Not having any fun?

Jonah Goldberg is finding politics less fun these days.

LaShawn Barber says she’s getting a little bored with it too.

I’m not bored with it, yet, but I will agree that it’s less fun. It’s hard to have fun with politics when so many – on both sides – have become so reactionary and knee-jerk that they’ve lost their ability to once in a while crack a smile, or concede any small point to the other side.

Tip O’ Neill and Ronald Reagan used to disagree, but when the day was over, they’d have a friendly scotch together. That sort of thing seems to be becoming impossible. Somehow, I can’t imagine that a diarist at The Daily Kos would want to raise a pint of Guinness with, say, a freeper, and just talk like human people instead of political animals. I believe Sen. Spector was correct yesterday when he said that the time for bipartisan work on judicial nominess “has passed.” That’s a shame. It didn’t have to be that way.

But remember, Chuck Schumer was the one who – the minute President Bush nominated Judge Roberts – proclaimed “we want all out war…”

I never, ever heard a GOP senator say such a thing about any of President Clinton’s nominees. There was and is no reason to in a sane world.

The left has been humorless for a while. The only thing they can find to laugh at is the people they hate. They can’t simply make a funny observation about anything, unless it is ripping someone or mocking someone.

I will say, that up ’til now, the folks on the right seemed able to keep a sense of humor about things, but lately their funny observations simply aren’t very funny…they’re kind of depressing.

I suspect the GOP is weary-unto-humorless because it is feeling henpecked in the extreme.

After a while, no matter how much you try to enjoy it, living with a harridan is hell on earth, and so many (not all, but many) on the left and in the press have become such scolding, pinch-nosed and prudish harridans that they’re simply tiring. Picture the stereotypical nagging wife who finds fault with everything, and the stereotypical husband hiding behind a newspaper and grunting back non-committally. That’s pretty much what it is getting like.

EJ Dionne: John Roberts hasn’t “failed” enough. Yes, dear.

Richard Cohen: the Stem Cell policy stinks, even as I misstate it. Yes, dear.

Maureen Dowd: Bush is a feckless boy king, to blame for everything. Yes, dear.

President Clinton: I woulda done it better. I woulda done it all better! I would have addressed terrorism… Yes, dear.

Howard Dean: the president exercises too much. Yes, dear.

Chelsea Clinton: On 9/11, I was expounding upon the detriments of the Bush Tax Cuts… Yes, dear.

Sally Quinn: the president doesn’t entertain enough. Yes, dear.

Diane Fienstein: John Roberts doesn’t emote enough. Yes, dear.

Al Gore: the failed Kyoto protocol, which Clinton didn’t sign and which died by a vote of 99-0 in the Senate, is Bush’s fault! Yes, dear.

Joe Biden: this judicial nomination, which has provided more background and paperwork than any in the history of the SCOTUS, hasn’t provided enough information. Yes, dear.

Reporters: President Bush wasn’t in Louisiana for Katrina! He sucks! Yes, dear.

Reporters: President Bush might be “in the way” for Rita. He sucks! Yes, dear.

Tina Brown: This pope is not good enough. I wouldn’t have chosen him! Yes, dear.

If you want to have some fun, sometime, check out the “latest postings” section at Scroll down and you will invariably see the following headlines:

Democrats Bash…
Democrats Demand…
Dems Decry…
Dems Denounce…
Dems Attack…
Dems Plot…
Democrats Call for Investigation…
Democrats Pound…
Dems Oppose…
Dems Battle…

It’s never anything constructive. There is never a hand reached across the aisle.

When President Bush came to Washington, he said he wanted to change the tone. To that end, he invited Ted Kennedy to help write the Education bill – the same one the Dems (including Kennedy) now denounce. He invited Dems to come watch movies with him (sounds kind of quaintly naive, now, doesn’t it?). He named public buildings after Democrats. He asked Democrats to work with him on the energy bill…

And all we ever heard in return was, Stupid. Moron. Cowboy. Illegitimate. Kyoto! We didn’t vote for it, either, but Kyoto! Kyoto! Kyoto!. Sneer. Hey, Bush, I thought you were going to change the tone?

Some will say, “oh, this terrible divisiveness has only come into being because of the Iraq war!”

Really? I am quite certain that you can do a quick google search and find plenty of hateful columns on Bush, by any number of columnists, waaay before the Iraq war, or even before 9/11: Tax cuts bad. Stem Cell Policy bad (and badly – dishonestly -mischaracterized by most columnists). Cowboy. Incurious. Not sophisticated enough. Europe hates him. After 9/11, you can find writings by Katha Pollitt, Michael Moore, Susan Sontag and many others who immediately found common cause with the terrorists, or decried displays of patriotism, or who mocked the Democrats and Republicans who sang “God Bless America” on the steps of the Capital. They didn’t wait for the Iraq war to find their hate. They were in full possession of it before January 21, 2001.

So, yes…I think SOME folks on the right are tired – they’re tired of dealing with the nagging, the scolding, the endless negativism and fault-finding. Or, maybe they’re just bored with it. Maybe they’re just fed up with knowing that – for anyone in the GOP – nothing they do (or don’t do) is ever, ever the correct thing.

Unless Republicans cry like Sen. Voinovich, or play at being a McCain-ish “maverick,” denouncing their own party, they are slammed, criticised, suspected, jeered at and hammered by the opposition, an opposition which has decided that “scorched earth” is the only way to live.

Or maybe everyone is just sick to death of the mediocrity Katrina exposed, throughout our local, state and federal governments.

Not everyone is tired. Some folks on the right have phenomenal guts and energy, and thick skins and tremendous resolve. I’m thinking of Michelle Malkin (would the under-reported on Air America scandal have been reported on at all in the MSM without her tireless work, and Brian Moloney’s?) and Ed Morrissey and AJ Strata (again…would we know anything at all about Able Danger, without them?) or Tom McGuire or Jason Smith (does that kid sleep?) or Betsy Newmark (who is having one of those “just keep scrolling” sorts of days, so go read!) or Polipundit’s Lorie Byrd.

They never stop. They keep going, and going. They are tremendous! I wish I had their bottomless reserves of energy, I really do. My hats are totally off to them. Yes, hats. One hat for each!

I’m not bored. And I am not yet, “tired.” But like Jonah, I’m finding it all less fun than it used to be. Is some of that due to President Bush’s being an imperfect president? I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can’t think of a perfect president, so no – I don’t think that’s it.

I will say though that President Bush, for all his imperfections, has served the American people as well as he could under tremendous opposition – has there ever been a president this opposed, besides Nixon?

I think if you look back on all he has accomplished, it really is quite a lot.

I am not speaking of anyone specific now – I have no one particular conservative in mind…but I have noticed something, just in general, about the folks on the right – in the papers, in the public eye and on the blogs. Many conservatives were very quick to jump on Bush for his (less and less clear) failures with Katrina…”well, you have done this, this, and this, RIGHT…but THIS you got wrong!” And maybe they didn’t have the heart to fight about a “real” failure after having to fight about so many fake, made up ones. After fighting for 5 years to have the man taken seriously, he was finally perceived by some on the right to have fallen down – and fallen hard – and maybe some on the right felt so let down by that, that they’ve allowed weariness to overtake them. They’re tired of the fight, and can’t do it anymore.

I worry about that. I worry that the right – battle weary and looking for some respite – will end up giving the ball away in 2008, just so there can be “peace” in the family and the press will “like” some of them, again.

President Bush has been a good, good president who, in my opinion, deserves to have his back watched, even if his Katrina response was “less than perfect.” So…I’ll keep fighting. Not that my little voice matters, but I’ll keep at it.

WELCOME: Polipundit readers! Thanks for peeking in and while you’re here, take a look around! In the past 24 hours we’ve also discussed praying (and fasting) for the weaking of Rita, Donna Brazile, gays in the priesthood, levee pork, how President Bush is damned no matter what he does and why it is best to order out when you are fasting.

Lorie asks if anyone is suffering from “Bush Bash fatigue” and when they felt it kick in. I will concur with her – I felt it kick in when Robert Kennedy Jr started doing the Katrina-is-Bush’s-fault-Kyoto thing. And it really kicked in tonight when I read that Charlie Rangel compared Bush to Bull Connor. But I am still resolved.

Browse Our Archives