On state-run media’s “All Things Considered,” Robert Siegel today chided Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas for Republicans’ purported cultivation of irrational anger. Governor Hutchinson has endorsed Marco Rubio, and he says that Trump’s rhetoric is worrisome, especially on trade and economic policy. Trump’s proposals are both “undoable and unwise” Governor Hutchinson insisted. Siegel wasn’t having it, and described Trump as the logical next step after the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, etc. (Yes, that is dopiness on a practically interstellar scale. But NPR doesn’t understand the Right, never has, and never will.)
“Republicans,” the gentleman from NPR huffed, “have been courting an angry electorate for quite a few years now – and here’s the payoff.”
That’s fair enough, in a sense: There’s a great deal of stupid, inchoate rage out there in talk-radio land, and Trump is its favored channel for the moment. But – if the Powers that Be and Jay Nordlinger will bear my pointing it out for the millionth time – anger is by no means subject to a right-wing monopoly. Curious, then, that one so seldom hears the nice liberals on NPR fretting that the Democratic party, or the Left, may be in thrall to a fit of rage. And to the extent that left-wing rage is acknowledged, it is almost always in the context of an exercise in equivocation: e.g.
About the time the Tea Party elements were really coming together, Democrats and the Left were so very, very angry that they took to illegally occupying public spaces around the country, setting up encampments in which they raped and defecated on every promising target when they weren’t busy plotting terrorist bombings. Were the Democrats bothered about that anger? Hell, no. Elizabeth Warren had a gander at that concatenation of illiterate hippie filth and boasted that she had laid “the intellectual foundation for what they do.”
Can you imagine a bunch of Tea Party types plotting acts of terrorism and Rand Paul boasting that he’d laid the intellectual foundation for what they do? You’d get a whole Peking opera of wailing and alarums and excursions.
The Democrats are, at the moment, giving surprisingly serious consideration to answering the Republicans’ embrace of an anuran game-show host with the nomination of an antediluvian socialist who has argued (party of science alert!) that women suffer cancers in their reproductive systems because of orgasmic insufficiency, which they may address through persistent fantasies of being gang-raped. (Todd Akin is Marcus Welby by comparison.) But you’ll have a hard time finding an NPR program that characterizes Senator Sanders or his followers (many of whom are Occupy veterans) as “extremists.” You’ll barely find acknowledgment of Democratic anger at all (gold star to Brian Naylor) much less of the fact that the Left is so very angry at the moment that it has gone straight-up 1930s even as it complains about Republicans who supposedly want to return to the 1950s.
Republicans, in a fit of pique, are declining to hold judiciary committee hearings; Democrats, in a fit of rage, tried to repeal the First Amendment so that they can put people in jail for expressing political opinions without government permission.
Tell me: Who’s angry, again?
I suspect that this occurred to polite, courtly Asa Hutchinson, who might have protested more forcefully if not for fear that he’d sound . . . oh, the Hell with it.