According to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross,
the “Five Stages of Grief” are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.
Still working on “Stage Two” the Conservetariat has elected to take a nice Caribbean cruise.
Sadly the results aren’t as copasetic as they might hope.
Swmming to the heart of the artichoke —
“We arrived the next morning at Half Moon Cay, a small private island 100 miles south of Nassau that promised Jet-Skiing, parasailing, snorkeling, and a glass-bottomed boat. But it was to remain a mysterious green lump on the horizon: The seas were too rough for passengers to get into the tenders needed to go ashore. “Nature was not on our side,” announced Captain Vincent Smit over the intercom.
Instead, the cruisers milled around the cafeteria, lounged by the pool with their Grishams and Balduccis, or surfed the Internet in the Crow’s Nest lounge, a privilege that cost $1.25 a minute.”
“Then, at 3 p.m., the group gathered into the Showroom at Sea, a three-tiered amphitheater decorated in a bright-red Art Deco style, for the first of several sessions deconstructing the loss. Onstage were Ralph Reed, now in lime-green pants embroidered with pink swordfish and navy polo shirt with white piping on the collar; and Scott Rasmussen, the pollster who consistently overrated Romney’s chances of winning the election. Rasmussen blasted the assembled Republicans with one crushing statistic after another. The exit poll data, he said, “create a negative brand image of the Republican Party as a party that only cares about white people.”
The audience murmured unhappily.
“And that image is hurting among the youth,” he continued. “It is hurting across the culture. It is something that has to be addressed across the party. It has to be addressed. You can’t just wish it away.”
“Reed expanded on the theme. “You can’t run and win a national election in an electorate that is becoming decreasingly white and increasingly minority and lose 80 percent of the minority vote,” he said. “That math just doesn’t add up.”
Rasmussen offered some friendly advice about approaching minorities. “You show them that you really care, you talk to them as grown-ups on a range of issues, you get them involved,” he suggested, “and you accept the fact that it’s a long-term investment. And you accept that you can learn as much from them as you can teach them.”
“This was harsh medicine to reluctant patients, and afterward some of them made their discomfort known. “That depressed me!” one woman said. To my right, a man snapped, “That’s bullshit!”
The man was Bing West, former assistant secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan, a former Marine and a National Review contributor.
West, mocking Rasmussen, said: “If you stupid Republicans weren’t so goddamn bigoted you would have won the election!”
His wife, Betsy, who bears a resemblance to Nancy Reagan, patted him on the back and apologized on his behalf, saying, “I don’t know why he said that. He’s usually not like that.”
“Jonah Goldberg attempted a note of optimism, garnering hearty applause when he said conservative ideas were “still salable because, A, they’re correct. Two plus two is four. You have to believe that we’re going to be proven right by reality.”
“In response, the moderator recounted the litany of dreary statistics from Reed and Rasmussen earlier that day. “So therefore we should give up and burn our passports and stay on this boat forever?” said Goldberg with real exasperation.
The crowd erupted in cheers.
In response, the moderator recounted the litany of dreary statistics from Reed and Rasmussen earlier that day. “So therefore we should give up and burn our passports and stay on this boat forever?” said Goldberg with real exasperation.
The crowd erupted in cheers.”
“At other times, things got a little too old-fashioned for comfort. I met a man near the railing who was there as a caregiver for a 70-year-old National Review cruiser from Palm Desert, California. He was gay and seemingly liberal and had come on the cruise only to push his boss around in a wheelchair. As he smoked a cigarette, he recounted a conversation the two had about the ship’s largely Indonesian and Filipino staff.
BOSS: You notice none of the workers are white.
CAREGIVER: Except the managers upstairs.
BOSS: Well, that’s the way it should be.
There were, to be fair, two black ¬National Review cruisers, approximately three Indian-Americans, and two ¬Korean-Americans. The latter were John Yoo, the former Bush Administration lawyer who helped formulate its theory on torture, and his mom. “My mother is a geriatric psychiatrist,” he noted during a panel, eliciting a burst of laughter from the silver-haired crowd before he could finish the punch line. “I thought after the election this could be really good for the family business.”
It’s a wonder Glenn Grennwald and Andrew Sullivan haven’t asked Yoo
his opinion of THIS
“In person, Yoo was charming and funny, widely praised by his co-cruisers for having tangled successfully with Jon Stewart during his sit-down on The Daily Show three years ago. Yoo worried that the Republicans were too quick to blame each other, saying, “This is all out of Lord of the Flies and Karl Rove is Piggy and we’re supposed to all chase him around with spikes and throw him on a fire?”
The last event before cocktails and dinner was a lecture by Deroy Murdock, the only black National Review speaker. It was a curious outlier on the agenda, titled “How the Music of Memphis and Motown Helped Bury Jim Crow,” and set in a smaller, more intimate venue midship. Murdock was wearing a red satin dinner jacket and a black bow tie, presumably to look like a Motown singer.”
Not really. More like —
“About 50 people attended, sitting on white leather lounge chairs, and there was a Rolling Stones tongue logo on a screen behind him as he cued up “Brown Sugar” on the sound system.
Murdock got the all-white crowd clapping along, including the venerable neoconservative intellectuals Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter,”
“who smiled broadly.
“Brown Sugar! / How come it tastes so good?”
“When the music faded, Murdock, in a studious tone, read from his prepared notes: “It’s only rock and roll, but we like it!”
In his reading of racism in America, Murdock highlighted Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who he said promoted segregation in 1936. “He, of course, went on to great fame and fortune afterward,” he observed.
The Democrats, explained Murdock, have been “very active in keeping black people down” from 1860 to … 2012. “Go ahead and applaud if you agree with that,” said Murdock.
The audience sat up and clapped hard.”
“During a discussion of Iran, a tall, jovial foreign-policy columnist named John Thomson was shouted down by everyone at the table for calling Barack Obama “an intelligent man.” “He’s not with us,” whispered a woman named Nancy from Key Biscayne.
I casually mentioned that the phrase “Anglosphere” was perhaps unfortunate given the right’s image problem as a majority white party. O’Sullivan agreed they might need a different word.
“We haven’t done our marketing that well,” conceded Thomson. “That was Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney messaged whiteness. That was one of his greatest failings. ‘I’m a white Anglo-Saxon.’ ”
Melissa O’Sullivan, the Alabaman wife of John, wasn’t buying the idea that Republicans had alienated minorities. “We’ve invited them to join us!” she insisted.
Susan from Princeton granted that the Republican Party is “lily white and it’s a problem and it is messaging and Mitt Romney screwed up royally.”
But Ms. O’Sullivan again took umbrage. As everyone went silent, she recalled a conference she attended in Australia in which a liberal nun (who “didn’t even have the decency to wear a habit”) criticized America for its “inner-city racism.” Offended, Ms. O’Sullivan recounted what she wished she’d said to this nun:
“Pardon me, madam, but I have been in your country of Australia for ten days and the only Aborigines I’ve seen have been drunk on the street, and at least if we were in my country they would be serving the drinks at this conference!”
Ms. O’Sullivan then warned against watering down the purity of the conservative agenda to placate minorities or, as she put it, rather succinctly, “the bastardization of the product.”
“A steady downpour started in the afternoon as we motored through steel-gray waters back to Florida. Tomorrow would be a new gray dawn in America. Up in the Crow’s Nest, the rain pelted on the windows as Jonah Goldberg, having just finished a panel about the scurrilous designs of the left, slumped on a couch, loosened his tie, and sighed. He had won $200 at the craps table with John Yoo last night, but now he was tired and ready to go home.
“This is a more downbeat bunch this year,” he said. “We lost in 2008, but it was almost boisterous and fun. This, a little less so. People were dyspeptic.”
Ah for the Good Old Days when Jonah’s Mom ran the “Mainstream Media”
“Their conception of what the country is about, they really were sure the country would reject Barack Obama,” he continued. “I do think it hits them hard. The fear I have, why this election stung, I think, Obama has successfully ¬de-ratified some of the Reagan revolution in a way that Clinton never could and didn’t even try to. That’s what freaks people out, that feeling in their gut, either Obama has changed the country, or the country has sufficiently changed that they don’t have a problem with Obama. That’s what eats at people.”
It was the last of the cocktail mixers on the Lido deck. The National Review speakers, including Rich Lowry, the magazine’s editor, who flew into the Caymans to join the cruise halfway through, seemed relieved to have it end.”
“We don’t do this for fun,” he admitted.”
Well there’s all sorts of fun to be had when you’re out on the high seas, Rich.
Isn’t that right Celine?