Ed Driscoll

Oh, That Punitive Liberalism

“The 2013 Democratic Party reflects Richard Hofstadter’s warning about the paranoid style of politics,” William A. Jacobson writes at his Legal Insurrection blog:

Laurel documented the other day the extreme language and demonization of Republicans coming from the highest levels of the Democratic Party, The new civility: Dems turn public debate into schoolyard taunts:

1. “Unhinged” Arsonists (Wasserman-Schultz)
2. Insane People Who “Have Lost their Minds” (Harry Reid)
3. “People with a Bomb Strapped to their Chest” (aka Terrorists)(Dan Pfeiffer)
4. Blatant Extortionists (Jay Carney)
5. “Legislative Arsonists” (Nancy Pelosi)

No longer is it just the deeper reaches of the left-blogosphere, it’s the ranking Democratic members of the House and Senate, and the White House, trying to paint Republicans as criminals.

The mainstream left media also has become unhinged, like Andrew Sullivan’s rant that the Elephant must be taken down for good:

This time, the elephant must go down. And if possible, it must be so wounded it does not get up for a long time to come.

Huh — I guess Andrew’s officially done calling himself a conservative. Took a few years, but I’m glad we finally cleared that up. And it’s doubly ironic to watch a British-born pundit who no doubt thinks of himself as the second coming of George Orwell employ shooting an elephant as a metaphor.

Of course, Barack Obama, the eliminationist-in-chief, “has always had a bit of a vindictive streak when it comes to politics. I think it stems from his Manichaean view of America. There are the reasonable people — who agree with him. And there are the bitter clingers who disagree for irrational or extremist ideological reasons,” Jonah Goldberg writes in his latest column. (And it’s worth remembering that those initial bitter clingers Obama perceived of as to his right were his fellow Democrats.) “In his various statements over the last week, he’s insisted that opponents of Obamacare are ‘ideologues’ on an ‘ideological crusade.’ Meanwhile, he cast himself as just a reasonable guy interested in solving America’s problems. I have no issue with him calling Republican opponents ‘ideologues’ — they are — but since when is Obama not an ideologue?”

The National Park Service, which has somehow become the unofficial goon squad of American liberalism, reversed course and let American World War II vets visit the WWII memorial in Washington, D.C. This is obviously good news. (I was waiting to see if Steven Spielberg would come out with a new Obama-friendly director’s cut of Saving Private Ryan in which the old guy at the end is dragged off in cuffs before he can reach Tom Hanks’s grave.)

Still, it cost the government more money to try to keep WWII vets out of an open-air memorial than it would have to just leave it be. In Virginia, the NPS ordered the Claude Moore Colonial Farm to shut down, even though it’s privately funded.

Far worse, Obama told CNBC’s John Harwood that Wall Street should be far more panicky about Republican efforts to use the debt ceiling to win concessions from the White House. I don’t blame Obama for being annoyed with Republicans for trying to use the debt ceiling the exact same way he did when he was a senator. But normally a sitting president doesn’t try to talk down the economy just to win a political point.

But then, most politicians running for the White House don’t brag to newspaper reporters that they’re going to bankrupt entire industries, either. No one at this late date should be surprised that Obama would talk down the stock market.

On the other hand, who knew the man had a closet libertarian streak in him?

During his speech today, the president said something rather strange. “If a worker shut down a manufacturing plant until they got what they wanted, they’d be fired,” Obama shouted.

“Makes you wonder whether Barack Obama’s feeling nostalgic for the days when you could just send in the Pinkertons to take care of uppity malcontents,” Moe Lane quips.

Meanwhile, Time magazine, founded by Republican Henry Luce in the 1920s, but now almost entirely staffed by Obama-worshipping leftists (as is the rest of Time-Warner-CNN-HBO), forgets that America is a constitutional republic, not a wide-open democracy:

Update: “Obama’s Communications Team Needs an Intervention,” Seth Mandel of Commentary writes, adding that “the president is saying an awful lot of things lately that don’t make any sense.”

Lately?

Related: GOP Rep Sean Duffy assaulted; Glenn Reynolds blames “the Democrats’ violent eliminationist rhetoric.” Can’t be — rhetoric is never dangerous, until clip art is applied.

(Headline inspired by James Piereson.)