SteynOnline celebrates its twentieth birthday later this month, and we're marking the occasion by getting back in the cruise biz. No tests, no vax passports, that's all yours to choose or not; but just a week of fun on the high seas with Bo Snerdley, Michele Bachmann, John O'Sullivan and other Steyn favorites. More information here.
~Today is yet another biennial morning-after in America, and yet another where the promised "red wave" failed to make landfall. As I was saying just last night:
If, in five, six hours' time, the usual shenanigans are beginning, we should treat American electoral politics with the same respect we reserve for Belarus or Sudan's.
That is to give perhaps too much credit to the wily operators of Shenanistan. If you step back for a moment and consider the thing objectively, what argument did the "leaders" of the opposition - the McCarthys and McConnells - make to the people that would prompt a wave, never mind the tsunami predicted in recent days? They were content, as always, to sit back and be Not The Other Guy. It was an election between the crooks and the void - and it went as Diane Calabrese has been predicting in our comments section for months. From the voice of establishment conservatism, National Review:
The red wave that many Republicans had been anticipating on Election Day failed to materialize, and as of early Wednesday it was still unclear which party would control the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
And from the rather angrier Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit:
I told you so. And I don't want to hear "I guess people really care about abortion" when poll after poll said that wasn't it. I don't want to hear about "People love tyranny" because people DON'T. Do try for once in your life to have a spine.
What did you think would come from letting state after state get swallowed up by fraud? It never occurred to you it would become national? Affect national elections? When you saw the cancer spread, you thought it was someone else's problem, far away?
If you find excuses for this now, if you buckle under, if you don't look at the sheer weirdness of the numbers, you're collaborating with the oppressors. You might as well shave your head now and save us time later.
As I type, here are the current standings:
House of Representatives: Republicans up four seats
Senate: Democrats up one
Governors' mansions: Democrats up two
At SteynOnline we have been marking our twentieth birthday by strolling back through the archives. (For earlier entries, see below.) This morning we have reached 2008, when there really was a wave - blue, as waves generally are, but augmented by many, many conservative commentators eager to repudiate the Bush years (such as my old New Hampshire neighbor, Jeff Hart). Here is how I began that year's morning-after column:
'Give me liberty or give me death!'
'Live free or die!'
What's that? Oh, don't mind me. I'm just trying out slogans for the 2012 campaign and seeing which one would get the biggest laughs.
My Republican friends are now saying, oh, not to worry, look at the exit polls, this is still a 'center-right' country. Americans didn't vote to go left, they voted to go cool. It was a 'Dancing With The Stars' election: Obama's a star, and everyone wants to dance with him. It doesn't mean they're suddenly gung-ho for left-wingery.
Yeah, whatever gets you through the night. Nothing cool about the "President"; no star quality about Senator Fetterman, as we must learn to call him. The Biden-Pelosi decrepit gerontocracy has dissolved your citizenship at the southern border and shriveled your horizons on all fronts from unaffordable gas to unavailable baby formula. And the fathead right will still be bleating their bromides about "a center-right country". Whatever the country is, the voting machines are "center-left". Back in the real world, one consequence of last night is that Trump is likely not to run again, and ol' Joe is - mainly because he could have a Fetterman-sized stroke tomorrow and a state funeral at the weekend, and the Dems would still bet they could get him across the finish line.
And, while we're at it, here from 2008 is an excerpt from my final pre-election column:
Across the electric wires, the hum is ceaseless: Give it up, loser. Don't go down with the ship when it's swept away by the Obama tsunami. According to newspaper reports, polls show that most people believe newspaper reports claiming that most people believe polls showing that most people have read newspaper reports agreeing that polls show he's going to win.
In the words of Publishers' Clearing House, he may already have won! The battleground states have all turned blue, the reddest of red states are rapidly purpling. Don't you know, little fool? You never can win. Use your mentality, wake up to reality. Why be the last right-wing pundit to sign up with Small-Government Conservatives For The Liberal Supermajority? We still need pages for the coronation, and there's a pair of velvet knickerbockers with your name on it.
Yes, technically, this is still a two-party state, but one of the parties is like Elton John's post-Oscar bash and the other is a church social in Wasilla. As David Sedaris put it in The New Yorker:
"I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. 'Can I interest you in the chicken?' she asks. 'Or would you prefer the platter of s—t with bits of broken glass in it?'
"To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked."
Well, to be honest, I've never much cared for chicken.
McCain vs Obama is not the choice many of us would have liked in an ideal world. But then it's not an "ideal world", and the belief that it can be made so is one of the things that separates those who think Obama will "heal the planet" and those of us who support McCain faute de mieux. I agree with Thomas Sowell that an Obama-Pelosi supermajority will mark what he calls "a point of no return". It would not be, as some naysayers scoff, "Jimmy Carter's second term", but something far more transformative. The new president would front the fourth great wave of liberal annexation — the first being FDR's New Deal, the second LBJ's Great Society, and the third the incremental but remorseless cultural advance when Reagan conservatives began winning victories at the ballot box and liberals turned their attention to the other levers of the society, from grade school up. The terrorist educator William Ayers, Obama's patron in Chicago, is an exemplar of the last model: forty years ago, he was in favor of blowing up public buildings; then he figured out it was easier to get inside and undermine them from within.
And that includes the polling stations of blue cities in otherwise reddish states.
~Mark will return later today on this evening's Mark Steyn Show.
SteynOnline: The First Twenty Years