Sunday, September 16, 2007

Liberals as victims

Paul Krugman explains his view of recent history:
Fourth, the lesson of the past six years is that Republicans will accuse Democrats of being unpatriotic no matter what the Democrats do. Democrats gave Mr. Bush everything he wanted in 2002; their reward was an ad attacking Max Cleland, who lost both legs and an arm in Vietnam, that featured images of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

Mr. Krugman's claim that Democrats "gave Mr. Bush everything he wanted," is anti-historical. As Tom Maguire explains in detail, Democrats were obstructionist that year, a fact that Republicans were able to capitalize on in the mid-term elections.

Krugman's new version of history, however, will have strong appeal to liberals because is allows them to pose as victims.

One might think that US senators would want to pose as movers and shakers who make history. Instead, Sen. Schumer and Sen. Edwards are both happy to pose as victims. Something in the liberal psyche makes victim status not something to be avoided but something that is not only acceptable but pleasing. Liberals see victim status as key to criminal justice (see here and here and here and here) and to economics (see here and here). One possibility is that liberals enjoy accepting victim status as it frees them from responsibility.

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