Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Insane Rage" Among Obamaphiles?

Over at the Corner...well, they don't seem to be getting any better. Ducking in over there really does feel a bit like peeking into a parallel Earth.

I mean, I don't think it's a big secret that the folks at the National Review aren't exactly the sharpest tools in the shed. Look, we're talking about a magazine of political analysis with Jonah Goldberg on its staff. High octane they ain't.

So that's no secret.

As is so often the case, however, it's not their lack of intellectual firepower that's their most glaring weakness. It is, rather, that they fail to use what God did give 'em to good effect. They make, so far as I can tell, virtually no effort at all to be objective. They know ahead of time that their ultimate conclusion must always be either 'conservatives rule' or 'liberals suck'--the only question is how to cobble together a chain of argument to get where they want to go.

Their latest project: gerrymandering cases for a couple of different theses without ever formulating them very clearly. These theses seem to be, roughly:

The Equal Anger Thesis:
There are currently roughly equivalent amounts of irrational anger on the American right and left
The Equal Culpability Thesis:
McCain and Palin are no more responsible for the anger among their supporters than Obama and Biden are responsible for that among theirs.

The ECT is clearly a joke, and it's probably not worthy of any attention at all. It is, of course, always possible to say anything one wants--but there is no doubt that McCain and (especially) Palin have done far more to instill anger in their followers. It is difficult to believe that anyone who is paying attention could honestly accept the ECT, and I don't think they even really believe it over at the Corner. They may half-believe it or something like that...but they're probably just defending it because they in some sense have to, and because it's easy to throw up a false-equivalence smokescreen in such cases.

The Equal Anger Thesis could be true, I suppose, though it doesn't cohere with the evidence I've seen. Mark Steyn points us here...but that turns out to be Michelle Malkin...not promising, of course, if it's sound reasons you're looking for...

Now, Malkin's collected some pretty disgusting stuff...but little of it seems to be to the point. First, much of it is about George Bush, not McCain or Palin. Bush has been in office for eight years, and has been perhaps the worst president of all time. He's done many genuinely awful things. A certain degree of hatred toward Bush is probably rationally defensible--or at least excusable--and certainly cannot be compared to the virtually groundless hatred of Obama, who has not even been president yet and has committed no crimes comparable to Bush's.

Second, she has mined the internet for this stuff, and we know what lives there. The charges against McCain supporters concerned overt public behavior over the last week or so. Even if eight years worth of material from the intertubes can balance this out in some way, it's irrelevant. The relevant comparison class is: public actions of Obama supporters over the last week or so. If we get to mine the internet for anti-Obama stuff, too, then the balance of anger will pretty much certainly shift back to the right.

Finally, much of the anger that does exist on our side seems clearly to be a reaction to the vitriol emanating from the right. Anger in response to unjustified anger is not necessarily unjustified.

So, though I'm wary of my bias in this case, I don't see that the Malkin/Corner complex has made its case.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, (Rep.)John Lewis calls McCain racist and you don't even care. That's not people yelling, that's insiting a race war. And Obama didn't say anything. He wants Black people to hate McCain so he can have their votes. What if Obama loses, did you ever think of that? You talk about republican's violence but Obama is the one who will let it happen by his silence. If you were Black, what would you do if a racist just got elected? I sent you a whole article and all you said was not print so much of it and you didn't even read it and it was from the Los Angeles Times. All you do is say things about McCain and you don't listen to anything you don't want to hear. All the other people send Youtube links to Keith Olberman from April which was a waste of time. Did you tell them not to send things? No. Just me. Calling McCain racist is 10 times worse than anything you wrote about McCain. it's disgusting. And it's dangerous for our country.

I dont even care if you erase me again. You read what I have to say and so will everyone else. and you know its true.

2:55 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Well, you're 2 for 3 in that last paragraph, A...

1:00 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Anonymous -

1) Whoa. Calm down.

2) I'm not really sure what you're saying. Are you saying that Obama is going to allow for violence towards McCain to occur because he hasn't refuted John Lewis' claim that McCain is a racist? (I didn't see what Lewis said, actually, so I don't even know if that much is true or why he said it, just asking if that's your point).

3) You say "Calling McCain racist is 10 times worse than anything you wrote about McCain" - are you saying it's worse than what WS wrote about McCain? If so, I don't really know why you said that.

4) I don't think WS ever said that calling McCain a racist was acceptable.

You need to be a little less enraged and a lot more clear in your posts, man, or no one knows what's going on.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really, Mystic? You're up for the englightenment of Anon?

And I quote, "All you do is talk McCain down but Obama is bad or worse.... A Black president would be good but not one who wins because he lets people call John McCain racist."


6:50 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

I like to think that, here at Philosoraptor, we endeavor to be a beacon of hope for those who come from far off shores of intellectual depravity and sorrow.

If we can continue to feel for those who are angry, continue to shine for those who are lost, continue to work for those who are trapped, then we might call ourselves one day -

Part of the solution!

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't call people racist. Thats the worst thing you can do. See, you ignore what you don't like just like I said so all you talk about is how bad McCain is. You have a partisan lens. And yes you're so smart and I'm so stupid and I'm angry and you're not. But thats not what I read here on this site.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Well, we're trying to engage with you, A, but your points are a little chaotic, I have to say.

9:00 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

You don't call people racist. Thats the worst thing you can do.

Let's imagine for a moment that this is a point. Calling someone a racist is thus worse than actually being a racist. Imagine if you took 'racist' out and put 'war-monger' in. Or 'jerk' even. Same logic - it's worse to name the sin than to be the sin. Hence my diagnosis: We have a dispatch from the unreality caucus, which is more concerned with appearances than with truth.

What Lewis actually said, as opposed to the paranoid fantasies achieved by the least charitable possible interpretation, was that McCain rallies reminded him of George Wallace rallies. He didn't say that McCain reminded him of Wallace. But I'm sure that's too fine a distinction for anonymous. Or maybe anon is just stung because he has been to one of those rallies and resents the comparison as it redounds against him.

1:22 PM  

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