Dare to Struggle! Dare To Win!

I’ve tried to avoid dipping too many toes into the toxic waters of post-election GOP triumphalism. But it has reached a level of noise and mindlessness too intense to ignore entirely. So I may occasionally offer some observations on the real howlers.

Unsurprisingly, Charles Krauthammer has distinguished himself in over-the-top reaction to Tuesday night. His big post-election column was given a headline right out of 1960s Maoism: “Seize the day, control the agenda.” What makes it amusing is that his main purpose was to convince Republicans that they have to advance their own policy views if they want to win in 2016. So his chiliastic description of what happened on Tuesday night was but a hasty prelude:

The defeat — “a massacre,” the Economist called it — marks the final collapse of Obamaism, a species of left liberalism so intrusive, so incompetently executed and ultimately so unpopular that it will be seen as a parenthesis in American political history. Notwithstanding Obama’s awkward denials at his next-day news conference, he himself defined the election when he insisted just last month that “these [i.e. his] policies are on the ballot — every single one of them.”

They were, and America spoke.

No, Charles, 38% of eligible voters “spoke,” in a tilted battleground, and 52% of them voted Republican while 48% did not. It was a big defeat for Democrats, of course, but not the end of the Thirty Years War. Get a grip.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.