For the first time in 32 years, Democrats got more than 50 percent of the country to vote for their candidate in a national election, and now they want to lecture the Republican Party on how to win elections. Liberal Republicans have joined them, both groups hoping no one will notice that we just lost this election by running the candidate they chose for us.
For years, New York Times columnist David Brooks has been writing mash notes to John McCain. In November 2007, he quoted an allegedly "smart-alecky" political consultant who exclaimed, in private, "You know, there's really only one great man running for president this year, and that's McCain."
"My friend's remark," Brooks somberly intoned, "had the added weight of truth."
Brooks gushed, "I can tell you there is nobody in politics remotely like him," and even threw down the gauntlet, saying: "You will never persuade me that he is not among the finest of men."
That took guts at the Times, where McCain is constantly praised by the op-ed columnists and was endorsed by the paper in the Republican primary. Even Frank Rich has hailed McCain as the "most experienced and principled" of the Republicans and said no one in either party "has more experience in matters of war than the Arizona senator" -- the biggest rave issued by Rich since "Rent" opened on Broadway.
They adored McCain at the Times! Does anyone here not see a cluster of bright red flags?
In January this year, Brooks boasted of McCain's ability to attract "independents."
And then Election Day arrived, and all the liberals who had spent years praising McCain all voted for Obama. Independents voted for Palin or voted against Obama. No one outside of McCain's immediate family was specifically voting for McCain.
But now Brooks presumes to lecture Republicans about what to do next time. How about: "Don't take David Brooks' advice"?
According to Brooks, the reason McCain lost was -- naturally -- that he ran as a conservative. If only presidential candidates would spurn polls, modern political history, evidence from campaign rallies, facts on the ground and listen to the wishful thinking of Times columnists!
If McCain lost because he ran as a conservative, then how come I knew McCain was going to lose before Brooks did? About the same time Brooks was touting McCain's uncanny ability to attract independents, I was writing, accurately: "John McCain is Bob Dole minus the charm, conservatism and youth."