Give the Devil His Due

And by “devil,” I mean Eric Boehlert, who turned out to be right about Obama’s intransigence after all:

That’s not something to be proud of–the president’s “victory” means a) he missed an opportunity to fix his calamitous health insurance “reform,” b) he refused to deal at all with the country’s nagging spending problem, c) he failed to get anything in return for his political “win.” But Boehlert clearly had the right read on his party’s intentions, whereas I falsely believed the Republican Party had developed a backbone.

I want to give Boehlert credit here, not because the hard left ever gives anyone credit for anything or admits its mistakes, but because I think I owe it to those who read this column, and also because I wish to point out something rather insidious that has been going on in conservative media circles, with a view to stopping it.

In 2012, conservative bloggers–including here at Breitbart–made the mistake of concluding that there was a skew to many of the opinion polls that pointed to an Obama victory. We did so on a legitimate factual basis, i.e. the surveys of the electorate conducted by Pew and others. But we also did so because we let ourselves be spun by the Romney campaign, which evidently believed its own propaganda until Election Night.

The one column I regret writing from the fall of 2012 was one that attempted to grapple with the baffling spectacle of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie praising Obama to the high heavens by concluding that he must have known Romney was so far ahead that he could afford to pat the president on the back. Christie was just being a politician, looking out for himself. (I checked him when he tried to rewrite some of that history.)

In the most recent Washington battle, we were led to believe that Republican leadership really did intend to hold firm–that the McClintock-Toomey bill, otherwise known as the Full Faith and Credit Act, was a serious backstop against default and would prevent the GOP caucus from going wobbly. We now know that to have been wildly optimistic: party disunity and poor negotiating strategy doomed the Republicans to failure.

So–I’m done with it, done with fighting harder for Republican leaders than they fight for themselves. In all the talk about how the Tea Party has made life so difficult for the GOP, there is a story not being told–how conservative politicians and writers gave the Republican leadership a chance, lined up dutifully behind the party’s presidential nominee, did some of the blocking on the offensive line so they could move the ball.

I got into this fight because I saw the danger that Barack Obama’s ideas and politics represented for America and I wanted to do my part to restore what made this nation great. The Republican Party, the Tea Party, and those who lead both have been crucial vessels for those ideals, but they are not ends in themselves. We owe them fair treatment but do them no favors by accepting their assurances at fact value. The spin stops now.