January 23, 2010
I thought in light of my previous rant on Olbermann’s comments about Scott Brown, that it was appropriate to show the response of Jon Stewart. I do this because as Stewart is a well-known liberal, it gives me hope that even the left might be realizing how insane Olby is. Of course, the audience doesn’t seem to be playing along, so unfortunately there are still many who agree with Olbermann. But it’s a start.
January 19, 2010
I’m used to Keith Olbermann being a fiery, partisan figure. I’ve even grown accustomed to him making a number of very nasty statements. He clearly has his point of view, and a small but dedicated group of followers. But apparently, on last night’s broadcast Keith felt as if he needed to take his rhetoric to a whole new level.
I really don’t know what to say about this, other than stating the obvious. It is a sad commentary on the state of political discourse in this country that this type of thing is even pondered. As Joe Scarborough tweeted in response last night, “It is no longer enough to simply disagree with someone. These days some feel the need to call opponents evil.” This is indeed true on both sides, but I find this specific incident to be especially egregious.
For one, you can take any one of the insults Olbermann lobs at Brown and take it apart easily. The accusations of being “homophobic” and “racist” are laughable, yet they have become almost reflexive when liberals talk about those on the right. As for “teabagging,” that little trope warrants a separate discussion of its own – short story is, it’s a vulgar sexual reference that is the province of adolescents, not adults. For all of these, they can be forgiven as language that is ugly, but nothing unexpected from those on the left.
But the final part, “supporter of violence against women,” is where this goes from overblown political opinion to near-slander. There’s nothing at all that even comes CLOSE to supporting this. This is simply taking things to an entire new level, to the point of actually accusing a politician of being PRO-RAPE. I cannot see any way that this can even be remotely considered a legitimate criticism.
Does Keith actually believe Scott Brown is in favor of women being violated? No one can know other than him. But one fact does stand out to me – this man is very popular among liberals. They watch him daily and for them, this type of thing is basically normal. The right also has its more fervent members, though I don’t know if any of them ever accused an opponent of supporting rape. If they have, then they should be condemned too. But at least in the case of Mr. Olbermann, discourse has truly sunk to a new low.
I’m waiting for mainstream liberals to denounce this. Something tells me I’ll be waiting for a while.
January 12, 2010
Amongst all the comments about Harry Reid’s gaffes, the other big news in the world of Twitter and the blogs is the fact that Scott Brown, Republican candidate to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts, raised over $1M in 24 hours. Polls over the weekend showed him neck-and-neck with his opponent Martha Coakley. While many other polls have shown Coakley with a sizable lead, the closeness of the one provided a massive boost to Republicans hoping to shock Democrats and take over a very safe seat. Conservatives and other activists have rallied to Brown’s cause, hoping that a victory would shatter the 60-vote majority needed to pass the ugly beast known as ObamaCare.
Now, the truth is Brown likely won’t win, though it may be closer than Democrats would wish. And even if he did, Democrats have promised not to seat him until after ObamaCare comes to a final vote, if they can manage it. So in reality the hopes for taking the 41st seat and killing ObamaCare are slim. But the reaction from conservatives is the real story here. Facing the seemingly insurmountable task of turning Ted Kennedy’s seat red, and a less than ideal candidate, money and support have been pouring out for Brown. The “tea party” engine has been turned on in this freezing January and is helping push out the votes for the mid-winter special election, generally a very low-turnout affair. Democrats in turn have gone full-bore for Coakley, producing some very nasty ads.
I think this distills a major decision for tea party activists, and one it appears they are making correctly. Brown is far from being a pure-bred conservative – among other things, he is pro-choice – but he seems to get the idea that opposing big government is the right course. True hard-core conservatives could find plenty of other things to not like about Scott Brown, but the point is this – the movement, by and large, has decided that the most important thing now is not Roe v. Wade (which isn’t coming up to a vote any time soon) but fighting Obama-style massive government. They made the correct decision on another important case, in rejecting Dede Scozzafava, a figure so far from resembling anything like a Republican that she ended up endorsing the Democrat. There is a line to be drawn, for sure, and for now it appears the tea partiers are making the right one.
More choices like this are surely on the horizon. And thus distills the constant battle many of us endure, as people who stand on the ideological end of the GOP, calling ourselves libertarians, conservatives, or whatever other label one might use. The temptation will always be there to swallow the establishment line and support the machine candidate, even if he stands for nothing. I believe such is our choice in the upcoming Pennsylvania gubernatorial primaries, in choosing between mediocre “party” candidate Tom Corbett and principled conservative Sam Rohrer. It’s my hope we will choose wisely there and elsewhere. But at the same time, we mustn’t be too purist either. We can’t kick someone out just for being pro-choice or supporting civil unions. We’ve got to stand for something and be rational at the same time. If we do so, we can restore responsible leadership to Washington.