A Comment by American Elephant on this Newsbusters Story: “MSNBC’s David Shuster: ‘Good Grief!’ Joe the Plumber Makes CPAC a Joke”
Joe Wurzelbacher’s success represents the utter dearth of leadership from both our elected officials and beltway chattering class that began in the 2006 cycle and culminated in the feckless, rudderless, incomprehensible McCain campaign. People have gravitated to him because he unabashedly defends and espouses conservative principles, while our supposed leaders sat sucking their thumbs, licking their wounds and utterly refused to defend, let alone champion, conservatism.
Similar complaints have been made against Sarah Palin and social conservatives by David Brooks and other beltway snobs. Some of whom even publicly pledged their support for Obama.
The problem is their assessments don’t even remotely stand up to the facts.
First and foremost, John McCain was “their” candidate, and he lost the election — not anyone else.
Secondly, we won, and won quite handily, just four years ago, and the overwhelming consensus, supported by exit polls, was that we won because of “values voters” not in spite of them. The very social conservatives Derbyshire condescendingly refers to as “lowbrow” and Brooks, I believe it was, referred to as “downscale”.
The consensus was so strong that this was the reason for our victory that Democrats began making large overtures to these voters. Obama even attended the Saddleback forum precisely to try and win them over.
And Rush has been the most public face of conservatism for well over a decade, a decade that Republicans dominated.
Derbyshire would have us believe that Obama and the Democrats are trying to shut Rush down because he is scaring people away from the Republican party?!?! Risible!
The fact is we lost because Republicans strayed from conservative principles, were too frightened to defend those principles, allowed Democrats to define them, and spent two years apologizing, equivocating, accepting the liberal definition of issues, and refusing to stand up for conservative principles.
“Compromise is the absence of Leadership,” as one great Lady said, and MAN have Republicans been compromising for the past two-three years.
And finally, Republicans lost because the social moderates that Derbyshire, Brooks, et al prefer LOST the exact demographics that Republicans need to do better with in order to win. McCain did far worse with blacks, hispanics and other minorities than Bush ever did precisely because, other than California, “low brow” social issues were off the table this election.
Note the one place where conservatism succeeded in 2008 was in deep-blue California, and it was social conservatism that won.
If Republicans make the mistake of listening to Derbyshire, Brooks and others, they can plan on being a minority party for a very long time to come. We are not in the wilderness because of “low brow” conservatives, or “down scale” conservatives or Joe the Plumber. We are in the minority because of RINOs and cowardly conservatives who present the public with an incomprehensible, unprincipled mish-mash of compromise that appears as nothing but slow-growth liberalism.
I would add that our country was founded on the ideal that regular, ordinary Americans like JTP would run the country, not effete elites like David Shuster. This post from Bits Blog gets it right.
If Pat really thinks, as he says, that the “Republicans thrive as the party of normal Americans — the people in the middle culturally and economically”, then how is it that the only ’serious’ candidates are those of the intellectual class? The connection Pat’s never made, in my sight, is that such a middle class party doesn’t feel the need of intellectual leadership… a beholding to an advanced inner circle.
I like this comment, too:
I know professionals who learned how to fix pipes and can take care of their own plumbing issues. I know farmers who can cite facts about markets that would send people’s heads spinning. But somehow it is “good” when a white collar worker learns to fix their own houses and “ridiculous” when a blue collar worker learns something about monetary policy.
By the way, didn’t Newsweek eventually admit JTP was right about Obama being a socialist?