Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, January 13, 2004  

Yesterday I wrote about Republicans stifling dissent in the party. Right on cue, David Brooks--toeing the line--floats out this preposterous claim:

When you look beneath the headline data, you see at least one important change. The events of the past three years have brought to the foreground issues that divide Democrats, and pushed to the background issues that divide Republicans.

His evidence? Republicans support the war overwhelmingly, but Democrats do not similarly oppose it. Oh, and Dems have some issues with religion. Thus, Brooks pleads, "as we dive into this period of intense Democratic primary competition, it's worth keeping in mind that Democratic primary voters are a misleading snapshot of the electorate as a whole."

In the real world, the GOP is wracked by dissention. We have a former Bush appointee calling his old boss a liar. We've heard accusations of bribery, goombah strong-arming on the Medicare bill, and divisions over, among other things Bush's immigration amnesty proposal, steel tariffs, deficits, and tax cuts.

On the Democratic side, things are heated--but there's an election on, after all. Except for ocassional fireworks, most have been surprised by how genteel the campaign has been. And on the issues, despite a lot of posturing, the Dems are very close in position. Compared with the coming split in the GOP between moderate conservatives and extreme conservatives (there are no moderates left in the GOP), things on the Democratic side look pretty peachy, support for the war or not. (Wonder why Brooks didn't cite polls about whether the President lied? Perhaps because Dems overwhelming agree he did while Republicans are divided?)

But Brooks' piece is evidence that the autocrats still have control. For now.

posted by Jeff | 9:41 AM |
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