Ed Driscoll

'Wait, Does That Mean Obama Won the Terrorist Vote?'

At the Corner, Jonah Goldberg has more on the disparity of rhetoric when Democrats win, and when they don’t — or in this case, they’re on the cusp of suffering a perceived loss:

It’s kind of funny that Biden & Co. insist that the Tea Party crowd are a bunch of “terrorists,” when you think about it. Remember when Obama and his spinners used to say that the same forces that drive the tea parties put him in office? Here’s Obama explaining the Scott Brown victory:

“Here’s my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts, but the mood around the country: The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office. People are angry, and they’re frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years, but what’s happened over the last eight years.”

Robert Gibbs hit the same theme the next day: The “anger and the frustration” that swept Brown to victory on Tuesday swept Obama to power a year ago.

As Jonah adds:

So, now these same people are simply a bunch of terrorists for doing what they set out to do: Change the way Washington works.

Good to know.

This past fall, Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard had lots of fun rounding up the op-eds from some of Obama’s biggest media supporters immediately after his victory in 2008, versus on the eve of the midterms:

The American people are in for it. When Republicans lose elections, they blame each other: Talk radio blames the RINOs; the squishes blame the pro-lifers; the social conservatives blame the Big Business types, and so on. Each faction maintains that their party will never find acceptance with voters until the rest of the movement looks just like them.

When Democrats lose, on the other hand, they blame America. They tut-tut about gullible voters being way-laid by crafty messaging. Or rubes foolishly voting against their self-interest. Or middle Americans being a bunch of fundamentalist crazies. (Remember the “Jesusland” map after 2004?) With a Republican wave about to wash over the Obama administration, the public is due for a good talking-to. On the nation’s op-ed pages, it’s already started.

What’s particularly striking about the 2010 version of this ritual exorcism is that just 24 months ago, many of these same scolds were telling us how America had (finally) become a pretty enlightened country.

Here are just a pair of the more excitable superstar old media pundits Last quoted, and their bipolar rhetoric:

Over at Time magazine, Joe Klein went further. After Obama won, Klein wrote that “this election was about much more than issues. It was the ratification of an essential change in the nature of the country.” Obama’s victory was, Klein said, “a breathtaking statement of American open-mindedness and, yes, our native liberality.”

“Obama promises a respite from the nonstop anger of the recent American political wars, the beginning of an era of civility, if not comity,” Klein observed. “Already,” he noted, “the Obama ethos is slipping into the nation’s cultural bloodstream.” If only it had been so. Surveying the Tea Partiers pushing toward the front of the line in contests across the country, Klein now laments that “there is something profoundly diseased about a society that idolizes its ignoramuses and disdains its experts. It is a society that no longer takes itself seriously.”

Whatever else you might say about the New York Times, it takes itself very, very seriously. So nowhere has the whiplash been felt more sharply. Maureen Dowd was excited about the America that emerged on Election Night 2008. “I grew up here,” she wrote, “and it was the first time I’ve ever seen the city wholly, happily integrated, with a mood redolent of New York in the weeks after 9/11.” Now she worries that “there’s an untamed beast rampaging through American politics. But this beast does not seem blessed; rather it has loosed a kind of ugliness and wildness in the land.”

In that sense, Biden’s quote that Republicans “have acted like terrorists,” if accurately transcribed by the Politico from their multiple Democratic “sources in the room”  and his non walk-back walk-back (“the nuclear weapon’s been taken out of anyone’s hands”) is the ultimate extension of that rhetoric.

So far.

Flashback: On Saturday, Newsbusters noted, “Media, Democrats, and the President Have Been in Lockstep with the Tea Party as Terrorists Message.”

Joe was just unlucky enough and high enough up the food chain for his quote to have gotten maxim exposure, causing him to be nearly simultaneously T-boned from both the left and the right, when the Politico article quickly became the top headline of the Drudge Report.