In an article appropriately titled, “Look Back at Anger“, Jacob Laskin looks at Byron York’s new book on the left and the presidential election, The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
Sounds like it should be a fun read:
Beneath the patina of confidence, however, the left-wing conspiracy often seems pitiable, as desperate as it is determined. Above all, its members are angry–at the perceived injustice of the 2000 presidential election, at the prospect of long-term Republican governance, at John Kerry’s inept campaigning. Even, it appears, at being called angry.
It is the anger that does them in. Resting his case on much original reporting, Mr. York convincingly shows that the activist left mistook its base–2.5 million strong and anti-Bush to the (mostly white) man–for the mainstream electorate, as if fury and contempt were the only logical responses to the Bush presidency. Reciting the mantra that it was “too big to fail,” the left wing bought into the conspiracy of its own vastness. An inability to connect with swing voters followed, and electoral defeat.
Especially trenchant is Mr. York’s analysis of the Center for American Progress. Convinced, mistakenly, that modern liberalism’s problem was its deficit of sound bites, the think tank gave short shrift to compelling policy ideas. A disgruntled Democratic source–the book is densely populated with this species–offers an apt postmortem: “Just getting bigger amplifiers doesn’t make the music any better.”
Read the whole review.