Our Divided Political Heart

My review of E. J. Dionne’s Our Divided Political Heart ran in last Sunday’s Boston Globe. Here’s a link to the piece.

Something I didn’t mention in the piece how the Tea Party isn’t focused solely on domestic history. It’s not mentioned that often, but at their most hysterical, the Tea Party boasts a strange internationalist perspective, their accusations migrating away from the US to focus on the insanity of mid-20th century Europe. The “socialism” they fear isn’t our version of Britain’s socialized healthcare. Or, rather, it is that, but only as first slip on the slope toward totalitarianism – Road of Bones, Gulag, Hitlerish killing, etc.  This is insane. Perhaps because even the most rabid partisan can’t sustain the argument that American progressivism has been catastrophic (look at the New Deal, for instance, which was unimpeachably salutary, though actual leftists might argue that the New Deal was conservative, enacted to salvage predatory capitalism, not change the country), the Tea Party folks have to reframe American history as a battle against insidious foreign infiltration.

Just a random observation. Dionne doesn’t dig into it in the book.

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