Everything you’ll need to know about Richard Cohen’s latest WaPo column is to be found in the first paragraph:
I still ride a bike. I do 12 miles, several days a week, and as I do so I listen to music — the Pandora service on my iPhone. I have created a station that plays folk rock. Lately, it has repeatedly played the Neil Young song “Ohio”: “What if you knew her and found her dead on the ground?” On the bike, I have to repress a tear.
Do you grok how green Richard Cohen is, riding his bike several days a week? How technologically hip, listening to Pandora? How gosh darned mournful he remains for that long lost summer of endless love? Before the National Guard fired live bullets into a crowd of peaceful dissenters expressing the highest form of patriotism?
Before the specter of AIDS clapped a stopper over the whole party?
Do you get how golly gee sensitive he is, repressing his tear? (We will assume that the columnist is talking about the lachrymose singular, rather than a wardrobe malfunction in his spandex. The alternative being rather too painful to contemplate.)
Stop reading right there and let Ann Althouse pick up the tale:
I’m supposed to have the right image of the Tea Party so I can just swallow that assertion whole. But I’ve been to Tea Party rallies — and heard about them from my husband — and the people seemed pretty nice and normal. To me, Cohen’s attempt to smear ordinary people is what’s ugly.
Or maybe Darleen Click:
I get why Cohen is to desperate to wallow in the past, to invoke the lyrics of Neil Young song, shut his eyes and pretend to grasp the dead students to him as his own. He needs to slander the Tea Party members; the millions of people who have admitted more than once to anyone honest enough to ask that they have never participated in any kind of protest before.
It is Obama vowing to “kick ass”, it is Pelosi calling for investigations into people raising questions about a mosque within the footprint of Ground Zero, it is Max Baucus calling on the IRS to investigate opposition groups, it is Alan Grayson dealing in hate-filled rhetoric and it is Democrats over and over again beating the drum, amplified and disseminated by their poodle media, of how evil and treasonous are conservatives, libertarians and Tea Party participants.
Richard Cohen doesn’t catch the irony: The dissent of Kent State protesters, he thinks, was met with deadly force because of rhetoric that “otherized them,” that turned them into a domestic enemy. Pretty much exactly what Richard Cohen is doing to the dissidents of the Tea Party movement. But he disagrees with those people, so…
Poor, pitiable stuff really. Risible too.
Dunno what Cohen is earning these days. Reckon it’s at least six figures too much for this kind of pap.