I keep hearing that the business establishment in America is furious at Crazy Caucus Republicans -- and I've always understood that The Wall Street Journal is the voice of that business establishment. The Journal's editorial page has long been a somewhat separate entity, traditionally further to the right than the rest of the Journal, but its wingnuttery has been a corporatist wingnuttery.
So what do I see today in the Journal's opinion section? Jim DeMint of the Heritage Foundation making no apologies for nearly inducing a global economic depression, and asserting that if the normal levers of government don't permit him to get what he wants, he'll just pick up any weapon at hand and threaten to destroy the whole machinery of the government all over again if he sees fit:
Jim DeMint: We Won't Back Down on ObamaCareYes -- "a reasonable and necessary fight" even if it's unwinnable except via extortion. Hope you're happy to read that, Chamber of Commerce members.
Now that the government shutdown has ended and the president has preserved ObamaCare for the time being, it's worth explaining why my organization, the Heritage Foundation, and other conservatives chose this moment to fight -- and why we will continue to fight. The reason is simple: to protect the American people from the harmful effects of this law....
Yes, I can hear many conservative friends saying to me right around this point: "Jim, we agree with you that ObamaCare is going to wreck the country, but elections have consequences."
... the lives of most Americans are not dominated by the electoral cycle. They shouldn't have to wait three more years for Congress to give them relief from this law.... Full legislative repeal may not be possible while President Obama remains in office, but delaying implementation by withholding funds from a law that is proven to be unfair, unworkable and unaffordable is a reasonable and necessary fight....
Wander over to Peggy's Noonan's column and you'll find her offering support for the crazies as well, even if she thinks their tactics are a bit much. Noonan's column is one of her bizarre acts of ventriloquism. In this case she claims to be channeling the voice of Senator Robert Taft from beyond the grave. He tells her that, although they need to learn to play nice and compromise, he kind of likes the teabaggers:
... He feels more sympathy toward the tea party than the establishment. "Their policy aims, while somewhat inchoate, seem on the right track. They need to be clearer about what they're for -- intellectually more ordered. They can't lead with their hearts."Teabaggers are the solution and hedge-fund billionaires are the problem! Got that, Journal readers?
The establishment? "My goodness -- lobbyists, consultants. I gather there's now something called hedge-fund billionaires." The establishment has a lot to answer for. "What they gave the people the past 10 years was two wars and a depression. That loosened faith in institutions and left people feeling had. They think, 'What will you give us next, cholera?'"
The tea party, in contrast, seems to him to be "trying to stand for a free citizenry in the age of Lois Lerner. They're against this professional class in government that thinks we're a nation of donkeys pulling their wingèd chariot.
"Their impatience with the status quo is right. Their sense of urgency is right. Their insight that the party in power has gone to the left of where America really is -- right on that, too."
Add this to the William Galston's Journal op-ed from a couple of days ago, which admiringly described the teabaggers as Jacksonians "whose key tenets include self-reliance, individualism, loyalty and courage," and you have to wonder what the Fortune 500 CEO at the breakfast table is thinking. To me it's starting to feel like the right-wing equivalent of some mythical moment in the late 1960s when the local suburban paper suddenly decides to run an op-ed from Eldridge Cleaver in exile, while declaring on the editorial page that, gee, the kids who blew up the ROTC building a week ago might have chosen an inappropriate way to get their message across, but really, aren't they sort of like a modern-day equivalent of our Founding Fathers? The war comes home....