The Democratic response to dissent is a lot like their governing style: partisan, arrogant, and self-righteous. In recent weeks, various Democratic factotums have lectured the public about “extreme” rhetoric, insinuating that the Tea Party takes its cues from The Turner Diaries. Some liberals suffer from a pathological inability to refer to the Tea Party by its name, preferring a crude and infantile sexual epithet. The folks waving signs and holding peaceful rallies have been insulted as fakes, wackos, ignoramuses, racists, nihilists, and hicks suffering from status anxiety. But when a poll revealed the Tea Party movement is better educated and wealthier than the electorate at large, a prominent Washington Post columnist summarily dismissed the movement as the “populism of the privileged.” The lines of attack change, but the message is always the same: Go home. Shut up. Let us do what we want.
There’s a word for this sort of overbearing, priggish intimidation: bullying. And like a lot of bullying, the Democrats’ behavior seems to stem from deep-seated insecurities. Maybe the Democrats are not as confident in government as they appear. Maybe they worry about the massive deficits and the hemorrhaging public debt. Maybe they read the same polls we do, the ones showing the public shifting right, Republicans leading the generic ballot, Republican-leaning independents returning to the GOP, congressional approval and support for incumbents at record lows, and the conservative base in a state of wild enthusiasm.
And, do you know something? They're right to be insecure. I have been on the receiving end of two electoral drubbings, for two electoral cycles straight; and I was on the giving end of one in 2004. So I know what one feels like, from either side; and the Democrats are setting themselves up for an epic version of same*. And I can more or less guarantee that the folks that will be elected in November are going to be distinctly uninterested in playing nice with the political party that will have spent the last four years at that point blaming us for their failures. Which are numerous, systematic, and quite comprehensive.
Put another way? Matthew finishes:
Maybe the bully party, in other words, is simply acting out.
And maybe we don't give a tinker's dam.
*This would be the point where a person writing about this situation feels almost obligated to cover their bases with a 'Of course, the situation can still change' - but it is now less than six months to Election Day, so one wonders when - or if - the Democrats were going to get started with repairing their situation.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.