Friday, August 20, 2010


I love this quote from Politico's story about what is and isn't motivating conservatives to hate liberals and Democrats these days:

Pete Wehner, a former top official in the George W. Bush administration and a social conservative thinker, described the resistance to Obama as "beyond politics."

"What we're having here are debates about first principles," Wehner said. "A lot of people think he's trying to transform the country in a liberal direction in the way that Ronald Reagan did in a conservative direction. This is not the normal push and pull of politics. It gets down to the purpose and meaning of America."

Isn't that swell? Wehner's not even pretending to argue that Obama is the second coming of Mao Zedong or Hitler. He's saying that Obama just wants to take the country exactly as far too the left as Reagan took it to the right (an huge exaggeration of Obama's intent, I know, but hear me out) -- and he says that's just not acceptable. It's acceptable for Reagan to take the country X degrees to the right, but not for a Democrat to take the country X -- the same X -- degrees to the left. In fact, it's un-American! It tears away at the fabric of what America is!

If we were having an honest, well-informed discussion of modern American politics, we would acknowledge that this is what right-wingers believe: that governments to the left of a certain point simply should not be allowed to exist in America, regardless of any electoral results. And we would ask ourselves whether we still have a democracy if one party reserves the right, like guerrilla warlords, to destabilize any duly elected government that doesn't meet its criteria of acceptability.

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