A Common Foe
Read this Charles Krauthammer column (Republicans are the real girly men) and two things are clear:
1. It's a typical example of winger whining that anyone who keeps them from getting 100% of what they want is an enemy of (their vision of) America.
2. That one of the wingers biggest enemies is the same one that many on the progressive side hate: the Washington establishment.
The second sure thing is that the seven Republicans who went against their party are the toast of the Washington establishment. Last Monday night, they came out of the negotiations beaming. And why shouldn't they? They are now being hailed as profiles in courage, prepared to put principle ahead of (Republican) party. We will soon see glowing stories in the mainstream press about how they have grown in office. (In Washington parlance, the dictionary definition of "to grow" is "to move left.") After that, the dinner-party circuit, fawning articles about their newfound stature and coveted slots on the Sunday morning talk shows.
Of course, Krauthammer makes the laughable suggestion that the way to win the hearts of the Washington establishment is to "move left". But many on the left make same mistake in assuming that the establishment favors those who "move right".
The establishment is neither left or right. It is not ideological in nature. It is simply out for whatever makes itself appear to be superior to the rest of the rabble (both left and right).
The establishment considers itself to be the guardians of The Way. They exist, in their own minds, to protect the country from the rest of us who might have a different conception of how things ought to work. They are superior because of their position and they hold their position because they are superior. The Washington establishment is the true center of elitism in this country (and Krauthammer is a lot closer to it than he would ever admit) and nothing is more important to them then protecting their position of privilege.
I disagree with pretty much everything else Krauthammer wrote in his column, but I find it eerie how his criticism of the establishment echoes the bitterness and frustration I hear in left-wing circles.
At least we have one thing in common.