Newsweek’s post-election cover celebrates the Obama ‘conquest’

Please refresh the memory of us old, white dudes who voted for the guy who ran against Barack Obama. We are easily confused, as you can tell by listening to Joe Biden. We have difficulty remembering things like how thoroughly the incumbent trounced his Republican opponent in Tuesday’s presidential election. Oh wait, that’s right:Obama received 51% of the popular vote (60.5 million) to Mitt Romney’s 49% (57.5 million votes). Not such a trouncing after all.

Come to think of it, Obama pulled in 9 million fewer votes this time than he did in 2008, which makes him the first president in over a century to win fewer popular votes in his re-election bid than in his initial run.

View slideshow: "Newsweek" proclaims death of conservatism
So one has to wonder: If the popular vote was won by a margin of 3 million votes in a nation of 300 million people, what would prompt the redoubtable Newsweek to publish on the cover of its post-election issue a likeness of Obama as Napoleon—dressed in a braided long coat and brandishing a saber—beneath the banner headline “GOP: You’re old, you’re white, and you’re finished”?

The answer is that Tina Brown, Newsweek’s editor, has allowed herself to get as carried away as fellow lefty Eugene Robinson in giddily proclaiming the death of conservatism. Brown is not an old, white dude, and neither for that matter is Robinson, but both have the faulty memory of one. Brown in particular appears to have forgotten that in 2009 The Daily Beast, of which then as now she is editor, ran an interview with author Sam Tanenhaus, who had recently published his book The Death of Conservatism.

Conservatism refused to stay (or play) dead, however, and came bounding back to life in 2010, when the Republicans swept one of Obama’s two congressional majorities out of power in the mid-term shellacking. But liberals seem to have short memories.

And so do the publications they edit and write. In late August, Newsweek ran a cover story with the subhead “Why we need a new president.” It must have seemed to Brown at the time that Obama was toast. Now, she is toasting him as emperor.
Speaking of toast, it is almost sad to note that Newsweek has one more big splashy cover to go before the print version itself becomes extinct. Where else can its critics turn for a good chuckle? Oh, that’s right: Old man Biden will stay be around.