During the Bush years, the Left prided itself on being what it mockingly called the “reality-based community.” But judging by their delusional reaction to this week’s election, in which Democrats received a historic drubbing, it’s clear that left-wing analysts and pundits have lost whatever connection to reality they once claimed. There are two basic narratives that run through progressive commentaries, neither of which has much to do with reality. The first is that the resurgent Republican Party, infested with all those nasty, racist Tea Partiers, are going to do horrible things with their new-found power — up to and including deliberately igniting a global economic meltdown. The other, is rationalizing why Democrats took such a pounding: the party wasn’t nearly progressive enough. The Left is more certain than ever that the road to victory in American politics follows the same path that it does in NASCAR: you just have to keep turning left.
Lawrence O’Donnell kicked off predictions of the coming GOP-induced apocalypse on MSNBC after the network’s election night crew (consisting of O’Donnell, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, and Eugene Robinson) listened to Rand Paul’s victory speech on Tuesday. It was an amazingly paranoid performance on O’Donnell’s part, one that has to be seen to be believed. (His rant starts at about the eight minute mark, if you want to skip Paul’s speech). In O’Donnell’s world, Senator-elect Paul is the most dangerous man in the world today, due to Paul’s commitment to reducing federal spending. If he doesn’t get his way, Kentucky’s newest Senator will hold the federal debt reauthorization hostage, destroying America’s credit. This will “create a worldwide depression.” Not only did O’Donnell spew this fear-mongering nonsense, he did so repeatedly, apparently certain that the end is nigh now that Rand Paul will be going to Washington.
Analyzing the storm that would decimate his beloved progressive causes, Washington Post columnist Robinson was less apocalyptic, but made up for that failing by being equal parts intellectually lazy and insulting. Ruminating on why the nation has turned its back on the president and therefore on the president’s party, Robinson concluded: “I ask myself what’s so different about Obama, and the answer is pretty obvious: He’s black…I can’t help believing that the Tea Party’s rise was partly due to circumstances beyond his control – that he’s different from other presidents, and that the difference is his race.” So we’re back to that. Two years ago, leftists like Robinson were cheering America for having moved beyond race and electing a black man to the lead the nation. Now, it’s impossible for him to consider that America has been equally color-blind when judging this president’s performance and that of the party he leads. For Robinson, this election was not a rejection of failed policies, but proof that racism is on the rise in this country and that the Tea Party movement is the principal manifestation of this phenomenon.
Lost on leftists like Robinson is that two new black congressmen were elected in the deep south – supposedly the most bigoted part of the nation – during this election cycle. Tim Scott won in South Carolina and Allen West won in Florida because each is committed to reducing the size, power, and cost of the federal government. If America is as racist as guys like Robinson want us to believe, how could Scott and West possibly win? But this is part of the left’s apocalyptic vision as well. The race card has long-ago lost its power in middle-America, but it remains a vital part of the progressive hand. The obvious importance of the Tea Party movement – despite the Left’s denial for so long that Tea Partiers mattered – demands that progressives continue to tar and feather the movement with charges of racism.
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