September 15, 2008


The Audacity of Defeat: What if the impossible happens and Obama loses the election? Among Democrats, expect a rash of rage, depression, angst and finger-pointing at the media. (Russ Smith, Splice)

I was reasonably certain that Obama would win convincingly, and perhaps by a landslide. In fact, although favoring McCain, I’d resigned myself to at least four years of the charismatic Illinois one-term senator, despite the nervousness that he’d turn out to be a less pious Jimmy Carter or, a latter-day Adlai Stevenson. What the hell, it’s not as if the Republicans have distinguished themselves in the past four years, McCain included. Besides, one benefit of a turnover at the White House would be the resumption of political conversation with Democratic friends; too many personal and professional relationships have been fractured in the past eight years. [...]

New York magazine columnist Kurt Andersen, one of the few Beltway-Boston pundits who bashed Hillary Clinton a year ago, when her nomination appeared inevitable, was unstinting in his speculation of the fallout should Obama lose. He emailed me: “Even without post-November 4th rumors of rigged voting machines and the like, an Obama loss will be a deeply, traumatically depressing event for Democrats and other Obama enthusiasts. (Whereas if McCain loses, who will be seriously bummed outside of the McCain household?) There will be so many facets of potential unhappiness. That an eloquent, inspiring, intelligent, subtle black candidate lost—and if it’s close, it’ll be true that racism beat him… That the rest of the world will be reaffirmed in their belief that America is the land of nincompoops (or worse). That a war with Iran looks a lot likelier… That Sarah Palin won it for the Republicans, and gives a bad name to feminism and (terrifyingly) has a one-in-six (Russian roulette!) chance of becoming president before 2013.”

Tom Bevan, co-founder of Real Clear Politics, was succinct: “Two words: Hari Kari. The base of the [Democratic] party is so vested in its nominee…that to lose in November would be one of the most demoralizing in the modern era.”

Today, John Kerry is mostly a pariah in Democratic circles, seen as an effete and cautious campaigner who couldn’t even beat the laughable George Bush. Yet people, and the media, forget how shocked his supporters were four Novembers ago, so certain that Bush’s Supreme Court “selection” in 2000 would be overturned.

An article in The New York Times shortly after the election described the utter devastation felt by New York City residents, who gave Kerry 75 percent of their votes. Dr. Joseph Zito, a retired psychiatrist, told the reporter, “I’m saddened by what I feel is the obtuseness and shortsightedness of a good part of the country—the heartland… New Yorkers are more sophisticated and at a level of consciousness where we realized we have to think of globalization, of one mankind, that what’s going to injure masses of people is not good for us.” A friend of Zito’s, a native of Wisconsin, added, “New Yorkers are savvy. We have street smarts. Whereas people in the Midwest are more influenced by what their friends say.”

But who says New Yorkers are elitists?

A Beverly Hills psychologist, Cathy Quinn, told a Los Angeles Times reporter—also days after the Kerry defeat—that she’d seen an increase in the number of patients, who were suffering from “despair.” Quinn predicted to the Times’ Melissa Healy that the “postelection” blues would worsen the emotional health of people already plagued by feelings of loss, anxiety and depression.

It’ll be far more acrimonious this time around if the GOP wins.

It's a strange thing that we on the Right should root for our opponent to win just to drain some of the social tension, but that is the deranged reality the dysfunctional Left has imposed. Where we would accept a loss with equanimity, liberals feel entitled to storm around like little brats if they don't win.

The Wife and I were both harangued by family and/or "friends," crazed by Sarah Palin, over the past couple days and a neighbor said her mother yelled at her. So we were talking at dinner about how poorly they'd all deal with Senator Obama losing and how strange it was that they're this invested. I said I thought that it was his very vacuousness that sucked them in--since there's nothing there they can create the Obama of their dreams.

At that point, The Boy chimed in: "But when Obama's President he'll bring me a pony."

And there's the rub: John McCain is stealing their ponies.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 15, 2008 7:42 PM
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