Arnold Kling looks at the possible coming of Pelosism:
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi plans to use control of Congress to launch an investigation into the Bush Administration. For those of us who have not been drinking the Kos Kool-Aid, this seems like a questionable enterprise.
In the late 1940’s, the Republicans finally took control of Congress. Seething after years of the Roosevelt Administration, one of the things that Republicans did in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s was launch investigations into the “treason” of the Roosevelt-Truman State Department, as well as former Communists in various professions. When I was three years old, one of the investigating committees decided that my mother, who had joined the Communists in the 1930’s and left the Party in the 1940’s, was of sufficient national security interest to be hauled before the Grand Inquisition. A few of the people that these committees investigated did turn out to be foreign agents or traitors. However, most of those investigated, like my mother, never did anything wrong.
In the 1950’s, the Republican Right saw the investigations into “un-American activities” as a way to righteously smite down the Democratic Party. They wanted to expose their opponents’ scandals and treason. Instead, they wound up exposing their own bad judgment, radicalism, and incivility. In the long run, the investigations damaged both parties. Certainly, the Republicans gained nothing. Apart from the war hero Eisenhower, their electoral fortunes sagged — they lost control of Congress from 1958 until 1994. It seems rather odd that Democrats should want to try a similar strategy today.
The most famous of the inquisitors was Senator Joe McCarthy. In American politics today, McCarthyism is an epithet. I am not sure why the Democrats want to turn Pelosism into its synonym.
Because “America Needs An Audit!”
(Say, is there a subliminal message buried in that?)
Perhaps hearing the not-so-subliminal writing on the wall, Pelosi’s spokesman is currently saying, “impeachment is off the table; she is not interested in pursuing it”.
But where could all this partisan rancor lead? A Blue! Red! civil war in 2008!
An often compelling read about a polarized electorate heading to explosion over a contested presidential election in 2008, Blue! Red! nevertheless sometimes veers into the realm of the unintentionally hilarious.
Even though the book begins with the mandatory disclaimer that it “is a work of fiction and that any resemblance to real persons is purely coincidental,” the plucky Democratic candidate in the book is a female senator (“Sheila Brinton”) whose husband was once president of the United States. Senator Brinton shows a lot more intestinal fortitude than the previous Democratic candidates for president who, in the book’s retelling, meekly allowed themselves to be cheated out of the presidency.
“I want to keep fighting,” Senator Brinton declares. “I want the Presidency with every fiber of my being – I want it for the Party, for our people who’ve been beaten down . . . I’m afraid that if I concede now, and I run again next time, they’ll steal the election again. If they steal election after election, we have no choice but to not accept it. I’ll not back down; I’ll not concede like those soft men who were candidates before me conceded.”
Strangely, Blue! Red! foresees the college football bowl games becoming the site of armed conflict between rabid partisans (with Republicans naturally being the aggressors).
Fortunately, Dean Barnett reminds us, it’s unlikely to happen:
Walking around Harvard Yard…Sometimes it must seem like Paris in 1789 with all the politically inspired fury sprouting up among the lattes. But if Harvard professors want to storm the Bastille–or start a civil war–they’ll have to do it themselves. And that’s not very likely.
After all, they don’t even want Army recruiters on campus.
Well, there is that.
Update: A new issue is emerging for the 2008 elections: Stop global demagnetizing!
I’m sure there will be a Daily Degauss blog to focus on it by then…