TPM mentioned the possibility that Bob Woodward will go the full David Mamet/Judy Miller and start dropping spittle-flecked anti-Obama tirades. We can only hope. I love it when a formerly sane, or, let’s be honest, at least formerly liberal, person becomes a raving wingnut.
I don’t mean when someone wakes up one morning, decides he doesn’t like unions or certain gubmint regulations, and turns into a liberal-hating “centrist” contrarian. Mickey Kaus and Charles Lane bore me, because they don’t tap into that raw, from-the-gut winger rock n’ roll. Reading Michael Barone scream about Obama’s thugogracy is like the right-wing equivalent of listening to “Death Letter Blues”. That’s what I’m talking about!
How does it happen, that someone like Mamet or Barone (please mention your own favorite examples in the comments) becomes a stone cold winger all of a sudden? My guess is that it has to do with loss of prestige and status. When Mamet’s plays started bombing, he starting digging Glenn Beck, when people stopped caring about that Almanac of American Politics thing, Barone became a right-wing crazy. And now that Bob Woodward feels disrespected, he too may become a winger.
I think that this would explain why this happens almost exclusively to men (though TPM mentioned Miller, I think she was always nuts, based on what I’ve read about her conduct in Iraq). The brutal truth is that our society doesn’t accord women that much prestige and status to begin with, so there’s nothing to lose, or not enough to trigger a conversion anyway.
And of course the American conservative movement is now primarily about massaging the fee-fees of white men, so it’s all of a piece.