McCain gives up *UPDATED*

Am I the only one who finds it disturbing when candidates concede before all the votes are counted?

A large part of Obama’s victory this year must be attributable to the fact that McCain was so concerned with being nice that he didn’t fight.  He gave up states, he gave up colorable political points (Wright, anyone?), and now he gave up the election before all the votes could possibly have been counted.

I’m not pleased, but I’m hoping that 2-4 years in the political wilderness purify conservatives and bring them back to their Reagan roots, and that 2-4 years of unadulterated Democratic rule are sufficient to put the fear of God into ordinary Americans, without actually destroying the fabric of our country.

I still can’t quite swallow the fact that Americans willingly handed their country over to a man whose resume (thin, at best) and associations (scary and terroristic) are such that most Americans would be frightened to hire him as their children’s babysitter.


UPDATE:  Welcome, Pajamas Media readers.  As you can see, I’m bewildered by the election’s outcome.  I really thought Americans could do better — and that’s despite the fact that McCain ran a bad campaign and never was the best candidate.

After my first moment of bitterness, though, I’m moving on, with “moving on” being an effort to figure out what conservatives can do to tighten and refine their core values and message so that in 2010 and after, we are able to help Americans see that true conservatism is the best political approach for America, one that will create a rising tide in every area of American life, sufficient to raise all boats.

If that intrigues you, go to the main page of my blog, and see what other things I’ve written in a more optimistic and forward looking vein.

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  • Mike Devx

    Take comfort in a few things, Book:

    1. It’s very difficult after a two-term President, for a new candidate to win a third term for the same party. Even under the best of conditions, which these definitely were not.

    2. The financials credit crisis was the kind of catastrophe for which the current President’s party always gets punished.

    Part of the debate, going forward over the next year, concerning the future of conservatism will include at least echoes of discussions on the nature of Bush and McCain “conservatism” (quotes used deliberately to indicate skepticism). And discussions on their actions in dealing with the financials credit crisis, which also were of dubious conservatism.

    Well, everyone… here we go!

    I too think it’s time to wish President-Elect Obama the best. Say what we might about his ultra-radical past and about human nature making it difficult to depart from your entire consistent past… Obama will in truth now be starting and writing a completely new script. We will be judging it. A campaign *can* be all lies; a Presidency, never.

  • Bookworm

    You’re a humane and wise man, Mike.

    The one thing I vow not to do is fall prey to Obama Derangement Syndrome. It’s poisonous to the one afflicted. And while BDS arguably contributed to Obama’s victory, so those infected with it can view it as a good thing, the fact is that I think the hatred, extremism and divisiveness it created inflicted incalculable damage on America.

    Still, tonight I allow myself some bitterness. I need to vent my spleen and start fresh tomorrow.

  • Charles Martel

    I cracked up a few months ago when I read that a young black woman who supported Obama reported that as she got to know more about him, she began to think of him as “the guy you happily fall into bed with after he sweet talks you at the party, and then you wake up the next day and say, ‘What the hell did I do??'”

    I’m going to lay this victory down to a case of the electorate having been sweet talked into bed. After the echoes of the orgasm have died down, somebody’s gonna have to make the bed, clean the bathroom, cook the breakfast, hustle the “guest” down the stairs and out the door, and then go for a quickie check-up at the doctor’s.

    Here’s hoping, despite my really, really big reservations, that Obama is a keeper who will just keep the, uh, thrills coming and coming.

  • Danny Lemieux

    I don’t every worry about you descending into ODS, Book. You have way too much class and, bottom line, you’re better than “them”. Hatred is a poison that corrupts the soul and you have soul.

    Oh well…onwards, forwards, one step at a time.

  • BobK


    As always, you provide a voice of calm reason and reassurance!

    Let us collectively pray (or hope, if you’re not inclined toward prayer) the best for our country – for it clearly remains the world’s best hope for liberty and decency. And let us do the same for our president-elect – that he will rise above his past and provide thoughtful, careful leadership for the country.

    Let us also hope that the conservative movement can once again find solid, principled ground. Personally, I’d like to start with something incredibly simple – let’s say our first amendment right to freedom of expression!

    Raise the clamor – NOW – against the coming imposition of a new fairness doctrine. Did anyone hear what Sen. Schumer said regarding talk radio today?

  • Ymarsakar

    I still can’t quite swallow the fact that Americans willingly handed their country over to a man whose resume (thin, at best) and associations (scary and terroristic) are such that most Americans would be frightened to hire him as their children’s babysitter.

    You can always rely upon the fact that fraud, deception, and manufactured votes could be the cause. After all, haven’t I said before that propaganda is more powerful than nuclear weapons? While it would have been hard to successfully use nukes to make America vote for Obama, propaganda did it quite easily: and not just the propaganda of the last 2 years, but the last 8 years. Propaganda works because it is efficient and under the table. You can’t fight what’s under the table without your own little surprises under the table as well.

    As for Oz, I will be waiting on her explanation for how McCain failed to engineer the vote like Bush did in 2000/2004. Did the Religious Right run out of money or can Oz claim credit for nullifying them?

    Still, tonight I allow myself some bitterness. I need to vent my spleen and start fresh tomorrow.

    It is right to feel sad and bitter about the defeat of those who deserved better, like the downtrodden and weak of Vietnam or Somalia.

    It will take a systematic dismantling of the Constitution and its balance of powers protection before the American people will be defeated, however. Our empathy, thus, should be used to bear common cause with those in need of help in order that we may build something better and longer lasting together than we ever could have by ourselves.

    If the US military could convince the Al Anbar tribals that the right side was our side, surely we could convince some Democrats, after they have felt enough of the pain they have inflicted on us, that the right side is with us. The US military and Petraeus has set the standard in Iraq: the model by which we must sustain and meet, otherwise we prove ourselves unworthy of being the Light of Liberty.

    Check out Cass’s place at VC for some group huddles, folks

  • Bill C

    McVain ran a disjointed campaign that never really told the people how he would make their lives better. He never had a plan other than I am better than this guy. (That didn’t work for Dole, either.) Given the head winds against Republicans not having a message other than ‘Country First’ (What the hell does that mean?) left the electorate vulnerable to the airy promises of Obama.

    On the positive side now the Democrats have to govern and they are likely to disappoint a lot of people.

    Personally, I am looking forward to making fun of Obama for every gaffe. Not derangement but gentle mocking.

  • Tiresias

    I agree with your comments about McCain completely – he is an arrogant ass, and never once in this campaign showed any signs of having unwedged his head. You’ve now been rejected for the third time, John, this time by EVERYBODY: now shut up and go away, you maverick, you!

    Hopefully the republican party fractures and goes away, too. I am well beyond fed up with them, and the one happy note in this mess they’ve engineered for us all is that I notice there is now not one single “moderate” in national government from the northeast – not one: swept away – and there are a hell of a lot fewer of them from elsewhere.

    And that’s a good thing. Being a “moderate” is just Nelly-talk for saying that you actually believe in nothing – beyond whatever you have to say to get elected. I am sick of people who are a conviction-free zone. They may join McCain on the ash-heap, and we will not miss them. No more of these damned “moderates” who are so willing to “reach across the aisle” and make common cause with their – and our – political enemies. Their – and our – political enemies are such ilk as Reid, Pelosi, Fwank, Schumer, Boxer, Murtha et al; people whom you would not allow into your home, and who’s word at any time on any subject is no damn good at all.

    Hopefully we can start digging out the actual conservatives – they’re out there – and make some sense in two years in the congressional elections after Obama has so offended everyone that he’s gone down the identical road as Clinton.

  • BobK


    I can’t join in with your rancor toward Sen. McCain. He is a man who has demonstrated his love for this country with his very flesh and blood. I can’t help but respect and honor that.

    That being said, I agree with the substance of your post. Though they seem quite different, Sen. McCain really embodied one of President Bush’s governing philosophies: the ‘new tone in Washington’. At the end of the day, Sen. McCain could not bring himself to aggressively advocate for conservative principles. Perhaps this is because the core conservative principle is that the best, most moral solutions are not to be found in government – and Sen. McCain was all about reaching across the aisle to find governmental solutions.

    It’s time to abandon any thought of ‘working with’ Democrats and ‘moderate’ Republicans to advance conservative ideals. It’s not going to happen. Let’s recast the argument (as Book has suggested) not as conservatism vs. liberalism, but as individualism vs. statism. Conservative and liberal are neither accurate nor descriptive of the ideological division in America.

    If a Republican phoenix is to rise from the ashes of a McCain candidacy, let it be an individualist party!

  • Tiresias

    The problem is that you could have seen it coming so plainly apparently, Bob. It isn’t that McCain did that “at the end of the day:” he’s been doing it every damn day for thirty years. And has, as “collateral damage,” I suppose, shot the republican and/or conservative agenda in the foot about a dozen times over the years, all by his little self.

    Most recently two years ago when he torpedoed the best chance that’s come along in years to get some control of the supreme court nominating process. The senate democrats, you may recall, had been pushed into a procedural corner from which there wasn’t much in the way of escape – except here came Honest John! Riding to the rescue with the Gang of Fourteen – and pissing away any chance forever of holding these people’s feet to the fire. Honorable compromise!

    Problem is, John, as you NEVER seemed able to recognize; you aren’t dealing with honorable people.

    Nah, at this point I just want him to go away. He’s only going to be a disaster in the senate going forward; the few republicans are going to need to be organized and are going to need to hang together, and you know damn well His Maverickness won’t do that. So I’m in full: “Yeah. Thanks for your service, would you PLEASE go away now?” mode.

    I mean, come on. Barack Obama is a nothing. His resume wouldn’t fill a postcard. An aircraft carrier couldn’t float his hubris. He knows just about nothing. His associations are an atrocity. His VP is a punch-line. It’s entirely possible he’s not even a US citizen. He combines personal sleaze with overwhelming ambition and a base of experience that’s zero — and John McCain would not once confront any of it.

    You bet I have a fair amount of rancor.

  • BobK


    I can’t help but hang my head and sheepishly agree. I’m ashamed that I did see it coming. Long before the Gang of Fourteen, McCain-Feingold told me everything I needed to know about Sen. McCain’s ‘maverick’ positions (and isn’t it a stunning irony that the Obama campaign outraised/outspent the McCain campain by a 6-7 to 1 ratio?). At the point of decision, my vote was definitely cast against Sen. Obama, his policy proposals, lack of accomplishment and radical associations; it was not for Sen. McCain.

    I honor Sen. McCain for his service and sacrifice. Right now I wish him an honorable retirement, with many years to enjoy his family. I also say Good Riddance! to the politics of appeasement he’s practiced for many years.

    As for rancor, I’m desperately trying here to not let my anger lead me into sin…

  • Ymarsakar

    and isn’t it a stunning irony that the Obama campaign outraised/outspent the McCain campain by a 6-7 to 1 ratio?).

    Not really. McCain had to keep his word on campaign finance reform, so he reformed his own campaign while allowing Obama to not reform, as in take in 200 million foreign contributions.

  • Charles Martel

    I propose “The Way of the Stew” as a philosophical approach to the madness that is about to descend.

    I do not mean us stewing — God knows we can each do that every day by ourselves without even having to come on this site to commiserate.

    I mean watching the slow stew that will take place in Congress and the White House as people who clearly are out of touch with reality keep wondering why their Greenwich Village townhouse keeps blowing up on them.

    Eventually the dismay will spread to the folks who lined up in Grant Park last night (a true Leni Riefenstahl moment!) to shed tears of joy at the coming of Obama.

    With Bush long gone and enjoying watching the chickens scratch in Crawford, there will be nobody left to blame for all the screw-ups and pratfalls we’ll be seeing.

    But hopey changey people will need SOMEBODY to blame. That’s when the stew will be ready.

    In the meantime, like BobK, I will not allow my schadenfreude to become more than an occasion of venial sin.

  • BrianE

    September 18, 2007 — Reducing individual meat consumption by 10% may reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to an article published in the September 13 Early Online Publication issue of The Lancet.

    I wonder if this is all meat or just red meat.

    I bring this up, because one of the mistakes that may have been made this election was not maintaining a theme throughout the election of what the Obama energy policy will mean to American life.

    We will all feel the pain when it comes to energy. Democrats are going to sign on to Kyoto, we are never going to produce one drop of new domestic production, and we are all going to learn what conservation really means.

    Rahm Emanual, who may be Obama’s Chief of Staff, wrote in a 2006 book “Plans for America” it is time for a new contract with America.
    1. A new social contract — universal citizen service, universal college access, universal retirement savings, and universal children’s health care — that makes clear what you can do for your country and what your country can do for you.

    2. A return to fiscal responsibility and an end to corporate welfare as we know it.

    3. Tax reform to help those who aren’t wealthy build wealth.

    4. A new strategy to use all America’s strengths to win the war on terror.

    5. A Hybrid Economy that cuts America’s gasoline consumption in half over the next decade.

    If democrats go beyond the rhetoric and start requiring the move to alternate energy sources in the near term, the effect will be devastating.

    A good start would be to eat less meat. Maybe we could all just eat cake.

    More here:

  • BrianE

    Speaking of pain, Laer Pierce’s Cheat Seeking Missles suggests Robert Kennedy may be pegged for EPA Chief.
    It will be interesting to see how the media spins the economic expansion that won’t occur as our economy contracts under a Natural Resources Defense Council attorney.
    Check any large scale energy production plant, and I’ll wager there is a current lawsuit blocking it, thanks in part to the NRDC or its allies.
    If Kennedy does in fact become EPA chief, he will be the world’s most powerful radical environmentalist, with the full resources of the federal government behind him and the power to regulate. Welcome to the Obama era.
    I would suggest those in colder climates invest in the wool industry. Sweaters will become the new chic.

  • Mike Devx

    Tiresias (#10)
    >> His resume wouldn’t fill a postcard. An aircraft carrier couldn’t float his hubris. >>

    That was a great line and more powerful for its truth.

    >> No more of these damned “moderates” who are so willing to “reach across the aisle” and make common cause with their – and our – political enemies. >>

    I agree completely. If you’ll all pardon some invective: bipartisanship my ass.

    Every time conservatives win, we are expected to reach across the aisle. Every time liberals win, it is a mandate for their kind of change. I’m sick and tired of all the double standards. Double standards for America and Israel compared to the rest of the world. Double standards for liberals and conservatives. Double standards be damned. Bipartisanship be damned. It’s time to fight.

    By the way, Tiresias, I *did* finally respond to your post concerning what I and suek each wrote – where in my comment I was beyond fury with the mainstream media, and you pointed out the effects of Reagan deregulation.

    In the end I agreed with you, and decided that my fury was immature and misplaced. I had a few conclusions about deregulation that you might not agree with as well…

    My reply was comment #40 at:

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