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Thursday, February 02, 2006

'I Hope She Drowns'
Conservatives are always writing about the strains and stresses within the Republican Party, and they are real. But the Democratic Party seems to be near imploding, and for that most humiliating of reasons: its meaninglessness. Republicans are at least arguing over their meaning.
The venom is bubbling on websites like Kos, where Tuesday afternoon, after the Alito vote, various leftists wrote in such comments as "F--- our democratic leaders," "Vichy Democrats" and "F--- Mary Landrieu, I hope she drowns." The old union lunch-pail Democrats are dead, the intellects of the Kennedy and Johnson era retired or gone, and this--I hope she drowns--seems, increasingly, to be the authentic voice of the Democratic base.

How will a sane, stable, serious Democrat get the nomination in 2008 when these are the activists to whom the appeal must be made?

Republicans have crazies. All parties do. But in the case of the Democrats--the leader of their party, after all, is the unhinged Howard Dean--the lunatics seem increasingly to be taking over the long-term health-care facility. Great parties die this way, or show that they are dying.

On the subject of political passion Tom Shales, longtime TV critic of the Washington Post and possessor of occasional eloquence, wrote a piece this week that deserves comment. I don't mean his State of the Union review, which began, "George Bush may or may not be the worst president since Herbert Hoover . . ." I mean his attack last Monday on "Flight 93," the A&E television movie on that fated 9/11 flight. Mr. Shales said it was shameful that vulgar dramatizers would "exploit" the pain of those on the flight and those they left behind. Or as he put it, he had, innocent that he is, thought it "unthinkable" that "even the sleaziest producers" would "exploit any aspect of a nightmare that the nation had witnessed in horror."
Remembering the men and women of Flight 93 isn't a self-indulgence but a duty. One senses in the Shales review the sneaky little suggestion that those who would remember, and who would tell this story (based by the way on the surviving telephone and other harrowing tapes of that flight) are in fact being political. But one suspects it is Mr. Shales who is being political. Maybe he fears those stupid Americans will get all emotional if they revisit part of the horror of that day, and go out and do something bad. Let's not speak of it lest the rabble be roused.

What a snob.

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