The musings of one Andrew Langer - defender of liberty, passionate protector of individual rights, foodie. (Note: Said Musings of Andrew Langer are his own, and the views represented herein are likewise his views, and not the views of any other people, entities, foodstuffs, etc [unless otherwise specifically and explicitly noted].)

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Preliminary Wrap-Up, and a Video...

I know some of you were looking for my post-election message - and there have been some comments regarding me and McCain. First things first, while McCain lost nationally, he did resoundingly win here on Maryland's Eastern Shore, and my primary responsibility was making sure that happened (which wasn't always a clear outcome from some of the polling numbers I saw). McCain won, and won big out here - and as I've said in the press, it's really a testament to the volunteers...

And it's a testament to the Palin pick. Palin energized the base, and I've had countless people come up and tell me that she's the reason they were coming out to vote. So, I've got a real hard time with the people from the campaign who are throwing her under the bus. I'm working on a post-mortem on the campaign right now, and may share it with you all later. Essentially, McCain failed miserably in telling his story (no, not the POW story. The "McCain as an agent for change" story.).

I'm working on a GOP-Rebuilding strategy for a friend of mine. People who heard me at The Wednesday Meeting or at Harris' Crab House the other night have gotten a preview of it. We simply don't have time to wallow in self-pity - in Maryland the 2010 race started on Wednesday, and the first test for the RNC will be the off-year elections in Virginia and New Jersey.

We've got a lot to do between now and then.

In the interim, I'd meant to link to this video a while ago - and just found out that I could embed it. It's a speech on Coalition Building that I gave at the GOPAC Summit this summer.


Blogger The leftist southpaw said...

Palin may have "energized the base," but I would expect someone of your intelligence to openly admit that she was dangerously unqualified for the office. Andrew, you knew at age ten, or younger, that Africa was a continent.

Throwing her under the bus is inexcusable- especially by the McCain staff, who ran a poor campaign. She does not deserve such treatment. Yet nor should she be excused for basking in her own ignorance.

The nation had eight years of the "I'm just a country boy," routine. I guess it had enough.

November 08, 2008 4:01 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

And just who is on the record as having witnessed this statement, Kess?

Why is it that Sarah Palin, an immmensely popular governor of the largest state in the nation (by landmass) is "dangerously unqualified" (when she was the only candidate out of the three running at the top of the two primary parties to have executive branch experience), and yet Joe Biden, who apparently can't figure out that "JOBS" has 4 letters, not 3, who is apparently ignorant of American history and the history of technology, and is so insensitive as to ask a wheelchair-bound state senator to "stand up", is.

You're free to jump on the anti-Palin bandwagon, but I'd expect a person of YOUR intelligence to look a little more at the facts of Palin, and not the mere rumors.

November 08, 2008 8:48 PM

Blogger The leftist southpaw said...

Fine, fine. We'll deal with facts.

She had to attend five different colleges to get a degree (or was it four colleges in five years? you get the point.)

She constantly called for de-regulation, all the while bragging about how she "took on the oil industry." Pick a side!

She was unable to identify a single newspaper that she read.

"They are also building schools for the Afghan children so that there is hope and opportunity in our neighboring country of Afghanistan." Neighboring who???

Yes, Biden has had his share of mistakes- but have you convinced yourself with partisan blindness that he is unqualified to be vice president?

and FYI, I'm not "jumping on the anti- Palin bandwagon," I truly, honestly 100% believe that the woman is of less than average intelligence.

November 09, 2008 11:37 AM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

A) Lots of people switch colleges for lots of different reasons. Nobody, to my knowledge, has ever substantiated that she "had to" switch. And do you really want to bring up academic records, again, when comparing them to, say, Joe Biden's?

B) On the issue of regulation, things are never so black and white as to be either "in favor of total regulation" and being "in favor of the total absence of regulation". One can take a dim view of many, or even most, regulations, and still be someone willing to offer regulations on a particular industry.

And I think this is something that I know more than a little bit about.

I think the American regulatory state is too large, for instance, coming in at a pricetag of roughly a trillion dollars annually.

But this doesn't mean that we throw out all regulations. It doesn't mean that all regulations are, per se, bad.

One can call for less regulations in certain areas, while at the same time calling for stronger enforcement of what is left.

C) She said she reads a variety of newspapers and magazines and then declined to elaborate. It's an insulting question, across the board - and no answer would have satisfied her critics.

D) Joe Biden called his running mate "Barack America". He mocked those of foreign birth who own and run convenience stores. He made so many gaffes on the campaign trail that he was eventually muzzled by the Obama folks.

The point is not that Joe Biden isn't qualified to be Vice President. The point is that in an era in which EVERY statement that a candidate makes is getting caught on camera, verbal missteps are bound to happen.

As to Sarah Palin's intelligence, there's frankly nothing either she or I could to do convince you of that.

November 09, 2008 3:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just like I said, you are an IDIOT! The GOP could have sent out Alfred E. Newman for VP and you would have drank the Kool-Aid. Palin is just another example of the GOP trying to win an election by appealing to a base that they really don't care about, other than for their votes.

November 12, 2008 1:08 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

Let's be clear here, Anon. I agonized over some of the possible choices Sen. McCain could have made. And most folks who know me know that I was pushing Michael Steele for VP. Michael did remarkably well in the Veep search, as clear as I can tell, and Sarah Palin was, to me, a more than acceptable alternative to Steele.

Had McCain picked Lieberman, I would have had an incredibly hard time working for him, let alone supporting his candidacy generally.

As for your allegation that the GOP doesn't care about the base, just what are you basing this on?

Heck, I'm not even sure what that means. One could, I suppose, make the same allegation against President-Elect Obama - that he doesn't care about either wing of his constiuency, that he's pandering to both sides simply because he needs their vote.

Which wing is Obama going to deliver to?

Most likely, because he recognizes that any party coalesces around a group of principles, with many variations in their priorities, that he's going to try to chart a course down the middle of the Democratic coalition - giving some things to some parts of the coalition, and some things to others.

Veer too far left, and those middle-of-the-road independents who were simply hungry for change will leave him. Veer too far to the right, and his progressive base will abandon him for a Nader or McKinney in 2012.

Now you see - THAT'S a substantive answer!

Could you please do me a favor and e-mail me? I'd like to at least discuss, once again, the nature of our interaction.

November 12, 2008 1:29 PM

Anonymous Heraclius said...


I’ve read your other postings on this blog site. As a disinterested (and literal third-party) reader and non-commenter, I have to finally resort to the keyboard and agree with Mr. Langer that it’s obvious that you are somewhat out of your league when you try to respond to any of his, or even LSP’s, reasoned comments with what you must obviously consider to be stunning intellectual gravitas.

But while I admire your passion for your own viewpoints, misplaced as it may be, just a heads up that the added personal vitriol is truly worthless to your arguments.

In trying to make your points in your failingly wannabe ‘New Republic’-esque trite tone and the use of name calling in trying to perhaps convince those on the sidelines to your viewpoint; remember it is okay to be ignorant, but not “stupid.”

Ignorance is a lack of knowledge that can be overcome, but stupidity is defined by actions. Even most intelligent people understand they are not omniscient; ergo they too are ignorant at times (and can do ‘stupid’ things).

The non-stupid person actively seeks out knowledge and/or may use an opposing viewpoint to sharpen their own views without accepting it. Aristotle; "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” I’d encourage you to actually do the same.

I’ve noticed that Andrew gets this:

“ You want to win over Republicans (which is what you need to do to win elections), then you need to stop calling them idiots.” –October 08, 2008

So does ‘Southpaw’ for that matter.

It’s okay to agree to disagree – as I do silently and often with both of them. But both also appear to be open to reasoned, though maybe impassioned, discourse politely presented.

Your seeming pre-occupation with your personal vendetta against Mr. Langer overshadows all of your comments and thus only serves to dissipate your passion into irrelevance – which is a true shame really, as you might actually have some legitimate points.

Key word there is “might”; "might not" is also a distinct possibility, but either way, I’d be willing to entertain them.

December 13, 2008 2:55 AM

Anonymous Heraclius said...

Andrew, first, good job in your recent election efforts in your area; the rest of the campaign should have been as coherent.

Second, in your Nov 12th comment about how President-elect Obama will govern, you can find definite credence for your argument from a 2004 book, 'The Great Game of Politics; Why We Elect Whom We Elect' by Stoken.

Stoken lays out 9 distinct political paradigms from the Revolution on and though he writes from a minor leftward slant, his arguments (if not necessarily his writing) are pretty tight - including his analysis of off-year Congressional election results.

The reason I mention his book is because his added 2008 preface ideas are nearly verbatim with your own comments as to why President-elect Obama may govern "down the center" of his party rather than too 'far left' as his base expects or the GOP fears.

One of Stoken's most interesting arguments is that Reagan set the latest (9th) paradigm, and Clinton (yes, Clinton) and the Bush(es) actually helped define its context and thereby validate it by governing into its left and right boundaries; but like a rubber band pulled taut, they did not go so far beyond the center that it could not snap back.

If you can find the book, it's worth a quick read to understand my next comments:

Obama will obviously be more left focused.

But the real question is:

Whether this election marks a mere 'tactical' correction to Reagan's Paradigm under the guise of "change" (i.e. a "correction" of the last 8 years as LSP alluded to) - but really is only a lurch to the left and still a continuation of Reagan's general themes of 'what's good for the economy and business is good for America - and a strong defense is an extenuation and gaurantor of that.'

Or does it represent an actual desire for more 'strategic' change and therefore a totally New Paradigm shift (i.e. a weariness with, and thus a "correction" of the last 28 years) into new political territory, or at least into political ideals rehashed from periods outside of the current paradigm?

I'd submit we really aren't going to know which "change" this election represented until the 2010 elections; and the President-elect, who has shown himself pretty adept so-far at political pragmatism, will probably govern the last half of his first term and his next (if he reads the results correctly) based on those results.

In simpler terms:

Will Obama show real leadership by going against the grain of his party's majorities, and govern as the candidate he actually campaigned as, and thus extend the Reagan Paradigm as a uniter of those party independents and centrists?

Or, will he take the easier road and govern as the 'far left' fulfillment of the GOP's fears and pursue a totally "new" paradigm.

As you stated - it depends on which wing of his party actually holds his allegiance.

My sense during the campaign was that this was a strategic shift - but his team picks so far lead me to believe it may only be tactical.

Unlike Anon, I can appreciate a difference of political opinion and not take it personally - as long as the legislative results of that opinion do not unalterably disrupt my own personal freedoms.

So as part of the 'loyal opposition' either way the President-elect goes with this "change", I hope that he will be a great President.

December 13, 2008 6:41 AM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...


Brilliant points. Clearly, the Stoken book is a must-read for anyone interested in American politics - I'll go to Alibris and see if I can get someone to get it for me for Christmas.

And I appreciate your thoughts on the most recent Anon, as well as for LSP and myself. Let me consider your substantive thoughts for a bit and comment on them later.

December 13, 2008 8:17 AM


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