I know, I know, some of my regular readers (well, actually, I don't have regular readers, all of my readers are superlative, but you know what I mean) may be skeptical. Some will doubt that I ever bother to expose myself to actual liberal thought, others will marvel that I would want to. (Some call the phrase redundant, others call it an oxymoron.)
(By the way, I mean actual thoughtful people like Andrew Sullivan and Joshua Micah Marshall and Patrick Nielsen-Hayden and John Perry Barlow, not the moonbat brigade that lazy conservatives like to point at.)
If you don't believe me so far, then you certainly won't buy my conclusions, so you may as well go read something else.
Still here? Thanks. I'm flattered.
Here's why Democrats are so apoplectic. It's not just because they lost an election.
Democrats enjoyed a largely undisturbed half-century of being the majority party in Washington. Most of the current crop of elected officials, and most of the electorate as well, cannot remember a time when that wasn't true.
Now the Senate, the House, and the White House are all dominated by the Republican party. The last time this happened was the 83rd Congress of 1953-55, under President Dwight Eisenhower. Before that you have to go back to the 62nd Congress of 1931-33 and President Herbert Hoover.
Republicans know how to cope with being the minority party. Democrats don't. They've never had to.
Democrats have been conditioned to think that liberal control of government is simply the natural order of things. Those who believe in such things might even say it is their Divine Right. The influence of Republicans, they think, is a transitory distraction they can afford to humor because it won't last long enough to make any real difference.
Except that this time it may.
This year's election wasn't a landslide by anyone's definition. (Have you seen Boing Boing's purple map?) But it was clearly not an aberration, either. And this conservative majority is lasting longer than the last two. If the President fulfills his promise to reform the IRS, Republicans will be national heroes. These "sad days" may last, oh, fifty years or more. What's a liberal to do?
Nicholas D. Kristof: "So Democrats need to give a more prominent voice to Middle American, wheat-hugging, gun-shooting, Spanish-speaking, beer-guzzling, Bible-toting centrists."Once you get over your apoplexy, you can also get over your condescending preconception of who the typical Republican voter is. America needs a serious opposition party, not a caricature of one. If we wanted a joke, we would have voted for Ralph Nader.
Mark Steyn: "H. L. Mencken said that no one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American people. Well, George Soros, Barbra Streisand and a lot of their friends just did."
Mark Morford: "You want a place, you say, that doesn't right this minute seem to be working heroically to make homophobia and born-again fundamentalism and pre-emptive isolationist warmongering and environmental ignorance a national religion. A place where SUVs aren't considered minor deities and where gay people aren't loathed for wanting to slice a wedding cake and where brazen heavily narcotized denial in the face of a veritable mountain of presidential lies isn't the national pastime."
Jeff Jarvis: "You'll never win an election if you make fun of people who go to church."
John Perry Barlow: "I am compelled to admit that I am genuinely out of touch with half my country. I feel like I'm suffering the death of a loved one. I'm not sure which of the stages of grief I've reached at this point, but I'm pretty well past denial. I'm mourning a number of losses, one of which is the belief that 'my side' is actually a clear majority that would reveal itself if we ever shuffled off our disdain for politics and voted in any force."Look, I'm not claiming that the left has a monopoly on self-delusion, I'm just saying this is beyond parody. The American left is facing emotional collapse in the aftermath of two elections that didn't go their way. If the right were such poor losers, there would no longer be an American right: Every Republican in the country would have slit his wrists when FDR was elected to a third term.
M Wisdom (in Barlow's reader comments, no direct link): "To non-Americans all around the world: ...If you visit the states (after being strip searched and DNA-tested), don't assume that everyone here in this country is a self-absorbed, prejudiced, fat, lazy, NASCAR fan with the I.Q. of a toaster. However, I do admit, the odds may be 51:49 you might run into someone like that. To the Conservatives, Republicans and Bush Supporters: Congratulations. You won. We lost. It's a shame the tables weren't turned, because we feel pretty confident that we're much better losers than you guys have ever been..."
And let's not even discuss this. I mean, refighting the Vietnam War worked so well for John Kerry, by all means, let's reopen the Civil War too. What about 1812? What did Madison know and when did he know it?