Earlier Paul described Sen. Lindsey Graham’s observations on Tuesday’s elections as the “least cogent commentary about New York-23” that he’d seen. Paul probably hadn’t read this column by E.J. Dionne. Of Tuesday’s results, Dionne, spinning furiously on behalf of his beloved Democratic Party, writes that “[t]he night’s biggest loser was the national conservative political machine — the wealthy tax-cutters at the Club for Growth and the Palin-Limbaugh-Beck complex.”
Sometimes, all you can do is laugh. In his typically mean-spirited way, Dionne ascribes defeat to what in less pejorative language are called “conservatives.” Yet conservatives won two big races Tuesday night. The only significant Democratic win was the result of a local committee’s stubbing its toe by nominating a lousy Republican candidate.
Dionne makes much of the unique circumstances of NY 23, but has little to say about the far bigger races where voters rejected personal appeals by Barack Obama and turned two big states over to Republican governance. Dionne tries to make palatable these bitter defeats for his party by suggesting that Bob McDonnell won in Virginia by appealing to moderates and independents. While not quite signing on to the absurdity of David Axelrod’s claim that McDonnell ran “not as a Sarah Palin Republican, but more as a Barack Obama centrist,” Dionne nevertheless says that Axelrod’s “point was right.”
But wait! Is this the same Bob McDonnell who, until Tuesday night, was a far-right candidate determined to chain women to their stoves? In September, Dionne wrote that McDonnell was a “onetime protege of Pat Robertson” who once wrote a paper, “unearthed by the Washington Post,” that argued:
…that working mothers were detrimental to the family and that he opposed a Supreme Court decision legalizing contraception for married couples. He had some less than kind words about homosexuals.
Dionne was willing to turn this supposed Neanderthal into a moderate–almost “a Barack Obama centrist!”–in order to avoid admitting the unacceptable, that Tuesday’s elections were a big win for conservatives.
It’s true, of course, that conservatives Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie appealed, successfully, to moderates and independents. That was, indeed, the big story of the election. But this doesn’t mean that conservatives were the “big losers,” it means the Democrats are in trouble because conservative ideas, for now at least, resonate better with independents than the far-left nonsense we are seeing from the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress.
UPDATE: Michael Ramirez skewers Nancy Pelosi’s claim, closely allied to Dionne’s commentary, that Tuesday was a big win for the far left; click to enlarge:
PAUL adds: John is right on both counts: I had not read Dionne’s column and his take is even less cogent than Sen. Graham’s.
I did read an earlier Dionne column in which he argued that the lesson of Tuesday was going to be that all Democrats should embrace President Obama. At that time ,most polls had Corzine ahead while Deeds, of course, was behind. Dionne attributed this to the fact that Corzine had embraced Obama, whereas Deeds had been reluctant to.
In the end, both Democrats lost. Corzine’s race was closer. But then, New Jersey is an extremely blue state and Virginia is not blue at all. Which, of course, is why Corzine wanted to associate himself with Obama to a greater degree than Deeds did.