Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Poor Baby, Part II: Digital Lynch Mob?

Actual T-shirt for sale on Right Wing "Pundit" Michelle Malkin's Site

All Richard Cohen's whining over what he calls the Digital Lynch Mob (see below) is just another iteration of a current RNC talking point: that the Left (defined as anyone who doesn't adore George Dubbya Bush) is "angry."

But it wasn't a left wing website that's selling the T-shirt pictured above. It wasn't a left-wing commentator who said that the only thing Timothy McVeigh did wrong is that he didn't murder the staff of the New York Times. There's your lynch mob, Mister Cohen.

Let me ask Mr. Cohen this: if you continuously spout the Republican line about the "Angry Left," without ever mentioning the literally murderous rage on the Right. then why should anyone regard you as anything BUT a Republican shill?


Sandra Ruttan said...

I want that t-shirt. Bad.

Oh, and this guy should remember nobody expects a big crybaby to be funny. He won't get hired with that expectation again.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention a woman who goes on FoxNews on a regular basis and tells people that the only way to deal with liberals is with a baseball bat. Nice.

and t-shirts like this one:

Yeah, the left is angry (and has every right to be) and they may send emails (ooohhh!). But the left don't go around saying conservatives should be killed. The Right has a monopoly on that assholery. Cohen is either a shill, a liar, or has his head in the sand.


Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

Actually, outspoken Hollywood liberal Alec Baldwin screamed publicly that republican congressman Henry Hyde and his entire family should be stoned to death. Howard Dean has stated that he "hates" republicans. So no, the right really does NOT have a monopoly on such "assholery."

Now before you all denounce me as a right-wing asshole for pointing that out, let me say that I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. Both major parties irritate the living shit out of me, and there is not a hell of a lot of a difference between either one. The people down on the front lines, the average voters...yes, they do care about and believe in the principles for which their respective parties stand. But the people in Washington, those who live high above us all, are only interested in one thing: power. Our "representatives" will do whatever it takes to stay in office. Democrat, Republican, it makes no difference at that level.

I'm an independent voter. Political extremism, whether from the left or right, makes me gag. It's every bit as dangerous as religious fanaticism (and often one goes hand-in-hand with the other). Don't be a drone. Think for yourself. Both parties lie to us on a daily basis.

I agree that Michelle Malkin is a shrill, bitter hack who panders to her far-right audience and delights in trying to further divide the country. But in order for us to be able to laugh at the Stephen Colberts, we have to let people like her have their say as well...no matter how stupid we think she is.

JD Rhoades said...

Patrick, you're answering arguments I haven't made. I'm not saying Malkin should be silenced, nor am I saying either side has a monopoly on extremist rhetoric. What I'm saying is that all the mainstream press ever criticizes or even mentions is the extremist rhetoric of the so-called "Left" while completely ignoring and giving a pass to the hatemongers of the Right.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

Dusty, I was answering Kim's reply to your original post.

James Lincoln Warren said...

Patrick's remark is similar to the attacks on Lee over at "A Writer's Life" for comments Lee never made about Steve Clackson, and one of the reasons it is so difficult to have rational debate anymore. Far too many people extrapolate their own constructions from limited universes of fact. It's a natural thing to do, I suppose, and even demonstrates imagination, but it is not logical. In contradistinction, you, Dusty, have been taught to think and judge in terms of actual evidence.

I don't give independents a free ride for being noble rugged individualists standing against those nasty big bad parties, either. Most independents either cannot properly frame a debate and so refuse to commit themselves, or they subscribe to a fringe political philosophy in the first place. In that sense, on the one hand there is no one less decisive, and on the other, none more extreme, than the so-called "independent". Thinking for yourself is well and proper, for many people actually have brains, but deciding not to decide is not necessarily a sign of intelligence.

But I digress. The very sound reason why the media only persecute the left's rhetoric is surely because the right is in power, and the media support the status quo. Media are big business, and big business is always historically more likely to support a Republican administration. Even the American Civil War was fought between industrial Republican interests and agricultural Democratic interests, and although the Democratic interest included the unspeakable evil of slavery, don't forget the Republican interest included the exploitational evil of the nineteenth century robber barons.

At this time, the right is where the money is, George Soros notwithstanding, and we all know that money talks.

JD Rhoades said...

But...but James! The media is librul! Everbody knows that! It's librul!

Patrick: sorry, I missed who you were replying to. Still, my point stands. I'm still steamed over the way ABC news jumped all over Wes Clark when Michael Moore introduced him and said that it was a case of "the General vs. the Deserter." Peter Jennings practically demanded that Clark denounce Moore. Which would be fine with me if Jennings et. al. would have also demanded that Bush denounce some of his more rabid apologists: Coulter, Malkin, etc.
But oh, no, that's not the accepted story. The story is that "oh, my stars, the Left is so angry! I think I shall faint!" But IOKIYAR.

James Lincoln Warren said...

I don't know how long that myth has been with us, but it plays into the hands of the power elite by challenging the credibility of anything in the media that challenges the power base. I stopped my subscription to the L.A. Times when I perceived an unapologetic swing to the right in its reporting.

Liberalism really has much less to do with it than the administration's complete antipathy to discourse and criticism. Check out David Brin's blog--he perceives the battle as far less between left and right as between "enlightenment" (rationalism) and intolerance rooted in superstition. And he's right.

To illustrate, here's a quote from the Jeffrey Goldberg's New Yorker Magazine report from last February on a meeting of the Judson Wellever Society, a club consisting of former Presidential speech writers, concerning Bush's current main wordsmith, Michael Gerson:

According to several people who attended, [William] Safire asked Gerson to tell the group something it didn’t know about Bush. Gerson, in a quavering voice, responded with a story that left some of his audience nonplussed. He described a call that he got moments after Bush finished addressing a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001. Bush thanked Gerson for his work on the speech, to which Gerson replied, “Mr. President, this is why God wants you here.” Gerson then related Bush’s response, as evidence of his thoughtfulness. “The President said, ‘No, this is why God wants us here.’ ”

And here I thought we lived in a secular democracy, not a theocracy. Stupid me.

Anonymous said...

Patrick: I respect your position, but still disagree. For one, the Baldwin quote was wrong. He actually said on Late Night (or was it Conan?) that "if we were in other countries, we'd stone Henry Hyde". Not that we should run out and stone Henry Hyde. Still quite the dumb thing to say, anyhow, and I'm glad he publicly apologized for it.

I stand by my statement that the right has a monopoly on threatening violence. Sure, the left is fired up and angry and uses bad words like "hate" (gasp!) but they don't threaten violence against conservatives the way conservatives do against liberals. Not only the right-wing sites selling t-shirts advocating killing, stoning, shooting, hunting, and lynching liberals. But I could drag up a hundred quotes to show you. And not jokes on late night TV, either, but commentators on the news. But I don't want to waste my time because I think you have your mind made up that both parties are equally evil.

I think the "both parties do it equally" argument is a cop-out and a knee-jerk reaction, not to mention incorrect. I understand wanting to be "above all the partisanship" and wanting to be the kid who's too cool to be in either party (my husband is just like that--all politicans suck, both parties suck, blah blah blah). If someone truly has no opinions on the issues, then I guess that's fine. But if you have opinions on the issues and you truly examine where both parties stand on the issues, you'll find it's quite simple to see where you are.

I just hate that 'both parties are evil' bullshit that is traipsed about because I think it disengages people, spreads apathy, and causes people to vote for Nader in Florida in 2000. ;) (It still stings).

Now, if the argument is about how both parties are whores for money, I'd agree there. But when one party gets the majority of its funding from oil & gas companies and the other party gets most of its funding from teachers unions, it's pretty easy to see who's going to get what in return when the parties are in power. All this information is publicly available and it's quite easy to determine what each party is going to do when in power by seeing who's donating to who. One of the biggest donors to the Democratic Party is Emily's Choice (a pro-choice group). What do they get in return? Democrats will protect a woman's right to choose. One of the biggest donors to Republicans is the pharmaceutical industry. What do they get in return? No drugs from Canada, no price negotiation, longer monopolies, etc. Yeah, both parties are whores for money (and they have to be unless the public wants to foot the bill for campaigns, good luck getting that passed) but what they'll do when in power is VASTLY different.


Sandra Ruttan said...

"What do they get in return? No drugs from Canada..."

And we really like to share our drugs.

Honestly, the fact that people can die instead of getting affordable health care because of political greed astounds me.

But I'm staying out of the rest of this. I respect you all and will simply say all the political parties have major problems that need to be fixed.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...


Thanks for the well thought-out reply.