As Jim Geraghty writes, “Whomever Mitt Romney picks as his running mate, I hope that person understands the need to come out of the gate as a fighter:”
There was a time, not long ago, when if the Senate Majority Leader was going to accuse his opponents of a crime, he had to at least point to some evidence, lest he be derided as a McCarthyite, a demagogue, a liar and a toxic influence to public discourse. There was a time when presidential campaigns did not casually accuse their opponent of murder. There was a time when not every criticism of an opponent’s policy triggered a knee-jerk accusation of “racism!”
No one wonders why our political class is so disappointing. It’s because no sane person would want to step into the BS maelstrom that is modern politics. No one wants to deal with a world where people believe that having the right view entitles you to berate restaurant drive-through attendants. Why participate in public debate, if you’re guaranteed to be demonized and denounced as among the worst of humanity?
Our political culture has gone insane. Millions of us want something better, and perhaps Romney thinks he can embody this by taking the high road. Perhaps he is correct that it’s impossible to argue that you’ll be something better if you’re “punching back twice as hard,” as the president’s top strategist once pledged. But somebody has to call out this nonsense for what it is – and I think many, many Republicans are waiting, with growing impatience, for someone to do that.
Concurrently, Warner Todd Huston of Big Journalism catches Mark Bittman, a New York Times food critic calling (and later apologizing) a recently deceased executive of a major fast-food chain a “pig” — dehumanizing and potentially eliminationist rhetoric that I’m sure Paul Krugman will be condemning any moment now:
Speaking of pigs, the VP of PR for Chick-fil-A dropped dead of a heart attack the week after the chain’s latest homophobia/anti-gay marriage scandal. Here’s an obit, and here’s more about him. Meanwhile, Chick-fil-A had record-breaking profits after its President, Dan Cathy, drew a line in the sand over same-sex marriage.
As Huston wrote in response:
Note that nearly every anti-Chick-Fil-A whiner out there has based his anti-ness on Chick-Fil-A’s “hate,” all the while wallowing in just as much hate as they claim to abhor. Meanwhile, no one can really find anything that either Dan Cathy or any of the causes and organizations that he supports have said or done that actually called for any hate to be visited upon anyone.
And that’s on top of another New York Times journalist declaring the entire heartland of America “the dance of the low-sloping foreheads” last year.
Curiously, the collapse in the tone of the left’s rhetoric occurred just as media available to everyone has made it remarkably easy to call them on it: