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The Rightosphere Copes with Defeat

Reaction to the election is a far cry from the lefty blogosphere's response to 2000 and 2004.

by
John Hawkins

Bio

November 6, 2008 - 12:00 am
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Conservatives have a deep distrust of polling agencies.

Therefore, they tend to simply disregard unpleasant poll numbers. This often causes a lot of conservatives to get the wrong idea about what’s going to happen in an election — and the blogosphere is not immune to that sort of thinking.

As late as October 27, 53% of right-of-center bloggers believed John McCain was going to win the election.

Clearly, that proved to be wishful thinking. With so many conservatives thinking McCain was going to win, you’d think the howling would have been unearthly after Obama’s victory. There should be conservatives threatening to move overseas, on medication, heading off to the psychologist, and non-stop attacks on the American people for being so stupid. Why not? After all, that’s what the left did after their loss in 2004.

And yet, the most common reaction across the right side of the blogosphere was either a congratulations to Obama, a recognition that having the first black president was a historic moment for America, or some combination thereof.

Beyond that, there was a real sense of the need to get back to work rebuilding the conservative movement to get ready for 2010 and, naturally, a dread of what the Democrats may do to the country over the next four years.

Here are some of the more intriguing reactions to the election results from around the right side of the blogosphere.

***

I will never be a conservative who writes paeans to Obama’s uplifting message and transcendent candidacy. I don’t find him either uplifting or transcendent, and would argue that his opportunism precludes both. But I will try my best to hope for good judgment, pray for pragmatism, and never wish ill for the country just because it would mean ill for Obama and his party. …

This is America. We all live to regroup and fight another day. Soon, we’ll be back to talking about Obama’s self-involved speeches and their inefficacy against rogue regimes going nuclear. And, we may be delving into the small matter of his campaign contributions. But for tonight, congrats to Obama. It was a race well run.

— Mary Katharine Ham at the Weekly Standard

***

Perhaps the most important statistic for conservatives to keep in mind today — as pundits pore over and pour out exit-poll data to tell us What It Means — is this: 53 percent of Republican primary voters did not vote for John McCain. …

Conservatives who sought to prevent McCain’s nomination cannot be blamed for his defeat. And it is his defeat, not yours. …

Don’t blame yourself, and don’t listen to the pundits who are trying to spin Tuesday’s result as demonstrating the failure of conservatism. The only failure of conservatism in this election cycle was the failure to produce a consensus alternative to McCain.

— Robert Stacy McCain at The American Spectator

***

Obama’s victory will not with one fell swoop change the lives of black Americans. The black community will still face the problems that they had yesterday. Electing Obama will not decrease teen pregnancy or the crime rate among black men. Obama will have the opportunity to use the bully pulpit to address those problems and speak out about the need for increased responsibility in the black community. He has already done that somewhat, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear more of that from him. And all those blacks celebrating his victory will have to realize that having a black man in the White House will not suddenly change their lives any more than having black mayors in all the major cities has improved their lives.

Look at the crowds of white people who went to Obama rallies and the faces of young white kids celebrating his victory. And then just think about how it was in our lifetimes when blacks could not vote throughout the South. And now the capital of the Confederacy went for an African American man for the presidency. Even for conservatives, this is an amazing moment to marvel at and savor. We have come so far since when I was a child and that is a good thing.

— Betsy Newmark at Betsy’s Blog

***

I’m not pleased, but I’m hoping that 2-4 years in the political wilderness purify conservatives and bring them back to their Reagan roots, and that 2-4 years of unadulterated Democratic rule are sufficient to put the fear of God into ordinary Americans, without actually destroying the fabric of our country.

I still can’t quite swallow the fact that Americans willingly handed their country over to a man whose resume (thin, at best) and associations (scary and terroristic) are such that most Americans would be frightened to hire him as their children’s babysitter.

Sigh…

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