During a brief period of time, parts of the East coast were tested with genuine fear; 9/11, anthrax, and the DC shooters shocked and frightened everyone in the area. Senators and staffers ran out of the capitol every time Tom Ridge hit the panic button. The DC Village people were terrified. The randomness of the attacks destroyed their illusion that the elite can never suffer like the little people, and let them know that their security guards and limos and wealth couldn't stop someone from hijacking a plane or sending poison through the mail.
9/11 changed nothing. It simply ripped away the mask the elite wear, a thin veneer of superiority. They were cowards, and rather than admit it, they insist the danger was so severe that the world had to completely transform itself to meet it. They were afraid, and they panicked. They would rather that we forget this little detail, indeed, forget the last eight years altogether.
And so we come to Megan McArdle, Homo Vacuous, as we so often do.
If the country is so progressive, how come Bush won the popular vote four years ago? Did all the center right people die? Or are American voters somewhat mercurial?
Oh, Megan. The dishonesty of this approach is naked and ugly. Obviously people became extremely unhappy with Republican rule. Republicans dragged us (some willing, some not) into two wars with no ending and no measure of success. They looted the Treasury and probably destroyed the economy. They neglected and let crumble an historic and beautiful American city. And those are just the tip of the iceberg that has hit our country, courtesy not merely of George Bush, but of the entire Republican party (and Democratic enablers).
Also, how come Bush had no mandate four years ago? Did the American
voter get more mandative? Would John McCain have had a mandate if he'd
achieved these kinds of numbers? Or would that be entirely different?
Bush won by a very narrow margin. Obama won in a landslide. What a petty thing to say, reeking of sour grapes. Why do we have to do this? Why do we have to fight deceitful "ideologues" working out personal issues? Why can't we concentrate on improving our country, instead of wasting our time and emotional energy on highly-placed hacks?
I have to quote Paul Krugman in toto now, both for the aptness of the quote and the lovely, tasty irony. Here he is.
Last night wasn’t just a victory for tolerance; it wasn’t just a mandate for
progressive change; it was also, I hope, the end of the monster years.
What I mean by that is that for the past 14 years America’s political
life has been largely dominated by, well, monsters. Monsters like Tom DeLay, who
suggested that the shootings at Columbine happened because schools teach
students the theory of evolution. Monsters like Karl Rove, who declared that
liberals wanted to offer “therapy and understanding” to terrorists. Monsters
like Dick Cheney, who saw 9/11 as an opportunity to start torturing people.
And in our national discourse, we pretended that these monsters were
reasonable, respectable people. To point out that the monsters were, in fact,
monsters, was “shrill.”
Four years ago it seemed as if the monsters
would dominate American politics for a long time to come. But for now, at least,
they’ve been banished to the wilderness.
Prof. Krugman must not read The Atlantic.