Monday, November 08, 2004

Strangers in a Normal Land

Everybody is asking the same basic question: "Whither the Democrats?" "What will the libs do now?" "How will they regroup?" "WILL they regroup?" "Will they figure out why they lost and fix the problems so that they can be nationally competitive again?"

Everybody, that is, except me. Because I really, truly, honestly, genuinely do not care.

What we all have to get our minds around before anything else on this subject is that today's distraught, quasi-suicidal Democrats are not some new breed or manifestation of leftie. They are, in point of fact, the same smug, smirking, arrogant, belittling moral supremicists who lorded the Clinton Hedony over what is now known as "red state America" throughout the 1990s. They're the same people who were chortlingly chanting, "Give 'em health, Hillary!" in 1994, the same people who were doing the macarena right through 1996, and the same people who ridiculed Republicans into running away from impeachment in 1998 and consequently blowing that year's congressional elections.

I leave off at that point because, seen in retrospect, Clinton's impeachment is when, for them, the music died. What is most telling is that, six years later, they're still not aware of it.

Something, well, strange happened after the '98 mid-terms. Republicans had finally had enough - enough of the bullying, enough of the abuse, enough of the insults, enough of the put-downs. For the first time since they'd taken Congress four years earlier, they finally put their majorities to some good, old-fashioned, partisan hardball use. True, the Senate didn't remove Mr. Bill from office, but that wasn't the point. The point was that the GOP at long last started fighting fire with fire. And the Dems, outraged that the opposition was actually acting like an opposition, didn't know how to handle it.

So they got mad. They vowed that they'd make sure the Republicans "paid" for their "blasphemous" temerity at the polls in 2000. Payback, they said, would be a bitch.

Except that there wasn't any "payback," at least as the libs were envisioning it. They more or less broke even in Congress, and they lost the White House, in a fashion that made them forget all about impeachment.

Had George W. Bush won in 2000 as he did last week, we'd have gotten a more muted version of what we've heard for the past six days. Winning the way he actually did four years ago, it took a party that was merely vengeful and made them collectively psychopathic. It was a reaction that I can only compare to how Muslims have constructed entire mythologies to explain away the existence and persistence of the state of Israel, smack dab in the middle of "dar al Islam," a humiliation their culture simply cannot abide. Similarly, Dems couldn't admit that their candidate simply lost, fair and square, by an agonizingly paper-thin margin precisely because of to whom he lost.

Just as Bill Clinton was the personification of everything that "red state America" morally abhors, so George Bush is the embodiment of everything against which "blue state America" is virulently and bigotedly prejudiced. Aside from nationality, race, gender, and species, there could not be two more opposite human beings, at least in the eyes of their respective supporters.

If there were such a thing as karma, I would say that Bush is the left's penance for its Clinton indulgence.

In any case, the combination of Bush winning and the way he won sent liberals over the edge. But that was still only the beginning.

Being contemptuous of the new President, Dems were cocksure that Dubya's would be a caretaker regime at best, one that they could dominate given his ostensible absence of a mandate. But he didn't cooperate. "Rube" that he was, he thought that acceding to the powers of his office meant that he could fully exercise them. And that's what he did.

He started scoring victories. John Ashcroft as A-G. His first tax cut. No Child Left Behind. Judicial appointments. This wasn't supposed to be happening. It was all a bad dream.

Then came 9/11, and the bad dream became a nightmare. Bush's popularity skyrocketed. It was no longer fashionable to openly personally disparage the man who was now the nation's leader in a time of crisis and war.

So Dems waited about as long as they could stand - eight months or so - and the floodgates re-opened with the first of many conpiracist charges, that Bush "knew the attacks were coming and did nothing!" What Zell Miller called their "manic obsession with bringing down the commander-in-chief" was now elevated even above national security and the safety of the homeland.

Libs degenerated into crazed, brain-dead reactionaries. Anything Bush was for they reflexively opposed to the death, and anything he was against they advocated to the heights of hysteria. Thus did the supposed "moron" and "idiot" effortlessly manuever them into a de facto declaration of war against Saddam Hussein right before the '02 mid-terms, which won the President his warmaking authority and failed to prevent history-defying GOP gains in that round of congressional elections.

That was the final ingredient for the left's stew of insanity. They concluded from the '02 election defeats that they hadn't been LOUD and EXTREME enough. What they had to do to win in '04 - which was considered a foregone conclusion - was move even further to the left, ratchet up the anti-Bush bile, and Americans would rise up and cashier both the hated "cowboy" and his entire party en masse.

So out came the backstabbers (Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke), the propaganda flicks (Fahrenheit 911), the assassination "satire" (e.g. Checkpoint). Bushophobia was born.

Because the White House conceded the political playing field for ten months after Operation Iraqi Freedom was concluded, Dems were able to erode away the President's entire PR cushion. But this only hardened their miscalculation that the '04 election would be solely a negative referendum on George Bush. And this, in turn, confirmed their belief in the efficacy of their detestable tactics and the absence of any pressing need to put up a challenger that was more than just a minimally acceptable alternative.

Thus, that alternative, John Kerry, proved incapable of exploiting the most favorable political conditions humanly possible, given the current political landscape. The left's reaction? Turn up the Bushophobic hate even louder. Still didn't work.

When the President finally fully engaged in the campaign at the GOP convention, and shot out to a healthy lead in the polls, the incidents of partisan road rage, vandalism, physical assaults, burglaries and drive-by shootings of Bush-Cheney and GOP offices, and massive vote fraud scams started to surface all across the country.

But even this near-insurrection - a complete abandonment of even the pretense that Democrats are nationally competitive in favor of open, blatant thuggery and corruption - wasn't enough to turn the tide.

George Bush won. Both the popular vote and the Electoral College. An outright majority of both. And brought larger GOP majorities into Congress with him.

The left's nightmare is now complete.

When the British surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781, they turned in their muskets and marched out to the tune The World Turned Upside-Down. The Democrat Party has met its Yorktown. Also its Waterloo. In their current mental and ideological configuration, they are politically dead as a smelt. If what they hurled at George Bush that last few years couldn't defeat him and his party, nothing can.

If they want to come back, they're going to have to make some major changes. And chief among them is the relinquishment of their ingrained rage, hate, and cultural bigotry, and a move back toward the American political mainstream.

It'll never happen. Why? Two reasons:

1) It's too soon. They had to lose three presidential elections in a row in the '80s before they went back to the only formula that's worked for them since 1960, tapping an outwardly moderate Southern governor. And while they won't be facing Bush's veep as heir apparent (unless somebody replaces Dick Cheney between now and then), having an open race will stimulate their inbred, overween conceit almost as much as if W were indirectly involved.

2) They didn't lose this election badly enough. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, but in politics it is the fodder for all manner of escapist excuse-making. Thus, the breathtaking irony of a party that is fading into national irrelevance as a result of tactics that topped out its shrinking, losing hand.

A blowout loss would have left no options save a mass housecleaning or a mass suicide. But being, in their minds, within sight of the summit yet unable to traverse that final distance - in essence, the Florida psychosis rehashed - is intolerable.

And since Bush is now undeniably "legitimate," the focus of the left's bottomless rage is broadened to include all 59 million and change who voted for him.

Yes, it's the fault of the “self-righteous, gun-totin’, military-lovin’, abortion-hatin’, gay-loathin’, foreigner-despisin’, non-passport-ownin’ rednecks"; the "Christian jihadists"; the mouth-breathing snake-handlers "who believe God gave America the biggest dick in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us and make their land 'free and strong'."

Amazing, isn't it? Classist snobbery, religious bigotry, and penis envy, all at the same time.

Having sysoped a political forum for the past five years (and participated in them for years and years before that), this isn't anything I haven't seen before. What is new is that the heretofore "elites" of the lib commentariat have rhetorically descended to the level of the bottom-feeders at ratholes like the Democratic Forum and Democratic Underground.

"The election results reflect the decision of the right wing to cultivate and exploit ignorance in the citizenry," writes Jane Smiley, a woman who, as Jonah Goldberg put it today, "couldn't catch a clue if you used one as a pestle and her brain pan as the mortar."

Then there are the two ace liberal columnists at the New York Times, Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman. Goldberg pegs them beautifully: "As we all know, one's a whining self-parody of a hysterical liberal who lets feminine emotion and fear defeat reason and fact in almost every column. The other used to date Michael Douglas. But both of them have been writing a string of columns insisting that the Bushies ran a campaign of 'divisiveness,' 'primitivism,' and 'fear.'"

Git thayt, all hew rednacks? The other side can call us racists and compare us to the Taliban and defend child sacrifice and perpetrate draft hoaxes and threaten the elderly with repeal of their Social Security, but it's the Bushies who were playing dirty - by contesting the election at all. Because as we're all supposed to know by now, who you are, not what you do, determines your moral standing in the Amerika our "betters" want to forcibly create.

Jonah continued: "Thank goodness Dowd has picked up the slack. Her columns of late aren't the clever highbrow snarks they once were; once she knew how to sweeten the bile. Now her op-ed page real estate hits your desk like a bucket of vomit with some Body Shop potpourri sprinkled across the surface."

Gotta love that visual.

But Mark Steyn had an even better one:

"In all but six states, the Republican vote went up: the urinating rednecks have increased their number not just in Texas and Mississippi but in Massachusetts and California, both of which have Republican governors. You can drive from coast to coast across the middle of the country and never pass through a single county that voted for John Kerry: it's one continuous cascade of self-righteous urine from sea to shining sea."

This is what prompted's Eric Alterman to cluck: "Slightly more than half of the citizens of this country simply do not care about what those of us in the 'reality-based community' say or believe about anything." Distilled to its essence, this comment is expressed in three words on a sign held by a sneering punk in San Francisco last week: "FUCK MIDDLE AMERICA."

Steyn's retort was classic: "Almost right, man. It would be more accurate to say that 'MIDDLE AMERICA' has "Fucked" you, and it will continue to do so every two years as long as Democrats insist that anyone who disagrees with them is, ipso facto, a simpleton - or 'Neanderthal,' as Teresa Heinz Kerry described those unimpressed by her husband's foreign policy. In my time, I've known dukes, marquesses, earls, viscounts and other members of Britain's House of Lords and none of them had the contempt for the masses one routinely hears from America's coastal elites. And, in fairness to those ermined aristocrats, they could afford Dem-style contempt: A seat in the House of Lords is for life; a Senate seat in South Dakota isn't."

More to the point:

"In affirming the traditional definition of marriage in 11 state referenda, from darkest Mississippi to progressive enlightened Kerry-supporting Oregon, the American people were not expressing their 'gay-loathin', so much as declining to go the Kelly route and have their 'betters' tell them what they can think. They're not going to have marriage redefined by four Massachusetts judges and a couple of activist mayors. That doesn't make them Bush theo-zombies marching in lockstep to the gay lynching, just freeborn citizens asserting their right to dissent from today's established church - the stifling coercive theology of political correctness enforced by a secular episcopate."

And for that, we get Lawrence O'Donnell advocating "blue" state secession (he might want to take a look at the election results by county; the only states that are majority "blue" lie entirely east of New York, which means lib refugees would have to invade Canada just to have enough elbow room to keep giving "red state" America the finger), Garrison Keillor advocating "a national campaign to pass a constitutional amendment to take the right to vote away from born-again Christians," and Dean Murphy making a not-so-oblique appeal for the assassination of President Bush.

The thing is, ladies and gentlemen, these people are not kidding. This is not just the sourest of grapes. This isn't the ultimate in sore-loserdom. This is what they really believe. It's what they've always believed. They've just never been brought down low enough to where they felt they had nothing to lose by admitting it.

This is what frightened me about a Kerry victory more than even the terrorism issue - that America-hating neototalitarians like O'Donnell and Keillor and Murphy and Dowd and Krugman and Michael Moore and San Francisco Sign Guy would gain power over the country, including "Jesusland," with "no check in the federal government and no check in the world," possessing "an unfettered playing field."

This is why I don't care how they're "feeling" or what they're "thinking" or if they figure out why they keep losing. Because at their current, and accelerating, rate of descent, they're going to pass, if they haven't already, the point where they won't bother maintaining the facade of respect for democracy (respect for the rule of law went out the window with Clinton's impeachment) and will move toward open rebellion - think "insurgency" - and overthrow of the United States government.

Don't laugh. 56 million people voted for John Kerry. If, say, 0.1% of them decided to take up arms and launch a campaign of domestic terrorism, that's 56,000 left-wing fighters fully convinced that they're engaged in "saving the country" from its "neoNazi occupiers."

Here's just the latest example:

"A police officer reported Friday night that about 100 people wearing masks and gloves were walking down a street near the headquarters, police Captain D.S. Overman said.

Officers investigating that report found a second group 'vandalizing and damaging' the GOP headquarters, said police Major D.R. Lane.

"'The vandalism was a 'planned and orchestrated event,' police spokesman Jim Sughrue said. "This is not a political statement. A political statement is what we made Tuesday. This is a crime."

"The officers found several spent fireworks, poster boards with slogans and spray-painted expletives on the walls. At least two windows were broken and police said it appeared that the vandals tried to put incendiary devices inside the building." [my emphasis]

Would car bombs be that big a next step? Seems like a lot smaller one than backing away from the abyssal precipice on which the American Left is teetering.

This, then, is the ultimate Clinton legacy: a corrupt, extremist party bereft of moderation, leadership, and perspective. A party so 'round the bend that even Bill Clinton himself has rebuked them for it. A party that is, in the title of Zell Miller's book, a national party no more.

And a party that, much like a drug addict overwhelmed by withdrawal pains, is looking to Mr. Bill's wife for its salvation. Open insurrection might actually be a preferable fate for ALL the states, regardless of tint.

But one thing we can count on as Hillary's coronational procession embarks: she and her weak-tickered hubby will not proceed under the presumption that they can spend four years telling 51% of America to fuck off and expect to ride a landslide victory back into the White House.

I would suggest that the secessionists, neofascists, and/or insurgents tone themselves down several hundred decibels, lest their mineral water start tasting funny in the not-too-distant future.