The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates, as a guest columnist for the NY Times, writes more revealingly than he thinks, about those charmless Republicans: "Among the ranks of bullies, the only fair fight is the one that ends with them laughing and kicking sand."
Mr. Coates, perhaps what you had deeper in mind when writing that line was your own demimonde, for among the ranks of "hip" intellectuals, the only fair column is the one that ends with them brooding and self-righteously brutalizing their best possible hope.
It's a gleaming, orthodox purity thing, as dazzling and unapproachable to compromised mortals as the insufferable virtue of tea partiers. But who are we, Mr. Coates, to question the radiant selflessness of your bottomless egotism?
Well, call me, for one, rude--as rude as Barack Obama is contaminated; and both of us grieve, Mr. Coates, for we shall never attain the liberating, carefree superficiality that you have confused with intellectual toughness and depth:
[F]rom this point forward the presidency means the right to unilaterally declare American citizens to be American enemies, and then kill them.
During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama earned the G.O.P.’s mockery. Now he has earned their fear. It is an ambiguous feat, accomplished by going to the dark side, by walking the G.O.P.’s talk, by becoming the man Dick Cheney fashioned himself to be.
The "feat" you generously qualify as "ambiguous," but the metamorphosis you seem to deem as complete. How you must have thrilled, Mr. Coates, when asked by the Times to pen some guest columns--an unambiguous feat of finally "arriving." Now you must show them, show them all, you devilishly hip intellectual, that you are no toady to the best possible hope. No, you would set compromised minds ablaze; you would torch bland integrity with clever ambition; yes, yes, that's it, you would get tough--you'd compare Barack Obama to Dick Cheney.
There's a great film, Mr. Coates, from 1958, called "Cowboy," in which the experienced Glenn Ford tells the ruthlessly aspiring young hotshot, Jack Lemmon: "You haven't gotten tough. You've just gotten miserable."