Our mood, and the debate, in a nutshell

From Kathryn Jean Lopez on National Review Online’s The Corner

This is a fuller elucidation of what a lot of people are e-mailing me:

Kathryn, love your articles, you seem to have the pulse of the country much more than most. McCain kissed it away tonight. Without some unforeseen event, he will lose by about 6-8 points and assure a Democratic majority in the Congress and the Senate, although I still think the Republicans will hold onto about 42 seats or so in the Senate, although with Snowe and others, I’m not sure that means much. However, he has created the future and maybe that was his role in everything. The same way that Ford created Reagan by allowing Carter to win with his bad debate performance, I think McCain has created our future with Palin. Her instincts and idealogy with 4 more years of experience coupled with an Obama Administration (ala Carter) will lead to a conservative revival which hopefully, at 43 years old, will be the last one that I have to experience in my life. The next 4 years are going to be brutal, although hopefully, the Democrats will overreach during the first two years and usher in Republicans to the House and Senate that understand the mistakes of the past and start acting like Republicans. With Gov. Jindall, Gov. Palin and Gov. Romney (who I voted for in the primary in Georgia, because I saw this coming, and I loved Gov. Romney’s message), the Republicans will be reborn. We, as a party, need to say never again to moderate, old Senators, or even VP’s (see Dole, McCain and Bush 1) and start putting forward young, energetic and idea driven governors. They have executive experience, ideas and the ability to communicate the ideals that make our party great. I hate that we have to go through the next 4 years with Obama at the helm. We will be tested severely by every adversary we have in the world and Obama’s instinct to talk and negotiate above every other action will serve us terribly.
My family and I will suffer serious financial hardship over the next 4 years. Obama has no understanding of those of us who work 80 hour weeks, spend countless nights away from our families to provide a good life for them and aren’t some notorious CEO’s ( could that guy from Lehman be a bigger idiot?).Gov. Romney’s speech at CPAC and Gov. Palin in this campaign are the only two people that I have seen that speak to us who bust our backsides to support our family, don’t want Government to give us anything and understand what we are all about.
It is time for the younger conservatives to rise up, take control of our party and start expelling the idiots like Stevens from Alaska, that think giving money away should keep us in power forever. It is better to say to Snowe and Specter and the others, thanks, but we will stay in the minority for awhile and let liberals show you what their policies mean rather than cater to you and let moderates destroy our party again. To many people have forgotten what unbridled liberalism means (ala Carter again). While we tried to label Clinton with that, he totally understood that liberalism would destroy him, and after the first two years governed from the center to save his own hide. While he did nothing spectacular, he ended up being an OK President because of this.
I had incredible arguments with my friends that McCain was this person and I don’t think I ever saw a worse debate performance with so much on the line than tonight. After about 30 minutes, I looked at my wife and asked if McCain could call in a reliever and send in Palin from the pen. I do believe we will be a better party because of this. We will go back to thinking about our beliefs. We will go back to learning how to argue and get our point across with a hostile press and a mocking Democratic party. I have always believed that with a liberal press that we, as conservatives, have learned to think more and argue our beliefs better than the liberals, who are so used to being fawned over with their class warfare arguments and have become lazy. I think this is one of the biggest mistakes McCain has made. He got so used to being fawned upon because he was ripping Republicans so much of the time, that he didn’t become prepared to argue his positions and I’m not really sure he had a belief in his positions outside of foreign policy, which sadly, are right on.
I think Gov. Palin realized early on what was going on and has prepared herself accordingly. After a couple of interviews, she knew what the game was and retooled herself to deal with them. Something the mainstream media and the liberals don’t understand about her was that she was a pretty good athlete. What these people don’t get is that these kind of athletes don’t like to lose. They may get their backsides kicked, but they realize it, identify the weaknesses and then correct it and get better. She is going to be an absolute force in 4 years. She is going to get the street cred now for being better than McCain during this election. She is going to bone up the next few months and be a counterweight to all of the Obama policies during the next 4 years. Reporters are going to beat a path to her door in Alaska She is the future of the Republican Party and at 48 or so in 4 years, will be the conservative change we need which will emphasize conservative principles along with the ideal that power obtained by compromising your principles is not power worth obtaining. Her responsibility argument at the debate scored the highest among the dials of independent voters. To say, go ahead and pursue happiness (hello, an argument in the Constitution), but I will protect your rewards and keep both Government and Business from screwing you will be an absolutely winning argument. This is the sense I get from her. I wrote Kathleen Parker and said I thought she was way to quick to jump the gun for Gov. Palin to exit the campaign.My point was, we, as normal Americans, want somebody who understands us, has good instincts and can learn from his or her mistakes and get better. I think Gov. Palin fits this bill. In all honesty, I think Gov. Romney (with Gov. Palin’s instincts) and Gov. Jindall also have this ability and I am encouraged that the future of the Republican party is in great hands. for her response to all of his policies and she is going to shine more and more.
I think Rush had it extremely right and I have been advocating the same thing with my friends and associates. This is 1976 pretty much over again. The country is depressed, things are bad and the Republicans (ala Nixon and Ford) are getting blamed for it all over again, and truthfully, they have some culpability again. Obama will be an absolute disaster as Carter was. They both believe that negotiating with enemies will prove you are the better person and we, as a country, will suffer for it. They believe that government will solve any economic problems and history will show once again, as it always has, that government will cause many more problems than it will solve. Our problem currently isn’t deregulation (see the problems that Sarbanes-Oxley has caused), but the lack oversight of current laws. This is the one area that I agreed with McCain was that Christopher Cox should go, along with(my own suggestion) Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Hank Paulson. These are the best and brightest and they let this meltdown happen? All of these people like Bush, McCain, etc. seemed to know what the danger of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were and they didn’t raise a bigger alarm bell? Reagan might have had policy differences that he tried to get around like the Contras, but he understood when government policies were causing the problem and although he suffered a recession in the first couple years, he knew his policies were the right course. I hope Gov. Palin, Gov. Jindlall or whoever in 2012 understand this also.
As in the past, Republicans will get better and prevail again. Gov. Palin, Jindall, Romney and others are a shining light in our party. We can only hope that they will provide a Reaganusque leadership to our party. It is our responsibility, as conservatives, to never let the Delays, Hasterts, Doles, etc. lead our party again. We must demand accountability and conservative principles. We can disagree on a number of issues, but we must never let those who believe that government can spend the money better than those who make the money, ever in power in our party again.
I have always believed that half a loaf (Dole, McCain, etc.) was better than no loaf at all. Now I have changed my mind. What good has been President Bush’s agreeing to No Child Left Behind with Sen. Kennedy? Or Sen. McCain’s to McCain Feingold? Or Sen. McCain’s to McCain/Kennedy on immigration? What, I believe, is the problem here, is that when the American public says they want bipartisianship, is that they really don’t, they just aren’t convinced of either side’s argument and they get tired of both sides trashing the other side, instead of arguing the merits of their side.
Thank you Kathryn once again for your great articles. I’m not sure you will agree with what I wrote, but it has been written with incredible passion. I am one of those who gets teary eyed when I hear the National Anthem at the Indy 500 or a Braves game (grew up in Indiana, live in Atlanta). I think back to Michael Moore who mocked George Bush in 2004 about wanting to send his daughters to Iraq and respect Gov. Palin and Gov. Biden beyond belief for supporting their sons who are in Iraq and who don’t really know if they will see them again. It was the one part of VP debate that I actually was totally in sync with Sen. Biden, loving my 5 year old as I do. Please keep up your great articles the next 4 years, keep the faith, and know there are millions of people out here who read your articles, think about them and respond to them. Conservative principles never change, but like all things, they need to be thought about, argued better and always refreshed. We may yet consider Sen. McCain a conservative hero, not for his own ideas, but for who he led us to, in Gov. Palin. At least we can hope so..

I’m not there. I still have the fight in me. You know why? Tuesday night: What Barack Obama said about 9/11 encapsulated it for me. As Gov. Palin might put it: He just doesn’t get it. “A lot of you remember the tragedy of 9/11.” Were there five-year-olds in the room there I missed? We all remember, Senator. And tragedy? Maybe we should elect the head of the Red Cross commander-in-chief.