Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Look Over There

Jonah Goldberg pulls the classic diversion move to distract his audience by trying to convince them that because the Democratic candidates have similar policies on the war and health care, they are the ones with the problem, not the torn, fractious, and cratering GOP.

The Republican Party is a mess, absolutely. Conservatives are sorting out what they believe, what heresies they can tolerate and what principles they will not bend on. At times this argument is loud, ugly and unfortunate.

But you know what? At least it’s an argument about something. On the Democratic side, if you strip away the crass appeals to identity politics, the emotional pandering and the helium-infused rhetoric, you’re pretty much left with a campaign about nothing.

I will give the dear boy credit for trying to spray-paint a turd and make it look like a bar of gold. But what’s most interesting is how he tries to take the Democrats discussion on issues such as the war and health care — two issues that Americans care the most about and the two issues that the Bush administration so completely demonstrated abject failure in — and turn them into “nothing,” while the “something” to the GOP is whether or not Ann Coulter, James Dobson, and Rush Limbaugh will even vote for their nominee. It’s nice to know where his priorities are.

It’s another fine example in a long résumé of Mr. Goldberg’s predilection for irrelevancy, and it’s also an admission of a rather stunning reversal of fortune. It’s usually the Democrats who are tearing themselves apart along ideological fault lines (David Brooks tries, unconvincingly, to sell that bit of snake oil) while the Republicans are the ones who are debating the differences without a distinction in their platform. No wonder he is doing everything he can to get us to look somewhere else.