Something I wrote once upon a time:
...everybody from Somerby to Alterman to Atrios to David Neiwert to Digby and on down the food chain to the lowliest of the low---I mean me---has again and again expresed their frustration, dismay, and anger at the way insider pundits, politicians, and analysts insist on covering politics as if they live in a universe where Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Roger Ailes of Fox News (not the good Roger Ailes) and the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, and before them Lee Atwater, Morton Downey Jr, Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Joe McCarthy, and Father Coughlin, had all never been born and as if the poisoned state of political debate was the result of a Democratically transmitted infection, a bug Democrats keep catching because they refuse to wear their galoshes in the rain and then spread by forgetting to cover their mouths when they cough.
It's this willful obtuseness, this refusal to acknowledge reality in the form of the Right Wing of the Republican Party, which is in effect the only wing of the Republican Party on the national level, that drives us "crazies" on the left side of the bandwidth crazy about the Media elites.
Dick Cheney and George W. Bush aren't on the list because they and their destructive co-Presidency were the givens of the post.
I wrote that last August and almost a year later it hasn't changed. The horrors in Iraq have gotten worse. We've learned that Karl Rove has been working to corrupt the entire Justice Department by filling it with hacks and cronies. Bush's FDA has been shown up to be helping to fill our supermarkets with poison. New Orleans not only hasn't come back, it's become one of the unhealthiest places to live in the Western world. The Roberts-Alito Court has begun the task it was meant to do, setting the clocks back to 1891 on the Constitution, the function of the Government, and the status of women and African-Americans in society. The curtain has been torn down on the booth where Dick Cheney has been pulling the levers and strings; we know he's not just the Shadow President, he's the Shadow Would-be Dictator who feels himself bound by no laws, no rules, no standards of common decency. And Geoge W. Bush is feeling liberated to be the kind of petulant boy king he's been all along, so I guess that one's not news.
Oh, and the Democrats won an important election, taking over both houses of Congress and a bunch of State Houses, which, you'd think, implies that the American people are sick of the Republicans and want changes, big changes from the way the party of Bush and Cheney and Rove and DeLay and Newt and Ann Coulter and all the rest did things.
All that in less than a year and still David Ignatius can write an idiot column in which he wishes that we'd all just get along, which is Washington Insider speak for Why Can't Democrats and Liberals just give it up?
What I don't understand, what I'd like to ask Ignatius is, What is the Republican Party today offering that makes them people anybody in their right minds would want to get along with?
Asking Democrats to compromise and work together with the Republicans and the Bush Leaguers is like asking the cops to compromise and work together with the Mob. It's like asking doctors to compromise and work together with a plague. It's like asking...people living in a democracy to compromise and work together with people who want to overthrow that democracy and replace it with an aristocracy that bows to a dictator.
All I can figure is that the people who are running the Republican Party today aren't the people journalists and pundits like Ignatius think are running the Party. They must think the Republicans are led by the likes of Richard Lugar, Chuck Hagel, and Arlen Specter.
Actually, I think they think the Republicans are led by Joe Lieberman, but that's another story.
Do they not actually listen to the real leaders of the GOP?
Do they avoid them at parties?
Do they just close their eyes and pretend they're not there?
Maybe the answer lies in the specific area where Ignatius wants us all to get along.
Implicit in Ignatius' column is that the next terrorist attack, besides being inevitable and imminent, won't be anything like the attacks and threats in Britain. It won't be a car bomb or a lone suicide bomber. It won't be like the goofy plan to blow up JFK airport. It won't even be on as puny a scale as 9/11. The next terrorist attack will be THE BIG ONE!
It will be so massive and happen so fast and with such devastation that we won't have time to think about a response. We won't have time to debate tactics or worry about principles or figure out what happened and who's to blame. We won't have time to do anything but listen to our fearless leaders, salute smartly, and fall into line to do whatever it is they've decided in advance we need to do.
In fact the next one will be so bad that we'd better start reacting in advance and get the listening, smart saluting, and falling into line over with now to save time.
Ignatius' column represents the "thinking" of someone too scared to think.
I'd say it was the "thinking" of someone who has spent too much time watching 24 and Splinter Cell and Battlestar Galactica and begun to lose track of the difference between real life and TV, but I'd like to think Ignatius is too smart and too experienced and spends too much time doing reality-based thinking in his regular journalistic work.
So what I think is that Ignatius is really that frightened by the possibility of another terrorist attack that he thinks we should all give up our opinions and the habits of living in a democracy and just surrender our brains and principles to the fearless leaders who are busy doing the great work of saving us from the terrorists every day.
The people in America most terrorized by 9/11 were the Right Wing bloggers. But after them must come the Beltway Insiders and I have a new theory about that.
I think that they're being told lots and lots of scary stories off the record.
I'm thinking that at parties, or after press conferences, or while waiting in the green room before a Sunday morning bobblehead fest or while in the lines waiting to get into the best restaurants at lunch someone pulls them aside, saying, "A word in your shell-like?"
Maybe they get phone calls.
This someone is not the usual suspect. This someone is a someone they trust. Someone who seems sane, who seems to know what they're talking about, who is on the inside but not "one of them," not an obvious party hack or true believer. This someone may wear a uniform but more likely it's a someone who is known to have the ears of trustworthy men and women who do wear uniforms.
This someone pulls a David Ignatius aside and says, "This is on the hush-hush, the QT, deep background."
And then the someone tells a scary story about what the terrorists almost did yesterday.
The story is vague, sketchy, but it has the ring of truth and it contains at least one detail that makes the journalist's skin crawl.
And then the someone adds that he or see could say more:
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes like stars start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particular hair to stand an end
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine.
But the someone must be quiet. Walls have ears. The people would panic if they knew. The someone melts away into the air, leaving shaking in his socks the journalist who goes home to have nightmares all night and then gets up in the morning and, unable to tell us the horrorible things he knows, writes instead a column in which he tells us to just shut up and let the big strong daddies in the Republican Party handle everything for us.