David Brooks nails one out of three reasons he offers for Congressional Democrats' brief reign. I quote (almost) in extenso:
Democrats and their media enablers have paid lavish attention to Christine O’Donnell and Carl Paladino, even though these two Republican candidates have almost no chance of winning. That’s because it feels so delicious to feel superior to opponents you consider to be feeble-minded wackos.... Similarly, the Democrats and their enablers have paid lavish attention to the Tea Party this year. It’s nice to feel more sophisticated than those hordes of Middle Americans, who say silly things like "Get government off my Medicare." On the other hand, Democrats have paid little attention to the crucial group in this election -- the independent moderates who supported President Obama in 2008 but flocked away during the health care summer of 2009 and now support the GOP by landslide proportions.
Naturally I say Brooks nails it because on this point I agree wholeheartedly. But try disputing it.
True, Democrats' "media enablers" have also devoted considerable time to, say, "feeble-minded whacko" Sharron Angle, who has more than just a chance at winning. But mousy evolution-deniers and businessman mobsters and wannabe Nazi officers and violent Texas revolutionaries who, in the grander scheme of this election, are utterly insignificant, have carried the entertainment-over-information day. On the other hand Marco Rubio, who couldn't be more wrong on virtually every issue, is polished and articulate in his stunning wrongheadedness, thus not as laughable, thus not as ratings-attractive, thus largely ignored by left-leaning media, and thus leading both the Independent and Democrat by wide and embarrassing margins.
From there, Brooks starts hammering only his thumbs. He sarcastically assaults the verifiable proposition that "Democrats are lagging this year because the country appears incapable of appreciating the grandeur of their accomplishments," and with far too-clever Machiavellian mischief he toys with and belittles "the menace of secret money." (Go ahead and laugh, Mr. Brooks, but now that we have office-supply sports stadiums, next we'll have Chevron and Bank of America voting stations.)
To make his points, Brooks judiciously neglects mentioning the extraordinary role of malicious Republican obstructionism (except in one minor instance of sarcasm, again) in bringing effective economic cures to an unpardonable halt; nor does he even peek into the democratic abyss of Republican demagoguery-cum-policy.
Bu that's OK, really, since conservative Brooks' larger, initial point holds, I think: Democrats and their media enablers have done a prosecutable job of message malpractice for nearly two years, and now they're paying for it.