April 20, 2013

JAMES TARANTO: Fascism by the Numbers: The thuggish majoritarianism of the Obama-era left.

What is unreasonable is the impulse to blame mainstream conservatives, including the Tea Party, a diffuse mass movement that has never been linked to any violence. Never forget that after the Tucson massacre of 2011, the New York Times editorialized that “it is legitimate to hold Republicans and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible”–even though it was already known that the killer had no political motive.

What the hope-they’re-white crowd really wishes for is a reason to treat their domestic political adversaries as enemies of the state.

That’s hard to do in a democratic republic, especially one that is closely divided between right and left, as evidenced by the swings in election results between 2004 and 2006, 2008 and 2010 and 2010 and 2012–not to mention that 2012 re-elected both a Democratic president and a Republican House.

In an effort to overcome this close division, the left has resorted to a kind of thuggish majoritarian rhetoric in which a putative minority is demonized in the hope of uniting the majority against it. The most well-known example is the Occupy Wall Street effort, which made a scapegoat of “the 1%” in the hope of unifying 99% of the population against it. Another example is “white males,” a minority by definition, whose demonization is supposed to unite women and all other ethnic groups.

In his outburst of rage after gun-control legislation died in the Senate Wednesday, President Obama tried a similar gambit.

A fish rots from the head.

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