As I have pointed out, Paul Krugman made a stupid argument to the effect that Republican leaders were encouraging political violence. Actually I called the argument idiotic. Krugman's evidence consisted entirely of the most ordinary sorts of political metaphors. Krugman himself was guilty of the same, and it turns out that President Obama was as well. That looks to me like self-defeating rhetoric.
Never in my life have I seen a regime like this, governing against the will of the people, purposely.
Matthews was appalled by the use of the word "regime". From York:
Apparently some people didn't get it. On MSNBC, Chris Matthews appeared deeply troubled by the word. "I've never seen language like this in the American press," he said, "referring to an elected representative government, elected in a totally fair, democratic, American election -- we will have another one in November, we'll have another one for president in a couple years -- fair, free, and wonderful democracy we have in this country…. We know that word, 'regime.' It was used by George Bush, 'regime change.' You go to war with regimes. Regimes are tyrannies. They're juntas. They're military coups. The use of the word 'regime' in American political parlance is unacceptable, and someone should tell the walrus [Limbaugh] to stop using it."
Matthews didn't stop there. "I never heard the word 'regime,' before, have you?" he said to NBC's Chuck Todd. "I don't even think Joe McCarthy ever called this government a 'regime.'"
As a political scientist, I can tell you that "regime" is not an appropriate word to use when you mean Administration or Congressional Majorities, or the sum of the two. Regime means a type of constitution depending on who rules. The American Regime is a democratic republic. The regime of mainland China is an oligarchy.
But the word regime is commonly misused in current political discourse to mean whoever is in charge. York shows that the phrase "Bush regime" was very common in political journalism. Did it ever bother Matthews before?
Best yet is this:
Finally -- you knew this was coming -- on June 14, 2002, Chris Matthews himself introduced a panel discussion about a letter signed by many prominent leftists condemning the Bush administration's conduct of the war on terror. "Let's go to the Reverend Al Sharpton," Matthews said. "Reverend Sharpton, what do you make of this letter and this panoply of the left condemning the Bush regime?"
By his own argument, Matthews is worse than Joe McCarthy. What this shows, of course, is that more than one liberal intellectual has rendered himself incoherent. Liberals are searching for evidence that the other side is not merely wrong but illegitimate. They are searching in a mood of desperation. They fling terrible accusations without bothering to examine their own logic or how it might come back to haunt them.
This is pathological. I suspect that the pathology points in the first place to the coming election. More deeply, it suggests that they have not entirely forgotten the long term problems that their favorite policies have created.