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Ed Driscoll

The Couric-Rich Model of the Five Stages of MSM Grief

August 31st, 2010 - 6:58 pm

“The Five Stages of Grief: The Left Wing Now Gets Angry,” Rob Long writes at Ricochet, noting that the MSM has moved up a notch on the Kubler-Ross model of the Five Stages of Grief:

Now they’re turning to Stage Two: Anger. Angry at the voters, at Fox News, at Obama himself.

Next up: Bargaining. I’m not sure when that’s going to start — probably a few weeks after Labor Day. But as always, what we’re all waiting for is Stage Four: Depression.

Depression? Hey, the economy’s waaaay ahead of them on that one! But seriously, as Matthew Sheffield quips, “Hating your countrymen is the new patriotism:”

In short: liberals don’t hate America, they simply hate Americans, especially when they won’t go along with such obviously good things such as President Obama’s healthcare law, “economic stimulus” spending, nationalizing student loans, unilaterally disarming American nuclear weapons, or raising taxes in an anemic economy. Having fully embraced the notion that Judeo-Greco-Roman society has engaged in systematic “cultural imperialism,” the modern Left has embraced what might be termed “cultural inferiorism” as a means to atone.

One could argue that conservatives and libertarians are prone to similarly negative views about the public–particularly when it votes for politicians loathed by the Right–however, it seems to me that when such sentiments are expressed, they tend to proceed more from disappointment than the fulminations against the public one regularly sees expressed by liberals (the supposed movement “for the people”).

The reason for this rhetorical disparity is that conservatives and libertarians seem to have a much better grounding in the idea that they have a political ideology. Liberals lack this sense, believing their ideology to be literally incommensurable to other ideologies. To oppose liberalism is thus not only intellectually incorrect, it is also an affront to common decency.

This isn’t all that new a development of course — Krauthammer’s Law was coined in 2002. Ace of Spades joked about the left’s “Ike Turner school of patriotism” back in 2007 — “Those who love America show it by denigrating and beating the sh*t out of her at every opportunity.”

You can see the mindset behind that sort of punitive liberalism at work in yesterday’s HuffPo photo essay, which looks at the attendees of Glenn Beck’s rally on Saturday wearing — gasp! — T-shirts emblazoned with the American flag, the Gadsden flag, or quotes from George Washington. With the sniff of a fully upturned nose, the headline writer decries, “Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally: The Most Ridiculous Messages.”

You crazy rubes in flyover country!

But another Krauthammer column from a few years ago is also worth revisiting, “The Pressure-Cooker Theory” from August of 2004:

The loathing goes far beyond the politicians. Liberals as a body have gone quite around the twist. I count one all-star rock tour, three movies, four current theatrical productions and five best sellers (a full one-third of the New York Times list) variously devoted to ridiculing, denigrating, attacking and devaluing this president, this presidency and all who might, God knows why, support it.How to explain? With apologies to Dr. Freud, I propose the Pressure Cooker Theory of Hydraulic Release.

The hostility, resentment, envy and disdain, all superheated in Florida, were not permitted their natural discharge. Came 9/11 and a lid was forced down. How can you seek revenge for a stolen election by a nitwit usurper when all of a sudden we are at war and the people, bless them, are rallying around the flag and hailing the commander in chief? With Bush riding high in the polls, with flags flying from pickup trucks (many of the flags, according to Howard Dean, Confederate), the president was untouchable.

The Democrats fell unnaturally silent. For two long, agonizing years, they had to stifle and suppress. It was the most serious case of repression since Freud’s Anna O. went limp. The forced deference nearly killed them. And then, providentially, they were saved. The clouds parted and bad news rained down like manna: WMDs, Abu Ghraib, Richard Clarke, Paul O’Neill, Joe Wilson and, most important, continued fighting in Iraq.

Stripped of his halo, the president’s ratings went down. The spell was broken. He was finally once again human and vulnerable. With immense relief, the critics let loose.

The result has been volcanic. The subject of one prominent new novel is whether George W. Bush should be assassinated. This is all quite unhinged. Good God. What if Bush is re-elected? If they lose to him again, Democrats will need more than just consolation. They’ll need therapy.

Unfortunately, the left never received it. Instead, they went first from exploiting Hurricane Katrina for political gain, to creating the messianic cult of Obama only a couple of years afterward. Along the way trashing slightly more centrist Democrats for backing Hillary rather than Obama as racists, concurrent with Spencer Ackerman advising his fellow JournoListas to look at the GOP and randomly “take one of them–Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares–and call them racists.”

No wonder McCain and his team were terrified to bring up Rev. Wright and his pseudo-Marxist Black Liberation Theology religious worldview, in which Obama found some sort of emotional sustenance for an extended period of his life.

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