2013’s Least Surprising Headline

Here it is, from today’s Politico:

No soul-searching for Virginia GOP after losses

James Hohmann’s piece under the headline quotes Virginia Republicans intoning the eternal chant of factors other than ideology that accountedI for the November losses: not enough money, not enough “Establishment” support, bad timing, hostile media, treacherous RINOs. It never much changes, beyond the decision to accentuate, assert or merely hint at the underlying problem that Republicans are fighting a tax-payer funded bribery machine whereby those people are being lured to the polls by promises of access to the heard-earned wealth of virtuous job-creating capitalists and virtuous asset-holding retirees.

I do, however, wish journalists would stop describing the reconsideration process that Republicans regularly resist as soul-searching. These people are pretty clear about what their souls yearn for: a return to a phantasmagoric American past with no welfare state, no progressive taxes, no environmental limits on development, no shiftless young folk or uppity minorities or lawsuit-wielding secularists, and no regular international responsibilities other than the occasional kill-everything-that-moves crusade.

The real concern for most conservatives is the extent to which they agree to mortgage their souls to obtain political power. They naturally don’t want to do that unless it’s absolutely necessary, so they really really want to attribute defeat to everything and anything other than the failure to sell out their ideological birthright for a message of pottage.

This basic reality ought to be within the grasp of every Politico writer.

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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.