Captain Ed notes how the Bush Derangement Syndrome crowd has started turning on itself. Richard Cohen of The Washington Post – who is anything but a Bush fan – writes on how the left ripped into him for daring to say that Stephen Colbert’s White House Correspondents Dinner schtick wasn’t funny. Their reaction?
It seemed that most of my correspondents had been egged on to write me by various blogs. In response, they smartly assembled into a digital lynch mob and went roaring after me. If I did not like Colbert, I must like Bush. If I write for The Post, I must be a mainstream media warmonger. If I was over a certain age — which I am — I am simply out of it, wherever “it” may be. All in all, I was — I am, and I guess I remain — the worthy object of ignorant, false and downright idiotic vituperation.
For all the talk about how “dissent is patriotism” and all that mealy-mouthed sloganeering, the left sure doesn’t seem to tolerate dissent all that well. So far you have Atrios calling Ana Marie Cox a “wanker”, and now Richard Cohen getting blasted with barely-literate emails from leftists enraged that he wouldn’t cop to Stephen Colbert being the funniest man ever to walk the earth. Apparently when it comes to matters Bush, you’re either with the BDS crowd or you’re against them.
Cohen then observes:
But the message in this case truly is the medium. The e-mails pulse in my queue, emanating raw hatred. This spells trouble — not for Bush or, in 2008, the next GOP presidential candidate, but for Democrats. The anger festering on the Democratic left will be taken out on the Democratic middle. (Watch out, Hillary!) I have seen this anger before — back in the Vietnam War era. That’s when the antiwar wing of the Democratic Party helped elect Richard Nixon. In this way, they managed to prolong the very war they so hated.
The hatred is back. I know it’s only words now appearing on my computer screen, but the words are so angry, so roiled with rage, that they are the functional equivalent of rocks once so furiously hurled during antiwar demonstrations. I can appreciate some of it. Institution after institution failed America — the presidency, Congress and the press. They all endorsed a war to rid Iraq of what it did not have. Now, though, that gullibility is being matched by war critics who are so hyped on their own sanctimony that they will obliterate distinctions, punishing their friends for apostasy and, by so doing, aiding their enemies. If that’s going to be the case, then Iraq is a war its critics will lose twice — once because they couldn’t stop it and once more at the polls.
I think Cohen is exactly right. The absolute rage of the Democratic base isn’t something that can be bottled up. The more the Democrats are convinced they’re going to win, the more free they feel to let everyone know what they really think – which means that they’re going to go full-blast towards a politically-motivated witch hunt against the Administration. Granted, the Democrats have one truly good policy prescription in bringing back the PAYGO rules of the Budget Enforcement Act, but that’s only because they can use it as a way of raising taxes rather than cutting spending. However, the real focus is on their Ahab-like fixation with taking down President Bush.
Even if the Democrats manage to pick up enough seats to retake the House (which is possible, but still less likely than the Democrats would believe), it’s bad for the Democratic Party. The impeachment proceedings against President Clinton led to a loss of 5 Republican House seats in 1998 – a Democratic witch-hunt of the President in 2007 could cripple the Democratic Party. People are already sick and tired of the childish culture of partisanship in Washington, and a Democratic House would be terrible for the country, but good for the Republican Party. The GOP needs a slap to the face to get back in shape, and once the American people get a taste of the insanity of today’s Democratic Party, 2008 could be a landslide.
There are six months until the election. Six months is enough time for the Democrats to collapse and possibly enough for the Republicans to get their crap together. Given the hyper-partisan insanity of the Democratic base, I’m guessing the former is quite a bit more likely than the latter.