Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Democrats start their autopsy

Here's Frank Bruni in the NY Times: "The Democrats screwed up"
Other factors conspired in the party’s debacle. One in particular haunts me. From the presidential race on down, Democrats adopted a strategy of inclusiveness that excluded a hefty share of Americans and consigned many to a “basket of deplorables” who aren’t all deplorable. Some are hurt. Some are confused. 
Liberals miss this by being illiberal. They shame not just the racists and sexists who deserve it but all who disagree. A 64-year-old Southern woman not onboard with marriage equality finds herself characterized as a hateful boob. Never mind that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton weren’t themselves onboard just five short years ago. 
Political correctness has morphed into a moral purity that may feel exhilarating but isn’t remotely tactical. It’s a handmaiden to smugness and sanctimony, undermining its own goals.
Conservative humorist P.J. O'Rourke had it pegged a quarter-century ago:
The principal feature of American liberalism is sanctimoniousness. By loudly denouncing all bad things — war and hunger and date rape — liberals testify to their own terrific goodness. More important, they promote themselves to membership in a self-selecting elite of those who care deeply about such things.... It's a kind of natural aristocracy, and the wonderful thing about this aristocracy is that you don't have to be brave, smart, strong or even lucky to join it, you just have to be liberal.
Thanks to the opiate of political correctness, you can always feel superior by putting down all those rubes in flyover country who just don't get it:
But the left has work to do, not only on policy and organization but also on attitude. Too many of my progressive friends seem to have forgotten how to make actual arguments, and have become expert instead at condemnation, derision and mockery. On issue after issue, they’re very good at explaining why no one could oppose their policy positions except for the basest of motives. As to those positions themselves, they are too often announced with a zealous solemnity suggesting that their views are Holy Writ -- and those who disagree are cast into the outer political darkness. In short, the left has lately been dripping with hubris, which in classic literature always portends a fall.
President Four-putt is an expert at this approach.  In Obama's mind, there was never any principled opposition to his policies; there are only political opportunists, conservative back-benchers, and bigots.

This morning on Fox News Sunday, George Will echoed O'Rourke's idea that the Democrats treat Americans with condescension and cram policies through because "they know best."  This time, Americans said "enough."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While not disputing most of the above, which of these criticisms do not also apply to Republicans in equal measure? Aren't these human failings, not partisan ones?

If you don't see that the rubes in flyover country aren't just as smug, solemn and superior when they mock the coastal elites and their arugula abortion limousines - if you don’t get that you’re doing the same when you write “This time, Americans said “enough” (apparently dealing a blow to lesser “Americans”) - why, you must be drinking the Kool-Aid and singing kumbaya in your tinfoil hat.

Or are you just, as everyone likes to flatter themselves, “adopting their tactics”?

While you consider the unique style of derision and shaming practiced by the left, I'll remind you that Christianity remains under attack, Republicans never protest because they're too busy holding jobs, libtards are rooting for America to fail, all lives matter, the Founding Fathers agree with us, coastal elites simply don't share basic American values, the whole of Randian philosophy, derangement syndrome, hurricanes are caused by gays, this is a center-right nation, and on and on. And just so you don’t mistake sanctimonious conservative zealotry for a one-way street, death to “RINOs.”