July 23, 2018 | Reading Time: 3 minutes
Rumors of Democratic Disarray Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
Call it socialist. Call it whatever. The point is opposition to Donald Trump.
The Editorial Board came into being believing politics is simpler and more complex than most realize, because elite journalists paid vast sums to explain politics to the citizenry aren’t doing their jobs. Instead, they are telling, and selling, stories.
There’s nothing wrong with storytelling per se, but there is something wrong when storytelling distorts reality, making politics less coherent to average Americans and preventing them from understanding the true complexity of their politics.
Chris Matthews is one of these. The MSNBC host blasted Democrats for not doing more to stop President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. He said that if the Democrats don’t avenge Judge Merrick Garland, there will be hell to pay.
Matthews is wrong (and still wrong). It takes a majority to win judicial confirmation. Senate Republicans have the majority. The Democrats can raise holy hell, and there is something to be said about that. But ultimately, the numbers are not in their favor. As I said earlier, hard ball isn’t a Hail Mary Pass that might or might not work. Hard ball is doing what you’d rather not do, things like legalizing abortion by statute.
But such complexity doesn’t serve Matthews’ ends. He’s selling a story, one about the base of the Democratic Party that’s just as extreme as the base of the Republican Party. Fact is, the base of each party is different because the parties are different. They are not two sides of the same coin. But in equating things that don’t exist, Chris Matthews gets to seem tough. In equating non-existent things that can’t be equated, Chris Matthews gets to seem fair. Meanwhile, his viewers are badly misinformed.
The New York Times is another offender, at least as far as Sunday’s thumbsucker is concerned, the one about socialists storming the Democratic Party and making “centrists” panic. Entitled “There Is a Revolution on the Left. Democrats Are Bracing,” it had such impact former FBI Director James Comey took to Twitter to say: