Ed Driscoll

Sleepwalking Through History

The Republicans are coming! The Republicans are coming! But first, Stacy McCain advises:

Anyone familiar with the schisms and divisions among Republicans would be well advised not to read this article by The New Republic‘s senior editor while drinking coffee:

In short, for the first time since the Civil War, the United States has a political party that is ideologically cohesive, disciplined, and determined to take power, even at the cost of disrupting the political system. What accounts for this remarkable transformation? And how likely it is that the Republican Party will continue to act this way during the next two years?

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? The Democrats of 2005-2008 weren’t “determined to take power”? Democrats bear no responsibility for “disrupting the political system”?

At the Corner, Jonah Goldberg links to the cover of the February TNR, which accompanies the above article:

Jonah adds:

For the record, I like the cover and I hope Judis is right about the Republicans being different than any other party.

Update: Meanwhile, this chart of the conservative galaxy must have kept TNR’s cadres of interns busy for weeks.

In January of 2009, TNR urged the incoming president to “screw civility;” good to see they’re not changing course now.

As Victor Davis Hanson wrote in September of 2009, perhaps the Democrats hadn’t expected their efforts to disrupt the political system during that period would cause them to regain, during the period of January 2009 until the end of 2010, all branches of power in Washington so quickly:

Not So Long Ago

The Left is now furious that, as the new establishment, the rules of discourse are not more polite. But from 2002-8, they (Who are “they”? Try everyone from Al Gore to John Glen to Robert Byrd to Sen. Durbin), employed every Nazi/brown shirt slur they could conjure up. NPR’s folksy old Garrison Keiler was indistinguishable from mean-spirited Michael Moore in that regard.

The New York Times gave a discount for a disgusting “General Betray Us” ad. The Democratic Party head Howard Dean flatly said he “hated” Republicans. Hilary Clinton all but called Gen. Petraeus a liar in a congressional hearing. The New Republic ran an essay on hating George Bush (not opposing, not disliking, but “hating” the President). Alfred Knopf published a novel about killing Bush. A Guardian op-ed dreamed of Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth coming back to kill Bush. And on and on.

So What?

No one objected. A Dan Rather said nothing—but tried to pass off forged documents to alter the election. A Bill Moyers piled on. There was no voice of “Now, wait a minute, this is going too far.” Did the Left assume that they were going to be perpetually bomb-tossers, forever on the outside of Karl Rove’s ballyhooed three-decades of Republican supremacy to come?

What Comes Around, Goes…

And then something strange and quite unexpected happened. The Democrats nominated a charismatic African-American, won the presidency, after obtaining large majorities in Congress, and suddenly became the Establishment, demanding respect for the Commander in Chief in direct proportion to their efforts to deny respect to his predecessor. Then just as suddenly two tropes appeared after January 20th of this year:

One—cannot we all get along? We deplore this resort to barbarism and crudity.

Two—if you dare sound off like we just did, then you are now a racist.

Which brings us to Gabriel Malor’s must read post on the MSM’s current prefab connect-the-dots narrative template: “Designated Villains and the Tea Party:”

That’s the take-away: the Tea Party is the villain because that’s what the story says, dammit, that’s why. The Tea Party is violent because this story demands a violent villain to contrast with the author’s peaceful Designated Hero. The Tea Party is racist because that’s their designation. Didn’t you read that they’re opposing President Obama? Ipso facto, racist, violent villains.

Definitely read the whole thing.

(Bumped to top to add cover.)