June 3, 2018

GREAT MOMENTS IN GASLIGHTING. Chuck Todd: Isn’t Trump sort of responsible for Samantha Bee’s tone? In response, Allahpundit writes:

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that the activist wings of both parties, which includes entertainment on the left (go look again at how Bee described her own show last night), genuinely despise each other and feel no common ground. That’s where the nastiness comes from. To the extent Trump makes it worse, it’s because he embodies the things lefty activists most despise about the right, not because he likes to make fun of Chuck Todd’s “sleepy eyes” or whatever. The interesting question is whether late-night would have been a bit less oppositional politically under someone like Romney or McCain than it’s been under Trump. I can see it both ways but I’m inclined to say no — not because they’d hate Romney or McCain just as much but because the influence of Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show” is so heavy on all of them that they would have felt compelled to do some woke truth-to-power shtick no matter what. The left expects it of their daily comic commentators now.

As awful as the left acted after the 9/11-era timeout on the culture war ended around 2003 with, as Charles Krauthammer wrote, the left’s superheated pressure cooker exploding, the real tipping point in retrospect was their win-at-all-costs response when John McCain asked Sarah Palin to be his running mate in 2008.

As with the George H.W. Bush administration, when the left couldn’t excoriate Bush, a WWII hero, and used Dan Quayle as a nonstop surrogate piñata, the left couldn’t aim both barrels at McCain because of his legendary POW status. Instead, Palin took the brunt, including Todd’s then-fellow MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann insinuating that she should be shot. Reebok’s once apolitical advertising character “Terry Tate Office Linebacker” was shown brutally slamming a Palin lookalike stuntwoman to the concrete in a YouTube clip. Obama supporters were photographed wearing “Sarah Palin is a C*nt” T-shirts (plus ça change; and no, the asterisk doesn’t appear on the originals.) Five years after McCain and Palin were defeated, Martin Bashir was fired by MSNBC after he suggested that Palin should be defecated and urinated on.

As Glenn has written, Trump is “a symptom of how rottenly dysfunctional our sorry political class is. Take away Trump and they’re just as awful and destructive. He just brings their awfulness to the fore, where it’s no longer ignorable. Now they’re willing to play with fire, risking the future of the polity over little more than hurt feelings, in a way that would have been unthinkable not long ago.”