I haven’t posted much about campaign season because the Olympics are on and I don’t like to encourage our sports-crazed culture any more than necessary. But I suppose one of the reasons why the GOP’s enthusiasm for turning banal examples of indiscretion into apocalyptic battles between Gog and Magog smothers Democrats is the latter’s shame over its liberal history. If the Democrats weren’t ashamed of it, then how couldn’t they frame arguments like Stanley Kurtz does?
How did we get here, and what does it mean for our future? Above all, now that our internal battle is well-and-truly out in the electoral open, will 2012 decide whether red America or blue America wins for good?
A Romney victory won’t quiet our national conflicts either. Although a Romney victory would be taken by conservatives as proof that we are still a center-right nation, the fact is that the mainstream media and our key cultural institutions are now in the hands of an increasingly ambitious left. The media barely hides its bias now, and they will come at a President Romney with everything they’ve got…
I won’t link to his National Review Online post; you can find it. The Increasingly Ambitious Left whose ambition is to beg Obama not to “reform” Social Security! You get the idea. Democrats are incapable of this kind of imbecility. They take pride in empirical thinking. That’s why they lose. Maybe not this time though. I was stunned when Harry Reid suddenly proved himself an agile purveyor of unfounded accusations — the kind of game in which Karl Rove has excelled. And still centrist types complained.
So let’s hope Paul Ryan proves as irresistable a target as he looks. Everybody gets what he wants: Ryan the patina of intellect that the Beltway pundit class confuses for the real thing, Romney the millions of dollars from the wealthy donors who are the only legitimate Ryan acolytes, and Stanley Kurtz gets his blue vs red playground brawl. But don’t listen to cable news sirens. Michael Grunwald:
I should probably just shut up about Paul Ryan, because I believe there’s a federal statute requiring pundits to marvel at his “seriousness” and “courage.” I think there’s also a constitutional mandate enshrining him as a “deficit hawk,” even though he voted for the Bush tax cuts, the Bush military and security spending binge, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, the bank bailout and the auto bailout, and against the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction plan.
Charles Pierce goes further:
Paul Ryan is an authentically dangerous zealot. He does not want to reform entitlements. He wants to eliminate them. He wants to eliminate them because he doesn’t believe they are a legitimate function of government. He is a smiling, aw-shucks murderer of opportunity, a creator of dystopias in which he never will have to live. This now is an argument not over what kind of political commonwealth we will have, but rather whether or not we will have one at all, because Paul Ryan does not believe in the most primary institution of that commonwealth: our government. The first three words of the Preamble to the Constitution make a lie out of every speech he’s ever given. He looks at the country and sees its government as something alien that is holding down the individual entrepreneurial genius of 200 million people, and not as their creation, and the vehicle through which that genius can be channelled for the general welfare
So, Dems, there’s a fight worth winning — if you want to fight it.