In the Arena

Reality Wins

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It’s always fun to check in with Rush Limbaugh after a big Republican loss–and today was no exception. He was whiny apoplectic, especially when it came to the difficulty of appealing to non-white voters. Isn’t Condoleezza Rice enough? He screamed. Isn’t Marco Rubio enough?

But of course, El Rushbo knew the answer was no. So do we have to “embrace amnesty” for illegal immigrants? Well, embracing rather than demagoguing the Dream Act might have been nice. And do we have to provide free contraceptives to get the women’s vote? Well, uh, haven’t you been Limbaboonic on that one enough already?

This was, of course, disingenuous. And we have seen other such denials from wingnuts today. Bill Kristol posted this poem lovely Yeats poem:

To a Friend Whose Work Has Come To Nothing

Now all the truth is out,
Be secret and take defeat
From any brazen throat,
For how can you compete,
Being honor bred, with one
Who were it proved he lies
Were neither shamed in his own
Nor in his neighbors’ eyes;
Bred to a harder thing
Than Triumph, turn away
And like a laughing string
Whereon mad fingers play
Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult.

Emphasis mine…And this, from a gentleman who financed robo-calls that posited a mock debate between Barack Obama and Benyamin Netanyahu! Adios, Bomber Boy.

But there was also a strong streak of sanity from the likes of David Frum and Ross Douthat, of course, and even in less reality-based precincts, like Jennifer Rubin’s blog. The more general Republican line is that Obama doesn’t have a mandate. Tomorrow, in the print issue, I’ll argue that he does indeed have a mandate–for moderation. And the clarity of that mandate was made manifest when Mitt Romney suddenly became a viable candidate in the last month of the campaign–by moving to the center.