US Republicans: The Supine Loser Party

US Republicans: The Supine Loser Party. By Roger Kimball.

If you step back, a pattern emerges. At least since the election of 1968, every time a Republican has won, his victory has been deemed to be illegitimate by large swathes of the Democratic establishment and their flacks in the media industrial complex.

When Nixon won in ’68, it was illegitimate because he had convinced the South Vietnamese government to postpone peace talks until after the election. … Lyndon Johnson and other Democrats said this was an act of “treason.” When he won in ’72, it was illegitimate because of Watergate (which had no effect, zero, on the election). When Ronald Reagan won in 1980, it was illegitimate because (it was later revealed) his campaign had gotten access to Carter’s debate book.

The election of 1984 presented an insuperable hurdle for this narrative because Reagan won 49 states.

The only legitimate Republican president in 50 years, and only in his second term, according to the left

But the Dems wheeled out the banners of illegitimacy again when George H.W. Bush won in 1988: it was all because of his “racially charged” (read “effective”) anti-crime ads. When George W. Bush won in 2000, the Left went nuts claiming that the election was illegitimate because it was really a process of “selection” by the Supreme Court not “election” by the people. When he won again in 2004, his campaign’s effective deployment of the swift-boat ads against John Kerry and sundry claims of “voter suppression” were said to have rendered his election illegitimate. And this brings us to the 2016 election. It was impossible that Donald Trump could win, therefore when he did win, it was only because of nefarious (though totally fabricated) help from Vladimir Putin. Thus was born the Russian collusion delusion.

It is a depressing litany. There are, I think, two main lessons to be drawn from it.

One lesson concerns the utter disregard for electoral integrity on the part of the Democrats. For them, Republicans, in so far as they espouse conservative ideas, are ontologically illegitimate, hence, should they somehow win an election, it cannot, by definition, be on the up-and-up. A corollary of this lesson is that any means necessary are allowed when it is a question of opposing Republican electoral victories.

A second lesson concerns the Republican reaction to Democratic charges of illegitimacy. With the one exception of Donald Trump, they ignore or downplay the charges. Many rank-and-file GOP politicians, I suspect, secretly agree with, or half agree with, their Democratic opponents. Witness the disgusting behavior of Liz Cheney, who has abandoned her constituency in Wyoming in order to represent Peggy Noonan and the Upper East Side of New York. …

Conservatives … just don’t seem to understand how politics is played. They are always going on about “losing with dignity,” “elevated conservatism,” and the like. Meanwhile, Democrats are dismantling the country, injecting the toxin of woke politics throughout the culture, even the U.S. military, and acting just as if they were being instructed by America’s enemies instead of being her duly elected representatives. If someone were to object that such supine behavior was itself a form of stupidity, I would reluctantly have to agree.


It’s even worse, now that the Democrats have become the party of the rich and the professionals who service them. Most of the Republican politicians and their advisors are in this class, so, economically speaking, they are natural Democrats. It’s so hard to get good political representation for the poor or the stupid.