The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.
Before we get started, let me remind you that there’s now a seat available on the Watcher’s Council up for grabs.
We’re currently looking at candidates, so if you’re interested, think you qualify or want to find out more about what’s involved in being part of the longest established blogging group of its kind, simply leave a comment with your site URL and e-mail address (which won’t be published) on any article over at Joshuapundit.
These don’t come up all that often and when they do, they usually fill up quickly, so don’t snooze.
There’s a great deal of discussion going on among self-identified conservatives and Republicans about how to rebrand the party, get its message out and change what appears to be its image.
This week’s winner, Bookworm Room’s To win the future, conservatives need to give voters a positive image of a can-do America and a can-do Republican Party, lays out her blueprint for that process in her usual witty and erudite style. Here’s a slice:
For the past four years, conservatives have been fighting a relentlessly rearguard, defensive action. For those same four years, conservatives have lost every rearguard, defensive action that they’ve fought. Or if they haven’t actually lost, the best that they’ve managed is a stalemate that stalls Progressivism, but doesn’t advance conservative values. Even the stunning 2010 “shellacking” proved ineffective, as shellackings really only work if you take over Congress entirely, rather than just getting half of it.
Conservative also don’t seem to be faring too well in the culture wars. To use abortion as just one example, in the 2012 election, conservatives lost the chance to take over Congress when Progressives successfully demonized two Republican Senate candidates who are pro-Life. More than that, it seems as if, contrary to past trends showing that Americans are inclined to a pro-Life view, a recent poll gave a definitive victory to American support for abortion.
Ironically, right up until the 2012 election, many conservatives (myself included) thought that these tactics would work. We believed that a jobless recovery (a stock market that benefited from Obama’s crony capitalism, even as more and more people became unemployed), creeping inflation, flabby home sales, depreciating savings, rising medical costs, and all the other signs of a sick economy, would turn voters against Obama.
We also thought that proofs of corruption (Fast and Furious), incompetency (Benghazi), and crony capitalism (Solyndra), would turn voters against Obama. They didn’t.
Sure we knew that Romney, although a good and intellectually brilliant man, was only a decent candidate, but we thought that, given all of Obama’s failures and dishonesty, Romney’s charisma deficit wouldn’t be a problem. And had Romney been a Democrat, it really wouldn’t have been a problem. He was a Republican, though, which meant that sterling character and brilliant economic chops were inadequate to fend off the extraordinarily vicious character assassination that the White House and the media launched against him.
We conservatives hadn’t counted on Americans buying such disgusting canards or ignoring ugly facts, but they did. Between the media running interference, general disinterest from voters more fascinated by Honey Boo Boo and Jersey Shores than by politics, and Americans’ probable fear of voting a black man out of the White House, conservatives got to watch Obama win again.
In the wake of Obama’s victory, conservatives in the media and in the blogosphere have responded by amping up their previous tactics. Considering that Obama won’t be running again in 2016, spending all of our political capital and emotional energy attacking him doesn’t seem like a good use of resources. Be that as it may, conservatives are Obama is still Target No. 1. There certainly is a lot to get fired up about, most notably the way in which Obama seized upon Sandy Hook as an excuse to seize guns. Nothing will come of it, of course, since there are too many Democrats who like guns too, but Obama has successfully framed the issue to be one of life- and child-loving Democrats squaring off against gun-crazed, child-murdering Republicans.
Rather than running about like headless chickens who are still trying to peck the President to death with details, we might do better focusing on very specific weaknesses and not letting those weaknesses vanish from the public eye. To me, the most obvious are (a) the economy and (b) his handling of Benghazi.
In our non-Council category, the winner with a very different kind of article was Caroline Glick with Bye Bye London submitted by Joshuapundit. She recently participated in a debate in London about Israeli communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines and relates what happened there. Do read it. It’s an eye opener.
And forgive me if I not-so-humbly add I saw this coming some time ago and if anything, it’s even more relevant than it was 7 years ago. Europe will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.
Okay, here are this week’s full results. Only Gay Patriot was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the mandatory 2/3 vote penalty:
- *First place with 3 votes! – Bookworm Room – To win the future, conservatives need to give voters a positive image of a can-do America and a can-do Republican Party
- Second place with 2 votes – The Right Planet – The Left’s War on the Bill of Rights
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – The Noisy Room – There’s No Truth In The News And No News In The Truth
- Third place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – The Political Commentator – The hit and run President!
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Simply Jews – What Jonathan Freedland doesn’t get
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Saudi Royal Stability
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Rhymes With Right – What This Chinese Dissident Has To Say About America’s Second Amendment
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Gay Patriot – What President Obama Should (But Likely Won’’t) Say Today
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Razor – How Colin Powell is a Racist
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Joshuapundit – Obama’s 2nd Inaugural – Darkness at Noon
- Sixth place with 1/3 vote – The Mellow Jihadi – A Wild Cristina Kirchner
- *First place with 2 2/3 votes! – Caroline Glick – Bye Bye London submitted by Joshuapundit
- Second place with 2 votes – Buckhorn Road – The Militia Is… submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion – Veteran stands up for 2nd Amendment at Chicago anti-gun forum submitted by VA Right!
- Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes – Gregory Mann/Africa Is A Country – France in Mali: The End of the Fairytale submitted by The Razor
- Fourth place with 1 1/3 votes – Sultan Knish – The Authenticity of Fake submitted by The Mellow Jihadi
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 votes – Mark Steyn – Fake dead girlfriends and fake debt limits submitted by The Noisy Room
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Policymic – Mali War: French Are Hypocrites For Rushing In With Military Aid submitted by Simply Jews
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Robert Tracinski/Real Clear Politics – Barack Obama is Boring submitted by Bookworm Room
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Tom Ricks/Best Defense – The Obama administration’s inexplicable mishandling of Marine Gen. James Mattis submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Victor Davis Hanson – Hagel, Brennan, and the Obama View of the Middle East submitted by The Watcher
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Strategist – Google in North Korea: Pyongyang kowtow or smart diplomacy? submitted by The Political Commentator
See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!