What I mean by that is that for the past 14 years America’s political life has been largely dominated by, well, monsters. Monsters like Tom DeLay, who suggested that the shootings at Columbine happened because schools teach students the theory of evolution. Monsters like Karl Rove, who declared that liberals wanted to offer “therapy and understanding” to terrorists. Monsters like Dick Cheney, who saw 9/11 as an opportunity to start torturing people.The Gollum wing of the GOP is not dead. As of this moment they are just going through a purge. The lesson of the Monster Years is to never treat the unreasonable reasonably. When the particular breed of unreasonable, hard-right wingers come back from their hiatus to search for their "precious" they should be greeted with the scorn that they deserve.
And in our national discourse, we pretended that these monsters were reasonable, respectable people. To point out that the monsters were, in fact, monsters, was “shrill.”
Four years ago it seemed as if the monsters would dominate American politics for a long time to come. But for now, at least, they’ve been banished to the wilderness.