Depression, despair, demoralization, palsied neurasthenia and now an acute goofiness beyond any known diagnostic framework are but a few of the delightful afflictions savaging the once-triumphalist right. These lads are quitters; they are whiners and apologists and self-pitying losers; they are, in a word, what Nixon so aptly, disdainfully called candy-asses.
Consecutive national conventions producing a stagnant slump and then a bit of a bump and the blogospheric right slides into an epic funk. It seems they can only get a grip when don't need to. If these boys had been in charge during the Battle of the Bulge, today we'd all be speaking with an Alsatian accent. I've just never seen anything quite like it: the instant resignation; the all-is-lost panic; the damn, this-thing's-over, we're-doomed bleating and sobbing; and worst of all, the indecent excuse-making.
Power Line's John Hinderaker, for example, suspects that Mitt Romney is going down only because perhaps "the country is closer to the point of no return than most of us believed." And by that he means what right wingers have been brooding over as a Done Deal since the New Deal: the dreaded welfare state has finally bribed enough voters to keep itself afloat in perpetuity. (Irony of ironies, Republicans created the American welfare state and entrenched themselves politically with ever-expanding Civil War veterans pensions.)
However, continues Hinderaker (and you just had to know this was coming, if not from Hinderaker himself, surely from someone's incurable addiction to the "just one more" dipsomania of right-wing extremism):
At National Review, Andy McCarthy poses the same question--why isn’t this election a landslide?--and posits a somewhat different explanation. Andy faults today’s Republicans for not being principled enough, or conservative enough [italics mine].
As I wrote yesterday, conservatism is simply no longer a coherent political philosophy. It's just a loose federation of fanatics--wholly discredited supply-siders; slavish Hayekians; Calvinists and medievalists and Swaggarting thumpers; indefatigable racists; anti-science and anti-intellect obscurantists; and now we should add, just plain candy-asses.