Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Kevin Drum:

I don't really blame conservatives for being upset at liberals trying pin the blame for the Giffords shooting on them, but the furious defensiveness of their counterattack says all that needs to be said about how uncomfortable they are with their own recent history.

No it doesn't. They're not defensive; they're going on defense. Or, if you prefer, on offense. It's not the same thing at all. Their reaction says one thing and one thing only: they're afraid they may suffer a rare loss on this one in the court of public opinion -- undeserved, in their opinion -- and they are going to do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn't happen, or at least to minimize the damage.

This is pretty much the same reaction the right and the tea party movement had when they began to be accused of racism: there was one concession (the resignation of nakedly racist teabag leader Mark Williams),there was a strenuous effort to trot out non-white faces at tea party rallies, and there was a lot of "I know you are, but what am I?" lashing out at liberals ("the real racists"). Maybe you think right-wingers felt generally abashed at the level of racial inclusiveness on their side; maybe Kevin Drum thinks that. I sure don't. And I don't think the right is experiencing any self-doubt now. They just see this as a tougher battle than they usually have to fight -- but one they fully expect to win, as usual.

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