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November 7, 2004

To the servant's quarters, all of you!

Posted by Phil on November 7, 2004 7:09 PM

Naturally, having lost the election in such a brutal fashion relative to the stakes and expectations, we could expect, in addition to the bitter self-recrimination to which liberals are prone, a lot of smug dismissals of all that we believe from the Establishment Right. (The Frothing Right will, of course, be employing flamethrowers, urine, and gravel cannons.)

Which is why I wasn't surprised to read the following in Thursday's Wall Street Journal, along with chortling declarations that we Democrats--a whole 49 percent of the country--are all trial lawyers, Hollywood actors, "and other strange folk":

This is a Democratic Party in which nostalgia for tradition is too often considered racism, opposition to gay marriage is bigotry, misgiving about abortion is misogyny, Christian fundamentalism is like Islamic fundamentalism, discussion about gender roles is sexism, and confidence in America's global purpose is cultural imperialism. To put it mildly, this is not the values system to which most Americans adhere.

The column was accompanied by a picture of Hillary, lest loyal readers forget who they hate.

The WSJ editorial page carefully cultivates its role as a conservative counterweight of equal gravitas to the New York Times, and no doubt considers itself to be of much higher stature than its Moonie-owned ideological sibling, the Washington Times.

But it's unseemly for capitalist pigs to speak the moral language of a Baptist minister. Missouri, Nebraska, or Kentucky Republicans may be adhering to Old Testament values, but WSJ Republicans are Republicans because Republicans promise to take less of their money for the work of government, and get government out of the work that they do--and that's all ye need to know.

Which is why the Wall Street Journal, when it tries to mouth the Bible-belt rhetoric upon which the GOP has built winning coalitions since 1968, is clumsy enough to produce a line like the first one above. (Go ahead--read it again.)

What sort of "nostalgia for tradition" is it that we foolish, out-of-step Democrats might have sputteringly denounced as "racism"? Seriously, I'm stumped. Was there some Democratic campaign overreach for which this is shorthand? Was there some scarlet charge of racism that was so off-base that they could refer to it this dismissively? I understand the rest of their critique, and I'll argue with or stand by all of it--at length, and probably soon--but what do they mean by that?

"Damnit, Freddy, don't you long for the days when the help knew their place?"

I'm perfectly happy to believe they revealed their own true mindset, having blundered too far out on a limb in declaring that Democrats are...well, reasonable critics of American society who just happen to be out of step with political reality.

But if any readers know what they actually meant, please drop it in a comment.


I believe they referring to the "mistake" made by then-republican majority leader Trent Lott:

But then again, it just just the washington post...

Posted by: Michael Burton at November 11, 2004 11:38 AM

My guess is that the author's thinking of the "tradition" of flying the confederate flag in the south.

Posted by: Sven at November 11, 2004 11:46 PM

That was my guess, too, Sven.

Posted by: mph [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 12, 2004 7:30 AM