Wednesday, May 18, 2011

If a dog did this...

Remember when Newt Gingrich was the darling of the right?


He was largely responsible for the GOP taking over the House of Representatives in 1994. So much so, he was Time's Person of the Year in 1995. And, he was pretty successful as Speaker. There were a couple of hiccups along the way, but all things considered, he had a good run.

Remember when Arnold Schwarzenegger was the darling of the right? Heck, some were even serious about changing the Constitution to allow him to run for president. "Conan the Republican," he was called. And the "Governator."

Now, he's the butt of jokes -- the "Sperminator" -- after word of his fathering a child with a staffer.

And Sarah Palin? In 2008, to those on the right, it was almost as if the Beatles were showing up. Or Justin Bieber, to you young kids.

Some were saying they wished she was leading the ticket, not McCain. And the Sarah 2012 bumper stickers showed up before the 2008 election was done.

Now? Conservatives are crossing their fingers, hoping she won't run.

Rather than go on with a bunch more examples -- you can supply several, I'm sure -- I'll get to my point. I'm sure I had one, after all.

For each of these -- and for those you come up with -- we conservatives were like dogs when their master came home: we jumped up and down, all excited to see them. We'd bark and yelp and make noise showing how happy we were.

Then what happened?

The 1998 election and word of Gingrich's latest affair, culminating with his resignation.

The evidence that a conservative in California would be a liberal in most of the rest of America. That, and Schwarzenegger's illegitimate child.

The resignation of office, giving the left another notch on their belt, and letting people believe that all the things said were true.

The truth is, Gingrich, Schwarzenegger, and Palin haven't changed. Not much, anyway.

So, have we?

A little. We're acting more and more like the left.

If a dog was all happy to see you, then suddenly started baring its teeth, you'd put it down. Or you should.

But, we're not dogs. The politicians need to understand that.

And, the politicians aren't those rosy images we painted of them. We need to understand that.

We see something we like about someone. Something they did. Something they said. Something. And we seize on it and proclaim them the greatest thing since sliced bread. Or since the iPod.

Then, as time goes on, the person continues to act like they've always acted. And the other side seizes on that. And we pay attention.

Eventually, we seem to turn on the politician.

The attacks on Gingrich, the jokes about Schwarzenegger, the comments about Palin ... they're pretty rough.

Not saying they aren't accurate or playing off truths. But they are pretty rough.

Politics is a rough sport. You gotta be tough to play it.

Now, I'm not saying we should back off. I'm saying we need to be the parents of the schoolgirls screaming because John, Paul, George, and Ringo are on the stage. We can enjoy the music, too.

And, when John says something we don't like, we don't need to burn Beatles records.

We are the voters. We are Americans. We are America.

We need to act like it.

More comments at IMAO


  1. It's already starting with Cain. Krauthammer says he's not a serious candidate because of his answer to Afghanistan question. I agree I was a little disappointed with his answer, but I'm not going to turn on Cain unless he can't come up with a better answer next time. Like in the Chris Wallace interview on Sunday.

  2. "Now? Conservatives are crossing their fingers, hoping she won't run."

    We are? Surprises me. Lot's of people I know, including me, are hoping she does run.

  3. And a lot hope she doesn't. That's what bothers me: they way some conservatives turn on anyone who turns out to be human. And, in Palin's case, some are buying in to the leftwing media narrative, false as it is, and hoping she stays away.

  4. These are some lousy examples. Ahhnie's biggest fan was Andy Sullivan, but his attraction was probably even parts to the Governator and to Mr. Universe. Palin's always had particular appeal to a segment of conservatives while leaving most of them unimpressed. The broad support for Palin during the election was due to the unbelievably vicious attacks from the left. She still gets sympathetic coverage from conservatives when they pop up; recently there was a successful boycott of Wonkette advertisers for an outrageous piece they ran about her kid.

    And your metaphor makes it seem that we somehow start with an idealized view of politicians, and then our honeymoon ends or something like that. Okay, there are some groupies, but for most of us I think it's far more practical.

    The thing with Newt, especially, is that even if you wanted to support the guy, you simply couldn't. No matter how closely you track him, from time to time you're going to be utterly surprised by some inexplicable flip flop. And then you'd be scrambling to figure out his long explanation of why his views are actually totally consistent, and you'd have to try to explain that to a skeptical audience.

    This is the big disconnect: Our support for politicians develops when we talk about them to friends and family. Who you support is part of your reputation and what people think of you, and most people are loathe to be known of as ideologues or shills. We, the "base", are largely responsible for the skeptical or disinterested masses feelings about the candidates, in that those feelings are mostly due to our practical ability to explain politics to people around us.

  5. It was his ability to sense the pulse of america that rocketed Gingrich into the spotlight in the 90's. He seems to be completely missing it today.
    Arnold's problems started when he could not resolve California's problems. While that was an extremely difficult task and others have done worse, ultimately he still failed. The other issues are just piling on.
    The final chapter has not been written on Palin yet.
    Mitt Romney appears to tbe the Republican front runner, Why we would want a Republican Obama i have no clue. Regardless, I can not see him winning either the republican nomination or a general election.
    There is alot of time for things to change.


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