Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Characterizing Republicans

In his column today, the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne, Jr. writes this:

In the short term, Democrats can argue reasonably that raising taxes or slashing programs before the economy has recovered would be bad policy. And they can assert that the commission Obama has named to grapple with the deficit will clarify the trade-offs between tax increases and program cuts. This, in turn, will open the way for a more rational argument about deficits.

It would be nice if things worked out this way. But between now and then lies an election campaign likely to be characterized more by anger than reason, and in which the opposition has the advantage of not being in charge at a moment of great discontent. Sisyphus would understand. And Obama will have to get used to it.

Here you will find, in two brief paragraphs, a nice embodiment of the attitude of modern-day liberals, whose frustration at the public’s intensifying unhappiness with Mr. Obama and his agenda has to be explained some way or another. What on earth to do? Why, here’s an idea: let’s frame the coming election campaign as one that is “likely to be characterized more by anger than reason.”

Funny how that happens, isn’t it? So often when Republicans and conservatives make political inroads, it’s fueled by irrational emotions, the product – let’s read between the lines, shall we? – of slightly unhinged people, being driven off the rails by “great discontent.”

It’s all nonsense, of course. The reality is that the opposition to Obama is based on a fairly reasonable understanding of what he and his agenda are doing to our country. The Left can continue to pretend it is opposition anchored in obscurantism, but this form of self-delusion will come at a high political cost.