Reduced To An Apoplectic Rage

The New York Times and the rest of the Democratic media are definitely off their meds. It’s even too much for one reasonably sane liberal, the Washington Post’s liberal columnist Charles Lane, who notes:

Michael Ramirez

…liberals are in deep, deep denial about their own incivility issues. Consider the “terrorism” analogy now being aimed at the Tea Party by Democratic members of Congress — in the acquiescent presence of the vice president, no less — and by some journalists who sympathize with the Democrats. To pick just one example of the genre, today’s New York Times carries Joe Nocera’s column, “Tea Party’s War Against America.”

According to Nocera, President Obama’s debt-ceiling deal with the Republicans violated a basic rule: “Never negotiate with terrorists. It only encourages them.” He adds: “Much of the country has watched in horror as the Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people.” These “intransigent” spending cutters were indifferent to “blowing up the country” in pursuit of their goals. They are indifferent to “inflicting more pain on their countrymen” via “the terrible toll $2.4 trillion in cuts will take on the poor and the middle class” and the extra unemployment it will bring.

I’m puzzled. The Times editorial board only recently condemned “many on the right” for “exploit[ing] the arguments of division,” and “demonizing immigrants, or welfare recipients, or bureaucrats.” Right-wingers, The Times notes, “seem to have persuaded many Americans that the government is not just misguided, but the enemy of the people.”

So how can it be okay for Times columnists to demonize the Tea Party and try to persuade Americans that they are not just misguided, but the enemies of the people?…

Terrorists are people who commit acts of physical violence, or threaten them, to influence politics. Tea Party members of Congress, by contrast, ran for office, got elected, and are now casting votes in the national legislature according to what they promised and what their constituents want. In the debt-ceiling debate, they played hardball politics in pursuit of their principles, as they see them.

If there’s any violence, or threat of violence there, or any law-breaking at all — much less a “jihad,” I can’t see it.

The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto explains the roots of the rage:

…”Terrorist,” “racist,” “uncivil,” “insane,” the list goes on–in this context, these words have no real meaning. They are mere epithets. The Obama presidency has reduced the liberal left to an apoplectic rage. His Ivy League credentials, superior attitude, pseudo-intellectual mien and facile adherence to lefty ideology make him the perfect personification of the liberal elite. Thus far at least, he has been an utter failure both at winning public support and at managing the affairs of the nation.

Obama’s failure is the failure of the liberal elite, and that is why their resentment has reached such intensity. Their ideas, such as they are, are being put to a real-world test and found severely wanting. As a result, their authority is collapsing. And if there is one thing they know deep in their bones, it is that they are entitled to that authority. They lash out, desperately and pathetically, because they have nothing to offer but fear and anger.

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