The Vanquished Advising the Victors

CLAY LISTONSince Tuesday, an especially irritating species of column has cropped up in major news media outlets. Broadly speaking, this column purports to be advice or caution to the GOP about how they should govern once they are in power or things they should avoid doing. That’s all fine and good of course except that these columns come from people who have spent their entire lives working against the GOP and everything they stand for. For a representative example, read these offerings from Sally Kohn, Charles Blow, Paul Krugman, and Timothy Egan.


Let me help you people out. First of all, to every news outlet running these pieces: you are beclowning yourselves, please stop. Who on earth thinks the Republicans won on Tuesday just so they could start taking advice from Sally Kohn. Second, we know good and well that there are people who have been following your advice this whole time – they are called Democrats, and they all just got thrown out on their ears. So you’ll pardon us if we don’t think your advice necessarily reflects a winning strategy.

But finally and most importantly, you people have poisoned the well of political discourse to such a degree in this country that none of us would be interested in listening even if we thought you had good ideas (which, for the record, you don’t). Now, I am not one of the people who likes to wring their hands and say that things are worse in this country than they have ever been in terms of the political discourse. Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton, for Pete’s sake, and political disagreements used to be resolved with physical fisticuffs in the chamber.

But that doesn’t mean that anyone on our side is going to forget any time soon that they spent the last two solid years running on basically zero policies and instead openly declaring that we only oppose Obama because he is black and we hate black people, that we only oppose abortion because we hate women, and that we are hate-filled bigots generally. Look, it’s a free country, you can say whatever you want. We all have our big boy jeans on and will survive your pathetic taunts. But what they indicate pretty clearly is that no advice that comes from your side of the Big Ditch is offered in good faith by people with a genuine interest in seeing the country succeed.


Liberals, if you want to offer anyone some friendly advice, offer some advice to your own side about how they can run on actual platforms instead of demonizing and scaremongering Republicans and engaging in bizarre rants against the Koch brothers, who 95% of Americans still do not care about.

If, that is, you have any such advice to give.


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