What’s Kristol Smoking?

Ken AshfordElection 2008, Right Wing Punditry/IdiocyLeave a Comment

Honestly.  Just when I think he can't write a more inane column, well dammit, there he goes and does it.

Barack Obama will probably win the 2008 presidential election. If he does, we conservatives will greet the news with our usual resolute stoicism or cheerful fatalism.

Right.  I'm sure that's how Rush will be on Wednesday.  Although, I'm not so concerned about Rush as I am the really nutbad conservative fringe, who, inspired by Rush, will greet the news with their usual assassination plots.

Being conservative means never being too surprised by disappointment.

Dead black people after Katrina, financial crisis brought on by conservatives' years of deregulation — yeah, what a disappointment.

But what if John McCain pulls off an upset?

I’m worried about my compatriots on the left. Michael Powell reports in Saturday’s New York Times that even the possibility of an Obama defeat has driven many liberals into in a state of high anxiety. And then there’s a young woman from Denver who “told her boyfriend that their love life was on hold while she sweated out Mr. Obama’s performance in Colorado.” Well, what if Obama loses Colorado? Or the presidency? As a compassionate conservative, I’m concerned about the well-being of that boyfriend — and of others who might be similarly situated. I feel an obligation to help.

Ah, the concern troll.  Perhaps Kristol et al should be focussing on the fate of their

So let me tell liberals why they should be cheerful if McCain happens to win.

Oh, please don't.

1. It would be a victory for an underdog. Liberals are supposed to like underdogs. McCain is a lonely guy standing up against an unprecedentedly well-financed, superorganized, ExxonMobil-like Obama juggernaut. A McCain upset victory would be a classic liberal happy ending.

McCain's was never the underdog.  He's always been wildly popular with the electorate and the media.  He ran a successful campaign against Bush, and nearly won.  He'a war hero, and he's running against a young black man.  Since when is the white popular guy and underdog to the unknown black guy?

2. It would be a defeat for the establishment. Obama’s most recent high-profile Republican endorser was D.C. insider Kenneth Duberstein. Liberals should be on the side of hard-working plumbers, not big-shot lobbyists — oops, sorry, big-shot strategic advisers and consultants. And Duberstein said that Colin Powell’s endorsement was “the Good Housekeeping seal of approval on Barack Obama.” Doesn’t that comment embody everything that liberals (and many conservatives, including me) find creepy about smug establishment back-scratching and gatekeeping in America?

Wait a second.  Obama is the "establishment"?  McCain's campaign is run by lobbyists, D.C. insiders, and Rove protogees.  So if McCain wins, it's a defeat for the establishment?  And since when does Colin Powell represent the "establishment"?

3. It would be a victory for the future. With President Bush’s approval rating at about 25 percent, a McCain triumph would mean Americans were making a judgment on two future alternatives, not merely voting on the basis of their resentment at the past performance of George W. Bush. It would mean voters were looking ahead, not back. Liberals should therefore welcome a McCain win as a triumph of hope over fear, of the future over the past.

Well, gee, Bill.  Thanks for the meaningless pablum.  Can't that also be said about an Obama victory?  Or even a Bob Barr victory?

4. It would be a victory for freedom. Obama supporter Leon Wieseltier of The New Republic writes that “tyrants and génocidaires would sleep less soundly during a McCain presidency.” Liberals should be opposed to tyranny and genocide. Wieseltier also acknowledges that McCain “was splendidly right about the surge, which is not a small thing; and the grudging way Obama treats the reversal in Iraq, when he treats it at all, is disgraceful.” The surge advanced not only our national security but the cause of freedom in the world. Liberals should be votaries of freedom.

I don't know what "victory for freedom" means. I suspect Bill doesn't either; he just llikes the sound of that phrase.  In any evevnt, he seems to tie it to Iraq.  Because nothing says "freedom" to Iraqis more than keeping Americans in their country indefinitely.

5. A McCain victory would be good for liberalism. Look at recent history. Jimmy Carter and a Democratic Congress begat Ronald Reagan. Bill Clinton and a Democratic Congress produced Newt Gingrich. Who knows what would follow a President Obama and a Democratic Congress? Here’s one possibility: President Sarah Palin.

Oh, I get it.  Liberals should be glad that McCain-Palin wins, because that makes a Palin presidency less likely — and an Obama win makes a Palin presidency more likely.

Bill, have you looked at McCain lately?  He's got one foot-in-the-grave.

In any event, perhaps Kristol hasn't got the memo: Obama is the real conservative.

So liberals shouldn’t be too upset at the idea of McCain winning. Could it happen?

It’s possible. What if the polls, for various reasons, are overstating Obama’s support by a couple points? And what if the late deciders break overwhelmingly against Obama, as they did in the Democratic primaries? McCain could then thread the Electoral College needle.

McCain would have to win every state where he now leads or is effectively even in the polls (including North Carolina, Indiana and Missouri). He’d have to take Florida and Ohio, where he’s about four points down but where operatives on the ground give him a pretty good shot. That gets him to 247 of the 270 votes needed.

McCain’s path to victory is then to snatch Pennsylvania (which gets him to 268), and win either Virginia, Colorado, Nevada or New Mexico (states where he trails by about four to seven points) — or New Hampshire, where he’s 10 points behind but twice won dramatic primary victories.

And then, and then, and then, McCain has to win the Electoral Votes of the MOON, if there is some way between now and tomorrow that we could make the Moon a 51st state, because we should because because because there's an American flag on it, and…..

To give Bill some credit, he's pretty accurately pegged what McCain has to to do in order to win.  Let's read what Bill wrote… slowly. 

First, McCain has to win EVERY state in which he has had a lead (and some of those states, like his home state of Arizona, McCain's lead is only a couple of points).   

THEN he must win North Carolina AND win Indiana AND win Missouri AND win Florida AND win Ohio (i.e., all the "battleground states" which all show slight Obama leads or ties) and even then he's only at 247 of the 270 votes he needs.

And he even if he manages to do ALL THAT, he still has to pull off a miracle win in Pennsylvania (where he is down 8-13 points in the latest polls) AND one of several other states where he is down by 6-7 points.

In other words, to win, McCain can't have ANY upsets, and pull out SEVERAL miracles.

It’s an inside straight. But I’ve seen gamblers draw them.

Yeah, but how many times has a gambler drawn that many inside straights in a row?

If McCain wins, think of this column as a modest contribution to cheering up distraught liberals. If Obama prevails, I’m confident there are some compassionate liberals out there who will do the same for hapless conservatives as they hobble out to the wilderness.

Or maybe we'll just spend the next four years questioning conservatives' patriotism.  That's what winners get to do, right, Bill?