‘This is not an administration that takes bad news well,” Jennifer Rubin wrote on Commentary magazine’s blog, referring to Robert Gibbs’ fit when asked to explain the Gallup poll showing the president taking on water, his approval rating sinking into the high to mid-40s, and losing ground fast. Apparently, the same goes for much of the left — which, faced with cratering numbers for both the health care proposals and for global warming, responded with all of the rational discourse and respect for debate and dissenting opinion that has made them so widely beloved.
First, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. — who emerged in the health care debate as the leading Republican anti-bill spokesman — was widely portrayed as a sorry old coot acting from “bitterness,” and one who squandered his chance to establish a legacy by opposing the bill out of spite. He was a maverick, not an ex-Democrat, and his ally Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., fared even worse.
Lieberman was described as a “putz” by Jonathan Alter; as “the L-word” and as “Joe the Bummer” by Chris Matthews; as a traitor to Judaism by various bloggers; as the one Jew in the world too clueless to know what he’s doing by Jonathan Chait; and as a potential mass murderer “willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score” by Ezra Klein. Paul Krugman wanted him “hung in effigy.” And Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said he should be “recalled” from office, though by whom was uncertain.
Unfortunately, there is no provision in Connecticut law for recalls (much less for lynching), so they will have to wait for the 2012 election.
In related news, Rep. Alan Grayson, Lunatic-Fla. — known mainly for saying the Republicans’ health plans called for asking the sick to “die quickly” and for telling former Vice President Dick Cheney to “shut the f— up” — sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking the Department of Justice to investigate, fine and perhaps send to jail for five years a Florida activist who reacted to his behavior by setting up a fundraising Web site called mycongressmanisnuts.com. He complained that the blogger was “senseless and juvenile.”
“Just five years?” blogger Ed Morrissey said. “Why doesn’t Grayson just demand that Holder chop off her head?”
Then, there was global warming, or the First Church of Al, where Al Gore sought refuge after the Florida recount and rapidly built a cult following. This was largely by warning that the Earth was in such danger from fossil fuel usage that in order to fight it he was compelled to jet all around the world spreading the message, and run up monstrous utility bills in his three or more homes.
When this cause was imperiled by e-mails showing that the global warming police had doctored the data — and film showing Obama flying into a snowstorm on his trip to the summit at Copenhagen, and then flying back into an even more extravagant blizzard in Washington, D.C. — certain members of the pundit-industrial complex responded by asking that news that impugned their consensus should be, you guessed it, suppressed.
ThinkProgress blogger Matt Yglesias complained that CNN ran a show called “Global Warming: Fact or Fiction” without taking sides on the side of the “Goracle,” or saying that what he called the global warming “deniers” were totally out of their minds. He then said the news media — along with the rest of what he called the elite of the country — had a moral duty to the rest of humanity to censor their output, so that opinion contesting the “global climate warming consensus” would never again see the light of the day.
At the New Republic, Ed Kilgore was in total agreement, blaming the mainstream press for being browbeaten by right-wing fanatics into thinking they ought to air different opinions, and even cover all of the news. Morals in this case seem to equal suppression.
“Yglesias is right,” Kilgore said. “This is one area of public policy where ‘respect for contrary views’ and ‘editorial balance’ are misplaced.”
What a good thing Democrats are the party of logic and reason. They might tell their critics to “shut the f— up.”
Examiner columnist Noemie Emery is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and author of “Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families.”