Election night was, as Chez Pazienza noted, a complete disaster for the Left. With GOP control of the Senate and further Democratic losses in the House, the next two years are going to be a virtual nightmare for the Obama administration and pretty much guarantees nothing will get done in D.C. until at least 2017.
While it sucks that liberals essentially scattered before a drove of angry idiots, the consolation prize is that Republicans themselves are still hootin,’ hollerin’ idiots. If election day coverage was any indication of what’s to come, then we can expect Republicans to bring even more incoherent rambling, paranoid angry rants and chest-thumping overconfidence to the national stage for the next few years – and the GOP’s conservative wing is already planning on raising hell. This predictable over-extension might end up being somewhat of a consolation prize for liberals. With that in mind, nurse your hangover by enjoying some of the dumbest things conservative media has been saying about their victory in 2014.
I’ve waffled on how much to dislike Megyn Kelly before, because she’s bold enough to occasionally stand up to some of more bigoted or ridiculous colleagues. But this clip from the Monday edition of The Kelly File is straight up horrid, in which Kelly more or less totally makes up the claim that Obama is preparing post-election “blanket amnesty” for undocumented immigrants, a move which will “offend” Republicans they’ll have no choice but to impeach him. So basically, Kelly blamed the president for his own theoretical impeachment by right-wing raving crazies. Then she entertains Judge Napolitano’s paranoid fantasies of hordes of “illegals” as a serious opinion.
On Fox News’ website, the most prominent op-ed slot on Tuesday night went to Red State’s resident caveman Erick Erickson, who not even after his side scored an electoral victory could chill the fuck out. In a rambling and incoherent column, Erickson suggested Obama is so vain and petty he’s planning on circumventing the democratic process to create a “better class of voters” via mass amnesty. Huh? The network also gave a platform two days before the election to creationist “economist” Ben Stein, who somehow reversed a discussion on how GOP policies aren’t resonating with minorities into an accusation that America’s first black president is also the most racist. Even in victory, Fox News’ various guests can’t help but work themselves into rich, frothy lather.
Oh, and Voxspotted that Fox also reported on New Hampshire exit polls favoring former employee Scott Brown roughly two hours before the media embargo expired, possibly influencing the course of the election. Way to go, idiots.
America’s favorite right-wing conspiracist reminds Republicans to be very, very afraid, for some reason.
Happy for the gains. Unhappy because I know what could have been, frightened because I know what will be. Election night summary.
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) November 5, 2014
Can’t let that paranoia fade just because right-wingers control the entire legislature! Elsewhere, Beck warned that we’re heading straight for another Civil War.
The Daily Caller
Tucker Carlson’s conservative media fiefdom busied itself trumpeting all election day that today’s poor showing from Democrats is proof yet that President Obama is “the ‘most destructive’ president” to his own party — worse than Richard Nixon! But alongside its gloating coverage, it’s also had its hands fun race-baiting (Michelle Obama mentioned fried chicken), asking the Duck Dynasty guy what he thinks, reassuring its paranoid base that the worst of Obama has yet to come and running cringe-inducing joke articles about “election poles”:
The Washington Times
The Washington Times editorial staff focused their collective efforts speculating that Michelle Obama’s offhand remark about fried chicken was a sign the time is ripe for Republicans to retake the black vote. You should not take this publication seriously.
Conservatives are really running with this fried chicken thing. I wonder why.
Breitbart and James O’Keefe
The late Andrew Breitbart’s progeny is a fantastically terrible publication. Try this barely intelligible piece ranting about how the liberal media is trying to do away with elections, for one, but team it up with hoax artist and “conservative activist” James O’Keefe and it becomes extra special. This piece on how O’Keefe was able to lie himself into the North Carolina ballot box by giving a false name is apparently intended to give the impression that Voter ID is necessary to protect against fraud, but it’s mostly low-rent pageantry using hard-working poll workers following the law as props.
“With almost three-quarters-of-a-million inactive voters and no Voter ID law in place, we could have turned the election results for most major candidates in the state. What we uncovered in this video illustrates how easy it would be for a well-orchestrated campaign with no regard for the law to change the outcome of a major election. Voter laws across the country need to be changed immediately to prevent this sort of potential voter fraud.”
For the record, an intensive review by the Brennan Center For Justice in 2007 found that voter fraud is virtually nonexistent, while former Commission on Federal Election Reform official Spencer Overton told TheWashington Post that “a photo ID requirement would prevent over 1,000 legitimate votes (perhaps over 10,000 legitimate votes) for every single improper vote prevented.” But most of those people are Democrats, and O’Keefe is getting pretty desperate these days.
Sometimes I kind of feel bad about beating up on the New York Times’ David Brooks, who seems like a nice guy who just has incredibly boring, blasé conservative opinions. But not really. His latest take on elections, in which he argues that data-driven, micro-targeting campaigning is depriving voters of “leadership, character, vision and solidarity that defies quantification” is tedious even by Brooksian standards:
Data-driven politics assumes that demography is destiny, that the electorate is not best seen as a group of free-thinking citizens but as a collection of demographic slices …
The more you look at political history, the more you see that political imagination is the rarest and most valuable of qualities. Voters don’t always know what they want, but they look to leaders to jump ahead of the current moment and provide visions they haven’t thought of.
Some politicians, like F.D.R. or Ronald Reagan, can reframe debates and envision coalitions that don’t exist. Their visions emerge out of unique life experiences, which are unusual but have broad appeal. They build trust not through a few targeted messages but by fully embodying a moment and a people. They often don’t pander to existing identities but arouse different identities.
Blah, blah, blah. As The American Prospect’s Paul Waldman points out, this has precisely no connection to actual reality, but is suffused with enough lofty ideals to burst an elephant from the inside out. Brooks thinks that the problem with campaigns is that they’re pandering too much to micro-demographics like “women” instead of somehow striking deep into the hearts of voters and pulling out a Grand Vision For America. Notably, his main targets – Mark Udall and Alison Lundergan Grimes – are both being heavilyoutspent by energetic Republican campaigns in an off year for Democrats. This is a little like telling the French they lost the Blitz because they weren’t bold enough.
Morris is a terrible person and an even worse pollster, but a stopped clock is right once a day. But Morris still calculated (using the term very loosely) that the GOP could gain up to 60 Senate seats. They have 52.
Krauthammer really couldn’t be more out of touch if he tried, which is why I’m a wee bit skeptical of his election-eve proclamation that “this is a referendum on Obama’s hyper-liberalism” and that liberalism itself was “on trial”:
But he is consistent enough that whatever had happened tonight, he would proclaim GOP supremacy. As Salon noted, Krauthammer has proclaimed every single Republican loss minor and every Democratic victory a crushing blow to leftist governance for a decade. He’s like a wrinkly, half-mummified parrot.
The National Review
Editor Jonah Goldberg’s post-election column was mostly about the evils of “ignorant” early voters and Lena Dunham dancing in her “dingy underwear” for Rock the Vote, leading me to conclude Goldberg is opposed to early voting rights because it enables stupid floozies to vote Democrat. (This is especially evil because the NRO recently accused her of being a sexual predator.)
The Gateway Pundit
“Dumbest man on the internet” Jim Hoft celebrated the electoral victory of New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm, who is scheduled to face 20 criminal charges in December and once threatened to kill a reporter on air. Hoft is really not a smart man.
To borrow Jon Stewart’s catchphrase, here’s your moment of zen.
In what has been a very long day, this has been the best part of it pic.twitter.com/tPispdwVR5
— Matt Spence (@mattspencedc) November 5, 2014