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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Some of our liberal brethren say...

...that I’m passing the buck in yesterday’s post, about the confluence of factors that led to the Republican defeat this year. Andrew, at the College Democrat blog, and Grumps, from Happy Circumstance consider that I’m avoiding responsibility.

I disagree. I did blame fate, to a degree. But I also highlighted the conventional wisdom on what Republicans did wrong, and I wondered (and continue to wonder) whether we couldn’t have anticipated some of this more effectively.

But: candidates have to decide early – months in advance, if not more – whether or not to run. They don’t always have the luxury of detailed information, assessment, and predictions.

Plus, these opportunities don’t come every day. Sometimes you have to take your shot when it presents itself, no matter how long.

To many of these candidates – first timers, especially (I’m thinking of Greg Gasper, Van Wanggaard, Bill McReynolds) - had very little control over the environment in which they ran. It simply was what it was. Any other year, those candidates win.

I’m not trying to make excuses, just trying to explore the pitfalls that candidates can face, and maybe to highlight that none of us are really in complete control of our own futures.

Anyway, read my post, if you want. Then read Grumps’ comment. Then read this over at the UW College Democrats website (caution: scatologically naughty words!) and my comment on that. See if you agree that I wrote what I meant to write.

And pay particular attention to this paragraph in Andrew’s post:

One of the first (and best) things I learned in this business is a set of five rules: own your shit - no regrets, no apologies - don't talk big at the bar - work big, win big - results matter
That’s a good attitude.

UPDATE - Barry Orton weighs in, too. I actually blame my own lack of experience and arrogance (I didn't believe in my own lack of experience) for my 2001 loss.

Aaaaaand...I'm in a good mood, and so can't take all this with proper seriousness. My answer to Barry:

The problem is, you guys have been predicting that Iraq (and other Republican policies) would drag us down for the last 6 years. This is the first time you've been right! So why would I have listened to your predictions?

The real question was: how could we have predicted that the Bush administration wouldn't find a way to overcome that? Answer: we couldn't, because they'd always done it before. Better answer: they did turn it around - we simply haven't realized it yet.

I'm therefore forced to assume that this is all part of a grander plan to bring Republicans victory again in 2008.