It still surprises me how many Republican voters, writers, and officeholders are saying "this is a disaster! We need to stop listening to the crazies!" in private, and how few are saying so in public…
But some of the journalists are on it, even at National Review:
Robert Costa: Divided and Uneasy:
GOP enthusiasm for the showdown, from both conservatives and grandees, is waning. Members are spending considerable time calling one another to lament, and they’re worried about fading public support. “We can’t get lower in the polls. We’re down to blood relatives and paid staffers now,” said Senator John McCain on CBS’s Face the Nation. “But we’ve got to turn this around, and the Democrats had better help.”
Any future student of epistemic closure… will inevitably end up studying the great World War II Memorial conflict of 2013…. Republican congressmen discovered that the Honor Flight of World War II veterans who'd come to D.C. was met with a closed memorial. They helped the veterans move the barricades…. Mississippi Rep. Steven Palazzo… talked to conservative media about how the closure was surely "politically motivated."…
In the mainstream media and on the left, the shutdown had been driven by conservative Republicans…. On the right, the shutdown was Obama's fault—why wouldn't he compromise?—and the most visible pain of the shutdown, the closure of parks and memorials, was engineered spitefully by the president… "Spite House," "barrycades"…. Conservative media report that the memorials were not barricaded in 1995. As Garance Franke-Ruta has proved, by doing something called "journalism," many of the memorials were closed then….
Inspiring tales of Real Americans and Veterans—the natural enemies of liberalism!—"storming past" the barricades… the Lincoln Memorial… you'll notice a George Washington impersonator holding a flag that portrays a green tree and the slogan "Appeal to Heaven." That's James Manship, a Virginia conservative activist and mainstay at local Tea Parties…. The "Million Vets March" on Sunday morning, which brought Sarah Palin (fresh from a campaign event for Steve Lonegan in New Jersey) to the mall to join Ted Cruz and Mike Lee in calling for the "barrycades" to come down. (There were fewer than 1 million veterans on hand.)
Conservative bloggers and tweeters treated this like a uniquely inspiring protest of government folly. "The press will try to keep today’s events secret, but I doubt whether they can succeed," wrote Power Line's John Hinderaker…. But did the MSM cover it that way? No. Many reports focused on the fringe nature of some of the speakers…. Cruz and Lee flanked by flags for "Oath Keepers," the group that asked soldiers, police officers, et al. to "keep their oaths" to the people and resist tyranny…. Larry Klayman… used his time at the mic to call the president a Muslim.
For liberals, the defining image of the Vets' march was of a man holding a Marine flag with his right hand and the Confederate flag with the left. Conservatives were outraged. Did the MSM apply the same "nut-picking" ethos to its coverage of Occupy protests? Well, sometimes yes, often no…. Are these protesters "opposed to the shutdown"? Not quite, because they agree with the goals of Republicans who don't want to fund Obamacare, and they're not protesting anything else affected by the shutdown. They're opposed to Obama, opposed to the official "narrative" of the shutdown, and so irate that they forgot, on Sunday, to mention that House Republicans had tried to reopen just the monuments by passing a piecemeal continuing resolution to fund park services. It's a huge mess. But I would say that, wouldn't I?