I giggled at the time but, really, reading stuff like this here the other day makes me sad on many levels:
“On this very site, numerous people said “I’m not voting for McCain. What harm can this guy do in 4 years?” … Idiots.” – Bill S (1)
(Please, do not mistake this for an attack on Bill S. This is just the most recent example and hopefully useful for educational purposes. I guy can hope, anyway.)
Yes, I was one who said such a thing…sort of. So I may (or may not) be an idiot.
Unfortunately now apparently lost to the ether of some now inaccessible RedState archive, there once existed an Ntrepid diary from early in 2008 titled “…and I Reject Your Shallow Analysis of My Never-Cast-My-Vote-for-McCain Position” (2) (and, for the record, there was a follow-up from about a year later titled “…and I Now Resent You for Talking Me out of My Never-Cast-My-Vote-for-McCain Position” (3) and I still stand, mostly, behind the primary sentiments expressed in both). Obviously, it was a screed against a poor candidate and not intended in any way to support Mr. Obama, but I did truly say:
“…this great nation CAN survive four years of a truly bad executive and Commander in Chief…”
Having now confessed my sin, I will offer a general defense: simply saying such a thing (especially so early in primary season) in no way mandates the title of “idiot” on anyone. Following through on such a position may or may not make someone an idiot. Blanket statements to the contrary really are idiotic. (For the record, I did not follow through with my asserted position.) Such declaratives presume a better situation today or at some random future point that is unknowable since President McCain never materialized. Some could attempt to make the case that Stimulus-Lite and McCain-Care would have happened anyway and still lead to President Clinton or Obama in 2012 with possibly, gasp, a stable supermajority in the Senate, a strong majority in the House, and one hell of a head start on their agenda…things could easily be on a worse track today. But, since I’m on record here as already marching into The Abyss (4), I won’t go there. Four years were very bad…near fatal in themselves. But I do believe my specific wording above is still not idiotic. What this great nation was not prepared to survive was the perfect storm of hyper progressivism and spinelessness (and just enough bat-sh!t-craziness) known as Obama-Reid-Pelosi-Boehner-McConnell.
Where I was completely wrong…and yes, idiotic (mostly due to naivety)…was my automatic presumption of only four years. But I have learned since. And this lands squarely on the point I have tried on many occasions here to get through some of the thick skulls of the “must vote conservative in the primary and Republican in the general election” hard liners. The power and stability of the incumbency is near structurally guaranteed…and, for the Ruling Class and their agenda, fully guaranteed…in our shell of a republic. Even the most incompetent, most corrupt, most idiotic incumbent will be re-elected roughly 99% of the time (as long as they lack the sense of shame that would force a respectable person from the public eye without delay). Reliably defaulting to the Republican in the general election has done nothing but provide “them” with a seemingly unlimited supply of tradable votes with which to execute the grand charade that we all now recognize as Failure Theater.
As it relates to intraparty politics, thinking beyond just RedState comment threads, the logical end to such “discussions” only limits the Conservative pull on the party. When Boehner takes a government shutdown off the table before the first meeting with the White house, we all see the error from a mile away. When Obama takes military action off the table before stepping to the third tee, we all recognize the moron in charge. But here we are going to take the possibility of “withholding our vote” off the table six months before the convention (referring to my 2008 diary)? No doubt the RNC polling gives them a sense of voter “motivation”, but they can spin that internally any way they want. Our “voices” in places are Redstate are harder to explain away…why shut down open expression along these lines nearly a year before we select a nominee? However minor it may be, a little rightward pull now just may keep more acceptable candidates from dropping out early and, come April, maybe the next Dole, McCain, or Romney won’t already be a forgone conclusion. Alternatively, since the party inside the beltway will always be more moderate…and, for now, they know full well we will eventually submit…it’s simply a waiting game for Jeb. They win…we lose. And I’m the idiot?
Lastly, this just further highlights a recurring sense of loss around here.
Yes, this is partly selfishness on my part with the apparent loss of my old diary. But it’s really more the loss of all old RedState history that continues to bother me. It certainly isn’t that my one diary was that relevant (it wasn’t) or that it was so perfectly written (it wasn’t) or that it was flawlessly reasoned (it wasn’t); it was that I put out a reasoned positon that fostered a lengthy, useful discussion. If memory serves, “John E” engaged me thoughtfully and moved me in the right direction and “tankertodd” beat everybody with a walk-off homerun. All now gone.
More importantly, it was a civil, polite conversation where no one used words like “idiot” or “a$$clown”. We used to be better than this. We should still be better than this.
Thanks for tuning in.
Member Since 2006
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Since it doesn’t appear to be available online anymore, here, for your entertainment, is the subject diary in its entirety. Remember that I was a solid “Fred” guy at the time. (I think he dropped out less than a week later):
…AND I REJECT YOUR SHALLOW ANALYSIS OF MY NEVER-CAST-MY-VOTE-FOR-MCCAIN POSITION
RedState Diary by Ntrepid, January 29, 2008
This isn’t as well thought out as it should be and I may not be the best person to effectively make the case but this rant has been bouncing around in my head for a while and I think its time someone takes a shot at it.
My friends, I am so very tired of the way many in these parts almost reflexively fall all over themselves to brush off anyone with a Never-Cast-My-Vote-for-McCain position as nothing more than a spoiled, pissy, petulant child taking his toys and going home if he doesn’t get his way. (Sorry for not linking to specific cases but this phenomenon is rather common and my beef is a gross generalization anyway.) I want to argue that in some cases, that position can be deeper than just a childish temper tantrum.
There seems to be a prevailing piece of conventional wisdom that holding the White House from 2009 to 2013 is vital to the future of the Republican Party and the country as a whole. Given the events of the last seven years, a very strong case can be made for that position. However, taking the “vital” part of that too literally is more than a bit vain given the great events and great individuals that have created and shaped this nation over the last 231 years.
I do believe that the country would be in much better shape in January of 2013 with any Republican taking the [reins] from Mr. Bush next year. However, would the party and the country be better off over the following couple of decades if just “any” Republican filled that slot? I think the answer is NO and in my opinion a President McCain would be the perfect example of that.
My historical standard for this is none other than President Carter. His term in office shows that this great nation CAN survive four years of a truly bad executive and Commander in Chief…even in wartime. (Some here may not have learned that bit of ancient history but the Cold War of the late seventies was probably just as critical…and dangerous…a time in world affairs as today’s War on Terror.)
The Carter experience also showed us that there are severe penalties to be paid for holding the White House with just “any” candidate. The electoral gods rightfully banished the Democrat party from the top spot for no less than sixteen years for serving up such a poor candidate for the nearly surefire victory in 1976. Unfortunately, the media as a whole interfered and joined that party outright in 1992 just to usher in another case of winning the White House with just “any” candidate…but that’s a whole other rant. Regardless, both cases should serve as good examples of how winning with poor candidates now may not be in the long term interest of a party and the nation.
My position on Mr. McCain is that he would be a poor one term President. This would be accompanied by congressional losses at the mid-term and probably again in 2012 when a Democrat would most likely be swept into office. This unfortunate turn of events would leave the conservative movement…in whatever form is still exists in 2012…in a very weak, defensive position for the better part of the following generation. This would be very bad for the country and that’s not how I wish to leave it to my children.
I will not vote for Mr. McCain under any circumstances. I have what I think are valid and levelheaded reasons for taking that position. Please feel free to convince me I’m wrong but please stop brushing me aside like a pouty little seven year old.
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