Stop Being Condescending
... you stupid, loser liberals.
I've often found over the years that if you watch closely (and often you don't even have to do that) you can see the right's strategy forming before your very eyes. I think I see it this week.
First, yesterday I heard Pat Buchanan lugubriously lecture Joan Walsh that she should stop "making fun" of the teabaggers and calling them names. When he went on about Ronald Reagan never being condescending I couldn't help but recall this famous Reagan line: "A hippie is someone who looks like Tarzan, walks like Jane, and smells like Cheetah."
This is, of course, a ploy to make liberals temper their criticism of conservatives as they make their move over the next year. They are playing the refs, appealing to political correctness to force them to circumscribe their criticism. Meanwhile, they will continue to create items like these:
There is more evidence that they are also beginning to work the refs in earnest on a grander scale with this simpering whine in today's Washington Post, asking why liberals are so condescending to conservative ideas. This seems clearly designed to make reporters and editorialists write that Obama is being presumptuous again, if he challenges Republican ideology instead of simply saying "well, we just have to disagree on that point" and moves on. It's also clearly a pre-emptive move to make the Democrats think twice about their "tone" for far of failing to appear to be properly bipartisan.
The conservatives have successfully played this game for decades. They make it thoroughly acceptable for the National Review to say things like this:
The product of divorced parents from Marin County, California (are there any other kind?), he was raised in the very crucible of cultural nuttiness at the absolute zenith of its pervasiveness. He is a child of hot tubs, amicable divorce, racial guilt, vegan diets, Chardonnay anti-Americanism, and "Teach Peace" bumper stickers. He is the product of gray-bearded radical high-school history teachers, old Volvos, public radio, world beat music, women's bookstores, pita-wrap sandwiches, and clunky brown sandals. He is . . . well, you know who he is. He's a rich American kid from a rich American town who was raised to believe that every crazy idea and every loony impulse he ever had was valid, that all cultures are basically equal (except for ours, which is a good deal worse), and that America is a pretty bad place
... while simultaneously complaining that liberals are rude and condescending.
They are attempting to make this culture war hypocrisy into a complaint about their colossally failed ideas with characteristically insane bravado, claiming have been vindicated by the past year of Democratic government. It's a bold move, but completely predictable.