Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Conservative Chagrin and Chutzpah

During the past couple of weeks, I've been watching Fox and, in spite of my dislike for Obama, can't help but be alternately amazed and pleased by the Conservative response to his (forthcoming) election.

Conservative Chagrin
It has been nothing short of joyful, in a way, to see the constant complaining about "liberal media bias". Now, obviously, this is nothing new. Conservatives have been complaining about liberal bias for at least 30-40 years. But, this time, of course, they are right. The media has been, since Feb., almost solidly for Obama. And one can see in their faces and hear in their voices their amazement that, this year, their complaints are not being heard and not being acted upon. The media have failed to latch onto any of the time-proven attacks on a Democratic Presidential candidate - even when, as is true re Obama - many of the attacks are truthful in whole or in part. These Conservatives, quite simply, are baffled by this change. It isn't the way things are supposed to be.

This year, Conservatives like Kristal, Krauthammer, Barnes, Limbaugh, etc. have outdone themselves and given a whole new meaning to the word "chutzpah".

First, of course, there is the utter dismay that "tax and spend liberals" will be in charge of the public purse. Horror of horrors, they fear for the national debt. Naturally, not a word about the "borrow and spend Republicans". Not a word about a Republican President and Congress that entered into a war of choice and not only did not raise taxes to support it but actually reduced taxes - something, I think, that has never occurred before.

Second: all the hand wringing about one party controlling Congress. Need one point out that there were no such concerns about the Republican Party controlling all the branches of government?

Third, Russ Limbaugh blamed the current economic crisis on Jimmy Carter! Like Reagan never happened. Like Bush 1 & 2 never happened. Our financial problems are all due to the Democrats.

Fourth, deficits matter! Yep, now that the Democrats are in control, it is important for them to recognize that they can't just spend money because of the deficit. For the past 8 years, after the Shrub turned Clinton's surplus into the biggest deficit in history, they have told us the deficit doesn't matter because it is still just a small part of the GNP.

Fifth, most recently, there was talk that, even if Obama won by a large majority, the Democrats should not assume that they have a mandate! Election night, Barnes was practically apoplectic about a liberal agenda. And he believes it is the Democrats who have shown no inclination to compromise! No inclination to compromise? That's all the Democrats have done for the past two decades. Which party was it that threatened the "nuclear" option in the Senate (a change in rules)? Oh, yea, it was the Republicans.

Good grief. Bush, in 2000, having won the Presidency only because of a Republican Supreme Court, started governing as if he had had a Reagan-type landslide. And I didn't hear a peep from any Conservative that, maybe, it was unwise or unjustifiable. One wonders if, once Obama is safely in office, the media will go back to their Republican souls and repeat this advice and concern that Democrats must be careful not to overreach themselves. (Update: Yep, it's already happening and Obama hasn't been President-elect for even 24 hours.)

Krauthammer, however, wins the prize for schizophrenia (i.e., a total disconnect from reality). This four-star misogynist asserted a couple weeks back on Fox that feminists hate Palin because she chose not to abort a fifth pregnancy when she learned the child would have Down's Syndrome. According to Krauthammer, her situation was the poster campaign for abortion, the reason (he made it sound like the "only" reason) feminists support abortion. Worse, he actually seems to believe the crap that he is spouting.

That these gray or bald heads (and the age of this cohort is quite noticeable) would pull out the old "tax and spend liberals" or rail against Democratic control of the Executive and Legislative branches is no surprise of course. That one-party rule isn't good for the country, that the American People prefer divided government, that the Party in control cannot assume it has a mandate are all familiar, and silly, refrains. Did any of these Conservatives worry about one-party control when the party in question was Republican? Of course not.

What offends me, however, is not their opinions. It is their pretense that all their concerns about the deficit, governing from the left rather than the center, one-party control of Washington, etc., etc. are based on principle.

And that, my friends, is the political definition of chutzpah.

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