EMAIL OF THE DAY:
I just had a thought the last couple of weeks that your column today reminded me of. Is it just me, or is the constant Dem and MSM whining about every issue starting to have a "boy who cried wolf" effect? The whole Cheney shooting outrage has become laughable. They're this furious because of a few hour delay in an announcement? Obviously, the Dems are just stamping their feet and threatening to take their ball and go home, only to now realize that we have had their ball since 1994. They will bitch and complain about something every day, no matter how trivial, for the simple reason that Bush is still in office. At some point, doesn't the rest of America notice?
Excellent points all. Democrats who once raised legitimate and historically crucial questions about, say, civil rights, actually seem to believe Cheney's hunting experience rises to the same level of importance. Not surprising, actually. Today's liberal left hasn't had an original thought in at least three decades. Their template for any issue related to government integrity? Watergate. Their protypical Republican with executive power? Nixon. Their framework for thinking about any use of American military force? Viet Nam. And so the list goes, and grows. Watching leading Democrats demand an independent prosecutor for "the Cheney shooting" brings to mind Peter Sellers' legendary question (as Clousseau): "Do you have a lee-sahnce [license] for your minkey [monkey]?" We laugh at clowns not only for their painted faces or their loss of balance. We laugh at their earnest cluelessness. If we stop to think, we know the actor behind the makeup is pretending. Instinctively we know the Democrats aren't. We laugh, yet in some strange way it hurts and the pain is America's. The vitality of two-party politics goes into steep decline when one party thrives on malignance.
A friend recently asked if I had had any second thoughts about the political shift I declared in my essay Leaving the Left
. Not in the least, I replied. Yet on occasion I am simply embarrassed for what has become of the grand party of Humphrey and Harry Truman. This isn't nostalgia for good-old-days long gone; it's really a matter of favoring a fair match. I often find myself rooting for a referee to step in and stop the fight, in the same way I want a badly bloodied boxer to be spared gratuitious blows to the head. I've no sympathy for the wacked-out, anti-American left, but something akin to sportsmanship makes me wish they would at least bring out their best athlete. Then it occurs: Perhaps their best boxers are the pathetic characters who walk into the political ring every day, slinking away after making humorless morons of themselves yet again: Kennedy, Reid, Pelosi, Biden, Schumer, Durbin.
My Republican friends love this, and I understand why: it makes them look good by comparison. But the GOP of today is looking less and less like the party of Reagan; that's not a good thing. And so, while I have no hint of nostalgia for the liberal left I do find it harder by the day to get very excited about the big government conservativism of Hastert and Frist (too often aided and abetted by George W. Bush).