Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.
Michael Tomasky has left, for just a moment,the journalistic shit-hole that is The Daily Beast, for the bourgeois respectability of The New York Times. Mr. Tomasky spent most of 2016 attacking Bernie-Bros, and other undesirable elements, in the Democratic Party, while singing the praises of Hillary Clinton, as the natural successor to Obama’s Reaganism Lite. Mr. Tomasky wrote Hillary propaganda throughout the campaign.
Mr. Tomasky uses his essay to instruct the Democrats, under the portentous title of ‘What the Democrats Must Do’ in order to win in 2020. But he has the temerity to lecture the party that it must emancipate itself from its Neo-Liberalism. The reader is somewhat surprised by Mr. Tomasky’s frankness. Where was this realization in the 2016 contest? Was the failure of the Neo-Liberal Faith not utterly apparent in 2008, or in the years since? Both political parties are fully committed to its ‘Free Market Nostrums’.
Mr. Bush appears in this long quotation of his recent speech:
“The great democracies face new and serious threats, yet seem to be losing confidence in their own calling and competence. Economic, political and national security challenges proliferate, and they are made worse by the tendency to turn inward. The health of the democratic spirit itself is at issue. And the renewal of that spirit is the urgent task at hand.”
Tomasky’s reply is instructive of one political midwife’s opinion to that of another:
I was hardly a fan of how Mr. Bush sought to renew that spirit as president. But I was impressed with these words. They show an understanding of the grave stakes that challenge the United States and other Western democracies.
Mr. Tomasky and Mr. Bush were and are Trump’s political midwives, and need to, but never will, admit their culpability. Never will there be the expression of such honesty in American political life. Trump is a cataclysmic political accident, without cause in the world views of these two mendacious civic actors. The cause and effect that rules the universe, is rendered null set, in the world according to the newest American political alliance of Bush & Tomasky.