Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ezra Klein: Why We All Went Nuts

Ezra Klein: Why We All Went Nuts: "I started out a moderate -- by temperament, if not totally by ideology. I liked believing the best about my opponents, approaching the debate as something to be valued and the ideas as good-faith efforts to be considered. But I was wrong again and again, and as my willingness to assume good-faith repeatedly proved an analytical weakness, I eventually abandoned the effort, and my predictions have been the better-informed for it. Now I write articles about how the West Wing weakened Democrats by wrapping them in a warm-but-false world of comity and spend my time looking for the catch in rightwing policies, not the hope. I'd love to see that change -- it's unnatural for me to be so cynical. But, as Josh's reader says, this is their choice, not ours. Because, in the end, this isn't a game, it's not low stakes. However much I might like to wrap myself in lofty values and enlightened opinions, this really isn't about me and my self-regard. Too many pundits (some even named Klein), I think, make that mistake, and the country is the worse off for it."

It is fascinating to me that Lieberman-Lamont has had this huge impact in terms of bringing the liberal blogosphere to self-awareness about how moderates and principled conservatives have been transformed, against natural temperment, into partisan Democrats, by the mendacity of Bush Republicans.

At the same time, an older generation of pundits and politicians are being cast out of the Democratic Party, or fleeing it.

And, Republican commentators are revealing just how much they appreciated the Joe Liebermans.

It really is a kind of realignment in American politics. It has only affected a small number of hyper-aware (politically) people. But, it will spread.

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