Why Republicans Make Sore LosersOut of power, they’re bigger babies than Democrats. Here’s why.
By Timothy Noah
Posted Wednesday, May 13, 2009, at 6:38 PM ET
As a Democrat and longtime resident of Washington, D.C., I’ve always found the capital more congenial when my party was out of power. Partly that’s because I make my living as a journalist. Republican presidents tend to create a more target-rich environment, not just for liberals but (I think) for everybody. Mostly, though, it’s because Republicans out of power go out of their way to make life unpleasant for the rest of us. When Democrats lose, they’re pathetic. When Republicans lose, they’re bitter and mean.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s enthusiastic bashing of the Obama administration—for making the United States vulnerable to terrorist attack (even though the last one happened on his watch); for running up the deficit (even though Cheney once told then-Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill that “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter”); for shaking hands with Hugo Chávez (even though Cheney’s mentor, Don Rumsfeld, was once photographed shaking hands with Saddam Hussein); and for extending government bailouts beyond the financial industry (even though, four months earlier, Cheney had chewed out congressional Republicans for refusing to bail out the auto industry)—is a case in point. It’s been noted widely that Al Gore raised some eyebrows when he gave a speech criticizing the Bush administration’s rush to war against Iraq and its doctrine of pre-emption. But this occurred a year and eight months into Bush’s first term. Cheney, by contrast, was out of the gate a mere two weeks after Obama was sworn in.