NYT op-ed writer gets some false equivalency help from a Goldwater Institute hack.

22 Oct 2011 11:53 pm
Posted by: Donna

Joe Nocera, business reporter turned editorial writer for the New York Times wrote the dumbest piece of kissing-Republican-ass tripe based on an arbitrary and flimsy premise that I’ve seen in the longest time ever. He claims that Democrats have no one but themselves to blame for current Republican obstructionism and intransigence because, get this, they were mean to Robert Bork in 1987!!

I bring up Bork not only because Sunday is a convenient anniversary. His nomination battle is also a reminder that our poisoned politics is not just about Republicans behaving badly, as many Democrats and their liberal allies have convinced themselves. Democrats can be — and have been — every bit as obstructionist, mean-spirited and unfair.

I’ll take it one step further. The Bork fight, in some ways, was the beginning of the end of civil discourse in politics. For years afterward, conservatives seethed at the “systematic demonization” of Bork, recalls Clint Bolick, a longtime conservative legal activist. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution coined the angry verb “to bork,” which meant to destroy a nominee by whatever means necessary. When Republicans borked the Democratic House Speaker Jim Wright less than two years later, there wasn’t a trace of remorse, not after what the Democrats had done to Bork. The anger between Democrats and Republicans, the unwillingness to work together, the profound mistrust — the line from Bork to today’s ugly politics is a straight one.

Blogger P.M. Carpenter eviscerates Nocera handily:

In order to subscribe to that wretchedly bad history, one must first summarily execute a lot of one’s knowledge about the political 20th century (or, for that matter, the 19th, or even the 18th). For today’s political knife fights are but an extension of past partisan rumbling over the New Deal, as well as its sisterly progression, the Great Society.

Pseudoconservative Republicans — virtually the only GOP species left — still want to kill them both, and their immeasurable hatred of all things New Dealing today tends to overshadow their profound hatred of yesteryear. You want vitriol and vituperation? Forget the clownish likes of a Michele Bachmann or Rush Limbaugh; check out instead the 1930s’ venom of a Westbrook Pegler or Father Charles Coughlin. In addition to these vermin, FDR’s tenure was marked by miscellaneous right-wing charges of a “dictatorship” being dispensed by a “crippled” socialist in an unAmerican White House.

From there, one can draw a straight line to the right’s indulgent, postwar hysteria over disloyal Democrats having “lost” China, having bungled Korea, having installed herds of pro-Stalinist subversives in assorted high places, having corrupted our sacred institutions and having sold our powerful secrets. For sure, we liked Ike, but it was Joe McCarthy who set the conversational tone — right up to his admiring Barry Goldwater, in defense of heated extremism.

The rest is more familiar: the 1970s rise of the malignant, racially coded and theocratically inclined New Right; the 1980s erosions of New Deal-Great Society social protections; Gingrichism and the attempted political assassination of a democratically elected president; more charges of Democratic disloyalty — this time, Iraq; and now, the right’s entire Obama-derangement-syndrome thing.

IOW, the Dems had the black-eye coming because they didn’t have the GOP’s dinner ready on time!

Clint Bolick, who Nocera mentioned, is the resident legal expert for Arizona’s own Goldwater Institute, a supposedly non-partisan but obviously right wing and Republican-friendly think tank that pretends to be local and grassroots. In reality, GI is part of the State Policy Network, a Chairman Level sponsor of ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council). ALEC, for those of you who don’t know, was started by Paul Weyrich.

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1 Comment(s)

  1. Comment by dude on October 23, 2011 9:34 pm

    Ha. It’s not that Saint Reagan nominated a radically conservative die-hard Nixonite judicial activist to the supreme court was a vile, divisive move in our politics. It’s that Democrats objected to it.

    I’m sure it’s not that some guy killed his wife, it’s that she almost got to the phone when he started beating her that turned it into murder.

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