Obviously, I agree with Sebastian Mallaby that I wish Democrats had been a bit more vigorous in their opposition to the torture bill. That said, let's get real. Does anyone seriously believe that if the Democrats had done that Mallaby would have written a column saying "Democrats are great, the GOP sucks, go out and put Pelosi in the Speaker's office?" Mark me down as a "no," on that one. Instead, we would have had a column about how Democrats are right about torture, but somehow "soft" on terrorism nonetheless. Or else he would have made something else up to complain about.\

A certain number of our elite pundits -- Mallaby high among them -- are just constitutionally incapable of being nice to the Democratic Party or to American liberals. As the right's rule proves itself to be worse and worse, they'll become increasingly critical of Bush. But that merely forces them to devise ever-more complaints about the opposition. And one of the Democrats' very worst instincts is a tendecy to care about what these kind of people think.