Douthat Can't Say It, But I Can
It would be easy to critique Ross Douthat's column "A Different Kind of Division" as lily-livered RINOism. He is gently, ever so gently telling his liberal audience that, fifty years after Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech, today's Obama race wars do not divide the country like Bull Connor's dogs and water hoses in 1963. And really, he waffles, there are good ideas for reform from both sides of the aisle. Get this:
Meanwhile, in the broader socioeconomic landscape, the big story of the last generation in American life is that problems that were seen as specifically "black problems" in the 1970s and 1980s -- persistent unemployment, especially for men, family breakdown and social disarray -- are now problems affecting the pan-ethnic working class.
Do you see what he is doing? He is referring to Daniel Patrick Moynihan's 1965 report on "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action" and to Charles Murray's Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010. Moynihan is unmentionable because he was so embarrassingly right and Charles Murray is unmentionable because long ago in a galaxy far away he wrote a book that allowed as how blacks scored lower on IQ tests than whites. Cue Noel Coward and "Don't Let's Be Beastly to the Lib'rals."
Back in the good old days they used to advise rabble-rousers not to frighten the horses in the street. Today it's important not to frighten the NYT-reading termagents of a certain age in the faculty lounge.
Allow me to translate Douthat's gentle words. Liberals: You Suck! You're the ruling class; you're the evolved ones, the educated, the compassionate ones, yet you've been playing the race card, shamelessly and cynically, man and boy, for the last 50 years and now it's like you're on crack. You'll do anything to rile up and harvest that 90 percent of the African American vote that you need to stay in the game, and with the Obama race wars you're just about hitting bottom.
Remember? You liberals were the guys that said never again would the U.S. countenance racist thugs like Lester Maddox and George Wallace. Today, in 2013, it is liberals that not merely condone but actually encourage the racist Reverends who go out every morning to remind African Americans that Jim Crow is just around the corner.
So it's a different kind of division now? Are you kidding? Jim Crow got started after the dead-heat 1876 election because Republicans were tired of occupying the South. So Rutherford B. Hayes took office in a deal that allowed the white ruling class down south to resurrect a kind of slavery-lite for the next 80 years. Shame on the Republicans.
Fast-forward to today. The liberal administrative state has been exposed as an utter failure, from its failing schools, its failing pensions, its monstrous health-care, to its inflationist Keynesianism. Conservatives have been offering sensible, practical reforms for a generation, but liberals know better. Just like the defeated South and the Bourbons before them, they have forgotten nothing and learned nothing. They are the ruling class, to the manor born, and we once and future slaves better get down on our knees and obey the mandates of the latest 2,000 page omnibus bill to the letter, or they'll sic the IRS on us.
So what is the difference?
The difference is in what comes next. After the pride of Hubris comes the avenging sword of Nemesis. It's all just a Greek myth, of course, but it's telling that Nemesis was female, on the idea that Heaven hath no fury like a woman scorned by the pride of a ruling-class liberal.
We've got the recovery that isn't. We've got the ObamaCare train wreck. We've got the global warming that didn't. Now we've got the #HATE THEM hashtaggers proudly broadcasting their racist thuggery on Twitter and acting on it. There's your fundamental transformation.
We conservatives, if we were as mean-spirited as the liberals insist we are, could be setting up the bleachers right now to cheer on an epic political meltdown. But the truth is that we love America too much for that, and hate what is coming in the next three years, even if that's what it takes to put a Republican president into office with a Republican Congress on January 20, 2017.
We know who will be hardest hit. It will be the folks that took the welfare bait and backed off their work effort. It will be the twentysomethings buried in Obama student debt slavery. It will be the government retirees beached by the dismasted government pensions. It will be the teachers marooned by the shipwreck of education.
The dream has become a nightmare.
Christopher Chantrill (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his usgovernmentspending.com and also usgovernmentdebt.us. At americanmanifesto.org he is blogging and writing An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism. Get his Road to the Middle Class.