Conservatives Can't Stop Playing the Victim

Bullies claim they're being martyred by the elite, writes Thomas Frank
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2010 4:55 AM CDT
Conservatives Can't Stop Playing the Victim
SEARCHLIGHT, NV - MARCH 27: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks at the Tea Party Express' 'Showdown in Searchlight,' rally March 27, 2010 in Searchlight, Nevada. The rally, held in the hometown of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), serves as the kickoff for a 42-city bus tour that ends...   (Getty Images)

Republicans and tea partiers whine that the threats, violence, and slurs directed at Democrats over health care reform are being used by their opponents to score political points and smear the right. And in doing so, they're just demonstrating modern conservatism's "cult of victimhood," in which even the biggest bullies just can't stop playing the martyr, Thomas Frank writes in the Wall Street Journal.

Certain conservatives, Frank argues, try desperately to "depict themselves as the aggrieved party in even the least likely circumstances," trying to paint their movement as an uprising of the oppressed against the media and the liberal elite. The movement's heroes—"from Richard Nixon to Joe the Plumber"—have always been victims, he writes, particularly Sarah Palin, "whose suffering at the hands of the liberal elite has been the overriding motif of her career." (More Tea Partiers stories.)

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