The Summer of Our Discontents
Pleszczynski, Wladyslaw, The American Spectator
IF THERE'S ANYTHING THAT now characterizes the coverage of American politics, it's the permanent antiRepublican kvetch. It begins with the usual Bush bashing and ends with the trashing of the Republican Congress, day after day after day, over and over and over again.
As always in such a climate, obsessiveness invites delusion. The GOP is destined to lose control of the House this fall? Step one would have been Democraticvictory in the special June election to replace the felonious Duke Cunningham. Didn't happen. Even a relatively moderate Republican defeated a hotly promoted Democrat. Yet none of the liberal reporting I read could bring itself to mention, let alone to account for, the Democratic candidate's rhetorical embrace of illegal immigrants, a Freudian gaffe that doomed her chances. Democrats can't have much of a future if they're perceived to be dependent on the illegitimate votes of illegal residents.
Then there's the matter of the President's deflated approval ratings (updated hourly). The deluded left assumes they signal a country rapidly moving in its direction. It doesn't seem to dawn on the left that those numbers also reflect conservative strength. Now that Mr. Bush has served its purposes, the right can easily distance itself from a man who hasn't delivered on fundamental Reaganite issues. As never before, the right senses its strength and remains assertive. It's a healthy polity when elected officials feel pressure from both directions.
Of course, the right-not necessarily gregarious or affable by nature, Ronald Reagan notwithstanding-has a weakness of its own for kvetching. It will be sad if conservatives squander their advantage this year and, as many of them have threatened to do, sit out the fall elections instead of remaining engaged in the political fray. They, better than anyone else, should know that our politics is never an all or nothing proposition. Those who understand their strengths build on them.
In other words, we shouldn't be like proverbial Scandinavians who supposedly live in permanent depression. …