Friday, November 04, 2005

Liberal gloating at Republican meltdown

I have to confess I share the left's pleasure at the whole Scotter Libby/Dick Cheney/Karl Rove affair, laying bare the cronyism and dishonesty in the Bush inner circle. It is a bit reminiscent of the final years of Tory misrule on this side of the Atlantic, the Major years, from which New Labour surfed to power on the waves of Conservative sleaze. But while the British left in the mid-1990s were busy putting together some sort of credible alternative (not one to my liking admittedly), the American left seems to have nothing better to do than wallow ecstatically in the misery of the Republicans.

Gary Younge nails some of this quite well in a recent article.
[T]he investigation has given us one of the clearest indications to date of how we got to this point. Given the malevolent partisanship of the Republican party it is not surprising that many liberals gloat at the prospect of a full-scale Republican implosion. But such schadenfreude is premature. The wounds of recent weeks have all been self-inflicted - the result of a mixture of hubris, malice, greed and ineptitude. There is no doubt that they have damaged Bush politically...
But the Democrats are not faring much better, with only marginally more support than Republicans, according to a poll taken before the indictments and Miers withdrawal, but after hurricane Katrina and DeLay's arrest... Either unable or unwilling to present a clear agenda of how they would do things differently, they have been effectively mute for several months. With no opposition, popular disenchantment with the Bush Administration's ethical failings is descending into cynicism.

This is related to the point Todd Gitlin made in the summer, in an article I blogged then. Gitlin made the analogy with the the late 1960s, as the American public turned against the Vietnam war, much as many are now turning against the Iraq war: "As the war became less popular, so did the anti-war movement. It was hated, in fact—by the end of the decade, the most hated entity in America."

Time to wake up.

Previous: Feeling good about Iraq, What's wrong with the left?, Lisa Ramaci-Vincent v Juan Cole, Left-right convergence, the radical centre and the new fascism, More roosting chickens, People of the Left.
Tags: rove, PlameGate, fitzgerald, Bush, Cheney, Politics, Karl Rove

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