Thursday, October 21, 2010

The unbearable Broderism of David Broder

The Washington Post's David Broder, who for some reason not fathomable to mere mortals is regard as The Dean Of All The Pundits, gives a classic example today of what High Broderism means: the idolizing of bipartisanship - in the form of Democrats capitulating to Republicans - and pretending it's moderation.

In Dole-Ford era offers model for Obama-GOP cooperation 10/21/2010. The Dean has been visiting Kansas, where he finds that all is as it should be:

... I found it an intriguing place to assess the closing stage of the 2010 campaign. What I learned was no surprise. Kansas is about to join the national trend. The governorship, which had been held for years by Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama's secretary of health and human services, is almost certainly going to revert to the GOP. The one Democrat in the House delegation is retiring this year, and his wife, who is trying to hold the seat, is unlikely to succeed.
President Obama's comments about hoping to get along with Repubilcans in his now-notorious Peter Baker interview last week sent a thrill up The Dean's leg. And he reminisces about two model moderate Republican statesmen, President Gerald Ford and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole.

That would be Jerry Ford, who as President made Donald Rumsfeld his chief of staff, who in turn hired Dick Cheney as his deputy. And, oh yeah, Ford gave Richard Nixon a blanket pardon for all crimes committed as President, establishing an ever-growing tradition of freedom from accountability for Republican Presidents breaking the law.

And that would be Bob Dole of Kansas, whose key backers included the billionaire Koch brothers, the Libertarian/Bircher types who are key funders of Tea Party events and also of climate-change-denial pseudoscience propaganda. To The Dean Of All The Pundits, they are great models of moderate wisdom, which is why they fit so well in the pantheon of High Broderism. Plus, they were part of The Greatest Generation, don't you know?

It helped that they came to Washington as young military veterans, survivors of a war against an implacable enemy. They knew the difference between the Nazis, who were truly evil, and the Democrats, who were simply fellow Americans with different political beliefs.

For Obama and the Republicans to establish a productive post-election atmosphere, it may require nothing more than the recapture of that wisdom of their political forebears. Behave as if you are veterans, and today's political disputes will recede to their proper size.
I might have been slightly moved by that had I not just yesterday been looking at a pamphlet from 1944 promoting the candidacy of Republican Presidential nominee Thomas Dewey. It said Franklin Roosevelt was a Commie. This was in the middle of The Good War of The Greatest Generation. I guess that means that any day now, Glenn Beck will be held up as a model of High Broderist statesmanship. Or punditship, whatever.

Meanwhile, also at the Post, Dana Milbank - who slipped up and did some half-decent reporting on Beck recently - asks Is the NAACP trying to pick a fight with the Tea Party? 10/20/2010. Dana is gobsmacked that the NAACP, the oldest civil-rights organization in the country - the initials originally stood for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People - put out a report calling out white racism occurring in the present!!! Oh, Miss Melly, bring me the smelling salts!


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