Monday, October 13, 2008

Losing Ugly
V.D. Hanson Edition

I think you learn a lot about people when they lose (and I say this as a recovering bad loser myself, much as it pains me to admit that). Even perfectly reasonably people can have a hard time with losing elections, since they are contests that actually matter. It's particularly hard to lose elections--contests that actually matter. It was agony to watch Bush (semi-)win in 2000, and agony again in 2004. It was agony because it was so clear that these were extremely consequential and extremely bad decisions. So, anyway, I know what it's like.

But--as I've noted--things aren't going so well over at the National Review these days. As we've seen, they're not only questioning whether Obama wrote his own, no...not quite loony enough for our Corner pals. Some of them are wondering whether William Ayers wrote Obama's books. Personally, if I were going to go for the gold on this one, I'd have gone with Saddam Hussein. Now there's a ghost-writer.

Anyway, Victor Davis Hanson is getting pretty frothy, too. Jimmy Doyle sent me the following gem from VD:
What is known of [Obama's] Chicago associates is not reassuring, and so
the only defense can be silence rather than exegesis. No one knows
anything of his record at Columbia University, how he got into Harvard Law
School, or what he was doing until he reached Harvard, or exactly what he
did as a community organizer in Chicago, or how a person with no record of
legal scholarship was about to be offered tenure at the Chicago Law
School. Each doubt in and of itself is of little import, but again in
aggregate even the generalities make voters uneasy...

Ah, yes...who is Barack Hussein Obama, anyway? Perhaps a clone with no actual past, cloned in the hidden clone labs of Iraq (shipped to Syria just before the invasion), cloned as part of the clone force to fight a clone war against us to achieve total clonal domniation of the world?????

Is it irresponsible to speculate about such things?

It would be irresponsible not to...

Here's VD's panicky screed today from Doctor Dentons Media. Turns out that it's Obama who's running the nasty campaign! And...and...McCain's campaign really isn't that bad! All four Bush campaigns were worse! (Note: there needs to be a name for this belated--but sudden and fairly widespread--willingness to admit that Bush sucks.)

And...and...those so-called "conservatives" like Christopher Buckley who are abandoning McCain for Obama...they' for places in the Obama administration YEAH THAT'S IT!!!!!!11!!1!!111!

God, it almost makes Hillary's downfall look graceful by comparison.

There's little we can do to help our friends across the aisle. They're probably too far down the partisan path to ever come back. But they can serve as an object lesson to us: irrationality is the wages of partisanship. It's an unlovely thing in the extreme. It's easy for us now to resolve never to go so far down that road; but once you've gone down it as far as VD and the Corner crew, recovery is very, very difficult. And if you don't have your character in order in this respect before hard times hit, you're in trouble. Don't expect your best self to come out in the most difficult and emotionally-charged times. That's a bad bet indeed.

So behold: Victor Davis Hanson, flailing about wildly, willing to accept every available hypothesis but the obvious one: his side is losing because they deserve to lose. A sad spectacle--but an instructive one if taken to heart.


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