The Party of Lincoln and the Party of Limbaugh?

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Mar 01, 2009 3:18 PM
Apparently, there is a strategy afoot on the Democrat side to try to gain support by arguing that the party of Lincoln has become the "party of Limbaugh".

The strategy is one coined by Bill Clinton in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombings (and relies on the MSM to push a distorted portrait of Rush aimed at those who have never taken the time actually to listen to his show).  For me, however, it's always seemed profoundly unseemly for the putative head of the free world -- or his supporters -- to attack a private citizen who dares to disagree with him, albeit an incredibly influential one.

Can anyone visualize President Bush calling out Oprah Winfrey (on the entertainment/influence side) or Keith Olbermann (on the hard-core partisan/pundit side) -- as President Obama did Rush?  Of course not.  It's unpresidential, and -- at least for the left, it's hypocritical, insofar as it relies on the kind of attack rhetoric that President Obama supposedly deplores.

Certainly, it's difficult to articulate policies and ideas effectively, without resorting to easy demonization of the opposition.  But that's the way politics ought to be conducted -- and if the personal likability of President Obama forces the GOP to have to move in that direction, it's all to the good.

It's cheap politics to do what the left did for the past eight years -- that is, simply attack the president, over and over, in vicious personal terms.  Their new strategy -- "let's just find a new demon" -- is cheap and unworthy of Obama's rhetoric about "unity," not to mention being totally unsuitable for the serious times in which we find ourselves. 

But perhaps it's the only playbook the left now has.  "It's a little like the old lawyers' saying: If you don't have the law on your side, argue the facts.  If you don't have the facts, pound the table."  Substitute "popularity" for law and "policies" for facts.  Could it be that demonization -- the political equivalent of table-pounding -- is the only way the that Democrats know how to practice politics these days?

And isn't it frightening (and hypocritical) that the party that spent years celebrating the virtue of "dissent" is now so ready to attack those opponents who practice it?