Milbank uses "satire" in his writings but he has a clear agenda and often uses a sharp knife to eviscerate his targets. Basically I'd call him mean spirited - but you'd expect that from someone who learned to worship skulls and bones inside the "Tomb" at Yale.
I've been formulating a theory for some years that the power structure is moving the vast majority of us onto the "reservation" because we are what you might call superfluous populations now that the corporations have moved jobs overseas. We're just not needed and the rich folks, like those that Milbank carries water for, can't leave it to chance that we will all accept our fate without raising a fuss.
My theory is heavily influenced by the treatment the "white man" bestowed upon the American Indians during earlier times. In particular I highly recommend the book by Mari Sandoz called "Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas". This historical novel is a masterpiece at describing the reason and methods used by the "Great White Father" in Washington to destroy the Sioux nation in the Dakotas after gold had been discovered in the Black Hills. Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull were the last two holdouts but were finally forced onto the reservation, and both ultimately killed, as the once great tribes of the plains were brought under control.
In this history you see the modus operandi of the military industrial complex as they fabricated stories of Crazy Horse back on the war path in order to justify continued appropriations for the weapons makers. In fact Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull had been brought onto the reservation and had no weapons, or horses, to their name. You can see that these methods of media and public manipulation and fear mongering are still being used to this day.
In the latest Milbank piece entitled "Obama finally stands his ground" he takes on the left for their opposition to the tax cut compromise that benefits the fat cats. He writes, "the White House has delivered to disgruntled liberals a message summed up by Vice President Biden in a private session with lawmakers on Wednesday: Take it or leave it."
Milbank's mission here is to sow discord within the "liberal" wing of American politics. He continues, "This is a hopeful sign that Obama has learned the lessons of the health-care debate, when he acceded too easily to the wishes of Hill Democrats, allowing them to slow the legislation and engage in a protracted debate on the public option."
After bringing the Indians onto the reservation the white rulers still worried that they might regroup (imagine that being done without weapons or horses or a way to feed themselves) so they turned Indian against Indian by manipulating the leadership into desperate struggles for power as they in fact sat powerless on the barren reservations in South Dakota.
Similarly Milbank undertakes this strategy in his piece by pitting liberal Democrat Peter Defazio (Oregon) and his supporters against Obama with this bit of dynamite:
"Ringleader DeFazio has played the role of irritant before. During a House Democratic caucus meeting with Obama last year, he went to the microphone to give his laundry list of complaints about the White House. Replied Obama: 'Don't think we're not keeping score, brother.'
"But if he kept score then, it was private. Now Obama is publicly taking on the DeFazio crowd, with his talk of 'sanctimonious' liberals and his warning that his opponents would be blamed for 'smaller paychecks' and 'fewer jobs.' For once, reporters could tell Obama was angry without asking White House press secretary Robert Gibbs for evidence."
The ruling elite are heading in a certain direction. They are smashing social progress and have learned that if they can destroy the opposition's ability to reorganize or regroup then they will have much more success in achieving their goal. So Milbank's job is to help turn the Democrats against one another, and to discredit those like Rep. DeFazio who dare stand up and speak against the bleeding of the working class to benefit the richest among us.
In other words, don't complain as we are putting you on the reservation. If you do we will take you out the way Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull were destroyed.
Milbank offers this threat near the end of his piece. He says, "Liberals, if they can see beyond their pique, should realize that the emergence of Obama's forceful leadership could be good for them."
Translation: You'll be better off if you keep your mouth shut and go along for the ride. Otherwise we are going to beat the shit out of you.
And Milbank's final message is to Obama. In his last paragraph he tells Obama that if he continues to smash those on the left he will be a success.
"One White House official told me that Obama will build a 'shifting set of coalitions, issue by issue' over the next two years. If so, and if Obama will no longer allow those in the Capitol to run his presidency, he'll have a strong couple of years."
The warning has been given.