Do Conservatives Think They Are Winning?

The topic in the headline has always fascinating me since a lot of conservatives so frequently alternate between the most arrogant triumphalism and the most self-pitying defeatism and paranoia. If they aren’t on the edge of an all-defining massive national landslide, they can often be found hiding in their catacombs, whimpering in fear of Big Government and the Tyrant Obama.

A closely related question involves the attitude of conservatives towards the very idea of majoritarianism, which many of them reject as a matter of principle (that is, indeed, the essence of “constitutional conservatism”), which gives them a great deal of psychological license when it comes to voter suppression and other anti-small-d-democratic machinations.

In any event, I’ve written all this up over at TPMCafe, concluding with the same observation I made here at PA yesterday about Sarah Palin’s extraordinary ability to project paranoia and triumphalism simultaneously in her signature expressions of vengeful sneering. That, unfortunately, is what will keep her around for the foreseeable future.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.