The conspiracy theory that Rupert Murdoch would ruin The Wall Street Journal with his tabloid conservatism is even struggling on the Journal's traditionally conservative editorial pages. The Journal's newly redesigned pages will now feature a weekly column from leftist cultural analyst Thomas Frank to underline "what's on the mind of the American left." Frank is by no means the first leftist on those pages, for anyone who can recall Michael Gartner (who also became president of NBC News), but it does frustrate the Rupert's Right-Wing Ruination spin.
Frank's inaugural column took some credit for Obama's San Francisco declaration that the voters have bitterness and cling to their guns and religion and xenophobia instead of noticing their class interests. Frank dutifully unloaded on conservatives:
Conservatism, on the other hand, has no problem with bitterness; as the champion strategist Howard Phillips said almost three decades ago, the movement's job is to "organize discontent." And organize they have. They have welcomed it, they have flattered it, they have invited it in with millions of treason-screaming direct-mail letters, they have given it a nice warm home on angry radio shows situated up and down the AM dial. There is not only bitterness out there; there is a bitterness industry.
After mocking Hillary Clinton's swigging of Crown Royal, he concluded with a swipe at our growing plutocracy (take that, Rupert):
If Barack Obama or anyone else really cares to know what I think, I will simplify it all down to this. The landmark political fact of our time is the replacement of our middle-class republic by a plutocracy. If some candidate has a scheme to reverse this trend, they've got my vote, whether they prefer Courvoisier or beer bongs spiked with cough syrup.
(Hat tip: Jack Coleman)