Ann Althouse finally does the retrospective we’ve all been waiting for: how her months of support for John McCain eventually became tepid and incoherent support for Barack Obama.
The aftermath of September 11th saw the fully-fledged legitimization of what was affectionately referred to as “even-the” liberalism. Inspired by Mickey Kaus’ 2000 should-I-or-shouldn’t-I debate over voting for Kerry, as well as such luminaries as Christopher Hitchens and Bill Maher (back when he was a fake libertarian in order to keep Politically Incorrect on the air), the simplest way to get attention after the Twin Towers fell was to be a liberal who criticized Democrats’ responses to the tragedy. Even the liberal [X], making the brave statement that Democrats weren’t being tough enough on terrorism, got days, if not weeks, of attention and approval for writing a slightly more literate version of a National Review column.
By the time the Iraq War rolled around, even-the liberalism reached its apex. Here was a war in which liberals were left screaming into the ether about UN approval, arguing against a war which would remove an evil dictator in a matter of days and spread democracy within a matter of weeks, and only two years after the Day That Changed Everything. You couldn’t swing a stick without hitting a former and/or nominal liberal shocked into “sense” by all the scary brown people who wanted to kill us, and who wasn’t ready to sternly lecture the rest of the unserious liberal movement about their utter lack of seriousness in the face of really serious shit.
The intervening five and a half years of everything they believed in having been proved totally and without exception wrong, you’re left with people who’ve either tried to slink their way back into the liberal fold as if nothing’s wrong, or you’re left with Ann Althouse, who gives a series of reasons for voting for Barack Obama that make as much sense as if I told you that I liked pancakes because dirt makes plants grow.
Rather than make you read the months of Althouse (which ranks up there with “ounces of smallpox” on the good for you scale), I’ll just give you this final argument from November 3rd:
November 3: “One thing I don’t like about John McCain is that he never showed respect for Bush. He was all about distancing himself from Bush, but if it’s distance you want from Bush, there’s Obama. And Obama had no reason to defend the other party’s President, but for all his criticism of Bush’s policies, I don’t remember Obama taking ugly potshots at Bush. McCain treated Bush like an outcast. Was there even a word of defense for the man who protected us from terrorist attacks for 7 years?”
I don’t think you could compose a better death knell for “even-the” liberalism than one last, plaintive plea for respect for the man who protected our precious bodily fluids from the terrorist invaders despite, you know, fucking up the country for years to come. I’m not particularly looking forward to the conservative variety of this over the next term or two, but Christ, I hope it’s better than this unadulterated horseshit.