A Case Study in Political Psychology
The Pelosi-Hoyer attack on “un-American” health-policy protests is a case study in political psychology. Liberal Democrats have long taken nearly any criticism of their positions as an attempt to discredit their patriotism. Twenty-five years ago, Speaker Tip O’Neill shouted at Newt Gingrich for his floor remarks on Democratic foreign policy: “You deliberately stood in that well before an empty House and challenged these people and you challenged their Americanism and it’s the lowest thing that I’ve ever seen in my 32 years in Congress!” Gingrich had done no such thing. Though his criticism was harsh, he did not call Democrats un-American or un-patriotic. Republicans seldom use such terms, but liberal Democrats insist on thinking that they do. And now they are deriving their tactics from their own distorted image of Republican and conservative rhetoric. Politicians are not smart to plagiarize figments of their imagination.