Emmett Tyrrell

I recently encountered the Angry Left myself while appearing on C-Span's "Washington Journal." There I got not one call-in from a liberal Democrat who was not, frankly, out of his mind. One caller urged the murder of the President and the Vice President. Another sounded like Harry and Hillary, insisting that America is the victim of a right-wing conspiracy. Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform was mentioned as one of the culprits. It is all very amusing to those of us who can still have a good laugh over politics.

Listening to the liberals' irrational outbursts again puts me in mind of a truth I discovered in the late 1990s, to wit: More than being about interests, ideas, or principles, politics is for many a matter of mental illness. It is about the need of many politically-minded people to have enemies. Senator Reid reminds us that Josh Bolten is his enemy and John Bolton, too. Boltenism could be the New McCarthyism.

So much for the grumpy Senator's appraisal of Bolten's replacement of Andy Card. The move reminded me of a memo President Ronald Reagan received early in his second term from former President Richard Nixon. The former president was advising him on how to avoid a problem every second term president encounters, namely how to avoid being a lame duck. Nixon believed an important way to avoid the problem is to effect a personnel change on the staff. The selfless Card was tired. It was a good time for him to take a break. Bolten is relatively fresh and with his knowledge of the budget he might be helpful to his boss in a key area necessary to shore up his base for the autumn elections, excessive federal spending.

The spendthrifts on Capitol Hill have been spending madly since the first year of the Bush administration. It is time this stopped. Republicans have been as extravagant as Democrats. Perhaps this fellow Bolten can put the arm on the Republicans or at least encourage the President to veto some of the prodigality. There may be hope for Boltenism after all.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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