- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 6, 2012

“Regardless of the final results of the election, Wednesday, Nov. 7 continues a gigantic battle between small-government, constitutional conservatives and the big-government Republicans for the heart and soul of the GOP,” longtime conservative maven Richard Viguerie tells Inside the Beltway.

“The fight for control of the GOP has been on hold while all wings of the party united behind Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. The agenda of the conservative movement and the tea party of small-constitutional government will now become the agenda of the Republican Party. The takeover of the GOP by conservatives has been a 100-year long battle,” he continues.

But look out.

“The Democrats will now be dealing with a newly energized Republican Party which will insist on the reduction of the size of government and an increase in liberty,” Mr. Viguerie concludes.

A conservative armada gathers Wednesday afternoon at the National Press Club to train their guns on the election. On hand for some straight shooting: the aforementioned Mr. Viguerie, chairman, ConservativeHQ.com; Media Research Center president Brent Bozell, Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser, Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist and Paul Revere Project president and book publisher Al Regnery.

THE AFTERGLOW

Welcome to Post-Election Day. It promises to be as noisy as Election Day, now that all the strategists, pundits, pollsters, elected officials, lawmakers, journalists and assorted experts gather in the name of erudition and fancy lunches to tell America what Tuesday meant. Or did not mean.

It is a huge phenomenon, and likely good for the economy: dozens of these events begin while the polling machines are still warm, and continue for weeks. They are catered, microphoned, videotaped, name-tagged, and staged in some very nice spots.

Among myriad events, the National Journal’s sold-out “The Day After” showcases 27 political luminaries over seven hours at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on Wednesday. Among their stars: Dick Gephardt, Elaine Chao, the Journal’s editor-in-chief Ron Fournier, editorial director Ron Brownstein and ace analyst Charlie Cook.

“Elections tell us who won, but they do not tell us why and how,” advises the American Enterprise Institute, which has lined up its resident scholars Michael Barone, Henry Olsen, Norm Ornstein and Karlyn Bowman for a luncheon to explain all, also on Wednesday.

The puzzled electorate in the Golden State will have their questions answered — and their bellies filled with lamb shanks, mashed potatoes, angel hair pasta with chicken and red chard plus eggplant Parmesan — when Mark Baldassare, CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California, and Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll, share their insights into “what voters were thinking” at the Sacramento Press Club next week.

THE HISTORIC ELECTION

“By their votes ye shall know them.”

- President Harry S. Truman, in a casual remark made Sept. 23, 1948

POST HASTE

Embattled and belittled in recent days, the U.S. Postal Service is fighting back with news of “record-breaking package forecasts, important mail-by and ship-by dates and plans for the largest consumer door-to-door mailing in Postal history,” the self-supporting government agency declares.

Indeed, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and his chief management officer Nagisa Manabe will face journalists Thursday, tempering the reporters’ habitual ire with coffee and cookies served at a neighborhood post office in the nation’s capital — and news that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, the Postal Service will process nearly 600 million pieces of mail. A day.

“It’s the best time of year,” the pair insist, and they are poised to explain kinder and gentler services that include lobby assistants and a new holiday website.

RECRUITING MOMENT

CIA officers greeted attendees at recent Arab American Day Festivals in Garden Grove, Calif., and Phoenix, the agency. The CIA booth, tucked amid food tables and vendors, drew curious crowds. The officers spoke to festival guests in Arabic, Armenian, Punjabi and Urdu. A CIA historian also gave “a spirited talk about myths and realities of the CIA” to audiences at local community centers. Such is life in the agency.

‘The CIA is committed to attracting talented Americans of all cultural backgrounds because the agency needs their experience, knowledge and skills,” explains CIA Director David H. Petraeus. “The agency cannot succeed without diversity. It is crucial to our intelligence mission to have people who understand the nuances about the world we operate in.”

HISTERIA

“We are looking for OUTRAGEOUS personalities for a new game show for the History Channel! Don’t worry, you do not have to be a history buff! The game is a ton of fun, so we need energetic people who are used to thinking on their toes! We will be shooting two days in December, and will be giving out $75 per day to each contestant.”

(Casting call from the aforementioned cable network, supplying more proof that what is past may not be prologue anymore.)

POLL DU JOUR

• 58 percent of Americans are satisfied with how President Obama’s 2012 campaign was conducted. 21 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independents agree.

• 66 percent of Americans overall were satisfied with Mr. Obama’s campaign in 2008.

• 54 percent are satisfied with how Mitt Romney’s campaign was conducted this year. 89 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of independents agree.

• 40 percent of Americans overall were satisfied with then-presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain’s campaign in 2008.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,063 U.S. adults conducted Oct. 27-28 and released Tuesday.

Sighs of relief, crabby outcry, exaggerations to jharper@washingtontimes.com