Conservatism Is Dead- And Other Jokes

In the year after Barack Obama was elected president, Sam Tannenhaus, editor of the New York Times Book Review, came out with a book of his own.  It was called The Death of Conservatism.

Tell me when you stop laughing.  What’s he going to call his next book – The San Francisco Giants Will Never Win the World Series?

Okay, I know it’s a tad unfair to make fun, since conservatism looked dead as a doornail in the wake of Mr. Obama’s election – at least from where Mr. Tannenhaus was sitting in the New York Times building on the west side of Manhattan.

But Tannenhaus isn’t the only one who (if I were gloating might say) is looking ridiculous today.

Ever hear of Richard Belzer?  He’s a comedian  and actor who plays a quirky detective on one of the Law & Order shows.  In real life, he’s a far left Hollywood type who like so many other far left Hollywood types fancies himself a political scientist. A few years ago he penned a piece for the Huffington Post, in which he said:  “Conservatism is in its last throes if you will, twisting in the wind, dying like communism did because neither philosophy works by definition — they both operate from the fraudulent premise built around contempt for and control of the people.”

I told you he was a comedian.

And then there were the fevered lefties of the worldwide web, like the guy who wrote this gem on the Daily Kos site:  “There is a certain audacity in declaring the near-permanent death of a political ideology, so allow me to be perfectly clear in my meaning: Republicanism is not dead–far from it–but American ‘conservatism’ as we have come to know it is. Kiss it goodbye; it’s gone, and it’s not coming back.”

I almost feel bad dredging up this nonsense  – especially given what we know today, the day after yesterday’s election.  And I hate using clichés, but taking potshots at these astute political observers is like shooting fish in a barrel.  And I never, ever steal someone else’s great line, but the reports of the death of conservatism have been greatly exaggerated.

As for the death of honest journalism – that’s another matter.

Did you notice how many times the word “angry” popped up right before the word “voters” in news reports about the mid-term elections?  Voters were angry, that’s why they were throwing the Democrats out.  How else to explain it?

Oh yeah, they were also irrational.  After all, no rational person would vote for Republicans over Democrats.

And they were acting like little brats.

In September, two months before the election, Eugene Robinson, the Pulitzer prize winning columnist at the Washington Post, ran a column under the headline, “The spoiled-brat American electorate.”   This is how it began:According to polls, Americans are in a mood to hold their breath until they turn blue. Voters appear to be so fed up with the Democrats that they’re ready to toss them out in favor of the Republicans — for whom, according to those same polls, the nation has even greater contempt. This isn’t an ‘electoral wave,’ it’s a temper tantrum.”

Interesting, isn’t it, that if you listen to liberal journalists the voters are always angry and stupid when they’re tossing Democrats out.  But they’re high-minded and caring when they’re giving Republicans the heave-ho.

You may recall that in 2006 and 2008 when Democrats took over both Houses of Congress, it was those high-minded, caring “soccer moms,” looking out for the welfare of their families, who went to the polls to vote for Democrats.  They were never described as “angry” or “irrational” or “throwing a temper tantrum” — even though they were cleaning house just as the voters did yesterday.

So let’s review:  As far as liberal journalists are concerned, when the American people vote for Democrats it’s because they’re full of hope and want positive change and care about their little kiddies.  And when they vote for Republicans, it’s because they’re angry, stupid and irrational.

Good thing there’s no such thing as liberal bias in the media.

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  • MerchantofVenom

    I think Jay Leno makes an excellent point.

    “Nancy Pelosi, who lost her position as Speaker of the House says she will seek to become the House Minority Leader. And really who better qualified to be House Minority Leader than the person who led their party to become a minority in the first place.”

  • Lily

    If “I know you are but what am I?” is the best they can say what does that say about them? That’s the Dem’s for you and the lame stream media.

  • Nancy

    Hey Bernie did you get a load of Katrina Vanden Heuvel’s column in the WSJ on 11/5? Unbelievable. And talk about a temper tantrum! The column title says it all “An Undeserved Win for the GOP”. At best ill-informed, at least, semi-delusional. But hey, thats between her and her publicist or psychiatrist, right?

  • Ray Jacobs

    Somewhere deep within the recesses of Bernie Goldberg’s office are files filled with articles by those “liberals” who Bernie hopes to prove wrong some day. And when the tide of history swings Mr. Goldberg’s way he trots them out and does his best Karnak impression and yells “I told you so” to the throngs of Pelosi haters who hang on his every word. This is of course akin to watching the football analysis at the beginning of a season to see who says who is going to the super bowl. “AHA!!” says Mr. Goldberg “Turns out the Rams AREN’T the powerhouse you said they were, isn’t that RIGHT Mr. Bradshaw!?”. As it turns out, the defeat of the Republicans a few years ago did teach the GOP a lesson or two and more than a few of them came out and said “We heard it, we need to change”. Could it be that the Conservatism of a few years ago, beaten down by the Democrats and Pelosi, is gone and replaced with something new? Hmmmm…was the Tea Party around back then? Maybe….and this is me just SPIT-balling mind you, maybe conservatism as it once WAS is dead. Think about it Bernie……

    • Ron Kean

      After reading 2 of Bernie’s books and following him since he first pointed out that the media is biased to the left, I believe that he doesn’t need revenge on liberals. He just reports it as he sees it.

      Pelosi has an 18% approval rating. 82% of Americans don’t need Bernie’s opinion. We’ve learned about her on our own.

      McCain Republicans thought by being middle-of-the-road we could appeal to the majority of the voters. He and Sarah Palin were actually up a couple of percentage points and were getting stronger when mysteriously somebody started selling big and gave Obama a talking point that Bush destroyed the economy.

      But the Tea Party was formed as a reaction to crazy spending by both Republicans and Democrats. That’s 90% of what it stands for. It’s been slimed as racist and dumb. It’s not. It’s strong and growing stronger with people who like America as it’s always been as opposed to being transformed into a socialist state.

      • EddieD_Boston

        McCain played nice with liberals for years and found out that they were just using him as a tool to show how extreme Bush was. They all bailed on him.

  • Dan Farfan

    Once again, very good dot connecting, Bernie. Pulling from the “archives” is valuable, lest anyone accidentally conclude that this election had any permanent meaning. Elections are snapshots. Complicated things such as governing and an economy are continuous.

    There are a great many things I wish were “dead,” but opposition to any political philosophy isn’t on the list. Opposition to totalitarianism (in all its forms) is needed to keep it at bay. Opposition to is needed to keep it on its toes.

    Sadly, the only way politicians making promises during campaigns that they have no intention, desire, or ability to fulfill stops is when it stops working on voters. As entertaining and satisfying as finger pointing is, responsibility remains with the people the politicians work for, us, even though “we” delegate the authority to govern to “them.”

    – “The Next 10 Amendments”

  • MerchantofVenom

    Pelosi will seek to stay as House Dem leader.

    I guess losing more then 60 seats hasn’t sunk in yet!!!

    • Bruce A.

      She did such a great job, I hope she stays on as minority leader again & again.

    • EddieD_Boston

      She’s too stupid to get it.

  • Terry Walbert

    In the 2010 elections, two black Republicans were elected from the old Confederacy: Tim Scott is from Charleston, SC and Allen West is from Palm Beach-Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Both won in majority white districts. Scott beat a black Democrat, and West unseated the white incumbent. Both ran as conservatives. I’d like to know how much Michael Steele had to do with this.

    I’d like to stick this in Eugene Robinson’s pipe and make him smoke it. But I’m sure he could explain how Scott and West are not really black because they don’t think the way black people are supposed to think.

    On MSNBC on election night, I actually saw some independent thought. Keith Olberman was opining that Russ Feingold lost in Wisconsin because his Republican opponent outspent him. Lawrence O’Donnell spoiled the picnic by pointing out that the Republican Senate and Governor candidates in California outspent their Democratic opponents. It was almost as amazing as seeing a flying saucer. I was waiting for Olberman to throw a wad of paper at O’Donnell, just as I used to do in high school.

    • EddieD_Boston

      To morons conservative black people aren’t really black.

  • Henry

    In case anyone is interested in the following story concerning Keith Olbermann:

    • Terry Walbert


      Do you think that Roger Ailes will offer Keith a big contract at Fox News?

      • Bruce A.

        Excellent idea, except Olbermans ratings were less than dismal at MSNBC.
        As of Friday he is only suspended without pay but maybe this is a ploy.
        COMCAST is taking over NBC soon & maybe everyone is trying to look like a professional journalist to save their jobs. Face it, something has to be done there because MSNBC is thought of as a joke, a bad one at that.

      • Henry

        Sure thing, and before you know it, Keith will be a frequent guest on The O’Reilly Factor! NOT! :)

      • Juan

        It’s rumored that Al Jazeera is offering Keith a big fat contract to be their WH correspondent.

  • Wil Burns

    Bernie, Now they (Republicans) will have to actually do something themselves rather than just sit back hurling slogans. And now they have much of the responsibility for trying to get the country out of the mess it’s been in since the beginning of the Bush recession. The next two years in US politics could be quite entertaining :)

    • CCNV

      I agree. Nothing like watching a democrat or liberal squirm.

    • http://bernardgoldberg daryl duke

      BOY! u have a problem. Sorry to say, but Pre.Bush has left the scene. You need to get your mind out of the obammmuh gutter.

    • EddieD_Boston

      Slogans? Like hope and change? How about this one for the dems in 2012? Change the dope.

  • stmichrick

    I guess you get to a certain age where you see that the pendulum swings; in no way would you proclaim either side to be dead.

    There is the emotional, slobbering side that builds up over certain perceived wrongs in American society, which boils over with the election of liberal Democrats. After that goes on for a while and is seen to be untenably expensive and abused, the principled, productive conservative Republicans rise up to defend what made America great in the first place.

    And so it goes. It’s amazing that so many who don’t reccognize this get so much face time in the media.

  • JDO

    Two Thumbs up for the Republicans victory, and two thumbs up for the new “Edit” button!

    • admin

      no prob… thanks for the good suggestion.

    • Ryne

      I thought finding this would be so arduous but it’s a brezee!

  • CCNV

    Regarding the Republican takeover of the House (and to paraphrase Pelosi’s comment about the passage of Obamacare):

    “Let’s elect them and then see what they can do!”

  • Ellie Velinska

    Who knew the ghost that used to wander about Europe, the ghost of communism will become a President of the United States.
    There are zombies that never give up. Conservatism has to resurrect from time to time to whack the ghost of communism back to the the dark side and away from people’s affairs.

  • Bob Z.

    Dear Bernie, I’ve lived in the Tri State area all my life, I’ve yet to see any fair political reporting in the local paper. In ’94 front page, zero mention of the Republican tidal wave. Again just yesterday the front page acknowledged the election of the new County Commissioner (which was a Republican) along with her photo. No mention of the Republican takeover Congress and the numerous Governorships that will be seated by Republicans. The only thing the paper is good for is the Saturday store circulars. You’re correct as usual when it comes to your commentary on all media.

  • Jay Thompson

    Bernie, alas, the double-speak of liberals is only exceeded by their lousy prognosticating capabilities. Prophets they are not. Still, it would have been nice to grab a few more Senate seats, but what can you do with marginally qualified candidates? I am very conservative, but you couldn’t have cajoled me into voting for O’Donnell, McMahon, et al.

    The typical trip wire of ideological conservatives is that they just don’t have enough Reaganesque thinking in their blood and bones. In the name of ideological purity they sacrifice expediency and the result is a lost senate majority.

    At some point, our purist friends are going to have to swallow a bit of practicality and common sense, to borrow Sarah’s mantra – elections do not take place in a Tea Party bubble. They happen in a diverse world where most voters actually want qualified candidates.

  • Granite

    I was fairly happy with yesterday’s national voting results. I slept well. I left for my normal morning walk and happened by the newspaper box in which the headline read, “Democrats Dominate!” Leave it to the left-wing lamestream media in Honolulu to once again, attempt to put lipstick on yesterday’s pig (election).

    • JDO

      What are you talking about, the newspaper was correct: “Democrats Dominate … Losses!”

    • marble

      Granite, the headline in Honolulu was right. Democrats dominated in hawaii.

      • Granite

        Democrats dominating in Hawaii is like running the headline “Pigs like Mud”. It’s not news.

  • EddieD_Boston

    Does anyone know of Wil Burns’ whereabouts? Check any and all
    bridges near you.

    • williamthepleaser

      and for the good of my blood pressure let him jump

    • Abort Liberal Fetuses

      EddieD – I discovered how to travel back in time, so I took Wil’s mother back in time with me so she could exercise her constitutional right to abortion. Wil doesn’t exist anymore.

      • EddieD_Boston

        I laughed out loud.

      • Wil Burns

        Punk, My mother is not alive, you sick SOB!

    • Bruce A.

      Wil is a little down now. I hear he will be hosting a election analysis webcast with his cardboard cutouts of Chris Mathews, Rachel Maddoow and Keith Olberman on Saturday. He is not inviting his Bernie cardboard cutout because he is mad at the staff for banning him.

  • JDO

    Can an irrational, angry spoiled-brat be happy? ‘Cause for some reason, today, I am. Now, Republicans, you’re back “in” – DO something about it.

  • Bruce A.

    It looks like the mainstream media is on its deathbed. They just don’t realize it.

  • CCNV

    Having just watched Obama’s press conference on Fox News, several times I caught myself gagging. NOW he thinks EVERYONE should work together. (Isn’t that what we have been saying for 2 years, while he and his cronies kept thumbing their noses at the American people and ramrodding outrageous policies down our throats?) He’d have been more arrogant, if possible, had the Republicans/Tea Party people not achieved their goals. I still don’t trust him…I know what he’s capable of.

    And even though we didn’t get rid of Reid (Lord knows I did my part), I’m very happy with the message sent to Washington, DC.

    • JDO

      Nothing new. Every time Republicans win a majority in anything, the Democrats declare that it’s time to start “working together.” They just don’t see it that way when they’re in power. Right next to the definition of “hypocrisy” in the dictionary it should say “see: Democrat/Liberal.”

      • Wil Burns

        JDO, Remember ‘they’ haven’t won everything!