Sore Winners

If the Republican sweep materializes Tuesday we’ll have lots more of them:

The Sore Winners are easy to find. They are most visible at their flagship, Fox News, which dominates both cable news and the political conversaton and yet is always embattled, defending itself against the heathen. They are loudest not only on secular talk radio, but also in Christian broadcasting, which tells its listeners that a nation that remains a nation of Christians rather than a Christian nation is a nation that has turned against them…

This is what you hear again and again from the Sore Winners, whether you hear it from the professional Sore Winners or the Sore Winners who happen to be your friends: the conviction that no amount of financial success, political domination, religious hegemony or cultural currency is sufficient to take away the sting of being looked down upon.

It is one of the biggest dividing lines between liberals and conservatives: sensitivity. Liberals are supposed to be the sensitive ones, but even the liberals who worked themselves into a froth over George W. Bush never really cared very much about what he thought of them. But conservatives care what President Obama thinks. They care to the point of imagining what he thinks. I get the same feeling listening to them that I’ve gotten living in the South and listening to Southerners tell me about Yankees and the War of Northern Aggression. Well, although I’ve lived in the South nearly 30 years I’m a Yankee born and raised, and I can tell you with reasonable authority that no one in North thinks or talks about the Civil War…

Worrying about what someone who doesn’t think about you thinks about you: this is the essence of Sore Winnerdom, and it is no accident that it also the essence of the Republican animus. The Republican party was small and hidebound β€” the party of country-club corporatists, and the range-war West β€” until, with the Reagan Revolution, it began grafting unto itself the legions of the disaffected: the Christianists, the Southerners, the blue-collar workers displaced by the collapse of America’s industrial base and estranged from the unions that failed them.

The Tea Party, in this sense, is not a new development so much as it is part of an ongoing migration of the perpetually petulant, a political phenomenon grounded in a demographic one: the creation of a class of baby-boom retirees who have been deprived of meaningful work but given personal computers as Christmas presents.

Read the entire piece by Tom Junod at Esquire, The Sore Winners: Will America’s Super Minority Sink Us All?

See also Balloon Juice comment from El Cid who calls this “the Lost Cause grievance mythology writ large across the entire nation…”

Variation on the theme: Rand Paul Head-Stomper To Victim: β€˜I Would Like For Her To Apologize To Me’