Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Opposing Loyally

In the closing days of the campaign we heard a lot from the media about "Republican rage" that was coming to the surface in various outbursts from the crowd at McCain-Palin rallies. Those "raging" right-wingers were compared with fascist brown shirts in the Weimar Republic, with the implication that it was only a matter of time before we would be seeing violent street battles in the place of political dialog.

Surely now that Barack Obama has been elected president this cauldron of Republican rage must be boiling over into outright hostility and anger?

Let's take a quick look at how some various right-winger bloggers and pundits are reacting:

The semi-repentant neo-con Ross Douthat:

And then, of course, there's the fact that Obama has just been elected President of a nation in which he could have been bought and sold as a slave just seven generations ago. I don't think there are any words adequate to the occasion of America electing its first black President, so I'll just say this: This may be a bleak day for the Republican Party and for conservatism, but come what may in the years ahead, it's a great day for our country. Barack Obama deserves congratulations, tonight, but so does the nation he's about to govern: We've come a long, long way.

Scott Johnson from the notorious right-wing noise machine Power Line :

Tonight let us salute and congratulate Senator Obama as the author of a brilliant campaign and pray that he achieves greatness in office. To adapt the imprecation of Stephen Decatur: May he always be in the right; but our president, right or wrong.

Hate-spewing radio shock jock Hugh Hewitt:

It is an extraordinary thing, an achievement that will be recognized a hundred years hence, that Barack Obama has won the White House. Even those of us who opposed him, and who will no doubt be opposed to many of his policy objectives over the next four years, must pause and say congratulations on an improbable, amazing rise.

Every American ought to pray for wisdom and judgment for President-elect Obama, for his safety and the safety of his country, and for the continued prosperity and greatness of America.

Even the humorous hate-mongers at Nihilist In Golf Pants don't seem too riled up:

Tonight I say a PRAYER for our new President-elect, Barak Obama. I hope GOD will guide his decisions and give him the strength and wisdom to lead America forward. I also PRAY for our leaders in Congress, that GOD may watch over them too. I realize that this may be too much for the nuts to bear, but tonight I PRAY for them too. To paraphrase Jeremiah Wright (sort of):

GOD bless America? Yeah, what the heck! GOD bless America!

This reaction of course is not unexpected. Unlike the way that the left reacted in 2002 and 2004, the right will handle our defeat this year (as we did in 2006) with civility and class.

There will be the inevitable post-mortems about what went wrong and what needs to change. And we will strongly and passionately oppose the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress on most issues. In 2012, we'll do everything we can to we make Obama a one term president. But we will do it without coming close to the levels of antipathy, hysteria, and outright hate (real hate) that the left has displayed toward George W. Bush and most Republicans in the last eight years.

- We won't display bumper stickers saying "He's not my president."

- We won't set up web sites to apologize to the world for the election results.

- We won't reflexively blame President Obama for everything bad thing--including the weather--that happens to the country.

- We won't claim that Barack Obama is an idiot and that we're smarter than him. And no liberals, it's not because Obama is smart and Bush is dumb. Both of these guys are smarter than 99.98% of the population (which likely includes you). Saying that you're smarter than Bush pretty much proves that you aren't.

- We won't fly our flags upside down to signal distress.

- We won't run around moaning about how horrible it is to live in "Obama's America."

- We won't run down our president when we're overseas in order to gain approval.

- We won't use the left's disgraceful treatment of President Bush during the last eight years as an excuse to engage in the same kind of behavior.

- We will respect the office of the president and the man who holds it.

- We will continue to fly our flags and love our country as much as did before.

- We will continue to work hard, go to church, spend time with our families, and try to be the best people we can be knowing that at the end of the day, our personal happiness and satisfaction is not dependent on who sits in the White House.

We will be the opposition for at least the next two years and perhaps much longer. But we will strive to remember that whatever differences we have with Democrats, we are always Americans first.

UPDATE-- For an idea of what this spirited, but loyal opposition should look like check out Peter Kirsanow's excellent post at The Corner on National Review Online:

Last night was Obama's night. January 20th too. Watch for genuine opportunities to work together for the betterment of the country. But on every other occasion fight. Fight every attempt to entrench a new entitlement. Fight every attempt to redistribute wealth. Fight every attempt to radicalize the courts. Fight every attempt to weaken our defenses. Fight every attempt to restrict political speech. Fight every attempt to revise history. Fight for what's best about America.

UPDATE II-- More from David Harsanyi:

My children are continually lectured by well-meaning adults about the mystifying power culled from our differences, the strength we derive from our disparate upbringing and the power of diversity.

So why, one wonders, does this belief not extend to our politics and ideology? Why do we strive to shed individuality and become herds of devotees and shills?

America should be a place that features spirited debate, a place where partisanship is reignited in a fury of righteous opposition, a place where Republicans find a spine and oppose harmony whenever appropriate.