The New York Times editorial board on Thursday called successful Tea Party candidates insurgents.
For those not intimately familiar with the term, despite having several meanings, it has in the years since 9/11 become largely synonymous with terrorists.
With that in mind, the imagery in "The Wrong Kind of Enthusiasm" was unmistakable:
Republican insurgents from the far right did well in Tuesday's primaries. What their campaigns lack in logic, compassion and sensible policy seems to be counterbalanced by a fiercely committed voter base that is nowhere to be seen on the Democratic side.
In fairness, there are two meanings to insurgent:
1. a person who rises in forcible opposition to lawful authority, esp. a person who engages in armed resistance to a government or to the execution of its laws; rebel.
2. a member of a section of a political party that revolts against the methods or policies of the party.
On cross-examination, the authors might make the case that their intent was to depict these illogical, compassionless and senseless conservatives as the latter. But the imagery and implication throughout was clearly to brand these "insurgents" as something far worse:
In Alaska, Joe Miller, a little-known lawyer from Fairbanks, has a lead for the G.O.P. Senate nomination over Lisa Murkowski, the incumbent. The race is too close to call, but Mr. Miller's possible victory shows the power of his mentor, Sarah Palin, and the misguided popularity of his anti-immigrant, pro-gun message. Among other dubious positions, he has questioned the constitutionality of unemployment benefits.
Then, the Times predictably took sides:
The good news is that the anti-immigrant message may not play as well in Florida in the general election.
Good news? Good news for whom? Certainly not the overwhelming majority of Americans that support Arizona's new immigration law.
But the Times wasn't done displaying its deplorable biases, for even a victory by a moderate mainstream candidate left a sour taste:
Insurgents did not triumph everywhere. In Arizona, Senator John McCain easily fended off a challenge by a former congressman, J. D. Hayworth. But he did so by throwing his principles overboard. Gone was the stalwart voice for campaign finance reform and a humane, bipartisan overhaul of immigration laws. In his place was a man calling himself "Arizona's last line of defense," strutting along the Mexican border in a campaign ad, telling a county sheriff that all we had to do to fix immigration was "complete the danged fence."
Yes, McCain is the Times' darling when he tacks far-left to help pass legislation that makes conservatives sick. But defending Arizona's border is "throwing his principles overboard."
Not surprisingly, a good Republican to these shills is really one with no principles at all.
Disgracefully, this editorial ended with more terrorist imagery:
Much of the G.O.P's fervid populist energy has been churned up by playing on some people's fears of Hispanics and Muslims, by painting the president as a dangerous radical, by distorting the truth about the causes of the recession. Far too many Republican leaders have eagerly fed that destructive anger.
Yes, the desire of the majority of Americans to defend the borders from illegal immigrants while doing everything possible to prevent another terrorist attack is "destructive anger."
Makes you wonder if former President Jimmy Carter is heading up the Times editorial board.
But the larger point is that the Obama-loving liberal media are in a full state of panic about Democrat prospects in the upcoming elections.
As such, the goal now is to paint every GOP candidate as too scary to hold political office.
That even the formerly lovable McCain, who has been in Congress since 1983 and is currently one of the most moderate Republicans up for re-election, is being depicted as equally frightening should clue readers in to just how far the Times is willing to go to help Democrats this cycle.
Ironically, as this editorial board clearly is way on the wrong side of public opinion concerning the issues herein addressed, aren't they behaving like insurgents rather than the objects of their disaffection? The only question is whether their actions fall under definition one or two.
We'll let you decide that.