Friday, November 23, 2007

Left-Overs (But No Pie)

The News Hour had a great segment on the polarization of American politics this past Wednesday evening (11/21/2007). Here’s one especially pertinent quote:

RAY SUAREZ: Well, has compromise been defined as surrender, Cal Thomas?

CAL THOMAS: It has, in many aspects. Look at the Joe Lieberman race. Here was a man who was the vice presidential candidate for the Democratic Party. He was 100 percent with his party on every issue, except the war. and some of the other far-left organizations moved in to Connecticut with great money and volunteers and painted him as a traitor. They used a video of him embracing President Bush after a State of the Union speech and treated it like Judas Iscariot in the Garden of Gethsemane, betraying Jesus. This is the kind of level of vitriol and hatred that is in our politics.

As Bob Beckel, my co-author, and I move around the country, and we speak together to mixed audiences, we find a tremendous revulsion against this attitude of demeaning our fellow Americans and also a tremendous ocean of goodwill for people who will reach out to somebody on the other political side to actually solve the problems.

Most people don't get up in America in the morning and shout to their neighbor of another party, "Hey, you left-wing, commie pinko, what are you going to do to ruin America today?" And the response is, "You right-wing, fascist, Bible-thumper, what are you going to do to ruin America today?" That's not the real America.

I’m revolted by this attitude, as well. You may think that’s a somewhat hypocritical statement coming from a guy who routinely uses the term “moonbat” to describe (some) members of the Loyal Opposition, “Silky Pony” to describe John Edwards, and other such disparaging terms. But careful reading of my scribblings reveals I only use such terms to describe the most whacked-out individuals and organizations on the Far Left…such as those harridans from Code Pink…not mainstream Democrats.

I also tend to be very disparaging when I reference the fever-swamp blogs, like the logorrheic Maha, Jane “Blackface” Hamsher, Markos “Screw ‘em” Moulitsas, and the profanity-laden Shakespeare’s Sister. Each and every one of my examples specialize in demonizing the right: we’re not just wrong, we’re eeeevil. These guys also have yet another annoying tendency…that of “eating their own.” The classic example? Joe Lieberman. And there are more, many more. You don’t deviate from the Party Line in those circles…not if you want to maintain your standing as a card-carrying “progressive.” But I digress…yet again.

And the Right can be just as bad. It’s not that there aren’t sites on the right similar in tone to the Leftie examples I’ve cited—there certainly are. But I usually don’t read those guys either, primarily because I absolutely, positively disagree with the tone at those places…particularly in their comments sections. Much the same way I disagree with Ann Coulter. I (generally) don’t take issue with what these people actually say, it’s the way they say it. As Mom said: “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

Anyhoo. I encourage you to read the whole transcript of that News Hour segment. The basic point being made is we’re not even close to solving our issues…as a country…until such time as we can talk to one another in a calm, rational manner… without all the name-calling and brickbats.

Your Don Quixote Moment for today… Everyone knows today is “Black Friday,” but didja know today is also “Buy Nothing Day”? S’true. Talk about pissing into the wind! I’m tempted to go out, brush the snow off the car, head straight to Wally-World and buy something…anything. That snow thing is all that’s stopping me. But it’s enough, so I suppose I’ll be an unwilling participant in this “event.”

Ah! But on the other hand…one word: Amazon! (Psst: If you wanna buy me something for Christmas, my wish list is here.)

Hey Phlegmmy! I thought you went to Arkansas for Thanksgiving? What are you doing in New Yawk? Or is this your Evil Twin? I see she had to be restrained…

(Photo: NYT. Article here.)

Department of Recurring Bitches and Moans… The WX Channel has been MIA for nearly 24 hours now here in P-Ville. I frickin’ hate Comcast Cable. And yeah, “hate” is an accurate term― no hyperbole here. None at ALL.

Today’s Pic: Another one of the 60 photos I took of last Tuesday’s sunset. This time it’s looking NNE towards P-Ville and features ENMU’s low-profile athletic center (it’s kinda-sorta built into the ground), the skyline dominating presence of the city’s largest ag-elevator (for the peanuts!) and an absolutely amazing collection of power poles…all bathed in the pink pastel light of the late sunset. Right outside my door...which would be the back-door, in this case.

Ain’t it purdy?


  1. Two words: Direct TV. 'course, we have no choice out here, there is no cable option, just the before mentioned or Dish Net. I prefer the former.

    More snow on tap for tomorrow.

  2. Hmmm, I didn't know it was Buy Nothing day. I don't usually shop anyway on this day, but I'm tempted to go online just to buy something, just to be contrary.

  3. I’m revolted by this attitude, as well. You may think that’s a somewhat hypocritical statement coming from a guy who routinely uses the term “moonbat”...But careful reading of my scribblings reveals I only use such terms to describe the most whacked-out individuals and organizations on the Far Left…such as those harridans from Code Pink…not mainstream Democrats.

    This is something of a complicated and delicate issue, made moreso by the proclivity of people on the left to think in terms of a "village." It necessarily follows they must have passed at least the fourth increment on the way to insanity -- therein lies the paradox. I can put up a post that says "liberals suck." Person A says something that reveals he doesn't know something he needs to know. I say "you should have seen what I put up yesterday" and he says "well, send me a link." He reads as far as "liberals suck" and takes EXTREME offense...which, since I said nothing to indicate I thought of Person A as a liberal, means Person A must identify with liberals.

    The paradox is that if I were to walk up to Person A and say "you are a liberal" he'd no doubt take offense at that. And even argue with it, viscerally.

    And so many of those on the left fall into this...whether or not they identify with the L-word, depends on the social opportunity that arises from one moment to the next. It's all about embarrassing the opposition -- none of it has to do with matters of fact. So anyone taking the attitude "just cut the crap, are you a L-word or are you not??" is going to be left sucking air.

    I divide them into two camps, the suckerers and the suckees. One of these subgroups is selling a lot of used-food to the other, which in turn is filled with people who have more-or-less good intentions, they just don't want to put a lot of energy into things and in fact are quite opposed to anyone else putting energy into anything. These are idle people who live in a world filled with fluffy expensive coffee drinks and jewel-encrusted cell phones and tiny dogs in purses. Movie tickets, iPods, boxes of Milk Duds. They think you and I are pretty strange, Buck, for putting more than a couple of hours in a year worrying about this stuff. They lose a lot of sleep over global warming, or at least say they do. But they drive something that gets eleven miles or less a gallon, and probably has an unfolding stepladder by which the driver can "mount" and "dismount."

    I don't think they deserve to be called "moonbats." But Kerry, Edwards, Kennedy, Boxer, Schumer, Clooney, Olbermann, et al, definitely do.

  4. Jenny: I get those least once a week...from Direct TV and Dish. About a year ago I got really fed up with Comcast and called one or the other, only to find out "we don't do RVs." So...NO free installation (no installation at all), no free receiver, no this, no that. If I wanna go satellite I have to buy my own electronics and dish, install it myself, and THEN call and get "activated." Some deal. I checked the prices involved, and it ain't cheap. So...we continue to be held hostage by Comcast.

    Becky: Me, too.

    Morgan sez: This is something of a complicated and delicate issue...

    It is. You make some good points, Morgan. I still have friends of the Liberal persuasion and, for the most part, we've "agreed to disagree" and don't generally discuss politics. (There are a couple of exceptions.) I think this fact touches on another point I didn't make, and that's the anonymity of the 'net. It's MUCH easier to be vituperating in/on the blogs if you're "Moonbat33" instead of, say, Jane Koslowski. If Jane has conservative friends she probably doesn't insult them to their faces. Of course that's a big "if." I've had friends disown me because I made the Lib-Conservative switch in the way-back, and have read of other cases. Libs can be weird like that. They flock.

    And the other thing that helps me keep my perspective is that only between three and five percent of Americans read we're dealing with a minority here: the hard-core political junkies and activists. But those folks tend to be opinion makers, so you might add another five percent of the population to that blog-reading figure, on the assumption the "thought leaders" (now there's an oxymoron!) have some influence on their non-blog-reading friends.

    Still and even... Mr. Thomas' comment about neighbors talking to neighbors rings true with me. At some point The Great Unwashed is gonna get tired of all this "gotcha" shit. What happens then is anyone's guess. If it's civil war, we hold the advantage. Because, generally speaking, we're armed and they're NOT.

  5. After reading your post the other day about moderate Muslims afraid to speak out due to fear of radical Muslims. It seems much the same with Dems. Guys like Joe Lieberman are eaten by their own - kind of makes the any other Dems who might disagree with party lines keep a low profile - fear of ruining their political careers.

  6. Damn ... after reading and enjoying everyone's comments, I forgot what I hit comments to say in the first place! That's okay, it was good for me, how 'bout you?

    Looks like we all survived another TG holiday though.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.