Politics & Media
Oct 08, 2008, 09:29AM

From the Right's "New Base"

Culture 11, a right-leaning news/op-ed outlet, is attempting to redefine American conservatism. Here, four writers hash out exactly why McCain lost last night debate—and why he'll lose in November.

From David Kuo:

But when it comes to specific policies and solutions [McCain] is intellectually, philosophically, and politically vacuous. In that he is a perfect reflection of conservatism in America today. Today’s conservatism is lost. It is so lost it doesn’t actually know if it lost at sea, lost in space, or lost in a desert. It lacks moral courage, a philosophical core, and intellectual certitude. McCain’s defeat will help change all of that because his defeat will lead to a debate within conservatism unlike anything in several decades. 

From Peter Suderman:

One thing that’s clear from this debate is how little there is to John McCain and his campaign. He’s running on a few, vague issues – tax cuts, an aggressive response to Russia in specific and terrorism in general, something about energy – and a whole lot of non-policy fluff: America’s inherent strength and goodness, Obama’s inexperience, scorn for Washington insiders.

From Conor Friedersdorf:

The most devastating moment for John McCain was the exchange where he criticized Barack Obama for talking irresponsibly about attacking Pakistan. Obama responded by saying that he’d attack if he had Bin Laden in his sights — a position most Americans probably agree with, for better or worse — and pointed out that McCain is the one who sang a frivolous song about bombing a foreign country.

From James Poulos:

Not only is McCain an outrage-driven political personality, whose boldness rises sharply in proportion to his perception of crisis; he is also a detail-fudger. When it comes to running a sleek, efficient, and deadly-effective political campaign, McCain’s disposition has led several times to near catastrophe and waves of staff turnover. He heads into October with a schizoid, perhaps even bipolar campaign that he cannot be said to fully control. To a great extent, McCain has spent this year a prisoner of events. But he has also been a maker of events — of campaign suspensions and surprise veep selections. This tension has kept his bid for the presidency from plunging into the depths. But it has proven that McCain is a steady hand only when in control.


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