Conservatives understand that liberals often demonize their opponents rather than debate the merits of the issues because the tactic works. But you have to wonder whether another reason they lash out is that they are angry that reality doesn't cooperate with their ideologically driven solutions and it's easier to blame others than to face up to the unpleasant truth of their failed ideas.
It's not just the tirades of liberal talk show host Ed Schultz, who said he would cheat to keep Scott Brown from winning his Senate election, or Chris Matthews, who said Republicans indoctrinate their members in the same way Cambodian communists re-educated their subjects, or the nasty outbursts of presidential adviser Rahm Emanuel.
I was also reminded of this, on a subtler level, when reading a Washington Post piece on David Plouffe, Barack Obama's presidential campaign manager, who recently returned to the Obama camp to quarterback the Democrats' election efforts in 2010 and beyond.
Plouffe said: "Politics is a comparative exercise. This isn't just a referendum on Democrats. ... It's a choice. ... Republicans right now are just sitting back and slinging arrows. We need to ... shine some light over their side of the fence."
Plouffe said he would remind voters that Democrats have spent two years trying to fix problems, whereas Republicans want to wheel a "Trojan horse" into Washington and spill out bankers and health insurance executives. Sure, why not vilify bankers and insurers when it helps your guy avoid accountability for his policies?
It's shamelessly Machiavellian of Democrats to accuse the GOP of going negative, when Democrats use Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" (e.g., "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it") as an instruction manual. But hey, they're out of fresh ideas, so what other choice do they have?
Notice how liberal Democrats frame almost any issue: stressing their supposedly good intentions and the Republicans' alleged lack of compassion to avoid a genuine debate and scrutiny of their policies. Consider:
On welfare, Democrats insist on ever-greater redistributionist programs with the ostensible goal of "ending" poverty. Nearly a half-century and $5 trillion since the war on poverty was initiated, we've barely made a dent in poverty. In fact, prior to the Republicans' Contract with America in 1994, we were losing ground in all relevant categories -- with black families, particularly black children, being the hardest hit.
Despite the evidence, Bill Clinton had to be dragged kicking and screaming into signing the welfare reform bill, for which, of course, he claimed full credit. But sadly, the manifest successes of the reforms -- which saw significant improvements in poverty and the rate of illegitimacy, especially among blacks -- didn't keep uber-liberal Barack Obama from rolling them back with a vengeance, something the public has barely noticed. These liberals cannot afford to allow success to stand, lest they be with fewer victims to exploit and conservatives to demonize.
On tax policy, the overwhelming successes of supply-side economics at improving the lots of all income groups without a loss in tax revenues didn't prevent liberals from falsely depicting the policies as sops for the rich and blaming them for the spending-induced deficits. More revealing was Obama's damning revelation that he favors capital gains tax increases as "a matter of fairness" despite admitting they result in decreases in revenue. Here he can't even credibly claim noble intentions. Instead of helping the poor, he's willing to hurt them, as long as everyone else is hurt, too. Class envy trumps results, which is really twisted when you think about it.
On education, liberals refuse to support school vouchers, the result being that many poor people, especially minorities, remain locked in inner-city schools without a key. Otherwise, liberals wouldn't be able to demand endless tax dollars for public education, which only they can "deliver."
On homosexual "marriage" and "don't ask, don't tell" policies for the military, liberals absurdly impugn conservatives as "homophobes" instead of addressing their valid interest in protecting traditional marriage as one of society's pillars and preserving the cohesiveness of the military unit, respectively.
On abortion, liberals refuse to consider mounting scientific evidence that the unborn are live human beings (as if further evidence were needed to confirm what we already know), because it forces them into moral accountability. Instead, they falsely declare the matter unknowable and, worse, try to co-opt the moral high ground as champions of women's rights while condemning their life-advocating opponents as bigots.
On man-made global warming, they cling to their flat-earth alarmism while refusing to discuss the evidence and accusing their opponents of willful blindness. Surreal on stilts!
On health care, they demand socialist solutions to achieve "universal coverage," when such solutions have failed everywhere they've been tried and will, studies show, leave millions uninsured.
But they're still superior because they care. Or do they?