Part of the fun of youth is re-inventing the wheel, discovering fire, and believing that the famously “independent” journalist I. F. Stone really didn’t work with the Soviets. Thus, I had to laugh when I read the following tweet from Ezra Klein, the founder of the notorious JournList fraternity of lefty political writers and charter member of the Juicebox Mafia:
I can’t remember a time when House/Senate/WH sources were as pessimistic about American politics as in these last 3 weeks.
To which my friend Hugh Hewitt retorted:
Ezra, you are 28!
One might start with Watergate, were one old enough to have lived back then. Or the Clinton impeachment, or the JFK assassination or, what the heck, the death of Abraham Lincoln or Hamilton’s fatal duel with Aaron Burr. But so it goes on the Children’s Crusade to “fundamentally transform” the United States of America. Viewing the sweep of American politics through the prism of an outlier like Obama is bound to cause severe tunnel vision, but one would think that a writer for the Washington Post would have a little more awareness that history did not begin with his arrival at the computer keyboard. Klein and his cohort are like young music critics covering their first performance of La Traviata or La Boheme who return to the newsroom to write their reviews, bearing the sad news that Violetta or Mimi dies at the end. But such critics were mostly working in the provinces at that age, where their lack of experience did not expose them to widespread ridicule and an instant national smackdown from older, wiser hands.
The zealotry of a true believer, coupled with unearned moral high dudgeon and a burning desire to remake the world “by any mean necessary” is never a good prescription, as “progressive” projects have amply demonstrated over the past century and more. But until “progressivism” is finally discredited, it’ll just keep on coming, a folly of youth never lacking for reinforcements. And Violetta and Mimi and Tosca and Cio-Cio San and all the others will keep expiring at the final curtain.