Is Winning the Argument Enough?

I attended the National Review Institute conference in Washington this weekend and came home rejuvenated and satiated by an abundant intellectual feast -- 16 hours of speeches and panel discussions on Saturday alone, with one 45 minute break for cocktails. The All Star cast included Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, Jim DeMint, Scott Walker, Tom Cotton, Bob McDonnell, Peter Thiel, Grover Norquist, Andy McCarthy, Mark Steyn, Charles Krauthammer, Michael Barone, Larry Kudlow, and on and on. A conservative Woodstock. As Republicans sift through the post-election wreckage, two camps have emerged: the "winning the argument" conservative intellectuals and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) operatives. Both strategies of course are necessary, so it's a question of emphasis, not exclusion, but it was clear that a majority of the speakers at the conference emphasized messaging over GOTV tactics. Margaret Thatcher was quoted several times: "First win the argument, then win the election," and a majority...(Read Full Article)