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 Lucianne.com. 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.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Cathy

    When Bush won in 2000 I was so happy, but in the back of my mind was the thought, “I don’t want to hear it.” I knew what it would be like and it wears me down. But, you are not alone (and that means I am not alone, either) – I, too, will keep on fightin!! :-)

  • madeleine

    Hang in there, Anchoress, we need you! And I for one am not in the mood to give away the ball in 2008 or any other time. I can be just as tenacious as the next person. A thought on the most opposed president – Bush comes close, but you should see the old political cartoons of Abraham Lincoln – they drew him as a chimp! Sometimes I wonder if there’s anything new under the sun after all….

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  • timmyboy

    Does anyone else wonder if this political infighting is all new, or is it a function of our age and increased awareness?
    .
    Back in the old days politicians were just as nasty. They just didn’t have as numerous or speedy information avenues to assault the public with their vitriol.
    .
    I wholeheartedly agree with the Anchoress. W is a good man, who IS having his back watched. I predict the public is smart enough to see the media attacks for what they are, an attempt to tilt the country left.
    .
    Let’s all get busy for ’06, and see what happens. I, for one, think the outcome may pleasantly surprise many of you..

  • joeh

    Great post by the best in the blog world for me. You are right in the fact that the left, driven by hatred, makes it hard to want to stay around them. You certainly cannot have any meaningful debate on issues without foul language coming forth along with a series of names. Taking time to point out inconsistencies only seems to make them madder. However, allowing them to control any aspect of your life or that of your children and grandclildren forces one to continue to battle and certainly to vote. The one thing I find most exasperating are those who are conservative in name only. If I hear the name pro-choice Christian once more I think I will grow even more resolute in the war. If I see one more gay show come onto TV, and see some conservative moving toward finding a way to make this lifestyle the norm, I grow more resolute in the fight. If I see Teddy, Chuckie Cheese, and the other looney left Senators I get angry; but if I see the looney left Republican Senators, many Catholic, bowing down to the looney left ideas, I get resolute to continue the fight.
    What sustains is seeing the replay of the movie The Passion of Christ. When I get down, I watch this movie again. Where would we be if He had quit? How can we quit on Him?

  • http://none Darrell

    Take those Reagan/Tip O’Neill stories with a grain of salt. Those, too, are an invention of today’s MSM. I was around in those days, and I assure you the opposition was just as great. What has changed is the MSM. They were biased then, too, but they tried their best to hide it. The people at the decision-making level made sure the other side was presented in every story. Then came the 90′s and all those people retired or moved up from day-to-day news operations. Now the MSM is the transcript service of the Democratic Party; more accurately, the Left.

    The non-stop attacks on President Bush represent their strategy to wear down the American people. That’s why Bush goes out of his way to never get involved. His theory is, if you participate at all in such battles, you may win the battles, but you lose the war. People will vote against you or your party just to make it all stop! Instead, I suggest we send our “favorite” writers to their local “Penny Savers” by putting their employers out of business. How? Stop buying their products! Tina Brown telling us that Bush(never President Bush) awakened Al Gore, the sleeping genius of Earth science? Please! Tell me Al, what would Chief Seattle say about those hurricanes? It’s not as silly a question as it may seem: The scriptwriter that created that persona for that movie may still be alive and can generate the answer! And the MSM would let it go around unchallenged for couple of years, like they did with Al’s “I invented the internet nonsense!”

  • Bender B. Rodriguez

    At the risk of being accused of being unduly negative in return, but anytime anyone is shocked and cannot believe how low the other side has gone, just consider what their number one priority has been for more than a generation — They support and have supported the slaughter and murder of 45 million babies in the womb. Do you really think that people like that are going to play nice? 45 million, in this country alone. They support the butchering of helpless and innocent human beings, all the while promoting the lie that a woman cannot be truly free unless she denies herself and kills her child. Do you really think that people like that are going to speak in honest, pleasant terms?
    .
    Their predecessors in the Plantation Party not only supported and advocated segregation, they supported the actual destruction of the country through secession, all the while supporting slavery for a large portion of our population. Do you really think that the Plantation Party of Slavery, Secession, and Segregation is going to play fair? Since when have they ever played fair?
    .
    The problem with conservatives is that they dislike government so much that they simply want to get the job done and go home to more important things. They dislike the dirty job of constantly fighting against those that would tear this country and all civil society apart. The other side lives for the fight, they live for the struggle, the rebellion, the insurgency. But we should not be surprised that they will fight “by any means necessary” to achieve their goals.

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  • Lyle

    I’m always amazed to hear how much the “left” hates George W. Bush on this Blog. Let a democrat get in the Whitehouse again and we’ll see just how equally the “right” can hate. Give me a break, do far right conservatives have a problem with memory. I can remember full well how much venom was tossed at Bill Clinton from Republicans when he was in office. Republicans have control of the presidency, both houses of congress and about to have control of the supreme court, but yet they act like they are in the minority. Personally, I like George Bush as a person, I simply dislike his policies. What’s wrong with that??

  • http://www.eternityroad.info fporretto

    Dear lady, even Nixon wasn’t opposed as brutally as Dubya. Most folks don’t remember that his 1968 opponent, Hubert Humphrey, pledged his support to the Nixon Administration — and that Humphrey made good on his promise, carrying a large fraction of Congressional Democrats along with him. In consequence, Nixon was rather more conciliatory toward the Democrats than he would otherwise have been; many of the policy directions he adopted could have come straight from Kennedy or Johnson.

    Nixon didn’t begin to have serious trouble with the Democrats until Watergate and his panicky reaction to it gave them their chance to unseat him. Then it became “all political combat, all the time.”

    It was a dreary time: hard to live through and hard to recollect.

  • http://none Darrell

    Venom at Clinton, never the US. See the difference? Of course you don’t.
    Thanks for awakening millions of Americans to the threat that the Left really poses to the world: Too many were still celebrating the fall of Communism. Who knows? Maybe someone will start exploring all those connections between European Socialists and Islamofascists that go back 40 years or more. They may even be surprised to learn just how many spent time at La Sorbonne…

  • Lyle

    Darrell said,”Venom at Clinton, never the US. See the difference? Of course you don’t.”

    Are you suggesting the right loves our country more Darrell?? I certainly hope not.

  • http://none Darrell

    Maybe we just love our country in a different way—like not wanting to destroy it. What do you wacky “kids” on the Left want to achieve? Post-moderism? Deconstructivism? A pleasant way to say using terror and violence(murder) to push beyond the modern present and vault the people back before modernity, with its individual liberties and market economy, to the imagined collective austerity of the feudal age. Substitute a 7th-century Caliphate for feudal age and you have Bin Laden, et. al.’s agenda in a nutshell, don’t you? Want to go back to your “blood and soil” heritage, Lyle?

    If you’re not one of these wacky kids. Lyle. know who you are getting in bed with before you start to do their dirty work. Ever wonder why Hollywood and many in your Party had a soft spot for Pol Pot, just like they now do for Iran(witness Sean Penn and Bill Clinton’s words)? Because they are following the Socialist template. “Pol Pot, student of leftist philosophy in France before becoming a founder of the Khmer Rouge, justified revolution as a therapeutic act by which non-Western peoples would regain the dignity they had lost to colonial oppressors and to American-style materialism, selfishness, and immorality. A purifying violence would purge the people of egoism and hedonism and draw them back into a primitive collective of self-sacrifice… Many of the leaders of the Shiite revolution in Iran that deposed the modernizing shah and brought the Ayatollah Khomeini to power in 1979 had studied Fanon’s(Frantz Fanon, Algerian, protege of Jean-Paul Satre) brand of Marxism. Ali Shari’at, the Sorbonne-educated Iranian sociologist of religion considered by many the intellectual father of the Shiite revolution, translated “The Wretched of the Earth” and Sartre’s “Being and Nothingness into Persian.” The Iranian revolution was a synthesis of Islamic fundamentalism and European Third World socialism.” Read http://www.worldthreats.com/al-qaeda_terrorism/What%20Osama%20Learned%20From%20The%20Left.htm for a start.

    I don’t question your love, Lyle…Just your definition.

  • http://www.benningswritingpad.freeservers.com/ benning

    My first Presidential election was in ’76. My Republican background pushed me toward voting for Ford. But I did not believe he could do anything with a Democrat-controlled Congress. I thought, after too many years of governmental paralysis, we needed a Leader who the Congress could get along with.

    I will never make that mistake again. But I never ‘hated’ Carter, no matter how foolish he was in office, nor how often he embraced Tyrants or spoke foolishness after leaving office.

    I disliked Clinton tremendously. A liar, cheat, revenge-seeking, horrid leader, I never ‘hated’ him. The man had style and charm. He should never have been elected to the office of President. And I voted agin’ him both times. But I never ‘hated’ him.

    lyle, as a right-winger, a fundamentalist Christian, and an honest-to-goodness listener of many points of view, I refuse to hate those whom I disagree with. But I will not accept silly theories, hateful rhetoric, false statements, and the rest of the Democratic Party line as fact. Or truth. Because they just ain’t.

  • convert

    Lyle’s post points toward some understanding of just what the Anchoress is discussing: many on the Left hate Bush as wildly and irrationally as they do as pure payback for Clinton. They feel justified and outraged at the Right’s attacks on Clinton that they feel were absolutely unjustified. The Right feels differently-Clinton’s behavior was beyond, beyond the pale. Bush has never been credibly accused of rape by different women at different times in his life who didn’t know about each other; Bush never pulled down his pants in front of an underling and asked her to perform oral sex with him after having a state trooper bring her to his room; Bush has never lied under oath in a deposition; Bush has never had a sitting judge issue a contempt of court against him; Bush isn’t a lawyer, but he’s had nothing that would begin to compare to being disbarred in his home state; I’ve never heard or read any evidence that Bush masturbates in the WH sink, or that he had young interns “servicing” him under the desk while he talked to foreign heads of state on the telephone. Clinton’s disgusting misogyny, perversion, and mental instability evoked a perfectly normal reaction from people who weren’t so brainwashed or something as to be able to recognize embarrassing debauchery when they saw it. THAT’s the difference. And it’s why we’re all so tired. When the world is that upside-down…..

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  • civil truth

    Folks, could we stop playing the victim pity party now and focus more on discussing what needs to be done to better our country? Partisan attacks come with the territory.

    The right has at times also made extreme statements, including multiple accusations of treason and the infamous “bipartisanship is like date rape” comment. I don’t see it being at all useful to play the “whose more at fault” game. It reminds me too much of school kids: “Teacher, he did it too; he did it first; he did worse.” So what? It’s our actions that we are held responsible for.

    The left whines too much, why should the right play the whining game too? The Republicans control Congress and the Presidency; the best revenge is action. Refute false accusations as they come up with FACTS, but don’t get down in the same gutter.

    After all, true conservatism is about taking responsibility and acting productively, rather than whining and playing victim.

  • Lyle

    Convert, You aren’t suggesting that if Bill Clinton never did any of those so un-presidential things as you described in your post, you would have liked him are you? You aren’t suggesting that only democrat’s cheat on their spouses are you? I have never defended his personal behavior in the white house. To read the posts here one would get the message that liberal’s and democrats are not as moral and upstanding as conservatives and republicans. As I have said before and I’ll say it again, I don’t have a problem with conservative ideas, but I have a big problem with conservatives who think they are more moral and are better Christians than those of the liberal persuasion. I find that obnoxious.
    Benning,Your statement,”But I will not accept silly theories, hateful rhetoric, false statements, and the rest of the Democratic Party line as fact. Or truth. Because they just ain’t.” Is fine, except one could easily replace “Democratic party” with Republican party and be just as accurate, but what’s the point, unless you actually believe only democrats are liars.
    Darrell, your observations are so extreme right that they meet up with the extreme left, such as groups like PETA,(People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Extreme left, or extreme right, the bottom line is, both are out of touch.

  • http://none Darrell

    In other words, you can’t dispute what I wrote so you resort to a personal attack. Maybe you should read what your side believes. And what the Left has to say about these very subjects. They are currently saying that Bin Laden should be directing all his attacks on America. You think you are a Socialist-lite? Not doing the “hard” stuff? You are playing with fire and you’re going to get burned.

    A reasonable, logical, human being would have to search very hard indeed to find any truth coming out of the Democratic Party in the last 13 years. Even in trivial matters. Was Hillary really named after Sir Edmund as she claimed? Did Christopher Reeve really call John Kerry from his deathbed and say the words his people claimed? Did Al Gore(and son) really hike to the top of Mt. Whitney when his Secret Service protection could not? Is a 6% increase in a budget really a decrease? Did Bush really lie when all the key Dems said the exact same words in 1998, not to mention every major/minor foreign intelligence service including Syria and Iran? I could go on forever. You are free now to list “lies” from the my side… Or, just say I’m extreme again–that seems to be your style.

  • convert

    Perhaps, Lyle, I was inarticulate- the point I was trying to make is that Repubs call a spade a spade; there are numerous examples of Repubs engaging of similar sleazy, stupid behavior and paying the price of their job/chairmanship, etc. for it. Repubs hold people accountable–look at Nixon,Gingrich, Packwood,Livingston, Trent Lott, etc. and now Frist. (If Frist is guilt of a similar inside-trading deal as Martha STewart, he should suffer at least the same fate.) Repubs don’t kneejerk and defend any behavior, scream “rightwing conspiracy” every other min. To answer your specific Clinton question, I was one of the stupid indies who voted for Perot to “send a message” because I thought both party’s candidates were lame. But I defended Clinton from those who said he shouldn’t run because of his affair, and I supported many things he did–the Hope scholarship, for ex. And I, along with most conservatives and indies, SUPPORTED him as CIC when he went to Bosnia. We weren’t willing to ignore genocide or undermine our troops for political gain. That’s what I’m trying to get at.

  • Lyle

    Darrell, I wouldn’t equate me saying that your political views are extreme right as an a personal attack. To me there is no point in actually debating our different view points because we are both very opinionated people who aren’t ever going to agree on what we see. And that is fine. What I will continually reject though, is any notion that those on the right are more Christian and more patriotic than those on the left side of the political spectrum. Or that the right loves their country more. And see, with you Darrell, that seems to be your bottom line message to me. I find that offensive because it is so un truthful.

  • http://bookwormroom.blogspot.com Bookworm

    Really good post. I’ve linked.

  • http://none Darrell

    I forget now–by you saying it is “un truthful” does it mean it is true?

    Explain to me how hurting America, or putting Americans in harm’s way is patriotic, loving, supportive or anything other than not patriotic, not loving, or not supportive.

    Then I’ll explain to you why Farm Aid delivers less than 28% of the money raised to farmers.

    See you again in a current topic.

  • timmyboy

    It’s like watching tennis.

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