future of our country that we support their crappy do-nothing candidate.

Prof. Jacobson, just so you know, I don’t include you in this criticism. You’ve published articles about Romney and Bachman engaging in this hurtful behavior, and I agree that they should keep it positive, too.

scottinwisconsin | December 17, 2011 at 11:26 am

All this focus on who is worse, Romney or Gingrich.
Just move on to the candidate that ISN’T loaded with more liberal/fascist baggage than Samsonite — Ron Paul.
Isn’t it enough that he’s actually fought for the Constitution, and small government, for 30 years?
What, exactly, will it take to satisfy you pseudo-conservatives?
Oh, that’s right, he has to want to rule the world too.
I’m just saying . . .

    Henry Hawkins in reply to scottinwisconsin. | December 17, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    What Ron Paul says:

    “We shouldn’t be interfering in the affairs of other countries!”

    What Ron Paul does:

    “Nearly three years ago, Israel launched a counterattack on Palestinian terrorists in Gaza who had been firing thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians. In early January 2009, Paul released a web video in which he charged that Israel was launching a ‘pre-emptive war,’ that Palestinians were living in a ‘concentration camp’ and that they merely had ‘a few small missiles.’

    “He then repeated this claim on Press TV — the state-owned propaganda channel of Iran’s Islamist government. ‘To me, I look at it like a concentration camp, and people are making homemade bombs,’ he said of the situation in Gaza, adding sarcastically, ‘like they’re they aggressors?’

    “Not only did Paul inaccurately portray Israel as the aggressor, and ignore the Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorist attacks, but he also played into the global propaganda campaign to delegitimize Israel.”


    Yes, behold the great Ron Paul, charter member of the Hypocrite Hall Of Fame, as goes about not interfering in the affairs of other countries.

Prof. Jacobson,

I don’t know if you’re aware, however, Mark Steyn did write a response to the NRO editorial and it was very critical. I think you might want to read it so as to avoid including him in the group of NRO writers that are embarrassing themselves. He even titled his response “Include Me Out.”

    William A. Jacobson in reply to SDGLawyer. | December 17, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    He wanted to be included out only as to Bachmann and Perry, not as to Newt. In fact, Steyn engaged in the type of snark in his opting out which we see from Krauthammer and others, claiming they are being accused of being RINOs etc. That’s not the accusation at all, and they know it.

      Watching NR and the rest of the Repub establishment doing their whole cry-to-the-heavens song and dance about how Gingrich is just TERRIBLE because he’s “unreliable” (unsubtle translation: crazy flipflopper), while somehow Mittles “My views are progressive” Romney is hailed as a solid conservative rock..I’ve just about lost faith.

      It’s becoming pretty clear that they care a lot more about the “establishment” part than they do about the “Republican” part. I really think they’d be happier with an establishment Democrat in the White House than they would be with non-establishment Republican.

      Prof. Jacobson,

      You’re right that Steyn only defends insofar as Bachman and Perry are concerned. I think the criticism of Newt is warranted though. Up until one month ago, Newt had been saying some really NOT conservative things (e.g., “right-wing social engineering,” etc.). In addition, he had been doing some NOT conservative things (e.g. sitting with Pelosi for the global warming hoax commercial).

      Notwithstanding the foregoing, I totally agree with your fundamental point. Rush has been doing similar things on his show; he is pointing out that Newt is still better than Obama and that much of the dislike of Newt seems to be more of an anti-conservative attitude of the conservative-media/Republican establishment. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

        andcar in reply to SDGLawyer. | December 17, 2011 at 2:45 pm

        The issue for me is how stupid they must think we are. They decree that Newt is unfit to be the Republican nominee because he has, in the past, done some un-conservative things. Then, in their next breath, they tell us that we should instead support …Mitt Romney?!?

        Candidate A does Disqualifying Act X; he’s gone.

        Candidate B does Disqualifying Act X; pretend you didn’t see.

Valerie seems to equate Republicans and conservatives while andcar refers to the “conservative establishment.” Things are actually a bit different.

First, there is a Republican establishment that holds conservatives in extreme distaste, fears them, and wishes to restrict them to a small group with little influence in the Republican party. These are the Republicans who believe that conservatives are toxic and will cause the R’s to lose the independent vote, a group they believe determines the outcome of all elections. They want Romney because they think he will bring them the independent vote. They fear and loathe Newt because they think he will drive independents to some sort of madcap love of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. The editors of NR have regrettably become part of the Republican establishment and have abandoned WFB’s commitment to conservatism. They also deny that there is any such thing as a Republican establishment.

Valerie is mistaken to lump conservatives and Republicans together, it’s just that the Republican party is all conservatives have at the moment. It’s a two-party system and going to a third party is suicidal.

There isn’t much of a conservative establishment unless it’s the Tea Party and that doesn’t quite fit. Tea Partiers are not political strategists, they are ordinary people fed up with out of control government. Conservatives disagree on too much to be an establishment. But conservatives all agree that the Republican establishment is dead wrong on how to win elections. They believe solid principled conservatism will win elections every time, and they have past examples to prove it. They believe it is the Republican establishment that is the basis for Pat Caddell’s insightful reasoning that Republicans are the stupid party. He calls them stupid right now because he thinks their political strategy is idiotic and will give Obama a second term.

    andcar in reply to TeeJaw. | December 17, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Agreed- “Republican establishment” would have made more sense than “conservative establishment.”

    gabilange in reply to TeeJaw. | December 17, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Enjoying all the comments to this excellent McCarthy rebuttal. Ditto Valerie and to your present comment.
    I want to know who these “independents” really are. Where are the data? The Indies will vote for Romney? We are Indies (ex-long-time Dems. and so ovah), and there is no way we would ever vote for Romney. Ditto for other Indies we know. Rhetorically, so who are these Indies?

    Beckel has said several times on afternoon Fox roundtable that “electabiity” for Romney is something declared by a pundit last year. There is no evidence for it. Was this a Beckel Dem. statement or a moment of Beckel truth?

scottinwisconsin: I like Ron Paul on most of his domestic issues. But he’s all tin foil hat on foreign policy and would get us all killed. He’s also anti-semitic and you can see how that gives some people a problem.

    andcar in reply to TeeJaw. | December 17, 2011 at 11:45 am

    One of my friends wishes that we had a Domestic President and a Foreign Affairs President, so he could vote for Ron Paul where the guy makes sense but avoid having someone with a complete nutjob understanding of the rest of the world in charge at State and Defense.

In previous elections, the perennial notion that we were deciding the very future of our country was more hyperbolic than genuine. Not this time.

We are deciding who runs this country – the people, or this monstrous amalgamation of political elitists, corporate lobbyists, and media toadies that cooperates in covert actions to correct us when we have the temerity to disagree with their dictations of candidates, policies, and practices.

I submit here and now that Obama and uber-liberals are not the foremost enemy of the conservative citizen and voter – we could defeat them handily with the right candidate. The establishment GOP is our primary enemy, as their machine currently goes about manipulating for yet another pale, wan, and ‘safe’ candidate in the Dole/McCain mold.

If Romney, the establishment awardee, is nominated, he’ll run a darn fine campaign. Good ads, good debate performances, good speeches, lots of gladhanding and baby kissing, bumper stickers everywhere, the whole nine yards. And he’ll lose by 3-5%.

Andrew McCarthy is class personified. I will use him as a role model for my sons.

The professor, self-admittedly always in opposition, is my ‘roil’ model.

Andrew McCarthy may save NR’s brand. Three other reasonable articles were written by:

Steven Hayward –
Victor Davis Hanson –
Jonah Goldberg –

But, McCarthy’s is the home run pointing out the editors’ utter mistake in judgment as well as the clear conservative points left unsaid (especially regarding Gingrich and Huntsman).

As to Mark Steyn, he’s usually wonderful. Somehow Newt got on his wrong side way back. One bad mistake out of hundreds of columns/comments I can forgive. Poor Ann Coulter seems to be making mistakes as fast as a carpenter can pound nails.

    andcar in reply to T D. | December 17, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    “Poor Ann Coulter seems to be making mistakes as fast as a carpenter can pound nails.”

    Sad but true. I used to really enjoy Coulter- how she made the usual suspects splutter and foam at the mouth, all without leaving them any factual inroads to attack. In the last couple of years though…meh.

      Coulter makes the case to nominate someone other than Gingrich. Nominate Gingrich. Obama wins. Gingrich is the only person walking who has a bigger ego than Obama.

        Plenty of people make the case against Gingrich and then go on to argue that Romney should be the nominee. The problem is that the same case can be made against Romney- they just pretend that they don’t know about Romney’s record, and want us to play along like we’ve forgotten too.

          In the words of Obama, “I want to be clear.” I want to be clear that I will vote for any Republican nominee. I will not sit out the 2012 election. I just don’t think that Gingrich is the one to beat Obama. I just want to beat him. Nominate Scooby Doo and He gets my vote. And my wife’s vote. But she loves dogs, so she might write in Scooby Doo’s name. I just want to beat Obama.

          William A. Jacobson in reply to Towson Lawyer. | December 17, 2011 at 10:41 pm

          Who has the best chance of beating Obama? (other than Scooby Doo, who declined to run in this cycle)

          The polls point to Romney. He has less baggage than Gingrich. Gingrich could serve in a cabinet post, although I do not believe that we have too few cabinets [?]. But that is a different discussion, as in do we need dep’t’s. of energy, education, labor, housing, etc.?
          He may not be as conservative as I would like, but he electable. Look what happened in DE and NV.
          I am not buying into the argument that the democrats want Romney to run against Obama.
          There is more, but not for this website. Besides, my Apple computer does not have Dragon installed at home and my typing skills consist of 2 index fingers.

          Asproof of my vdery limited tyoping skills, see the post before yours. And my wife tells me that Scooby Doo hasn’t made up his mind yet. Just like Trump.

McCarthy: great as always. Krauthammer and Steyn have disappointed me as well re: their going after Newt, as I love ’em both most of the time (Steyn’s carrying on about Newt’s use of “adverbs” was particularly ludicrous). The long knives are out for Gingrich, make no mistake. This is a full-throttle propaganda war.

Politics is a blood sport. Newt knows it better than anyone. I just wish he had more money to fight back.

Recalling Deja Vu memories from October 2008 –
Iowahawk satire on the National Review Descendants

I hope this is not a repeat of 2007-8. Going in to that nomination, right-wing leaders like Rush, Hannity, and Levin kept up a stream of criticism of John McCain. Exposure to hostile, almost vituperative, condemnation over a period of months surely demoralized a lot of Republican voters. I know it demoralized me. After the nomination the radio hosts turned around and said, hey, let’s vote for the guy. And maybe the listeners did vote for him, but the constant negative drumbeat must have depressed turnout for McCain in the general election.

OK, McCain was not a great canditate, and very possibly would not have won even if the talkers had been more friendly, but suppression of maybe 1% of the vote was a gift to Obama. This time there’s a different set of right-wing critics, and a chance to swing the election to an otherwise weak Democratic candidate.

    That’s what primaries are for. Isn’t that what we all do? Criticize those you disagree with. When your guy loses, the choice is to not vote for the ultimate nominee or to vote for the nominee. My criticism of the critics is this. The establishment Republicans tell everyone to unite behind their RINO candidates when their choices win. When their choices lose, they come out and badmouth the candidates. It’s a one way street for them. The one that particularly angered me was the Murkowski situation. Miller won fair and square in the Republican primary. When Murkowski refused to abide by the rules of the game by waging a write in campaign, that was kind of okay. What wasn’t okay was the Republicans in the Senate did not punish her. The Republicans had to waste money running against another Republican. Those morons in the Senate encouraged Murkowski breaking the rules by not punishing her. They wanted to keep one of their own slimy deal makers.

      James IIa in reply to javau. | December 17, 2011 at 8:33 pm

      Of course you criticize your opponents, and Gingrich deserves criticism for his record. McCarthy’s point is that the extreme criticism put out by NR seems to make Gingrich not merely the less attractive candidate, but a candidate never worth voting for, a danger to the republic. In past elections the Republicans self-destructed in 1964 after a bitter campaign between Goldwater and Rockefeller; the Democrats imploded in 1968 and 1980 when the campaigns featured the very same kind of excessive attacks. In 1980 Reagan brought a more collegial tone to the debates with his “eleventh commandment” (which was probably a bit overstated) which asked candidates never to speak ill of another Republican. He got the nomination, and, even though liberal Republicans thought he was extreme, they were not driven from the campaign. NR’s piece was way out of bounds in relation to the Reagan framework, and McCarthy’s criticism is accurate.

      By the way I wouldn’t complain about the leading candidates themselves. Both Gingrich and Romney have for the most part touted their own qualifications and contrasted them with their opponents’. That is perfectly within the bounds of reasonable debate.

        obpopulus in reply to James IIa. | December 17, 2011 at 9:19 pm

        1980, the establishment republicans were not driven away because Reagan made their candidate his VP, George Bush, the elder.

        Something for Newt to think of if he gets the nod.

McCain didn’t run in 2008. He tiptoed.

“But Henry! Romney is the electable one! Everyone says so!”

Truth is not a democracy, determined by how many people happen to believe a thing, but that’s just logic and of no use in a political campaign. What then is Romney’s actual electability record?

Romney is 1 for 3 in elections, 1 for 4 if you count his refusal to run for reelection as governor of
Massachusetts, so certain was his defeat. He ran to the LEFT of Ted Kennedy and lost. He won his first attempt for governor, then declined reelection for a second term. He lost the GOP nomination in 2008 to… some guy, I forget now. Bob Dole was it? Doesn’t matter now.

“But Henry! Massachusetts is so liberal! It’s all Democrats! And Romney made them all his bitches!”

True enough, Massachusetts enjoys a gross Democrat majority (with an emphasis on ‘gross’), and liberalism blossoms there like mold in a cave, but again.. truth, not democracy, ad populum, etc., etc. What’s the actual record there?

When Romney assumed the governorship in Jan 2003, his was the fourth Republican governorship in a row. The last elected Democrat was Dukakis in 1986. Either a Republican or a Democrat has been governor of Massachusetts since 1858, for a total of 50 different administrations 1858 to the present. Of those 50 administrations, 33 or 66% have been Republican. Two out of every three Massachusetts were Republicans over the last 150 years, and when Romney took office, he was the fourth Republican governor in a row.

Winning the governorship in Massachusetts as a Republican is no great achievement, in fact, no other political party has come close to winning as often.

Romney was a snake charmer to Democrats in Massachusetts? Uh… no. Instead, Romney did so poorly he declined to even try reelection and thereby ended a decade-plus long Republican dominance of the Massachusetts governorship.

The great electability of Mitt Romney is a myth. His hard record is a sorry 25-33% success rate, depending on how you count. The great crossover/bipartisan appeal of Romney is a myth. Though it seems counterintuitive, in fact, Massachusetts is a state that routinely elects Republican governors.

With respect to my own respect for logic, I must say that none of the above means Romney is unelectable. I’m just saying that Romney’s alleged great electability and his supposed mastery over even Democrats is not supported by the evidence presented by his advocates.

He has undeniable skills as a businessman, but we must ask ourselves – how many American businessmen and women have the same or greater skills? Are his so great or so rare?

I was a kid in Michigan when Mitt’s father, George Romney, was governor of Michigan. Mitt was born to great wealth – no crime there. Mitt went on to great success in corporate America and augmented an already famous family name. No one would have beaten Ted Kennedy in a statewide election, and certainly not a Republican. The Kennedy name is one of few in Massachusetts that exceeds in fame and fortune that of the Romneys. I suspect that voters in Massachusetts were highly curious to see how such a business success might do as a governor, elected him, and decided one term was enough, thank you very much. Grossly negative polls convinced Romney not to run again, so he turned his eyes towards the 2008 GOP nomination – and failed there too.

Romney as GOP nominee will not be able to confront Obama on Obamacare, since Obamacare was based on Romneycare, indeed, many of the same policy technicians worked on both. The ugly, corrupt process employed by the Democrats to pass Obamacare was the primary catalyst that spawned and so energized the Tea Party movement, a movement primarily responsible for the 2010 midterm election landslide by the GOP. Obamacare was bad enough on its own, but it also epitomized so much else with which conservative, moderate, and centrist Americans have grown so disgusted: big government, high taxes, profligate spending, huge deficits, self-serving politicians, gross corruption, inept and ineffective governance, and on and on. The percentage of Americans who want Obamacare repealed is 55% and rising.
Romney says about Obamacare that we should “keep the good parts and repeal the bad parts.” Great. Now the Obama team can say that not only did Romney essentially create the template for Obamacare, he supports it at least in parts; Romney admits “parts” of Obamacare are good.

In other words, a Romney nomination takes Obamacare off the table as an issue to deploy against Obama.

I will ask two questions I cannot get an answer for, online or in real life, among my friends, family, neighbors, and employees who currently support Romney. They are not rhetorical; I genuinely cannot get answers beyond those refuted above:

1) What is it that makes Romney any more or less electable than any other leading candidate, let alone makes him THE electable one?

2) What exactly has Romney ever done to further conservatism, aside from changing his principles to acquire conservative positions (aka ‘flipflopping’) whenever it was politically expedient?

    gabilange in reply to Henry Hawkins. | December 17, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Very good indeed, Henry. No data for electability. Where are they? Just an “Ah Declare” by somebody or other. And dutifully echoed by the herd. As for Flippity Flopper, I’m lost to him before he is anointed, if that happens. They’re sure trying hard to make the fix “in.”

The liberals love big government because they sincerely (if errantly) believe it is the best way to govern the nation.
If it also provides Democrat incumbents opportunities for personal enrichment, well, that’s just an unplanned perquisite they must accept, heh, heh.

The establishment GOP loves big-but-not-so-big-as-the-Dems- want government, but don’t enjoy the excuse of being sincerely dead wrong. They love it specifically for the goodies it provides. This is why the hypocritical RINO, wherever you find it, is hated even more than the flaming radical lib Democrat. The latter is a sincere idiot, the former a cynical turncoat.

Of *course* the Democrats don’t want to see a conservative in the White House or conservative (as opposed to merely GOP) majorities in either House of Congress – this is only natural. But the establishment GOP doesn’t want to see that either and for precisely the same reason – a conservative majority-run government would end the great gravy train that is currently enjoyed by both parties. The GOP would rather see Democrats in power who’ll at least let them slop at the trough than conservatives in power who will eliminate the trough. Both the Dems and the establishment GOP believe that sweet, sweet gravy train can be kept going for several more election cycles before it finally becomes existentially critical to stop kicking the can down the road and do something about our fiscal debt and imbalances.
Both would milk the cow till not *quite* dead and then leave office, pockets bulging with taxpayer gold.

The battle for America’s future is NOT between the GOP and Obama. The battle for America’s future is between the conservative citizenry and the establishment wing of the GOP, because the establishment wing of the GOP has proved its ineptitude over and over. They will set up a presidential election that guarantees either of two outcomes they’d find acceptable: huge government run by liberal Dems that still lets them feed, or the 90% of huge government their own chosen squish would preside over.

Picture this citizen as he is – sitting before the monitor screen, reading the news, stories, and data as he sharpens the tines on his pitchfork waiting on ‘the call’.

McCarthy’s piece was superb. He is one of the few over at NRO that I really respect.

Ramesh Ponnuru’s follow-up post on The Corner today regarding Andy’s column seems petty & illogical and I think provides an example of why Mr. Ponnuru’s leadership has done nothing to further NR as a leader of the newly revived conservative movement.

BannedbytheGuardian | December 17, 2011 at 9:55 pm

I might have gone there 2 or 3 times in 08 but can only remember the cruise details.

Give me The Minnow any day.