The liberal chattering class has literally gone off its collective rocker. Little negative has occurred since the election -- cabinet shakeups are routine and traditional, and our guys routed the bad guys in Fallujah -- but the way the Left is carrying on you'd think President Bush had issued a string of corrupt pardons, or something.
I wouldn't think Democrat angst could get much worse. Democrats have acted like victims of robbery the last four years, but now they're acting like women scorned, rejected by a dueling banjo-wielding electorate. I guess I suspected they'd take their losses badly, but I didn't realize they'd unshackle all gentlemanly restraints on their septic bitterness.
During the campaign they conjured up all these imaginary misdeeds that President Bush and Vice President Cheney had engaged in, from their fantasies that they lied about Iraqi WMD to the distribution of favors to Halliburton to augment VP Cheney's blind-trusted pocketbook. Each of their fraudulent claims was too preposterous to be taken seriously by any but the gullible class, many of whom were taken in by sheer repetition.
You would think that they would have run out of ammunition by now. Don't they ever take a breath? How about just faking cordiality for some minimal honeymoon period? In their unyielding malice and hatred have we finally discovered a perpetual motion machine?
Since the election, liberals have ratcheted up their seething rhetoric, acting as though President Bush, by merely reshuffling his cabinet, has committed a new rash of felonies. They are portraying him as a Machiavellian dictator exerting total control over his docile advisors, from whom he has extracted every ounce of independence en route to an unprecedented Stalinization of American presidential power. This is the same man they depicted but a few short weeks ago as a sock-puppet figurehead fronting for the de facto president, Dick Cheney, and the neocon cabal.
By substituting his longtime confidante Condoleezza Rice for Colin Powell, President Bush has brazenly shown that he really does think he won the election and has the right to try to implement his agenda.
How dare he act as though he is constitutionally entitled to the office when he only received 51 percent of the popular vote! Doesn't he realize he's supposed to relinquish half his authority to Democrats because they got almost half the votes?
Something really isn't right in Liberalville. From their chauvinistic, racial slurs against Condoleezza Rice to their hysterical paranoia contemplating President Bush's next geopolitical move, they have descended to new depths of nastiness.
It's not just the cartoonists with their demeaning sketches and degrading captions. The editorialists are morphing into Maureen Dowds, as if in a contest to see which one of them can describe the current scene with the least connection to reality, and even less to common decency, good cheer or the slightest hint of optimism.
The op-ed pages are even more pregnant with anti-Bush screeds than before the election. As just one example, Sydney Blumenthal, former Clinton senior advisor, had plenty of venom to spew in his latest Salon.com column. After detailing how the Bush administration exploited, deceived and cashiered Colin Powell, Blumenthal savaged Condoleezza Rice as an incompetent, opportunistic backstabber.
Blumenthal wrote, "As incompetent as she was at her actual job, she was as agile at bureaucratic positioning. Early on she figured out how to align with the neoconservatives and to damage Powell. Her usurpation is a lesson to him in blind ambition and loyalty."
And of the administration, Blumenthal said, "In this strange Soviet Washington, a system of bureaucratic fear and one-party allegiance has been created in which only loyalists are rewarded. Rice stands as the model. One can never be too loyal. And the loyalists compete to outdo each other. Dissonant information is seen as motivated to injure the president -- disloyalty bordering on treason. Success is defined as support for the political line, failure as departure from the line. An atmosphere of personal vendetta and an incentive system for suppressing realities prevail. This is not an administration; it does not administer -- it is a regime."
Sydney and his cohorts need to get a grip. President Bush hasn't suddenly acquired a newfound disrespect for the limitations of his office. The Bush-bashers would be well to remember that we're still in the United States, and the president is operating and will continue to, under lawful authority.
If he exceeds his authority, there are proper checks in place to deal with that. But merely exerting his authority, which is all he is doing, is not abusing it. If these poison penners don't quit crying wolf over nothing every other minute, they'll lose what little credibility they have left.