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Ed Driscoll

The Modern Ruling Class: ‘Reactive, Windblown and Unprincipled’

August 20th, 2010 - 10:58 am

The Washington Post, its brand name currently badly damaged by the JournoList scandal (see above tweet) and Newsweek’s hard reflexive turn to the left, at least tries to maintain a thin veneer of bipartisanship by publishing a few opposing points of view, such as Charles Krauthammer, George Will, and Michael Gerson. And speaking of Gerson, he explores “The lost promise of Barack Obama” in his latest op-ed. The whole thing is worth your time, but here’s a key passage:

The Manhattan mosque controversy showed the problem in compressed form. First came the Obama of high-toned principle (largely the right principle, in my view). Then a politically motivated recalibration. Then a scrambling staff explanation. Then an embarrassed silence, since it is difficult to clarify the clarification of a clarification. Then the president’s regretful assertion of “no regrets.”

It was more than a lapse. From the firing of Shirley Sherrod to the obsession with Fox News to lashing the “professional left,” the Obama administration engages in a daily hypocrisy. It attacks the sound and fury of the cable news cycle while being entirely captive to its rhythms. In the process, it often appears reactive, windblown and unprincipled.

Kathy Shaidle likes to call the modern definition of liberalism, “It’s different when we do it.” We saw that in slow motion when the left used Iraq as a cudgel to beat up first Bush #41 (He should have removed Saddam!) and then used it as a cudgel to beat up Bush #43 (he shouldn’t have removed Saddam!). We saw that play out in Keystone Kops super-fast-forward mode this past weekend, when The JournoList-style legacy media went to the mattresses for Obama on Friday night and Saturday morning defending his Ground Zero Mosque speech, only to have the White House cut the legs out from under them by walking it back later on Saturday. As Power Line noted, Greg Sargent, a Washington Post writer and former JournoLista immediately blurted that the president’s speech last Friday was “One of the finest moments of Obama’s presidency.”

Oops.

But the idea of contrarianism for its own sake can only take the Ruling Class so far, before the public gets wise, as the contradictions and complexity of its architecture start to add up. And as Jim Treacher notes, “After the 2004 election, some lefties branded the U.S. “Jesusland.” Now they’re scrambling to deny rumors that Obama doesn’t love Jesus. Odd, yes?”

Not at this point.

Related: It all comes full circle here.

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