Help, help, we’re being represssed! Posted by: Jon Henke
on Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Very little has gotten under my skin lately like the cries of martyrhood coming from the Democratic side of the political fence. Perhaps it is a function of being out of power....or, a function of the higher stakes over the past few years....or, a function of the echo-chamber so prevalent among blogs. Or something else entirely. Whatever the case, I just can't comprehend the naivete' that goes into comments like:
Ezra Klein: "We have criticisms of their policies and alternate ideas, they have criticisms of our candidates and paeans to human nature."
Jesse Taylor: "That's pretty much the secret to the conservative machine - they're disturbingly willing to disseminate an effective point as a counterbalance to facts, because they realize it's the story rather than the truth that people remember. In other words, they love to lie and it shows."
James Wolcott: "They have no conscience, they have no decency, so let's stop fake-pretending that they do."
Digby: "We'd better be content to congratulate ourselves for having integrity because it's clear that we do not get any public credit for it. Indeed, we are perceived as being just as bad as they are. If that's the case, does it even matter that we aren't?"
That is, of course, not a comprehensive list of the self-righteous preening from the left side of the 'sphere.
And you know what? Insofar as they accuse the right of spreading incorrect information, lies, slurs and slander....well, they're right. That's politics, and it always has been. It's also a function of the fact that, until it has been fully vetted, it's not certain whether allegations are accurate, partially accurate, or inaccurate.
And, to be fair, even with the holes in the allegations of their critics--Texans for Truth/Swift Boat Veterans, etc--very few partisans seem willing to address the holes in either Kerry or Bush's stories....and they do exist.
But this idea that the left is simply making policy criticisms, and not personal attacks or lies? Is it possible they actually believe that?
Then, of course, there are the myriad allegations about:
Bush getting a girlfriend an abortion (via. er, Larry Flynt)
Bush operating on behalf of the Saudi government/Halliburton/NeoCons, etc. (yes, all of them. Simultaneously)
Bush invading Afghanistan for an oil pipeline (which doesn't exist)
Bush being Hitler, a Nazi, or a reasonable approximation thereof.
Bush being "stupid".
Bush as a coward.
Bush smearing Kerry's service.
Bush attacking his opponents patriotism.
And there's the AWOL allegation, which the Democrats have been pursuing ever since Bush's initial run for Congress back in 1976.
I'm not sure why the Democrats seem to have this martyr-complex, lately, though I suspect it does have a great deal to do with proximity to an election, and the echo-chamber effect of Democrats writing for Democrats. Whatever the case, I do wish they'd climb down off the cross. It's unbecoming, it's silly, and it's naive.
And the same goes for the Right, which pretty often believes the same thing.
Most of it is simply histironics from being the out of power party. Like some ancient Aunt who's always trying to tell you how to live your life and the dire consequences that will surely follow because you're not listening to her.
Well, that and a lack of contact with anyone in the real world. My observation of the species indicates your echo chamber analogy is apt. Like any group of people they tend to make company of people who are of a like mind.
And you're right, conservatives can be just as groupy, but being conservative they're less like to make 'end of the world!, destruction of life!, downfall of society!' proclamations.
"They have no conscience, they have no decency, so lets stop fake-pretending that they do."
Funny, I same the same thing about the DNC. But I acknowledge a similar moral relativism exists on the right. The only difference is that the Republicans have shunned such people, and the Dems seem to have embraced them since '02.
I think of this stuff from the Left side as a form of fundamentalism with Government in the place of God. Anyone who doesn't agree with their ideas is a heretic committing blasphemy and treated accordingly.
Certainly, my opinion is colored by my political views, but I think conservatives have much less of the martyr complex, just because so much of what they're martyred for is true. Consider media bias.
But I suppose it is too much to hope for reasoned political debates along the lines of "How do we best provide healthy school lunches for needy students?" when there's too much of "You want to starve children!" going around.
"I think of this stuff from the Left side as a form of fundamentalism with Government in the place of God. Anyone who doesn't agree with their ideas is a heretic committing blasphemy and treated accordingly."
I don't know about the Government part, but the second part (about blasphemy) is spot on.
But don't you understand? The Left is so certain that only they know how everything should be done, that anyone who disagrees is not only wrong, but stupid and probably a bigot, racist, homophobe and closet Nazi. How dare someone disagree with the Holy Annointed Ones!
I think the midset of the left tends to fit in too neatly with the whole discourse of victimization that they peddled over the years for them NOT to cast themselves as victims. Eg- victims of racism, victims of poverty, class based victimization, etc.
But I think your first example (Ezra Klein) was on to something. Whenever Kerry has staked out a position in the past few months, the Bush team has jumped on him for flip-flopping indeed. But this week it seems to me that the tone changed. Could it be that Kerry broke through with his 4 point plan on Iraq? All of a sudden the flip-flopping rhetoric lost some of its bite and the Bush team sounded like a bunch of whiners when they cried "Us too!"
On the merits, I do happen to think Kerry's Iraq plan still suffers from magical thinking of allies to the rescue and the rest is largely a copy of what the Bush team is already doing. But the tone changed to my ear, and I think Kerry needs to keep staking out specific positions.
Kerry's problem previously was to confront the flip-flopping charges by changing the subject to Vietnam or by over-generalizing which made him seem even more flip-floppy. If he has indeed changed that mode of response by throwing clear markers on the ground, then I think we'll have a race in November!
This is a good post. I travel a lot. I am involved in politics and I have been for years. I have NOT EVER seen any Left-wing Demoncrat type who was NOT CONVINCED that they knew it all.They believe that you are Evil if you have common sense and prove them wrong. (They really hate that and it is so easy to do).
Have you EVER found a lefty with common sense? I have not in the last 30 years. The Moonbats are just more obvious this year.
Vanity? Try Tom Sowell's "Vision of the Annointed" - BANG!! Dead on!!
Also: "Bush is "stupid"."
That was another fraud the left fell head-over-heels for because it suited their "annointed vision".
Rememeber where that came from? That tootsie in Canada that suppsoedly did "remote IQ tests". The Dem's virtually wet themselves over it, and when it was proven to be a fraud (sounds familiar) they still clung to it like a secuity blanket (sounds familiar again). Someone should give the left/Dem's a GQ test -- A Gullibility Test.
A while back I was talking to a very good Democrat. He believes that the left is the only true way. He is the type of person that is very much on the Left side and he believes everything they say because they would not Lie. (ha ha)
Well, I said that he should listen to Rush. He mouthed all of the Left stuff about Rush and I said how could he be a person that like that? He does not put out hate? He is only playing or talking about what your people have been saying. Of course he got mad at me and stomped off.
Brett, sir! I had not every thought about the Idea that they (the Left) see their side as a form of fundamental type of religion. I thank you. I will keep this in mind as I have to deal with them all of the time. Now that I think of them as coming from a type of fundamentalism, I understand how showing them the truth will never work.
Well, I will just continue doing my thing because I don't have time to save them (ha ha) and they would not believe me any way.
Have a good day