This is one of those posts where you remind yourself afterwards that Hugh is not, in fact, a spokesman for Mitt and therefore it shouldn’t be held against Romney in any way. But the fact that you even have to remind yourself isn’t exactly good news for the campaign.
And yea, the punditocracy looked upon what Mitt hath wrought and said, “It is good.”
Mitt Romney threw a long ball today and scored. There can be no objective argument against that conclusion. Why? Because Romney is running for the GOP nomination, and his remarks, both in delivery and substance, were lavishly praised by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Medved, and James Dobson, not to mention Mark Steyn, Fred Barnes and Charles Krauthammer -and these were just the seven people I heard on a long drive south to San Diego and then in a hotel room before leaving to post this and give a speech…
Here are seven of the most influential conservative commentators in the U.S., and their opinions on the Romney success are all aligned with mine. Thus, objectively, the speech cannot be judged as other than an extraordinary success for Romney.
Italics in the original. It’s not so much that I disagree — there was nothing objectionable in the speech and it’s bound to bring a few fencesitters over to Mitt’s side — but insisting repeatedly upon its success as an objective fact is a weird rhetorical ploy which reads like a transparent attempt to delegitimize critics as being, in an almost clinical sense, out of touch with reality. Why not just say, “With Rush, Hannity, and Mark Steyn swooning, early indicators are that Mitt’s speech is a smash”? Of all the people commenting today about this, there’s only one who sounds like he’s coming unglued. And it ain’t any of Mitt’s critics.
A little more, in case you thought your opinion mattered:
Some early takes on the speech from conservatives were less enthusiastic than mine, and that just means that a pundit or two had a bad morning, and their analytical skills of the GOP race less trustworthy than before.
But to persist in minimizing the success of Romney’s speech or the talent and passion with which it was delivered calls to mind my favorite Irish saying: When everybody says you’re drunk, you’d better sit down.
Finally, a note to my angry e-mailers: It doesn’t matter that you don’t like Rush or Dr. Dobson, or that I thought Harriet Meirs got a raw deal. Your opinion of who ought to be the GOP nominee doesn’t matter beyond your vote, and then only if you are a GOP voter, which most of you aren’t. The folks listed above matter. Because they earned the respect of the voters who decided the past two presidential elections and who will decide the next –the patriots and the values voters, the investment class and the national security-minded.
Exit question: Does Hugh need to “sit down”?
Update: Predictably, one of Hugh’s defenders is already questioning my motives. Flashback to Tuesday night: “I hope he knocks it out of the park on Thursday”.
Update: Says Bryan, “I liked Romney’s speech quite a bit, but Hugh is making out like it was the St. Crispin’s Day speech as delivered by Winston Churchill in the Sistine Chapel on the first Christmas with Nazi bombers overhead.”
Update (Bryan): Picture a wind-swept city, husks of bombed-out buildings littering the vista, smoke columns rising as far as the eye can see, enemy bombers droning overhead. Then, to the podium, in that greatest of cathedrals, on that very first Christmas, comes a man…
This may be the speech that a certain pundit heard today, Agincourt, 2008.
“O, that we now had here
But just one Great Man of those men in the past
Who used to lead—Reagan!”
What’s he that wishes so?
My fellow Americans? No, my fair cousins:
If we are markt to lose, we have enough
to show our country’s loss; and if to win,
The more common the men, the greater the glory.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not Great Men more,
By Jove, I am not covetous for auld;
Nor care I who doth lead upon the party;
It yearns me not if a man the bid wins;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires;
But if it be a sin to wish the commons rule,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my cozs, wish not a man from the past:
God’s peace! I would not lose so great a freedom,
As no “Great Man” should think he rules for me,
Instead of rules with me. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Americans, through the host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart, a subject shall be made,
And Crowns for others taken from his purse;
We would not govern in that man’s company
That fears fellowship to fight with mere us.
This week is call’d the feast of Thanksgiving:
They that created this day so fought to make
All free, and law be not by Great Men made,
But of the people, by the people,
And for the people. They that lives’t now
Doth yearly on the vigil feast their neighbors
And say ‘Together this we should do:’
Then will they make their case and show their plans,
And say, ‘These ideas we will vote Election Day.’
All men forget; yet all shall be for naught,
If we remember not advantages
That free men bring that day: common people
Familiar with their lands and household worlds—
Nary a king, “Great Man” or “expert”,
Journalist nor pundit, shall over free men
Be by flowing words a common will deny.
This civic will the good man teach his son;
And Election Day shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be triumphant,–
We Free, We Happy Free, We Americans.
For we that day that cast our votes in free
Rule we together; be we ne’er so vile,
This day shall our wisdom show forth:
And “Great Men” in our land now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurst they were not there;
And hold their statecraft cheap whiles any speaks
That voted with us upon Election Day.
Thanks to reader Scott for kicking it iambic pentameter old skool.
Update: See-Dub makes a great point.
[Hewitt] is a fellow who wants to get people involved in blogging, who believes in grassroots revolutions through electronic networks, and who touted An Army of Davids alongside his own book on the subject, Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That’s Changing Your World. The idea behind the overhaul of Townhall.com when it was bought by Salem Media, the company that runs Hugh’s show, was to enable exactly this sort of politically influential blogging revolution to unfold. Ordinary, politically aware people would start up their own blogs at Townhall and fuse with talk radio to form a new grassroots media network that would challenge the old network of elite, mainstream columnists and reporters. That was a great idea. That was 2006.
This is 2007:
“Finally, a note to my angry e-mailers: It doesn’t matter that you don’t like Rush or Dr. Dobson, or that I thought Harriet Meirs got a raw deal. Your opinion of who ought to be the GOP nominee doesn’t matter beyond your vote, and then only if you are a GOP voter, which most of you aren’t. The folks listed above [Steyn, Rush, Hannity, Dobson, Barnes, Krauthammer, Medved] matter. Because they earned the respect of the voters who decided the past two presidential elections and who will decide the next –the patriots and the values voters, the investment class and the national security-minded.”
Translation: Do you know who I am? I’m Moe Greene! I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders!