The 10 Worst Rightblogger Ideas of 2016 (And Maybe 2017)

My end-of-year top ten is also a beginning-of-year top ten, because the nightmare that was 2016 is bound to reverberate into 2017 as well. So read it and weep with laughter — for the future as well as the past.

10. To Putin With Love. As I’ve noticed over the years, American conservatives who once abjured the USSR as undemocratic now admire Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s manly, pec-popping brand of totalitarianism. This blew up big at year’s end when U.S. intelligence outlets confirmed Putin’s meddling in the 2016 election and rightbloggers, inspired by Putin’s simpatico with The Leader, rushed to defend the former Soviets from the President of the United States.

In a bizarre video tweet, the right-wing Heritage Foundation complained that Obama “blames Russia for ‘cyber operations aimed at our election’ ” and declared over thrilling music that “Vladimir Putin respects two things: Strength and consistency. In the last eight years, Obama has shown neither.” Step aside, sissy, let a real man rule the once-free world! When, in the midst of GOP Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’sencomium to Mother Russia, his interviewer revealed she was a Soviet refugee, he responded, “Oh, well then that’s good, then the audience knows that you are biased.” (Imagine if Cold War liberals had said that to Cardinal Mindszenty!)

And The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher defended Putin on the religious grounds that he may be a brute but at least he uses his brutality on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church against godless Democrats like the kid his apparatchiks tried to put in prison for five years for playing Pokemon Go in a church (“is it really so difficult to see why social and religious conservatives in the West would look favorably in some respects on Vladimir Putin?”).

In 2017: Expect conservatives to demand the U.S. leave NATO (The Leader says they’re giving us a bum deal) and join the new, improved Warsaw Pact 2.0.

9. NeverTrump and the Marco Moment. Remember when many conservative writers (if not voters) were opposed to The Leader’s rise? When they pledged #NeverTrump and wrote stories like “Is Trump a Double Agent for the Left?” and National Review put out a whole “Against Trump” Special Issue? Now look at them: Even Jonah Goldberg, whom The Leader personally insulted, is backpedaling. Sad!

So much of their campaign panic is humorous in retrospect, but if we’re going to pick one moment to remember, let it be the “Marco Moment” — that brief space in February when, tired of the unlikable Ted Cruz, the brethren flocked to the standard of the callow part-time Florida Senator. “Marco’s Moment: Rubio Hits Trump for ‘Repeating Himself’ and Gets Wild Applause (VIDEO)” (PJ Media); “Stayin’ Alive: Marco’s Moment?” (Matt Lewis); “Marco’s Moment Is Now” (Weekly Standard), etc. Hopes ran high but, alas, in March Rubio lost his home state’s primary, his Moment passed, and by May rightbloggers had begun their long crawl to the foot of The Leader’s throne.

In 2017: In the manner of Henry Hyde, former NeverTrumpers will excuse their 2016 apostasy as a “youthful indiscretion,” at least until The Leader is impeached or flees prosecution to Moscow.

8. Hillary Clinton’s Long, Fatal Illness. It’s been a shock to see Clinton robustly hiking through the woods when just months ago, according to conservatives, she was at death’s door. The furor over her unsteadiness at a 9-11 ceremony during a bout of pneumonia (or so she said; conservatives insisted that was something for which you could not take her bare word, unlike The Leader’s tax returns) was only the most spectacular example.

The Drudge Report specialized in stories like “IS CLINTON HOLDING A WALKER?” But then Drudge and his enablers have been at this for years. Others claimed photos and video unremarkable to most observers revealed evidence of Parkinson’s Disease, “abnormal eye movements” indicative of “a problem with her left sixth cranial nerve,” an “alarming hole in her tongue, suggestive of a recent biopsy for HPV tongue-cancer,” etc. And if you really want to lose faith in the intelligence of your fellow man, Google “hillary clinton body double.”

In 2017: Congress will again call Clinton to the witness stand, this time charging election fraud because she claimed to be in good health during the campaign. She will be required to jump a pommel horse to get to her seat and Trey Gowdy will interrogate her on her interpretation of several ink blots.

7. Libertarians, for the usual reasons. Those wacky free-marketeers had another banner year. Not only did they, in what could have been a great opportunity for third parties, nominate a Presidential ticket that basically self-destructed, they also found new ways to express their contempt for democracy.

For example, when Uber and Lyft tried to muscle Austin, Texas into lifting restrictions on their businesses by threatening to leave, and the city’s voters rejected their crude ultimatum in a referendum, Reason’s Brain Doherty denounced the town’s “activist obsession with ‘level playing fields’ ” over the divine rights of corporations; ForbesJohn Kartsch lamented, “the local taxpayer cost of holding the special election was expected to be $500,000 but the city council pressed ahead anyway.” That’s good money that could have been used to bribe executives! “Local control is not a trump card that allows municipalities to restrict economic freedom,” declaimed Tom Giovanetti at the Institute for Policy Innovation. Get outta here with this “consent of the governed” bullshit — we’re talking about money!

And after The Leader’s election, Nick Gillespie of Reason and guests podcasted “The Case for Optimism About Trump’s Presidency.” The Reasonoids seemed chill that The Leader would “let Putin have what he wants in Eastern Europe,” but worried he might punk out and maintain the guaranteed issue part of Obamacare, which they called “price controls that prohibit insurance companies from charging actuarily fair premiums if people switch plans…kind of like rent control for health care!”

Throw in some of the usual wacky cultural analysis (“Sexy Panties and Prison: What Orange is the New Black Can Teach Us About The Regulatory State… as a libertarian, I must say that the way this story concluded in Season 4 provides a great parable for how regulation hurts people in the real world”) and these clown princes of conservatism easily preserve their place in the top 10 for another year.

In 2017: As The Leader enriches himself with his office, libertarians will celebrate it as a victory of business over government.

6. California Doesn’t Count, or The New Math. That Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by almost three million votes may be cold comfort for her, but for liberals it’s an encouraging reminder that voters preferred her to The Leader. Not so fast! cried conservatives — The Leader “Won Popular Vote if Liberal Bastions of California and New York Excluded!”

Those states’ votes, they told us, were urban and ethnic-tainted, and if we counted them it could lead to tyranny: “Ditching Electoral College Would Allow California to Impose Imperial Rule on a Colonial America,” cautioned Michael Barone. Imagine innocent prairie folk forced to eat Mexican food and recycle as Jerry Brown demands! Others created maps that showed Clinton’s votes clustered in highly populated areas, rather than in good old American prairies and hollers (“Donald Trump Won 7.5 Million Popular Vote Landslide in Heartland” —, as further proof of their inauthenticity.

In 2017: Conservatives will demand legislation reweighting any vote from a Democratic state — perhaps, in honor of the Constitution they love so much, to three-fifths.

5. The War on Kellogg’s. Conservatives are always delighted with corporations in the abstract, but occasionally get mad at them when they do things they don’t like. No, I don’t mean things like polluting the environment or invading your privacy — only libtards care about that. I mean things like declining to advertise on

When the corn flake kings pulled their ad dollars under pressure from outraged customers, Breitbart declared war, running dozens of anti-Kellogg’s stories like “Watch: #DumpKelloggs Protester Blows Up Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts” and “Kellogg’s ‘Values’? Corn Flakes Invented to Curb Masturbation.”

Conservatives also were called to boycott Target (for letting trans people use their bathrooms), the new Star Wars movie (because they suddenly realized they were the villains), the NFL (because they don’t drag Colin Kaepernick to his feet when he genuflects), Pepsi, Oreos, Netflix, et alia.

In 2017: Expect an orchestrated boycott of Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Sheraton, et alia, as the competition they offer implies criticism of The Leader’s excellent hotels.

4. There Go Them Bundy Boys, Liberatin’ Federal Lands Agin! You’d think most citizens could agree that when a bunch of nuts with guns take over a federal facility, they should be promptly removed, tried, and sent away. Whoops, forgot, in this case they were white, so when the Bundy Boys and their co-nuts took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, claiming such facilities should be turned over to their private needs as God intended, conservatives turned into Pacino chanting “Attica!” in Dog Day Afternoonjust as they had in 2014 when Bundy patriarch Cliven made a similar claim on other federal lands.

A typically belligerent response was Kurt Schlichter‘s at The Federalist: He said that gay marriage and other such outrages proved there were “two sets of laws” in Obamaland and straight white people always get the shaft, so “this situation in Oregon is going to be repeated until they feel they are being heard.… Many of these guys are themselves ex-military,” etc. hint, hint; pew-pew.

In 2017: Since the Malheur gang was acquitted of all charges, expect them to be enlisted as a kind of Praetorian Guard for The Leader’s new hotels in the Grand Canyon and at other former national parks.

3. Plea-Bargaining Abortion. The Leader made some trouble for conservatives in March when he proposed (then retracted) jailing women for having abortions. Being new to political opinions on anything other than Obama’s birth certificate and his own greatness, he probably thought that was what the rubes wanted to hear — not realizing that, except for lunatics like Kevin D. Williamson of National Review, conservatives long ago cut a rhetorical deal whereby women were judged not responsible for their own abortions even if they marched up to the counter and barked, “One abortion, Doc, and make it snappy.”

As Charles Camosy explained at the New York Daily News, ladies are “coerced into having an abortion as a means of having social equality,” the poor things. “That pro-woman mentality is partly due to the understand [sic] that the abortion industry preys on women,” agreed Life News, “— selling them abortions by lying to them about the humanity of their unborn children and the destructive effects abortion will have.” And where are women going to learn any different? In church? Obama banned all those in 2008!

In 2017: The Leader will continue to support the recriminalization of abortion, but will stipulate that the rape exception has to be run by him first and if he thinks the chick is ugly she’s obviously lying.

2. Baby It’s Alt-Right Now. When Hillary Clinton made her speech against the alt-right (those rebranded neo-Nazis and white nationalists who swell The Leader’s ranks), conservatives got pissed at her — mainly because she was talking about racism and it’s an article of conservative faith that talking about racism is worse than racism, which doesn’t exist except when you mention it, like Candyman. (For example, explained the Federalist’s Rachel Lu, “liberals would much rather blame the ‘racist’ police than acknowledge the bitter fruits of the sexual revolution and the welfare state.”)

David Marcus, also at the Federalist, explained “How Anti-White Rhetoric Is Fueling White Nationalism”: Black people talking shit about whites in stories like “Dear White People: Here’s a List of Things We’d Wish You’d Stop Doing,” Marcus said, makes whites jumpy, which makes them maybe sorta racist, which is black people’s fault. The Hayride agreed: “Imagine if we had a ‘2017 Resolutions For Black Guys’ that included things like stop resisting police, stop committing crimes, and pull your pants up.” I dunno, that sounds like a typical David French column to me.

The Week’s Damon Linker scoffed at the idea that the “new nationalism” was racist, calling it instead “particularistic” — a “particularistic attachment,” he explained, could be “national, linguistic, religious, territorial, or” [pause for just-asking-questions shrug-and-moue] “ethnic.” Maybe Linker thought of simplifying this to “If you can say black power, how come we can’t say white power?” but couldn’t escape the nagging feeling he’d heard it somewhere before.

In 2017: The Leader’s Department of Justice Civil Rights Division will announce a big push against anti-white hate crimes, including making fun of the way whites talk, dance, or vote when terrified they’re becoming the minority.

1. Pussy-grabbing apologists. Boy, it seems like years since The Leader’s “Grab ’em by the pussy” tape came out and everyone was outraged. Even conservatives were outraged — that liberals would make such a big deal out of it, because liberals are into sex, which is basically the same as pussy-grabbing, at least so far as they knew.

“I see a crocodile tear rolling down a hypocritical leftist face,” sneered National Review’s David French, who listed some just-as-bad depravities of liberals, such as the lyrics of Beyoncé — “They don’t describe sexual assault,” admitted French, “but instead a quid pro quo-style sex relationship where she grants all kinds of favors to men she has sex with — the kind of relationship that women have forever rightly condemned as sexual harassment.” Where does she get off complaining about sexual assault!

And another thing, Hillary Clinton uses bad words, said Wesley Pruden at the Washington Times. “Nobody cultivates a dirtier mouth than Hillary Clinton,” he claimed. “Any teamster, cop, or Secret Service agent assigned to Hillary duty has to put his hands over his ears even to think about it.” The Leader, conversely, was just engaged in “cussin’ and dirty talk,” one of the privileges of manhood, like the right to be taken seriously despite an obvious lack of qualifications.

In 2017: To give his polls a boost when needed, The Leader will go back on Howard Stern and cheerfully describe groping the White House staff.


Prodigal Scum: Rightbloggers Come Home to President-Elect Trump

When — as it will be described by history, should mankind be fortunate enough to rebuild — a popular TV clown was elected leader of the free world on Tuesday, solidly pro-Trump rightbloggers howled with glee (“Hah-Hah! Liberals Release Teary-Eyed Safe Space Video to Rally Snowflakes After Election Thumping“), and also with rage and paranoia, because for them even victory is not a sufficiently powerful antidepressant. (“When It Comes to Cucktards, Never Forget. Never Forgive,” “CONFIRMED: Obama Will Declare Martial Law To Keep Trump from Taking Office,” etc. Finally he’s taking their guns away!)

More interesting are the reactions of rightbloggers who’d been or pretended to be dubious about Trump: The NeverTrump guys who’d been saying for months that Trump wasn’t a real conservative, that he was so aberrant a character his election would be dangerous and therefore insupportable.

As it turns out, when putsch came to shove, they found that what Trump offers — xenophobia, militarism, and vengeance on their opponents — is close enough to what they want.

Not all conservatives have turned to Trump. There are a few like David Frum who, to my surprise, have been more ferociously anti-Trump since the election than they were before.

But other rightwing writers have been more fungible. Take Erick Erickson, the former CNN pundit who for months denounced Trump in nearly apocalyptic terms — e.g. “With the rise of an authoritarian menace to our republic, it is important to go on record now, while he can be stopped, that we will play no part in his rise.”

After the election, Erickson was conciliatory — not toward voters who had tried to stop Trump, but toward Trump himself. “Perhaps,” he mooned, “as only Nixon could go to China, maybe only Trump can reunite the country.”

The atmosphere has really taken a turn at NeverTrump redoubt National Review. Readers may recall they put out a special “Against Trump” issue in January. Back then, NR editors called Trump a “philosophically unmoored political opportunist” and one of the “excrescences of instant-hit media culture”; they said Trump’s immigration plan “wouldn’t survive its first contact with reality,” that he knew “almost nothing” about national security; and, worst of all, “he appears to believe that the administrative state merely needs a new master, rather than a new dispensation that cuts it down to size and curtails its power.” Bad enough he was an excrescence, he didn’t even believe in tax cuts for the wealthy!

(Actually, Trump did turn around on the tax cuts, which may explain some of what’s happened since.)

The “Against Trump” issue had many “Conservatives Against Trump” signatories — for example, William Kristol. The Commentary editor said then, “Isn’t Trumpism a two-bit Caesarism of a kind that American conservatives have always disdained? Isn’t the task of conservatives today to stand athwart Trumpism, yelling Stop?”

Where stands Kristol now? In a series of tweets the weekend after the election, Kristol sighed, “Best and most hopeful case for Trump: His presidency will be like that of the president closest to him in the alphabet — Truman.… When Truman became president, was widely considered unprepared. Was blunt, coarse, profane, thin-skinned, not formally well-educated.” Also, like Trump, he was a failed haberdasher!

Former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese scored Trump in January for his “vicious personal attacks” on his fellow Republicans, and declared “our people need positive, unifying leadership, not negative, destructive political rhetoric.” Meese is now on Trump’s transition team. Maybe it was the change in tone signaled by Trump’s “grab ’em by the pussy” tape that brought Meese around.

In January veteran conservative Cal Thomas compared Trump to Lonesome Rhodes in A Face in the Crowd (which, back before Trump won, was considered a diss) and asked, “Isn’t a narcissist what we currently have in the White House?”

Last week Thomas said, “The courts may be saved from secular progressives for years to come and the Constitution respected again. That is victory by anyone’s definition.” He also said Trump’s cause was “part of a global movement” to “restore countries to the values that have made them uniquely British, German, French and American” — shout-out to Reichsbürger! — and “this is an opportunity that comes along once in a century.… If Trump succeeds in all he has promised, he will have saved the country from disaster. It will be said of him that he really did make America great again.” Now he tells us!

Some of the brethren were a little more slippery about their willingness to embrace, if not Trump, at least Trumpism. Take David French. French wasn’t in the “Against Trump” issue, but he was briefly and hilariously floated as a NeverTrump third-party Presidential candidate. Back then he condemned Trump as “a walking Planned Parenthood commercial,” said Trump’s ” ‘war strategy’ is a child-killing war crime,” that he “demonstrates such a breathtaking level of malice and cruelty in his treatment of his fellow citizens,” etc., etc.

This week French offered the traditional hope that the new President would do good, then defended Trump voters’ decision to back him. “[Trump] won my precinct with 72 percent of the vote. His supporters are my friends and neighbors,” French said. (No wonder he abandoned his NeverTrump campaign. No base!) “They’re some of the best people you’ll ever meet,” French went on, “and many of them made the decision to back him with no small anguish in their hearts.” French didn’t say what the source of the anguish was — maybe it was that Trump didn’t want to deport enough people; maybe they were just saying that to French to be nice.

French also, and expectedly, took comfort in the defeat of wingnut bête noire Hillary Clinton, and portrayed that defeat as massive and crushing. “Millions of Democrats stayed home rather than vote for another thoroughly corrupt Clinton,” enthused French. “…arguably, it was the decision of millions of blacks and Latinos not to mobilize against [Trump] that put him in the Oval Office.” (You say “voter suppression,” he says “decision not to mobilize”; potato, potahto.)

In his other post-election musings, French repeated this interpretation: “GOP voters kept voting while millions of Democrats voted with their feet — they walked anywhere but the polling place,” he said in “The Great Progressive Repudiation“; “This election was less about the love of Trump…than it was about rejecting the colossal hubris of the progressive establishment,” he said in “God Bless President Trump.”

At least French mentioned, albeit briefly and dismissively, a fact that would seem relevant to any analysis of America’s “repudiation” of Democrats: “Clinton is winning the popular vote.” Most of his colleagues left that bit out of their own Clinton-got-clobbered stories, like Ben Shapiro’s (“Minorities didn’t show up to vote for her. Nobody showed up for her. And so she lost”).

In fact, Clinton’s voting majority was so annoying to conservatives (and embarrassing to those who remembered recent stories like “Trump Supporters Point To Gore-Bush As A Precedent For Refusal Of Election Results“) that many tried to say the reverse was true. “Plot Twist: CNN Now Saying That Donald Trump Will Win The Popular Vote,” said Christine Rousselle at TownHall; she later updated with “CNN Admits Design Flaw” to explain her error. Others headlined Trump’s popular vote “victory,” then weaseled out in the text after their cookies had been accepted.

Some rightbloggers advanced the tried-and-true “the Electoral College is good for you” argument — like Rich Mitchell of Conservative Daily News, who showed state maps with tiny blue areas representing heavily-populated cities, and explained that’s how that crook Obama won: He “spent resources in urban areas so that that concentrated mob could overwhelm the voices of the rest of their states,” said Mitchell. “President Obama didn’t need to win the majority of areas, just the large city centers in those states with lots of electoral votes,” which was terribly unfair to the areas.

“The problem wasn’t the existence of the national Electoral College,” said Mitchell, “it was that states have not adopted their own versions of it.” Imagine a state free to dismiss voters who are unrepresentative of its largest, most barren districts — just as the Founders intended!

Others, like Steve Feinstein of American Thinker, just kept saying it never happened, or rather it would be shown never to have happened if absentee ballots were counted, because those votes are typically from “students overseas, the military, businesspeople on trips, etc.” who tend to be Republican — and would have also reversed the popular vote in 2000, Feinstein claimed: “So much for Gore’s 500,000 popular vote ‘victory.’ ”

Here’s Snopes refuting that whole idea, but they’re a bunch of liberal bias so what do they know: Patriots around the internet are still telling each other things like “remarkable how they forget that Romney won the popular vote in his loss to Obama” and “I think Trump #won the popular vote too but we’re being told he didn’t so Clinton can save face,” etc.

Another thing the brethren, whether NeverTrump, EverTrump, or WhateverTrump, were sure of: Protesting Trump’s election, as hundreds of thousands of citizens have been doing, is definitely uncool. Sure, they protested Trump when they were younger (back in early 2016) but that was then, and they did it the right way, on a website and for money, not actually walking around like a street person.

They hauled out the usual rightblogger protest playbook. Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge reported that the protests were not grassroots like, say, the Tea Party, but showed “Professional Activist Involvement” because some of the protest organizers have organized protests before. “WikiLeaks exposes them as experienced protest organizers and activists,” he wrote. (Ah, Wikileaks — where would Trump be without them?)

Erick Erickson returned to proclaim these snot-nosed liberals the intolerant ones — thanks to their PC shenanigans,  “a large number of Americans refuse to speak up, even to anonymous pollsters,” he said. “And who can blame them? Tweet something you find funny, and suddenly an angry horde of ‘progressives’ show up at your office demanding punishment.” Actually Erickson has claimed to have experienced this kind of harassment himself — except in that case it was by Trump supporters. New realities, comrades!

Other rightbloggers blamed Upper West Side Gold (“George Soros Gives Anti-Trump Protesters a RAISE – Look How Much These Sniveling Little Punks Are Making Now”), or called protestors fat. “It’s tyranny,” screamed ragequeen Pamela Geller. “We have seen this before — in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia….”

Meanwhile, President-Elect Trump has, after the shock of his elevation, slowly returned to his normal behaviors, such as accusing his enemies of lying about him when they report things he’s on record as having done. He also promises to deport two or three million illegal immigrants at least, and that as President he’ll continue to go around the country holding rallies in defense of his policies. So we face the prospect of a spotlit Leader Trump barnstorming and bellowing about expelling Mexicans and Muslims in front of roaring crowds of followers.

Heads up, folks, I suspect the jokes in these columns are going to get a little dark.


Obama’s Afghan Surge Proves He’s Trying to Lose, Say Rightbloggers

In his West Point speech on Tuesday, President Obama announced 30,000 fresh troops would be delivered to Afghanistan early next year. He also said that “after 18 months, our troops will begin to come home.”

“Begin to come home” is a vague term, perhaps purposefully so. In the 2007 surge, three and a half years after he declared the mission accomplished, President Bush sent 20,000 troops to Iraq, and they have only come back in trickles — there are still about 120,000 U.S. service members in that allegedly pacified state. By promising to start bringing troops home ahead of his own surge, Obama may have sought to assure war-weary citizens that he is both serious about the nine-year Afghan mission and committed to ending it. Such, alas, is the traditional behavior of recent American Presidents.

The speech seems to have moved Afghanistan off the negative side of Obama’s balance sheet, at least for the time being. If the deployment doesn’t get the desired result — whatever that may be — he can always follow the example of his predecessor, and send more troops.

You might think rightbloggers, who are in the main very pro-war, would be pleased that the President is surging in Afghanistan. But they are not so much pro-war as anti-Obama, and the escalation merely reinforced their traditional view that Obama wants America to lose foreign wars, consistent with his general treason.

Rightbloggers got a head start on attacking the speech, on the grounds that it would preempt a network showing of “A Charlie Brown Chirstmas.” (“Mr. President, don’t be a blockhead,” said the American Spectator; “complaints about American traditions being bumped to give Obama more screen time, to help further stroke his ego and possibly raise his approval ratings, are valid,” said American Pundit; Obama’s War on the Young,” cried TrogloPundit. Arlington, Tennessee Mayor Russell Wiseman and Glenn Beck also complained, and Weasel Zippers found it proof of Obama’s devotion to Islam.)

Once it was delivered, there were some rare opponents who, while reflexively criticizing the speech, approved the escalation. Ryan Mauro at Pajamas Media even grasped that Obama’s withdrawal “could potentially be adjusted. Of course, ideally no timeline would exist, but winning the political side of this conflict requires putting forth some sort of date.”

But they were vastly outnumbered. Many rightbloggers were enraged that Obama did not use the word “victory” in his speech. “Word Count: ‘I’ – 45, ‘Afghanistan’ – 39, ‘Victory’ – 0,” said Charlie Foxtrot. Michelle Malkin also used command-F: “Self-referential ‘As your Commander-in-Chief’s = 2. References to global jihad = 0.” “The Commander-in-Chief of the United States military refuses to use the words ‘win’ or ‘victory!'” said Right View Wisconsin.

“Obama never did say ‘victory,’ and that is telling,” said Jennifer Rubin at Commentary. “It’s not his thing. As a colleague points out, what Obama believes in is leaving.” (As to Obama’s claim that “America will have to show our strength in the way that we end wars and prevent conflict,” Rubin said, “I’m sure the Taliban are delighted to hear that.”) None of these commentators defined what victory in Afghanistan would look like, though Rubin said, “We show strength in victory,” which suggests the U.S. might redeem itself by holding a bodybuilding contest before evacuating.

“We have a weak, vacilliating President who’s clearly not committed to victory,” lamented Right Wing News. “Obama lectured us continually on how important Afghanistan is and told his commander to defeat the enemy… but didn’t really mean it,” said Flopping Aces.

“And the president asked for no effort from the 99 percent of Americans who are not in our military,” said Kori Schake at National Review. “We are still not a country at war, we are a military at war.” One wonders what Schake expected: an expeditionary community organizing force?

“In the first part of his speech he sounded like Winston Churchill,” said former Presidential candidate Fred Thompson. “In the second part of his speech, he sounded like Lady Churchill.” Lady Churchill was quite a formidable Briton, but Thompson apparently means this as a diss, because, you know, she’s a lady.

National Review’s Andrew McCarthy saw the hand of the late Saul Alinsky in Obama’s speech. “The president is an Alinskyite,” he said, “so steeped in the ideology of the seminal community organizer that he became a top instructor in Alinskyite tactics for other up-and-coming radicals.” Thus, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, etc. “Their single, animating ambition,” McCarthy went on, “is to overthrow the capitalist social order, which they claim to see as racist, corrupt, exploitative, imperialist, etc. Apart from that goal, everything else — from the public option to Afghanistan — is negotiable…”

What, specifically, does this have to do with Afghanistan? Michael Moore, Van Jones, said McCarthy. Plus, “the Right has given Obama his escape hatch. Conservatives keep talking about ‘victory,’ but they never define it.” McCarthy might be onto something here, were he interested in indicting a system rather than a Democratic President, but this is not his goal: Obama, he said, counts on either “souring the country on the Afghanistan enterprise” or, failing that, choosing to “reprise the West Point two-step: satisfying the Right by staying the course, and satisfying the Left by re-promising a phased withdrawal in about 18 months…” The plan is ingenious, treasonous, and Alinskyite. Plus, Hugo Chavez, “climate change,” etc.

RedState’s Dan Spencer threatened to withdraw his support for the war in protest. “I do not know if I can continue to support a war effort that Obama previously referred to as a ‘necessary war’ and now calls a ‘vital national interest,'” he said, “but is nevertheless only willing to continue for 18 more months.” No response yet from CENTCOM.

Ann Althouse wanted uplift, but was disappointed: “The words were meant to be inspirational,” she divined, “but there was no lift… no lift of a driving dream. Is he tired of being Obama? Or was it the vibe in the room? I don’t think those West Point folk liked him too much.”

She’d better watch that kind of talk: It got Chris Matthews in a lot of trouble. When the TV host referred to West Point as Obama’s enemy territory, PWConservative decreed, “he should be drug through the streets and beaten.” “So this is what liberals in the MSM think our our fine military institutions like United States Military Academy at West Point,” cried Scared Monkeys. “It’s not all that hard to believe since to Matthews and his ilk the military is the enemy,” said Jammie Wearing Fool.

But Professor Althouse probably needn’t worry: there appears to be a general exemption for rightbloggers who found the cadets inattentive, and approved. “Obama faced a room full of scowling faces that seemed filled with a mistrust bordering on animosity,” said The Robalution. “One also need not be a mind reader to determine only from the looks on their faces that they were thinking that they had no faith in this leader that they had to follow into battle,” said Conservative Thinkers. “To say the cadets were underwhelmed by President Obama’s Afghanistan speech is a gross understatement,” said Bluegrass Pundit.

In fact, Foxmuldar asserted that “West point is the enemy camp for Obama and his Socialist, Communist party… I doubt the men and women at West Point were happy to be part of Obama’s Photo op.” Nonetheless he was enraged that Matthews “screwed up once again by shooting off his big fat mouth before ever thinking of what garbage was coming out… but since Matthews works on one of the Obama networks, he doesn’t have to worry about being canned.” If this seems contradictory, bear in mind that for rightbloggers an idea may be right or wrong depending on who expresses it.

Some did find one positive in the speech: “Savoring the Left’s Tear-Stained Tweets Over Obama’s Afghanistan Speech,” said David Horowitz’s NewsReal. NewsReal didn’t approve the speech either, of course (“But as the court-martial of 3 Navy SEALs for giving a brutal terrorist ‘a bloody lip’ goes forward… Will these 30,000 troops be allowed to fight effectively?”), but found consolation in the disapproval of their enemies.

Likewise, Snooper’s Take Out Country Back blasted “William Ayers the Unrepentant Moron” for opposing the Obama surge (“The USA was attacked by terrorists and if these assholes would actually read the Iraq War Resolution that just about everybody signed into law, INCLUDING THE DEMOCRATS, this foolish fool wold just have to shut the fuck up”), while attacking the surge themselves: “Giving General McChrystal HALF of what was required, I suppose, is a fighting chance.” (McChrystal allegedly wanted 50,000 troops.) Also from Snooper: “Obama is an idiot… Obama is clueless. The Taliban does understand Obama and his panty waste cranial disturbances.”

“Feh: Hey, Obamabots, Where’s Your Messiah Now?” asked Infidels Paradise. (Infidels Paradise on the speech: “The Obama Administration and Afghanistan: They Really Don’t Know What The Hell They’re Doing … Not A F*cking Clue.”)

What would have pleased the rightbloggers? 40,000 troops? 50,000? Some swagger, a flight suit, a call to “bring ’em on“? The short answer is nothing. We didn’t hear much from them about Afghanistan this year until Obama mentioned it, and it’s difficult to believe they care. The only victory they think about happens on first Tuesdays in November, far from Afghanistan.