Holy shi*t. Quoting Landsburg in full:
In 2016, one of the country’s two major political parties was rocked by an insurgent demagogue who prospered by pandering to ignorance, xenophobia, blind hatred and outright stupidity. So was the other one. One party fought back. The other didn’t.
I am aware that many people, and especially even readers of this blog (including myself at times) believe that the vast majority of polticians prosper by pandering to ignorance, xenophobia, blind hatred and outright stupidity. But the Trump/Sanders phenomenon took this to a whole new level. Never before in my memory have politicians with a real shot at the presidency been so aggressive in their refusals even to try making sense, or in their denials that making sense is a virtue. Never before have they been so forthright in their insistence that as long as we all hate the right people, everything will be alright.
For roughly 40 years now, the Democrats and the Republicans, in their highly imperfect and frequently corrupt ways, have offered competing visions for the country and have, in their highly imperfect and frequently dishonest ways, fostered debate about the merits of those visions. Highly imperfect, frequently corrupt and dishonest — but still with at least some nods toward the value of rational discourse, and, though less often than I’d like, sometimes with considerably more than nods. Politicians in both parties have been known to demonstrate by example that it is possible to be spirited without being mean-spirited, that there is a difference between an argument and an insult, and that your opponents need not be your enemies.
Our freedom and our prosperity depend on that legacy, and when it came under dire threat this year, it was the duty of both parties — more specifically of the men and women who run those parties — to resist. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, clandestinely and perhaps not for the purest of motives, did that. Reince Preibus caved in. As a result, the Democrats have a nominee with whom I profoundly disagree on almost everything, while the Republicans have a nominee with whom it is impossible to disagree because he is incapable of formulating a coherent thought — a fate the Democrats narrowly avoided, because Wasserman Schultz did her job.
I realize that many Democrats’ dissatisfaction with Wasserman Schultz is based on things other than her behind-the-scenes manipulations to keep the yahoos at bay. But at least she kept the yahoos at bay. That’s more than anyone at the Republican National Committee seems to have even attempted.
That’s a very strong opinion, but I can’t say that I disagree with any of it.
Landsburg intends this as praise for outgoing (and probably career-ruined) DNC chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I guess this does improve my opinion of her somewhat.