I admire both Victor Davis Hanson and Michelle Malkin, but tend to put them in quite different categories as commentators. Today, though, Hanson seemed to be channeling Michelle in his Real Clear Politics column, Liberals Gone Wild!. It’s straight out of Unhinged:
Why do Republicans drive leftists so crazy these days? Liberal democrats are beginning to sound like rowdy students on spring break, shrieking and exhibiting themselves on camera.
Hanson cites chapter and verse, from Jay Rockefeller and Jack Murtha to ex-Presidents Carter and Clinton, and from Ted Turner to Columbia University. Hanson wonders:
What sends liberal criticism over the edge into pathological hysteria?
Is it that George Bush is a polarizing figure, not just in terms of his Iraq policy, but also because of his Christian Texan demeanor?
Or is the current left-wing savagery also a legacy of the tribal 1960s, when out-of-power protestors felt that expressions of speaking bluntly, even crudely, were at least preferable to “artificial” cultural restraint? Why should graying veterans of the barricades, then, remain “polite” when their country’s less sophisticated red-state yokels are taking it in the wrong direction?
The Democrats have not elected congressional majorities in 12 years, and they’ve occupied the White House in only eight of the last 26 years. The left’s current unruliness seems a way of scapegoating others for a more elemental frustration – that they can’t gain a national majority based on their core beliefs. More entitlements, higher taxes to pay for them, gay marriage, de facto quotas in affirmative action, open borders, abortion on demand, and radical secularism – these liberal issues don’t tend to resonate with most Americans.
To compensate, leftist pundits, billionaire philanthropists and politicians, from current officeholders to ex-presidents, work to ensure that isolated moments of Republican ineptness (George Bush strutting on a carrier deck in his flight suit) and wrongdoing (repulsive e-mails from a perverted Congressman Mark Foley) blare out as the only issues of the day. This distracting drumbeat, not their own agenda, is the only strategy for success in the next election.
Is it too much to see in the growing hysteria an implicit threat? “You’d better put us back in power, or we’ll really go nuts!”