Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The decline of liberalism

Today's quote of the day belongs to James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal's online opinion page, OpinionJournal.com. In his daily Best of the Web, Taranto notes a letter in the Yale University newspaper, which observes that left-wing "nonchalance" to the admission of a former Taliban spokesman to the school is brought about by the fact that the main opponents are conservative.

Taranto concludes:
During the past several years liberalism has come to be defined less by what it stands for than by whom it stands against. "The enemy of George Bush is my friend" might as well be the credo of American liberals at this moment in history. And since George Bush is the leader of our country, it follows that "the enemy of my country is my friend."

Correcting this may require waiting another three years, until Bush is out of office. In 2009 either a Democrat or a different Republican will be president. In the former case, liberals will have to act responsibly; in the latter, they will be forced to face the reality that hatred of Bush is not sufficient to win elections. Until then, brace yourself for more of the same.
Let's take the two possible 2009 outcomes in reverse order: If Republicans retain the White House, will Democrats admit that their "anything but Bush" mentality is hurting them? Not likely. I think they're so wrapped up in their hatred and in their blind Pied Pipership behind groups like MoveOn.org that they will only grow that much more shrill and irresponsible if they fail in '08.

Oh sure, there will be voices on the left crying for moderation and responsibility, but they will be drowned out by the Cindy Sheehans on the Democratic left; these far-left flame throwers will be trumpeted by a liberal media still looking for the next Bush National Guard story. (As an example of how difficult this will be for liberals, read the next section of Best of the Web, which notes Katrina Vanden Heuvel's Washington Post column calling for an end to labeling political opponents with Nazi terms, followed within hours by Vanden Heuvel's appearance on an ABC news show in which she equated Congressman Tom Tancredo with Neo-Nazi David Duke.) If you're currently annoyed by far-left tactics like filibusters from Switzerland and calls for full troop withdrawals in the next three days, just wait until the Democrats lose another national election. Their poor sportsmanship and statesmanship will know no bounds.

If Democrats win the White House, will they act "responsibly"? Likely moreso than they have over the lifespan of George W. Bush's White House occupancy. With the future of the country in the balance, they will have to find someone who can be a grownup. But responsibility does not necessarily equate to responsible leadership, as some of Bush's domestic decisions have shown. Will "responsibly" mean handing nuclear technology to North Korea and Iran in exchange for some meaningless commitment? Abandoning Iraq to whatever forces are strongest among the Kurds, Shiites, Sunnis, al-Queda and whoever else is hanging around? Ending the tax cuts that have been key to the economic recovery? Refusing to acknowledge -- and even legislating against -- the importance of the marriage between one man and one woman? Walking in lockstep with the most extreme elements of abortion on demand?

If you're as frightened by this prospect as I am, it's time to Paint the Map Red. Don't let the media tell you that 2006 is a lost cause for the GOP -- go out and fight for a permanent Republican majority. A good way to start would be by casting your vote for Jason Atkinson in the GOP race for Oregon's governor. Ballots go out in a few weeks.


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