There's no question that animosity exists on both sides of the political spectrum, but have you noticed how personal it has become for many on the left? It is disturbing how intolerant and filled with rage leftist extremists have become, and how many more people are falling into the category of leftist extremism. But what concerns me as much as this pattern of ill will and abuse from leftists is that it is unchecked by their peers and often applauded.
The October 1-14 issue of New York Magazine issued 10 pages of anti-Kavanaugh bile under the heading “Her and Him -- The hearing that broke America.” It’s a collection of brief essays on the September 27 Senate Judiciary committee testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh: Ten pages of inchoate liberal rage, from liberals including Jonathan Chait, Frank Rich, Rebecca Traister (preserved in amber at the moment after the testimony and before Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote), all shamelessly junking any pretense of due process while loudly assuming Kavanaugh’s guilt.
Journalist Jonathan Chait attacked President Trump with conspiratorial hyperbole in the September 3 issue of New York magazine, “Trump’s Enablers,” throwing around unhinged “Stalinist” and Lenin-esque” smears and calling Republican Congress “unindicted co-conspirators” for not investigating Democratic allegations against Trump with sufficient vigor (as if Democrats never fiercely defended Bill Clinton on partisan grounds).
President Trump was set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, and the liberal media were in full campaign mode as they pushed speculation the President was a Russian agent meeting with his handler. CNN’s Brian Stelter admitted as much during Sunday’s Reliable Sources, saying, “Trump opponents will speculate that he's really a Russian agent, having a meeting with his handler, betraying America.” While he did say that, Stelter also declared that no one could trust the President’s account of the meeting and gave those conspiracy theories room to grow.
New York magazine's Jonathan Chait is glad that the era of conservative media bias on tax cuts is over. In a Thursday post, Chait observed that Republicans have "complain[ed] bitterly" about the MSM's coverage of the just-passed tax bill. Those gripes, he suggested, aren't surprising, given that the coverage "has been generally clear about the undeniable fact that [the GOP] plan overwhelmingly benefits the affluent," whereas previously Republicans had "succeeded in bullying the news media into treating this provable truth as an unimportant, contested partisan accusation."
The “IRS scandal” is best understood as a significant work of fiction, suggested New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait on Tuesday. As Chait tells it, conservatives’ false belief that the tax agency subjected righty groups to especially exacting treatment “prefigure[d] the Republicans’ own blueprint for the use of government as an implement of partisan domination and revenge.”
Since Tuesday night, many lefty pundits have been mostly (though not completely) distracted from President Trump by Roy Moore’s win in Alabama’s Republican U.S. Senate primary. Their message: Just when you thought the GOP had hit bottom, the bottom dropped out. Two especially noteworthy commentaries came from Esquire’s Charles Pierce and New York’s Jonathan Chait.
According to New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait, the Democratic party is far saner than the Republican party. One reason for that, Chait suggested this past Sunday, is that Democrats benefit from powerful forces that help keep them rational -- forces that include CBS News and The Washington Post. “The fact is that the Democratic Party is fundamentally accountable to the mainstream news media. And that media…try to follow rules of objectivity that the right-wing alternative media does not bother with,” argued Chait. “Democratic politicians need to please a news media that is open to contrary facts.”
A few days before Steve Bannon left the Trump White House, President Trump noted that Bannon had not signed on until “very late" in the 2016 campaign. Still, much like a ballplayer acquired just prior to the trading deadline who puts his team over the top, Bannon made a crucial contribution to Trump’s win, suggests New York’s Jonathan Chait. Bannon realized well before he joined the Trump campaign that if Hillary-bashing had a respectable face, it could find a far larger and more persuadable audience than the old-school wacky conspiratorial stuff did.
Republicans’ drive to repeal and replace Obamacare has hit its latest pothole, which didn’t surprise New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait. Chait observed that from 2010 through 2016, when GOPers were merely naysaying regarding the ACA, they had “cohesion.” Once they also controlled the White House, however, that unity “disintegrated…because their ideology left them unable to pass legislation that was not cruel, horrific, and repugnant to their own constituents.”
This past Tuesday, three prominent left-wing writers examined Paul Ryan’s health-care bill; what they see as the typical Republican attitude toward health insurance; and the modern GOP as a whole. Unsurprisingly, they found all three wanting. For example, Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall contended that on occasions like this that call for wonkery, Republicans are ill-equipped to deliver it, inasmuch as they’ve “spent years since 2008 (actually before but especially since 2008) stoking their base with increasingly fantastical and ridiculous claims.”
How is Donald Trump “not a normal Republican”? Let New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait count the ways. Trump is “crudely ethno-nationalist,” wrote Chait in a Tuesday post, and he’s “personally ignorant and undisciplined in a manner that sets him apart not only from traditional Republicans but most human adults.” That’s pretty much it for Trump’s deviations from orthodoxy, according to Chait, who thinks current White House economic and fiscal proposals are “perfectly orthodox” by party standards, notwithstanding blasts at them from GOP-aligned sources such as National Review.