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The Revanchist Left: taking back the low ground
Posted by: Jon Henke on Monday, July 03, 2006

On Thursday, I criticized Digby at Hullabaloo for insinuating that Rush Limbaugh was a pedophile. At the time, I thought this should be a fairly uncontroversial criticism. We all agree that criticism is acceptable; we may disagree on the merits of various insults, but who thinks it's acceptable to accuse your political opponents of pedophilia?

Well, apparently, the answer is: more people than I'd previously thought, including Oliver Willis.
The "Revanchist Left" is determined to take back the low ground.
Ironically, before defending the characterization of Limbaugh as a child molester, Oliver Willis once wrote a post called "The Vile Right" in which he criticized Limbaugh for saying that there was "going to be a gang rape by the Democratic Party, the American left and the Drive-By Media, to finally take us out in the war against Iraq."

So, to review:
  • accuse your opponents of a metaphorical gang rape: vile

  • accuse your opponents of actual child molestation: So?

Obviously, what some bloggers—even popular ones—write is not nearly as consequential as what Rush Limbaugh says, and I won't even argue that there is a liberal pundit who combines both the high profile and vicious rhetoric of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter or Michael Savage. They are uniquely prominent practitioners of depravity. But that is a difference of degree, not of kind. Their prominence is exogenous to the merit of the rhetoric itself.

I do have a point here.
it will produce the next devolution as inevitably as the last rationalization produced this one
It seems to me that the Left is now where the Right was some decades ago. Outside of the occassional, embattled President, the Right was out of power, and tired of it. They intended to "even things up", as it were, by creating parallel information streams and playing the same political game they believed was being employed against them. Unfortunately, in 'evening things up', they raised the noise and vitriol level.

And now that it's worked, the Left has decided they needed to do the same thing; to see the incivility of the Right and raise it. Granted, they don't have pundits with the prominence of a Limbaugh, or politicians in power. Yet. But give them time.

The "Revanchist Left" is determined to take back the low ground.

None of that excuses the rhetorical sins of the Right, but it will produce the next devolution as inevitably as the last rationalization produced this one.
 
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Jon,

Call it "revanchist", low brow, what-have-you. My suspicion is that this is how politics have always been done. The mainstream news media "gateway", if you will, kept the noise relatively muffled for the past 60 years or so. Now that alternatives have been found and continue to proliferate the low-brow noise is back. Let’s consider it the inevitable afterbirth of the increased discussion and analysis enabled by the emergence of successful alternative media.

Like it or lump it; this is the future.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
And you know what...I don’t consider Limbaugh "Vile" I will challenge anyone to state the time, date of the "get the bone out of your nose" comment. In short, I’d say they’re lying...I don’t listen to Rush 24-7 but I listen 1.5-3 hours per day and I don’t think I’ve EVER heard him talk like that. You may not agree with him or you may think, "OK, BUT..." but I really find it hard to credit him with racism or sexism, EXCEPT as the Left defines them, which is to say NOT AGREEING WITH THEM.

Ann Coulter runs shtick and what bothers them most on the Left is that she sticks it TO THEM, she doesn’t back down or make nice, she just runs at them full-bore in the manner they like to practice on THEIR opponents and they don’t like that.

She’s daft on "Evolution" I’d agree. That’s fight not worth fighting. Evolution IS, HOWEVER there IS a sub-text to that fight, which is, Evolution= No God, from the Left. We on the Religious Right don’t agree with that, our mistake is to fight the fight over Evolution with Creationism or Intelligent Design. The reality is Evolution no more proves or disproves God than finding the remains of "Noah’s Ark" in the Elburz mountains. God is something that s Scientists simply can not debate, as scientists, because Science simply does not address those issues. Some scientists like to hide behind their white lab coats and discuss questions of the Infinite and the nature of the Good and Just Society, but they have no special aptitude based on the possession of a PhD from MIT or Bob’s School of Science. So really Coulter and many on the Right need to simply give up this fight, it’s one we WON’T win.

I’ve never listened to Michael Savage I can’t opine. From what I’ve READ, I’d put him in with Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, and Garafolo. Vile ignoramuses, but then again lotsa folks, on the Left, could be lying about Savage, too.

Bottom-Line: Willis and others lambaste Limbaugh and I just don’t believe it. Coulter, Coulter’s sin is that she throws the hyperbole back in the faces of the Left and they can’t handle it. Savage could be a sick loser, if he is I pity his listeners.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I stopped listening to Limbaugh the day I watched him make fun of the way Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders talked. Trash her ideas, fine. Making fun of the way someone talks is infantile.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
And ANOTHER thing...NRO has said this and I think they’re right, as they agree with ME. The newspapers of the 19th Century were the Internet of THEIR era. We are REDISCOVERING Freedom of the Press, not sinking to "new lows."

There was a time, pardon the bad syntax, that the name of a paper meant something, The Times Democrat meant that the paper was a Democrat paper. It pulled for "its" side and not just on the editorial page. It’s news coverage was slanted, covering the opponent’s mis-steps and "Scandals" and minimizing its own sides foibles. There were Republican, Whig, Federalist papers.

The "Progressive Era" seemed to change that, as we began it seems to move into wanting to "inform and better" society. And really by the 1950’s there was a fairly uniform editorial thread in major media outlets, that of a Keynesian Liberalism.

Add to that the cost to entry into the major media markets and you have a fairly uniform product being delivered. The rise of NRO and then other Right/Libertarian news outlets began to change that and the Internet dramatically lowered the cost of entry into the mass media market.

The result has been a RETURN TO what was...It’s now possible to have many, many competing voices in the market place of ideas. The media is diversifying, not sinking...

I realize that this in not a new idea, but just one I’d throw out now. I think much of this "lamenting the race to the bottom" is a kind of a-historical worry. George Washington and Hamilton were vilified as being "crypto-monarchists". I’m willing to bet not a few media outlets in their time CELEBRATED Hamilton’s "loss" in his duel with Burr. People just confuse the period 1932-1992 with ALL of media history and the reality is, that mostly the mass media of its era was very partisan and very nasty. It wasn’t ALL The Federalist or Anti-Federalist Papers. Invective and personal attacks, smears and lies were quite prominent in the past
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
In political commentary, bomb throwing is only acceptable when thrown with the left hand (or at BC04 campaign offices I suppose)
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
PS- Start the countdown for Oliver coming here to post some snarky defense of himself 10...9...8...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Making fun of the way someone talks is infantile.

Or funny...depends who’s getting smacked around doesn’t it? "Evry chile a wanted chile..." still recall it and can still laugh. Heck I love, "misunderestimate me"...I love "Bushims"...

He DID miss a dramatic point when he jumped on her, I believe it was her, for her comment about the "best and brightest" not serving in Vietnam. His take was that "showed Liberals" didn’t like the rest of us and thought we were all dolts...my take was she was LAMENTING the failure of the Ivy League to turn up for the war and that the "best and brightest" comment was really something of an ironic comment. It’s debatable, but I laugh at his poking fun at her speech, oddly I disagreed with his attack on her ideas, or that one at least. But never felt that either was some how out of line.

You’re in public office, you’d better get a thick skin.

 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Making fun of the way someone talks is infantile.
Does that include anyone who makes fun of the way President George W. Bush talks?
 
Written By: Paul L.
URL: http://kingdomofidiots.blogspot.com/
Joe -

No, it doesn’t depend on who’s getting smacked around. Something that’s infantile might be funny to you, but it’s still puerile no matter who the target is.

Now, a thick skin is necessary for public office, but that doesn’t excuse the behavior of all those who try to get their own lashes in.
-=-=-=-=-
Paul L -

Yes, it includes people who do the same to GWB. And?
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
No, it doesn’t depend on who’s getting smacked around. Something that’s infantile might be funny to you, but it’s still puerile no matter who the target is.
No it’s funny WP... you’re too "highbrow" obviously. Good shtick is something to be appreciated...you can maunder on like William F Buckley if you like, but give me Ann Coulter any day. Easier on the eyes, even if she IS a stick figure-Eat a Sammich Womin’! and quite funny.

In my job I’ve come to appreciate a good bon mot and the use of good attacks, irrespective of the goal(s) of the person making the jab or gibe. It’s like football, the Cheerleaders ADD to, not detract from the game. Even the opposing teams cheer leaders.

If all you have is bile and vitriol then it gets old. I quit reading the "Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller" because I felt covered in rage-sparked spittle after every page read.

But "Scrappleface" and "IMAO" are SCREAMINGLY funny, and still do a great job..."Day-by-Day" is better at drawing hot babes than making political points but the hot babes draw me back for the politics.

Whilst it’s not "ALL GOOD", a little satire and humour at your enemy’s expense or Heck a LOT of satire and humour, in fact just down-right cruel humour, IF it’s funny- add to the presentation of one side or another’s case.

Bottom-line: puerile humour works, and in conjunction with a decent overall message WORKS GREAT...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Jon,

I guess we are in general agreement. Certainly outside of maybe Michael Moore the Democrats have no one as high profile as Rush Limbaugh. However, and I think this closely parallels what you are trying to say, I see nothing to say that if I took the 30 most high profile democratic liberal or left non politicians out there, that the quality of rhetoric is in any way superior on the left. In fact, if I had to make a choice I would go the other way. The only reason the claim that liberals have no one as prominent as Rush spewing vile stuff (and for all his faults Rush is not in the same league as Coulter or Moore) is true, is that no one on the left is that prominent, vile or otherwise. Also, I have to somewhat agree with Joe. Rush isn’t all that vile in comparison to most. Rough yes, he mocks cruelly, the Jocelyn Elders comment is an example, but then that seems standard fare among the left about southerners and Bush in particular. It isn’t my cup of tea, but generally he seems to be accused of much more than he is guilty.

The main reason I see less vitriol overall amongst the rights most prominent is that I generally consider the libertarian wing of our body politic as part of the right, and the most widely read of those are amongst the best behaved sites on the web or in the media and exist in numbers way out of proportion to their actual political power. This site is a good example.

The second reason is more subtle. One frustrating thing is that many on the left can seem almost calm and deliberate while actually saying some pretty vile things about their opponents. We have all become so used to the charges that even when our views are the target we might note it, but we are hardly exercised by it, it is just part of the media and rhetorical air we breath. I remember back in the early nineties when a friend was so exercised about the vicious Bush campaign against Dukakis and then Clinton. I acknowledged that the Bush campaign was keeping its elbows wide, but exactly what was the complaint? It came down to Republicans demonizing the word liberal. In what way? Well, it meant tax and spend, weak on defense, etc. I said, "so basically they are saying liberal positions are bad and therefore being a liberal is bad. Boo hoo." I then pointed out that Democrats routinely claimed those on the right were racist, sexist, didn’t care about the sick and feeble, etc. You can hear actual ads and major politicians claiming Republicans want to go back to the days of Jim Crow. Not just some blond loudmouth with huge breasts, but candidates for President getting favorable press in major democratic and left wing organs.

Okay, that isn’t so subtle, but I am getting there. Two of my favorite left of center bloggers are Kevin Drum and Matthew Yglesias. I respect them and I think they want to be something that is looked on as serious commentary and not red meat for the masses. I think they do that for the most part. Unfortunately they make those same kinds of assumptions about those they disagree with as well. Of course some people who oppose affirmative action are racists, some are not, but Drum, Yglesias and the entire left (and I am not being hyperbolic there, I believe it is essentially the entire left) frame the argument in terms of combating racism. Oh they’ll make exceptions, but in general they believe their opponents deep down for the most part are motivated by atavistic tendencies. What is different is this infects even the best of the left because it has been said so long we all just accept that as legitimate rhetoric.

Of course some will argue it cuts both ways, and yes it does, but the rights sins are always brought into this debate, these particular issues of the left are not. Do Jon, Dale and McQ do anything similar to the left? I can’t think of any example, but if so my guess is it is not the same as saying you are really a racist, or that you are some kind of rare exception. My favorite right wing example, which is not nearly as widespread, but still is often noted is from Sowell. Sowell is certainly worth reading, but he has an inflammatory sloppy side to him. He often claims that liberal programs are really no more than ways to control people, especially the poor and minorities. Now that is not as vile as the racist card, nor as prevalent and assumed. Like the racist charge it is undoubtedly true of some. However, if I am Kevin Drum, the idea that my politics stems from some need to protect my privilege and keep the masses under my thumb would be pretty offensive. For that reason I doubt, except to find ways to attack him, that he bothers to read Sowell, yet most of us on the right if we want to read anyone on the left have to put up with far more vile stuff to read anyone at all! I enjoy David Corn and Marc Cooper, but no escaping that kind of stuff.

So when is such stuff okay? Well, maybe we should apply the "other side test." A good example might be, can I question someones patriotism over the war? Well, opposing the war is certainly not unpatriotic, nor can I consider such things treasonous. However, calling the Iraqi insurgents minutemen most certainly marks you as "on the other side." However, we do not get to act as if opposition is in itself unpatriotic, so Kevin Drum and Yglesias get off the hook on that kind of charge. The same goes the other way on racism or selfishness. You need more than just a policy disagreement.

That of course makes the left and the Democratic party’s embrace of Michael Moore problematic. It is one thing to basically ignore such a person and even be glad that maybe he is motivating some to vote your way (say kind of like how many conservatives might feel about Coulter) and to make a nationwide concerted effort to get people to support him and his movie which says some pretty vile things. It claims that the Bush administration and Republicans in general have orchestrated a murderous, treasonous attempt to line certain peoples pockets. I think when you level charges or imply that people are complicit in murder (including 9/11) and the many other charges by making things up out of whole cloth you are being easily being more vile than Coulter whose eliminationist rhetoric seems little more than bomb throwing and attempted humor. I don’t know how to treat or consider people who participated in that movie’s or his other books promotion, because it tars some people I generally respect even if I disagree with them. I guess I’ll just leave it at "not their finest moment." We all have regrets, I hope they do so as well.

I have one bone to pick with you on this Jon. On the pod cast you didn’t see Moore as being as vile as Coulter. I find that hard to believe, even by your limited definition concerning "eliminationist" rhetoric. I seem to remember Michael Moore making a comment criticizing Al qaeda basically for attacking people who did not vote for Bush on 9/11 and that they should have attacked somewhere else. Now I am not sure that he really wanted those Bush voters dead any more than I know Coulter really wanted the New York Times to be blown up. However, they are virtually indistinguishable as rhetoric and Moore has made many comments just as vile in the past. In fact the minutemen comment pretty much establishes he feels the Jihadists depravities are justified. I am not sure I can praise the SS without in essence praising what they do, whatever craw fishing I might do to explain what I meant later after a storm of criticism (that goes for Kos’ "screw ’em" as well.) I would say that puts him way past Coulter and Limbaugh at this point.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://
Let’s consider it the inevitable afterbirth of the increased discussion and analysis enabled by the emergence of successful alternative media.

Like it or lump it; this is the future.
Perhaps so. Still, somebody has to rage against the dying of the light; to stand athwart history yelling ’stop’. I recognize that such low discourse exists and will continue to do so, but I also think it helps to criticize it.
And you know what...I don’t consider Limbaugh "Vile"
We disagree. Feminazi? Implying that the Clinton’s had Vince Foster murdered? Etc.
And ANOTHER thing...NRO has said this and I think they’re right, as they agree with ME. The newspapers of the 19th Century were the Internet of THEIR era. We are REDISCOVERING Freedom of the Press, not sinking to "new lows."
Partisanship and/or ideological predispositions are not the same as coarseness. One does not require the other.
Bottom-line: puerile humour works, and in conjunction with a decent overall message WORKS GREAT...
Practically speaking, yeah. I agree. I think we should be careful to distinguish between mockery/sarcasm/satire/humor and the more egregious kinds of noise-making coarseness.
Oh they’ll make exceptions, but in general they believe their opponents deep down for the most part are motivated by atavistic tendencies. What is different is this infects even the best of the left because it has been said so long we all just accept that as legitimate rhetoric.
On this, I agree. The tendency to ascribe racist/sexist/evil motivations to others based on policy differences is one of the most destructive tendencies in political discourse, though it’s not as widely noted as some other bomb-throwing.
I have one bone to pick with you on this Jon. On the pod cast you didn’t see Moore as being as vile as Coulter. I find that hard to believe, even by your limited definition concerning "eliminationist" rhetoric. I seem to remember Michael Moore making a comment criticizing Al qaeda basically for attacking people who did not vote for Bush on 9/11 and that they should have attacked somewhere else.
I think you’ve mis-remembered Moore’s statement. He didn’t advocate the death of Bush voters; he merely noted the irony. It was inartful, but not what I would call vicious. If you want a good example of vicious, there’s always Ted Rall’s comments after Reagan’s death.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.qando.net/
the "bone out of your nose" quote was from back in the early 1970s when Rush was hosting a Top 40 music show under the name "Jeff Christie" on either WIXZ or KQV in Pittsburgh.

Kind of a long time ago, I doubt hardly anyone even knows about it, just that he said that.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
The debate, once again, is not about whether each side throws poison around. The debate, rather, is the extent of the poison and the exposure of the public to that poison. There is simply no comparison between an obscure blogger named Digby on the one hand, and the Coulters, Savages, and Limbaughs of the world on the other.
Obviously, what some bloggers—even popular ones—write is not nearly as consequential as what Rush Limbaugh says, and I won’t even argue that there is a liberal pundit who combines both the high profile and vicious rhetoric of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter or Michael Savage. They are uniquely prominent practitioners of depravity. But that is a difference of degree, not of kind.


There comes a point when differences of degree are so vast that they become differences of kind. And in this debate, we are there. If I drop a bag of trash in a river, that is a bad thing to do. But if a factory dumps a million gallons of waste in the same river, what possible difference does my tiny bag of trash make? Zero.

Worse, some might attempt to use my bag of trash to soft-pedal the impact of the million gallons of waste. "Everybody does it, so what is the big deal?"

The more interesting question is not whether each side does it. The more interesting question is why are there so many high profile practitioners of depravity on the right, but none on the left? One can always find a bomb thrower on the left, if you look hard enough. That’s easy. But the existence and prominence of the Coulters, Limbaughs, and Savages on the right speaks to something about the nature of the political right in this country.

Please check out this very pertinent cartoon from Tom Tomorrow (please click on the Salon ad if necessary - it’s worth the viewing).

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
And you know what...I don’t consider Limbaugh "Vile"
We disagree. Feminazi? Implying that the Clinton’s had Vince Foster murdered? Etc.

Feminazi’s a GREAT term, usually cast at the NAG’s, National Association of Gals. Kim Gandy, Ms. Ireland, Catherine McKinnon are Feminazi’s works for me. The whole Phallo-Centric Patriarchy Oppressing Womyn crew get the moniker FemiNazi. In their universe, having external gentialia guarantees I am a vicious, violent sexist brute, they get to have this on them. Voiks fer me.

He does skate awfully close on the Vince Foster thing... alwyas pointing out that a large number of folks CLOSE to Clinton die. In fact he uses it in his shows when he’s doing the Clinton ’Phone Call, "Bob, Bob Toricelli, yeah this is Bill. Look pal, you’re going to lose and we can’t have that. So look here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to drop out of the race. Yeah, give it up pal and quit. Look just remember what happened to Vince Foster." Yeah it’s funny in the mock Clinton voice and talking aobut how Clinton "talks" to people about why they need to stop doing what they’re doing because it’s going to hurt the D Party.
Partisanship and/or ideological predispositions are not the same as coarseness. One does not require the other.
Guess that’s all in the eye of the beholder. You say "tomaTOW", I say "Fat Paedophilic Rightwing Homophobe"...My theory is if it makes you angry that doesn’t make it coarse, but in your world if it makes you angry IT’S COARSE.

I say you want Buckley read old issues of the National Review or head over to the "Volokh Conspiracy" for some almost mind-numbingly obtuse discussions of legal precedent concerning some issue, of import or otherwise. I’ll take Jonah Goldberg, Rush, Frank J. and even Coulter, though she’s just worng about Evolution.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Ad hominim attacks are as old as politics. Occasionally, the failings and foibles of a speaker are relevant to what he says; thus, Limbaugh’s earlier statements on controlled substances were relevant to his subsequent legal problems which are, in turn, relevant to anything he may say about drug addiction in the future. But generally, ad hominim attacks are irrelevant to the soundness of any particular person’s point of view — the argument stands or falls on its own, regardless of who asserts it.

But politics isn’t only or even primarily about reasoned argument or verifiable fact. It is at least as much about citizens’ visceral reactions and often irrational or factually unfounded beliefs. Their votes count just as much as anyone else’s, and anyone engaged in politics would be idiotic to ignore that fact or, for that matter, to insist upon taking the "high moral ground" regardless of the consequences. (That is one but by no means the only reason libertarians fare so poorly in electoral politics.)

None of that is to suggest that Mr. Henke’s position here is wrong, but only that the political class, including the commentariat, is filled with opportunists. As libertarians, we might bemoan the effect crack cocaine has on some people and morally condemn those who supply it to them even though we might still prefer a world in which such commerce was legal. Sadly, so long as there is a market in politics for invective and dishonesty, there will be those willing to supply its demand. In that sense, at least, there is little difference between the two.
 
Written By: D.A. Ridgely
URL: http://
The debate, once again, is not about whether each side throws poison around. The debate, rather, is the extent of the poison and the exposure of the public to that poison.


So it’s only immoral to be vile and have a lot of people hear it? Being vile in the company of a few thousand, or even secretly in our hearts - that’s not wrong?

 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
For goodness sakes Henke, you’re approaching a joke. I’d guess, regardless of all the neo-libertarian lip service, there is too much paleo-libertarian within you.

All the rhetorical nastiness that oozes from the left is a result of what oozed from the right "decades ago?" Ignoring of course that through out history, political rhetoric has been... caustic. Well, I guess if the right’s got your idealogical panties in a twist, you gotta blame them for something.

(wondering if this is the second comment of mine that will get deleted at QandO)



 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
All the rhetorical nastiness that oozes from the left is a result of what oozed from the right "decades ago?"
Well Bains, I must having missed the blaming of the Right thing...where was that?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
It seems to me that the Left is now where the Right was some decades ago. Outside of the occassional, embattled President, the Right was out of power, and tired of it. They intended to "even things up", as it were, by creating parallel information streams and playing the same political game they believed was being employed against them. Unfortunately, in ’evening things up’, they raised the noise and vitriol level.

And now that it’s worked, the Left has decided they needed to do the same thing; to see the incivility of the Right and raise it
[...]
The "Revanchist Left" is determined to take back the low ground.
Seems fairly clear to me.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Bains, OK I just noticed that. Well that is a silly point. At one level Jon must have missed out on the 1960’s and 1970’s and the New Left, if he thinks that the spiral of incivility began with the rise of Talk Radio.

OTOH, all this could rapidly become what occurs in many discussions of the Middle East, "well you killed my Dad." "Well your Dad shot MY Dad." "well, he only did that because your Grandfather shot at my Dad." "You dad was stealing a sheep from my Grandpa..." and so it goes. The general idea being that IF we can just arrive at the FIRST injustice and determine who committed that, then we can understand and excuse all the subsequent injustices.

That’s not true. It’s IRRELEVANT whether Israel executed a DELIBERATE policy based on Dar Yessein or if the Arabs started it all with their invasion. War crimes and atrocities can NEVER be excused because the other side did it first.

So too with this issue. It’s irrelevant if Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman and Lennie Bruce were uncivil to their opponents OR if Ann Coutler and Rush Limbaugh were mean to Moore and the women Ooops Womyn of the National Organization of Women. We can follow that thread back into the dim and misty reaches of time with no clear conclusions.

IF you don’t want to be treated poorly, then don’t treat others poorly. If you’re "Tolerant and open-minded" don’t decide that your opponent must be a paedophile because of vacation plans and prescriptions. IF you make fun mercilessly of your opponents don’t complain if they call you an anorexic shrew. It’s all about what comes around goes around. It becomes a little silly when one side or the other begins to snivel that the other side is being "mean" when BOTH sides have plenty of ready wits slashing away.

I also don’t think it necessarily a bad thing that Coulter and Limbaugh are funny... and if you find Margaret Cho funny then include her too. It’s also silly to complain about the market place being demeaned, because that’s what happens in these fights. From the 1950’s on the Keynesian Left has been dominant, so No there wasn’t much of debate vitriolic or otherwise. Now that’s changing, Ted Kennedy Al Gore and the like are NOT the undisputed masters of the media and public discourse. They don’t like it and complain about all the "vitriol". Oh Well, it comes with the territory of policy/philosophy debates. Once they begin to happen, both sides will use the tools at hand to advance their positions, to include mocking and lampooning their opponents.

A time may come when the Libertarian/Right view is dominant as Keynes’ view was dominant. And again, all will be calm on the media front, as the new paradigm will dominate. BUT in time the counter-movement will arise and then the Right Libertarians will be discomfited by all the vitriol and incivility of their opponents and the process will begin anew.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
If I drop a bag of trash in a river, that is a bad thing to do. But if a factory dumps a million gallons of waste in the same river, what possible difference does my tiny bag of trash make? Zero.
Unless your bag of trash is chock full of powdered plutonium. Or if there are a few million behavioral clones of you.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Unless your bag of trash is chock full of powdered plutonium.

Is this plutonium from Hanford in Washington or SUPPOSED plutonium from Pyongyang, Teheran or Baghdad, because US plutonium is evill, bad, polluting stuff that exists becasue the US is a Fascist War-mongering state in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Whereas NORK, Iranian, or Iraqi plutonium is, well US plutonium planted by the CIA in order to crush resistance to the running dog lackeys of global hegemonic finance capital! See it’s not so clearcut as you might think.
Or if there are a few million behavioral clones of you.

I can tell you this... there are NO rightwing clones, we’re against that! And we are in very good companny too, because Yoda opposes cloning too.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Mudslingin’ is a time honored tradition in American politics...

http://www.his.tcu.edu/Frog&Globe/SiteArchives/Stevens-Elections.htm
For sheer meanness the 1828 campaign has never been matched. Democrats not only recalled the "corrupt bargain" of the previous election but denounced Adams for owning a billiard table and an ivory chess set. They also accused him of traveling on Sunday, having premarital sexual relations with his wife, and claimed that when minister to Russia, he had arranged for an American girl to satisfy the lust of Czar Alexander I. In plain terms, they accused Adams of being a pimp.

Adams’s supporters launched their own assaults against Jackson and many of the charges had some basis in fact. Jackson, they said, was a mere hot-tempered "military chieftain" who had executed-without justification, according to the critics-six soldiers under his command for desertion and launched an unauthorized invasion of Spanish Florida. He was, they accurately complained, a slaver, a gambler, a brawler, and a duelist. Indeed, Jackson’s Tennessee plantation was worked by slaves, he bet on horses and cockfights, he had been shot and stabbed during a barroom fight, and he had killed a man in a duel (though he carried for the rest of his life a pistol ball in the chest from his opponent).

...

Is there anything to be learned from this catalog of villainies? The moral of the story, I would submit, is not that since politics was nasty then, it’s okay for it to be equally loathsome now. Instead, what candidates and their supporters might want to keep in mind is that history remembers such outrages and is not kind to the memories of those who perpetuate them.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
Spot on Joe. Too often the partisans and the petulant seemingly condemn outrageous actions and words of their own when in fact all they are saying is, "well, (s)he did it first." It’s no excuse.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
The more interesting question is why are there so many high profile practitioners of depravity on the right, but none on the left?
No mk, the interesting question is why the left has no one that prominent period. As I said, the most prominent left wing commenter’s are not any better (in fact I would say a bit worse, but really who has a good enough metric to decide such an argument) they just are not as prominent. That hardly says anything good about the left, or the right for that matter, but it doesn’t say anything bad about the right either. The right has more prominent non-vile celebrities than the left as well. I know that is frustrating, but it doesn’t help your point at all.
I think you’ve mis-remembered Moore’s statement. He didn’t advocate the death of Bush voters; he merely noted the irony. It was inartful, but not what I would call vicious.
I am hurt, you could at least have said the rest of my vicious right wing assault against Moore was spot on;) I don’t want to get too caught up in such hair splitting but I looked up the quote:
What I do know is that all day long I have heard everything about this bin Laden guy except this one fact — WE created the monster known as Osama bin Laden!

Where did he go to terrorist school? At the CIA!

Don’t take my word for it — I saw a piece on MSNBC last year that laid it all out. When the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, the CIA trained him and his buddies in how to commits acts of terrorism against the Soviet forces. It worked! The Soviets turned and ran. Bin Laden was grateful for what we taught him and thought it might be fun to use those same techniques against us.

We abhor terrorism — unless we’re the ones doing the terrorizing.

We paid and trained and armed a group of terrorists in Nicaragua in the 1980s who killed over 30,000 civilians. That was OUR work. You and me. Thirty thousand murdered civilians and who the hell even remembers!

We fund a lot of oppressive regimes that have killed a lot of innocent people, and we never let the human suffering THAT causes to interrupt our day one single bit.

We have orphaned so many children, tens of thousands around the world, with our taxpayer-funded terrorism (in Chile, in Vietnam, in Gaza, in Salvador) that I suppose we shouldn’t be too surprised when those orphans grow up and are a little whacked in the head from the horror we have helped cause.

Yet, our recent domestic terrorism bombings have not been conducted by a guy from the desert but rather by our own citizens: a couple of ex-military guys who hated the federal government.

From the first minutes of today’s events, I never heard that possibility suggested. Why is that?

Maybe it’s because the A-rabs are much better foils. A key ingredient in getting Americans whipped into a frenzy against a new enemy is the all-important race card. It’s much easier to get us to hate when the object of our hatred doesn’t look like us.

Congressmen and Senators spent the day calling for more money for the military; one Senator on CNN even said he didn’t want to hear any more talk about more money for education or health care — we should have only one priority: our self-defense.

Will we ever get to the point that we realize we will be more secure when the rest of the world isn’t living in poverty so we can have nice running shoes?

In just 8 months, Bush gets the whole world back to hating us again. He withdraws from the Kyoto agreement, walks us out of the Durban conference on racism, insists on restarting the arms race — you name it, and Baby Bush has blown it all.

The Senators and Congressmen tonight broke out in a spontaneous version of "God Bless America." They’re not a bad group of singers! Yes, God, please do bless us.

Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes’ destination of California — these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!


Why kill them? Why kill anyone? Such insanity.

Let’s mourn, let’s grieve, and when it’s appropriate let’s examine our contribution to the unsafe world we live in.

It doesn’t have to be like this.
Now, how you describe it is certainly what I think he was driving at, just as I assume Coulter is really saying The New York Times might have been a more appropriate target for a right wing nut cases rage than the OKC federal building. However, by the standards that are being used for calling people vile, I don’t see the big difference. Every quote is different, but it seems to me if you say that New Yorkers didn’t deserve to die because they didn’t vote for Bush then you are saying it is somehow more appropriate for those who did to die. I don’t think he means that he actually wants them to die, but given other things he has said, maybe. It does, and once again since we are all speculating on dark motives, it does seem that while he might want nobody killed, he certainly has the order in which they should die. That seems to be the dark interpretation to give Coulter as well.

In addition the levels of vile claims here are actually pretty deep and far more telling than imagining that he or Coulter actually are calling for someone’s death. How about the whole context that 9/11 was about getting at Bush? That is actually kind of breathtakingly awful not to mention bizarre given the man was barely in office long enough to be any specific issue for Al Qaeda. It reminds me of some kind of left wing version of Pat Robertson, except to some extent Pat was in the right ball park. I mean Al Qaeda does hate the fact that we are such a (in their eyes) sinful society even if Pat’s arguing God led them to punish us is beyond the pale. This idea that 9/11 was some kind of third world retribution for not electing Gore is just creepy.

Check out the racist smear. Somehow or another he feels there is some controlling body out there (the context and other statements from him suggest originating from the white house and various right wing organs) which is seizing this moment to demonize a particular ethnic group. I call that vile, but supposedly open minded progressive sophisticates go to see and applaud his movie and its myriad vile and patently false claims while supposedly ignorant backwoods yahoos suck up everything Rush says. Rush is a model of decorous and responsible rhetoric compared to this guy which is why I find it hard to stomach the lefts promotion of his movie(s).

I could spend days doing this with myriad statements which are even more vile than this bit of swill, and as bad as the minutemen comment, but I respectfully suggest that the favored left wing punching bags do not hold a candle to this guy and the minutemen comment alone brings him up past the Coulter standard pretty quick before we get into all the other stuff.

This is all small potatoes, I think we are on very similar ground, though I could show actual political ads from the 80’s or 90’s nearly this vile run in Presidential elections by various Democratic factions, so I don’t get that it is in retaliation for anything. I don’t buy that from either side of the debate. My sense is that offensive rhetoric is perceived as such depending on whose ox is being gored. Most people believe their opponents deserve what they get and even if it is mean and unfair, it is in fact actually true and deserved on some level. George Bush deserved the ad where his opposition to a hate crimes bill was tantamount to endorsing the murder of James Byrd in that mind set. It may be an unfair attack, but really, we all know that deep down he really does feel that way, so it is fair game and different from implying that Kerry is some effete North Eastern Liberal which is just dirty pool. As I said, small potatoes really, I just find it odd you loathe Coulter but don’t consider Moore vile, or at least not on the pod cast.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://
Jon: I still don’t get what you’re so upset about. Should Dems just not respond to Limbaugh, never say anything bad about him? They tried that for a while, and he just gets worse. Why is it you think the left should never respond to these things?
 
Written By: Oliver
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
Still haven’t seen Ms Coulter or Mr Limbaugh sitting next to an ex-President at the National Convention...
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
No mk, the interesting question is why the left has no one that prominent period.
Consider the medium. In this case almost exclusively AM radio. Say what you will about Madison Avenue, but those guys know how to target a demographic.

And when they need to sell some herbal cures for baldness or sexual dysfunction, they know EXACTLY what medium to turn to.
 
Written By: davebo
URL: http://
Oliver - Isn’t there enough about what Limbaugh really says, or does, that provides grist for your mill without claiming he’s a pedophile?
That’s the real point.
No one (at least here, that I’ve seen) is saying you can’t critique him, no
one is saying you can’t have a field day with any hypocrisy he spouts.

I can’t even listen to the guy. I pity the people that must listen to him just to hear when he makes some (another) stupid comment.
Do they get paid to do that and then report home or something?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Oliver, I’ve agreed with Jon so far, and here is the point: I don’t really care if you call Limbaugh a pedophile, so long as you aren’t one of those people who is complaining that Limbaugh and his ilk are lowering the civility of discourse. If you want to stake out the tit-for-tat poo-flinging section of political conversations, then you and Limbaugh are welcome to it.

The point of Jon’s article was (as far as I could tell) that he was hoping for better than that from you, since you have in the past seemed to express a desire to see the conversation exist at a higher level than poo-flinging.

We are looking for consistency. We are looking for meaningful discourse on various topics. We are looking for constructive discourse, not divisiveness. Limbaugh does not particularly appeal to me, and I cannot stand Coulter or Savage, because they can’t say that the sky is blue without finding a way to piss off the Left. How constructive is that?

And guess what? I don’t like those exact same things coming from the Left, Oliver. I hold the Left to the same standards of civility. I think that’s all Jon has been saying on this issue.

You asked; Should Dems just not respond to Limbaugh, never say anything bad about him?

That’s the whole problem. To Limbaugh and about Limbaugh are two different things.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
Why is it you think the left should never respond to these things?
At no point have I suggested any such thing. Please review:
We all agree that criticism is acceptable; we may disagree on the merits of various insults, but who thinks it’s acceptable to accuse your political opponents of pedophilia?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
"vicious rhetoric"?
"practitioner of depravity"?

As I said in a previous comment, I don’t listen to Limbaugh on a regular basis, so I must be missing all the fun parts. Could somebody direct me to a source of his vile remarks? I am curious now. If he is so nasty, why do you listen to him?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I don’t much care for rhetoric, right or left it’s all the same pabllum. I would like both sides to define what they would do about the war, the economy, immigration, education, environmental issues, poverty, disease, etc, etc,etc????????
 
Written By: Fuzz Moe
URL: http://
Timactual,

I am no fan, but I get generic complaints. Specifics are rather hard to come by. It is actually kind of amazing. It would be hard to have strong opinions, often put together on the fly, over decades of talk radio and not have a treasure trove of ill considered statements. I accept he offends many, but for the most part he doesn’t seem vile, except in the sense that his opinions are vile to many ideologically. What he is not is always civil, fair or sensitive to how his remarks might make others feel. How Glen Greenwald, Oliver Willis or any number of others are any different I can’t say.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://
Still haven’t seen Ms Coulter or Mr Limbaugh sitting next to an ex-President at the National Convention...
Maybe not, Keith. But I’ve heard our current Vice President appear on Mr. Limbaugh’s show.

Timactual, and for anyone else who is interested, MediaMatters compiles copious quips and contemptible comments from the corpulent kook.

Most of which may not venture into what reasonable people would consider “vile”. There are a few however, including this…
Some of these babes, I’m telling you, like the sexual harassment crowd. They’re out there protesting what they actually wish would happen to them sometimes. [4/26/04]
Now come on, be reasonable… you certainly can see how many, many women would find that a vile statement.

Limbaugh constantly makes ugly, hateful comments. Yeah, whatever. I liken him to a drunken belligerent at the end of the bar for which we’ve all experienced. (and accused of from time to time…right?...right?)

The truly offensive thing about Rush and his show is that fifteen million listeners tune in every week to listen to this idiot.

And Rush Limbaugh truly is an idiot. And a liar to boot.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
No mk, the interesting question is why the left has no one that prominent period. As I said, the most prominent left wing commenter’s are not any better (in fact I would say a bit worse, but really who has a good enough metric to decide such an argument) they just are not as prominent. That hardly says anything good about the left, or the right for that matter, but it doesn’t say anything bad about the right either. The right has more prominent non-vile celebrities than the left as well. I know that is frustrating, but it doesn’t help your point at all.
You only make my point. Let’s presume that those who listen to and read the vile commentators on the right and left prefer to listen to and read those commenatators who share their political point of view. If the left and the right have the same number of vile commentators, and yet those commentators on the right have millions of audience members, while those on the left labor in relative obscurity, the obvious conclusion is that thos who trend right politically right tend to much more receptive to vile commentary than those on the left.

This conclusion is so freakingly obvious it’s kind of weird that one would argue against it. Hit TV shows are hits because they have audiences who like what they see and hear. It’s just ratings, after all.

So what does it mean that the right is more receptive to vile arguments? Well, that’s the subject of another post, of course.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
"Specifics are rather hard to come by"

Funny how that works.

"What he is not is always civil, fair or sensitive to how his remarks might make others feel"

Sort of like me and most of the people I have ever met.
———————————-
"And Rush Limbaugh truly is an idiot. And a liar to boot"

Then why on earth do you listen to him? I don’t listen to people I find objectionable. And as far as being a liar, I hear so-called respectable political figures lying every Sunday on the respectable journalists’ shows, some of whom also say and do rather nasty things.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I read some of the "outrageous " comments by Limbaugh compiled by Media Matters. That’s it? Pitiful. You people need to get a sense of humor and irony.
Some of those remarks were taken out of context(yeah, I know, trite but true) And if you are outraged by him calling someone a "chair babe", you must get apoplectic at some of the things Barney Frank, Sen. Reid, et al. have said. I don’t know how you can watch television, listen to radio, or associate with other human beings without going into a catatonic state from the shock of it all. Ever laugh at a dirty joke? Watch anything but old Disney movies? I have read more offensive things on this site. Grow up, all of you. Or join a monastery or nunnery if you can’t handle the real world. This whole discussion is infantile.

 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"the obvious conclusion is that thos who trend right politically right tend to much more receptive to vile commentary than those on the left."

Oh yes, that’s the ONLY possible conclusion. It couldn’t possibly be that maybe the commentary isn’t quite as vile as you’d like to believe. I’m sure, after all, that you listen to all of it and completely understand the context rather than simply hear about the occasional exceptions. I’m sure you listen to it objectively and never rely on anyone with an agenda.

It also couldn’t be that perhaps the commentary isn’t actually considered vile; that it is interpreted differently and for good reason.

This is a favorite game of detractors of all stripes - cherry pick one statement out of thousands and beat it to death as typical. Don’t forget to take it out of context and never ever note when the commentor apologizes for a genuinely bad statement.

 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
mk, you still don’t get my point, so disagree with it when you understand it. The left likes it as much as the right. You just don’t seem to be able to get anyone prominent. I don’t know why, it actually makes little sense to me, but there it is. Your commentators are just as offensive and your most offensive get the most attention, just like on the right. Unfortunately they as a group get little attention except on the web, where they are worse.

Please don’t reply, I am absolutely sure you’ll make a variation of the same stupid argument again. You always do.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://
Limbaugh has made at least two visits to the Bush White House, including to the Oval Office.

Jon & Co, again I ask you - what has being dutiful, nice responders gotten the left? In a world where Republican congressmen make medical diagnosis via video and reduce the lives of 2500 Americans to "cut and run" is it at all possible for people to just "tut tut" and so on? What world is it you guys are living in?
 
Written By: Oliver
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
Jon & Co, again I ask you - what has being dutiful, nice responders gotten the left?
Oliver, you’re making some very strange distinction here. Nobody said the Left needed to be "dutiful, nice responders", or that they needed to "curtsy" in response to insults. Do you see any difference between, e.g., "Rush Limbaugh is wrong because..." or o"Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat idiot" and "Rush Limbaugh is a pedophile". Any?

Is it your position that the Left (and/or the Country) will be better off when the Left becomes more vile? If so — if you you seriously believe that "vile" is acceptable — why do you object to the Right being vile? How are you not being hypocritical when you assert that it’s bad when the Right does it, but a good idea for the Left to join them?

As for the "cut and run" stuff? I don’t see the big problem with that statement. It’s not specific enough, but I think it’s a reasonable approximation. You do want to cut our losses and get out of Iraq. Embrace it.

If you want to argue that the rhetoric about Iraq is insufficiently respectful of the nuance of the thing, I’ll happily agree. But I believe that’s a two-way street, and I suspect you don’t see that.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Could somebody direct me to a source of his vile remarks? I am curious now.
Media Matters has a lot of background material on Limbaugh. Generally speaking, I find his generalizations, stereotypes and caricatures of the Left pretty offensive, inaccurate, etc.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
D.A. Ridgely writes:
[P]olitics isn’t only or even primarily about reasoned argument or verifiable fact. It is at least as much about citizens’ visceral reactions and often irrational or factually unfounded beliefs. Their votes count just as much as anyone else’s, and anyone engaged in politics would be idiotic to ignore that fact or, for that matter, to insist upon taking the "high moral ground" regardless of the consequences. (That is one but by no means the only reason libertarians fare so poorly in electoral politics.)
That is an excellent point.

Politics is about more than policy, and people come here to the political blogosphere for more reasons than to just discuss policies on their merits.

For some people the blogosphere is a social club. Some people regard the poltical parties in the same way that an Englishman regards his football club. For such a person it makes perfect sense to ask, as our Dickensian friend does, why he should not smear Mr. Limbaugh with baseless innuendoes, since Mr. Limbaugh, after all, HAS said nasty things about the Clintons.

As a libertarian though, I do not not have a strong affiliation with either party. I come to this forum, and others, looking for interesting ideas and honest discussion about policy. I am interested in whether this policy or that one is the right thing to do, based on my standards. I am not particularly interested in speculation about the ulterior motivations of the politician who proposed the idea, or in whether the talk radio show host who defends it may happen to be a secret pervert. I understand that there are many people who are in search of this kind of content and there will always be the likes of Mr. Willis to provide it.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Then why on earth do you listen to him?
Okay, tim. I have a bone in my nose …er… I have some bones to pick with you. First off, I don’t listen to him. He’s an idiot. I don’t listen to idiots. (save Sen. Ted Stevens, his ridiculous comments are a riot!)
But I do know what I’m talking about.

In the mid-nineties, I had a job in California where the boss loved Limbaugh, and he made certain the radio was tuned into that simpleton… every-freakin’-day. Oh the humanity.
I can tell you, with absolute confidence, that I have 1000+ hours of experience listening to that imbecile. I still have nightmares.
And as far as being a liar, I hear so-called respectable political figures lying every Sunday…
So your position is that it’s okay for Rush to lie because the pol’s lie!?
That’s an odd position. Perhaps you’re unaware that Limbaugh ridicules pol’s for lying. So Limbaugh lying would make him a _________. (three points for the correct answer)
I read some of the "outrageous " comments by Limbaugh compiled by Media Matters. That’s it? Pitiful.
Yeah, no one here that I know of claims Limbaugh’s comments are “outrageous”. But perhaps your quotes around the word outrageous were meant as paraphrase. I did note, however, of Limbaugh’s comments, “Most of which may not venture into what reasonable people would consider “vile”.”
But surely, tim. You must agree that Limbaugh constantly makes ugly, hateful remarks. Right?

But alright, fine. If drunken belligerent’s are one’s cup of tea, then by all means, dance to his tune.

I don’t listen to Rush, but not because of his ugly remarks, but because he is a moron. Take for example the Donovan McNabb incident, where many non-dittoheads got a good look at the space between Limbaugh’s ears.
I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. ... There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team.
Uh huh. Is that why the following year, McNabb led his team to the Super Bowl, almost single-handedly I might add? Is that why McNabb profile of achievements includes MVP, division titles and conference championships? Is that why? It’s social engineering on the part of the NFL and the media!?
I say again, what a moron.

But I digress.
You people need to get a sense of humor and irony.
Some of those remarks were taken out of context(yeah, I know, trite but true)
How would you know, tim? Since,
As I said in a previous comment, I don’t listen to Limbaugh on a regular basis, so I must be missing all the fun parts.
So how would you know that some of those remarks were taken out of context? I can tell you from years of experience… context won’t help Limbaugh, it may just add to the offense.
Grow up, all of you.
Tell that to Rush.
This whole discussion is infantile.
Per your own reasoning, why do you participate?
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Jon,

I agree, but I would hardly put it in the same boat as Coulter or call vile. I read the stuff at Media Matters and it seems pretty par for the course. The list of sexist remarks was pretty ridiculous. Most of it came down to criticizing feminists, ridiculing them, or calling them feminazis. Very little of it was sexist. Cruely mocking? Yes. Sexist, not much. In fact you might point out how offensive it is to even claim that much of what they have on their list is sexist or racist. For example:
The — the gang culture has given us rap, elements of rap, or rap has influenced — whichever. They are intertwined.
I listen to a fair amount of rap. Anyoneone want to tell Ice Cube or any of the guys at NWA that this isn’t true? Even if it wasn’t, is the sheer fact of having a misperception about something in this manner a sign of racism, or sexism? That seems to be the template for the media matters list.
The UN preaches hate, preaches anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism.
This is an example of xenophobia? Obviously the UN does a lot of other things, but once again are they saying the UN often doesn’t do this? Even if we felt he was wrong is this something which justifies calling someone a xenophobe?

Or to put it another way, we should be as offended by the majority of what is on the list and the charges they claim to justify as we are by the few problematic things on it. I especially love the ones where Media Matters shows a complete loss of irony. Can’t they tell when Rush is mocking himself and conservatives at the same time he is mocking others? Are they so impaired that they believe calling oneself and conservatives male chauvenist pigs is really a sign of Rush’s sexism? He is mocking liberals, feminists, men, women, conservatives, himself, all at the same time. It surprised me, but some of it was pretty spot on satire, and not just of the left.

Now, does he stereotype liberals cruelly? Yes. Does he misrepresent liberals? Yes. Is he infantile and often crude? Yes. So Pogue I don’t have abone to pick from your nose on this at all, I just think it is amazing how exercised the left is about the man given all the rhetoric I read and hear, which leads me to ask:

Do I think those mean spirited, mocking caricatures of liberals (especially since like all caricatures they contain a fair amount of truth) explain liberals real issue with Rush? Yes. For a long time before Rush there was nobody in the media who would blow holes in the oh so serious self righteousness of the mainstream left. Rush not only made fun of them, but questioned their motives (something we on the right, conservative or libertarian, have always had to deal with.) I say this as someone who like many libertarians, neo or otherwise, holds many of the views Rush mocks. For a long time the left in the media was never mocked and their motives were pure, conservatives were the know-nothings and their motives always suspect. I think his groundbreaking success in exploiting the market for that kind of thing explains the particular hatred for him. I’ll say this for Rush, he has hit a nerve. Feminists hate being mocked.

Once again, Rush is not my style but I would suggest Kos, Atrios, Willis, Marshall, Ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson and any number of other mainstream politicians of the left say as bad or worse about the right on a regular basis. As I pointed out before, even guys like Drum and Yglesias say things just as awful, but they are not portraying themselves as the bombastic, infallible know-it-all that is Rush’s schtick. Because they write so thoughtfully and trade in themes which are accepted as fair game now, the offensiveness is hardly noticed. Given what they are saying isn’t schtick, I suggest I should find it worse. I don’t, but I can’t say that is logical, I can only say I am conditioned to see Rush as an issue and Drum as an intellectual I respect. Who says I have to be logical?
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://
"So your position is that it’s okay for Rush to lie because the pol’s lie!?"

According to some, he lies when he spells his name. I consider the source of the accusations and judge accordingly. Any specific examples come to mind?


"Yeah, no one here that I know of claims Limbaugh’s comments are “outrageous"

Yeah. Vile and despicable, but not outrageous. So sorry.


"You must agree that Limbaugh constantly makes ugly, hateful remarks. Right?"

Ugly and hateful is in the eyes of the beholder. I find some remarks made here to be the same, and remarks made by many public figures. Why single out Limbaugh? Perhaps it is his political positions that make his remarks so objectionable?

"So how would you know that some of those remarks were taken out of context? "

Consult your local dictionary as to the meaning of the word regular.

"Per your own reasoning, why do you participate?"

I find all this selective pseudo-outrage amusing. Plus I have no life, hence a lot of time to kill.
"Mommy, mommy, Johnny called me a bad name!"
"But Billy called me a worse name!".
"No, I didn’t, and you called me one first!"
"Well, he called me a homo sapiens!"
...

Some of the vile and despicable examples cited by Media Matters are absolutely ludicrous. He calls someone a "national chair babe". Yep, I can feel the foundations of civilization-as-we-know-it crumbling beneath my feet(the left one, anyway).

Several people have used the "feminazi" example. Truly vile. Tut, tut. This must be the only group of people in the US that havn’t watched or heard of Jerry Seinfeld. The theme of one entire episode of his show was calling a food vendor a nazi. Oh, the horror! They called him the "soup-nazi". Egads! Have they no decency?! Where is the outrage over that vile and despicable show? Somebody needs to get their outrage meter recalibrated.







 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Lance;
Excellent. I am green with envy which, as we all know, isn’t easy.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
He’s an idiot.

that simpleton

that imbecile

If drunken belligerent’s are one’s cup of tea, then by all means, dance to his tune.

he is a moron

what a moron.

Written By: PogueMahone


Heh - I think you’ve got a future in talk radio. Or calling the kettle black maybe...
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
taking back the low ground
I think some on this thread are succedding...
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
According to some, he lies when he spells his name. I consider the source of the accusations and judge accordingly. Any specific examples come to mind?
LOL.
Have you got some time?
LIMBAUGH: Bush’s approval numbers are up, folks. This is the Gallup Poll. The latest USA Today/Gallup update on George W. Bush’s presidential job approval rating finds 36 percent of Americans approving of the job the president’s doing; 57 percent disapprove. This represents a modest improvement in that measure from recent weeks, a finding mirrored in several other national surveys. In early May, just 31 percent approved of Bush, marking the low point of his administration to date. A subsequent poll in May found a 33 percent rating. Now he’s up to 36 percent, which is in line with his public standing in March and April. So, modest improvement.
Tracking back up — imagine if you went back and looked at several other second-term presidents at this time in their terms, you’d find almost parallel poll results. We know that Bill Clinton was down in the 20s at one point.
Lie.
The lowest for Clinton was 36%.
LIMBAUGH: Right, have you heard of the case of Zacarias Moussaoui?
CALLER: I have.
LIMBAUGH: Yeah, well, that’s a case where we didn’t get to find out what was on his computer, and we found out he was the 20th hijacker.
CALLER: And?
LIMBAUGH: And we missed finding out what was going on beforehand. The FBI wanted to know what was on his computer. Couldn’t get a warrant to do it from the FISA court. They [the court] didn’t like the way the procedures had been followed. Bammo! 9-11 happened.

Lie. (pdf)
The FBI attorneys never brought the case before the FISA courts.

We could go on. But that should give you enough to chew on for now. And if you don’t believe me, MediaMatters has the audio.

Look, Limbaugh lies whether by choice or by ignorance. In either case, they are still lies. And given that it is Limbaugh’s business to know the facts on these subjects, I must believe that his lies are by choice.

Oh, and tim,
Several people have used the "feminazi" example. Truly vile. Tut, tut. This must be the only group of people in the US that havn’t watched or heard of Jerry Seinfeld.
The soup nazi was a fictional character. So it’s a difficult comparing Rush’s all-to-real ideological opponents to satirical fictional characters.
But whatever makes you feel better.

I can only imagine how difficult it must be defending Rush Limbaugh.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
I think some on this thread are succedding...
Surely you don’t mean me?
He’s an idiot.
Heh - I think you’ve got a future in talk radio. Or calling the kettle black maybe...
Hey man, I would never call Limbaugh black. It would be an insult to black people. ;)

Keith, don’t tell me you can’t see any difference.
It is my opinion strong opinion, that Limbaugh is an idiot. I’m allowed, trust me.

Limbaugh –without objections from little ‘ol me- can certainly profess his opinions about any given person’s intellectual capabilities. He can scream all day that Clinton is an idiot, and I know that he does.
But saying someone’s an idiot is quite different that baselessly suggesting that that someone is a murderer.

Surely you can see that.

 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
"Look, Limbaugh lies whether by choice or by ignorance. In either case, they are still lies"

By ignorance, eh? so even if he thinks he is telling the truth he is lying. Like I said, I consider the source of the accusations and judge accordingly.

." In either case, they are still lies"

Unless they are told by lefties, in which case they are momentary lapses of memory.

," I must believe that his lies are by choice."

No, you want to believe he lies by choice. It must be nice to have never made an accidental misstatement of fact or to have had a brainf*rt. I envy your perfection.
It’s amusing to me that the NY Times and other publications (including, I am sure, Media Matters) are allowed to publish what must be, to use your logic, lies and yet we are supposed to believe what they publish. Somehow I doubt that if Limbaugh published retractions, as does the Times et al., he would be given the same benefit of the doubt.

"The soup nazi was a fictional character."

So it is acceptable to use the vile and despicable word nazi for fun, amusement, and profit but it is much too serious a word to use when making fun of real people who act like nazis?


Limbaugh is no worse than thousands of other pundits, politicians, journalists, etc. Unlike most of them, he has become somewhat influential and thus dangerous to the left; he must therefore be destroyed, or at least have his credibility destroyed. Heck, I don’t believe everything he says, for one reason or another, but that is a far cry form calling him vile, etc. I will even add to your list. I believe that during the invasion of Haiti, it was on his show that a rumor started that eventually led to a congressional investigation. As I recall, someone called in and said something about only having 15 rounds of ammunition for their weapon, and somehow that ballooned into a mess about all the troops having only 15 rounds each for their weapons. Of course my memory may be faulty and I may be saying this out of ignorance, so I guess that would make me a liar.




 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Jon, I don’t like when Rush Limbaugh calls Hillary Clinton a murderer. So the left has spent a lot of time and considerable effort to say the mainstream press: hey, this guy is a racist and sexist who doesn’t just have a policy dispute with the left, he calls them murderers. Perhaps you should have someone more responsible on your air or in print. It doesn’t work. A conservative could kill a child on live tv and be a guest on the three morning news shows the next day. So if pointing out Limbaugh (and his ilk’s behavior) is of no effect on the MSM, I see no wrong in fighting fire with fire. Rush Limbaugh, the guy who called Chelsea Clinton a dog and then was invited on NBC to comment on the 2002 election, took a vacation to a country well known for underage sex tourism while carrying a drug best known for curing erectile dysfunction. Okay?
 
Written By: Oliver
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
By ignorance, eh? so even if he thinks he is telling the truth he is lying. Like I said, I consider the source of the accusations and judge accordingly.
Alright then, we agree. Rush Limbaugh is an idiot. That is what we call people who spout fiction even though they believe that they are telling the truth, right?
Good. We’re making progress.
Unless they are told by lefties, in which case they are momentary lapses of memory.
Now why would you go – right in the middle of a perfectly reasoned debate – and pull something like that right out of your ass. Where do you get this, “Unless they are told by lefties, in which case they are momentary lapses of memory.”??? Huh? Where did this come from?
No, you want to believe he lies by choice.
No, either he lies by choice, or he is just an idiot. And after careful consideration, maybe I was wrong, maybe Rush Limbaugh is not lying, and he truly believes the nonsense and falsehoods he preaches. In short, maybe he’s just an idiot.

Somehow I doubt that if Limbaugh published retractions, as does the Times et al., he would be given the same benefit of the doubt.
Heh. Yeah, key word there being “if”. Unless, of course,…
Any specific examples come to mind?

So it is acceptable to use the vile and despicable word nazi for fun, amusement, and profit but it is much too serious a word to use when making fun of real people who act like nazis?
“making fun of real people who act like nazis”
!?!?!?!?!?!?
Act like Nazis!? Umm. Last I checked, Patricia Ireland or any other feminist hasn’t gassed any Jews.

Now, now, tim. Surely you didn’t mean that. Must be one of those “accidental misstatements” or “brainfarts” you speak of.

Look, “soup nazi” and “feminazis” are both used satirically, yes. But one is to describe a fictional character, the other is to attack an ideological subsect. What’s amazing, is how you don’t see why many, many people with similar views to those being labeled as “feminazis” would find that a vile and disgusting remark. I mean, how would you like it if someone labeled conservatives as “ignorant, hillbilly, racist klan members”… oh wait, they have… and my guess is that you don’t like it either.

Heck, I don’t believe everything he says, for one reason or another, but that is a far cry form calling him vile, etc. I will even add to your list.
Dude!? Then why did you ask me for examples? If you knew that Limbaugh was a liar, an idiot, or both, then why did you ask me? Coulda’ saved both of us some time.
No matter.
Of course my memory may be faulty and I may be saying this out of ignorance, so I guess that would make me a liar.
No, no. You did good. You see, with the caveat “Of course my memory maybe faulty”, you admit that you do not speak to this subject with absolute confidence. Good work! ☺

Honestly, tim. Save yourself some grief. Defending Limbaugh is a fool’s errand. Why give yourself the heartache?
Don’t be tempted by the Dark Side, man. Stay here, you know, the side of reason and civility.

‘Sides, the view is better from up here. ;)
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
The lowest for Clinton was 36%.
Where are the Personal approval numbers?
Your Link/graph shows Job Performance Ratings.
I remember during the impeachment the media reporting on two poll numbers: Personal and Job Performance.
Which is something they did not do when GWB’s poll number were going down.
 
Written By: Paul L
URL: http://kingdomofidiots.blogspot.com/
Jon, I don’t like when Rush Limbaugh calls Hillary Clinton a murderer.
Then we agree! Neither do I. On the other hand, and unlike you, I also don’t like it when, e.g., you and Digby call Limbaugh a pedophile. Only one of us opposes the rhetoric.

My position against that kind of rhetoric is consistent. You simply oppose people using it against you. Since you are ok with that kind of thing, I would hope you’d have the decency not to complain about Rush Limbaugh’s rhetoric again.
A conservative could kill a child on live tv and be a guest on the three morning news shows the next day.
Y’know, I agree that there’s no single on the Left with the prominence of a Limbaugh, but let’s not pretend that libs don’t say outlandish things and get press time. "Occupied New Orleans"? Praising Castro?
So if pointing out Limbaugh (and his ilk’s behavior) is of no effect on the MSM, I see no wrong in fighting fire with fire.
Yeah, that’s exactly the excuse Coulter and Limbaugh use.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Pogue Mahone wrote:
"The truly offensive thing about Rush and his show is that fifteen million listeners tune in every week to listen to this idiot."
But what must really bother you is that you have no effective reply.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I can’t say with satisfactory certainty whether there is or is not anything wrong with, "fighting fire with fire," but what I question is whether there is anything productive that would be borne of such. Would returning the acid-blooded, fire-breathed invective do anything but contribute to the intolerability of the situation to the sole end of providing some perverse satisfaction on the part of the imagined victim? If you intend to return fire, you could at least go to the trouble of devising a cleverer weapon.
 
Written By: Paul A. Brömmer
URL: http://vikinghats.com/
I can’t understand why you keep equating what a couple of bloggers say to someone with a coast to coast radio show. And as you’ve admitted before, show me the liberal with the same profile as Limbaugh who said any of those things about New Orleans.
 
Written By: Oliver
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
show me the liberal with the same profile as Limbaugh who said any of those things about New Orleans.
"George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq, and excuse his self from power."
 
Written By: Paul L.
URL: http://kingdomofidiots.blogspot.com/
But what must really bother you is that you have no effective reply.
Umm. Reply to what, exactly? Please explain.

Heh. Talk about no effective reply.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
I can’t understand why you keep equating what a couple of bloggers say to someone with a coast to coast radio show. And as you’ve admitted before, show me the liberal with the same profile as Limbaugh who said any of those things about New Orleans.

Written By: Oliver
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
Dude, the point also should be that if you someday become a nationally known coast to coast type of opinion maker you don’t want people being able to point back at your posts where you, without any substantiation other than inuendo, made the claim that some older ’hero’ of the right was a pedophile.
Sort of like Rush’s ’take the bone out of your nose’ coming back now to haunt his kiester.

When Rush is a dolt and is pulling his ’facts’ out of his flying monkey orifice, take his ’facts’ disassemble them by proving them to be wrong, and hit him where he lives with his own info. I’m not thrilled with him calling Hillary a murder either, plenty of inuendo in the way they spin Vince Foster, but no proof. So, if you don’t approve of him doing that, why oh why would you turn around and behave the same way yourself?
To thine own self be true man....
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Pogue, you have no effective reply to that to which they’re listening. Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
The idea that a sane and sober Dem would ever be given a legit shot at the national platform is laughable. And Michael Moore said something. Are you arguing that Moore has the same platform afforded Limbaugh & Co.? Get real.
 
Written By: Oliver
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
Be given? Given?

Why not work for it?


 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://
And Michael Moore said something. Are you arguing that Moore has the same platform afforded Limbaugh & Co.? Get real.
It was Cindy Sheehan on Michael Moore’s site.
And Michael Moore with his books and films is just as high profile as Rush. And using your logic, I can say anything I want about the New York Times/USA today since no conservative paper has their circulation.
 
Written By: Paul L
URL: http://kingdomofidiots.blogspot.com/

 
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