About one hot minute ago a man named Charlie Sykes went from being Wisconsin's own, home-grown Limbaugh clone...
..,to a Respected MSNBC Constributor, a guest on "Meet the Press" and ubiquitous regular on every show in MSNBC's lineup except Lock Up.
This happened because, in the twilight of his career as a Limbaugh-clone, the prevailing winds suddenly shifted. And like many of America's Conservative human wind-socks, overnight Charlie Sykes went from a man who made a living slandering Liberals to a man who makes a living by expropriating the opinions of those he once slandered without ever acknowledging that the Left was right about the Right all along.
Ripping off the disquisition of those you spent your life shitting on has become a very good Beltway dollar, and in Mr. Sykes case it has snagged him a semi-regular gig at The New York Times.
The Danger of Ignoring Alex Jones
...Indeed, when Mr. Jones was merely a marginal figure on the paranoid right, the case could plausibly be made that he was better left in obscurity. But now that, at least according to Mr. Jones, the president of the United States has praised him and thanked him for the role he played in his election victory, it’s too late to make that argument. We can’t keep ignoring the fringe. We have to expose it.
"Expose" is a big, magic word with people who wipe their asses in The New York Times and call it a good day's work. Here, for example, is the Mustache of Understanding explaining to Barack Obama back in that the best way to "expose" the madness of the GOP would be to enact Tom Friedman's favorite Crackpot Idea:
I’ve argued that the only way for Obama to expose just how radical the G.O.P. has become would be for the president to put out in detail his version of a credible “Grand Bargain” and then go sell it to the country...
And five years later, my response to Mr. Sykes's brilliant plan to "expose" the lunacy of the Right he worked tirelessly to create is the same as my response to Mr. Friedman back in the Good Old Days:
...Which leaves only this question: "Expose" to whom, you fucking shmegegge?At the ass-end of 30 years of escalating Republican psychosis, who is there left to convince? Who remains unaware of what the GOP is up to? Who is there in the whole wide world of sports who has not noticed that the Right is hell-fucking-bent on smashing this country to bits, selling the scrap the China and selling its people into indentured servitude?Offhand, I can think of only five distinct groups who possess that kind of fortified, adamantine cluelessness -- the dead, the long-term comatose, the criminally insane, very small children and Tom Friedman.(Well, those five and the +50% of the American electorate who have no idea where they are or who is running their country, so fuck 'em.)So why does this awful, awful hack have a job at the New York Times?Because he is rich.Because he is connected.And because his fatuous Centrist naughtytalk --My fear is that both parties have just started their 2012 campaigns. In which case, the rest of us will just sit here, hostages to fortune, orphans of a political system gone mad, hunkering down for a bad century.-- gives people like fellow billionaire Mike Bloomberg and the "No Labels" grifters big happy boners.
For the record, while Mr. Sykes is now a fully ordained deacon of the High and Holy Church of Both Siderism and completely on-board with it's Big Lie --
Mr. Jones, of course, didn’t create that culture, which has lain dormant on the political fringes of both the left and the right for years, but he has given it greater power.
-- he grudgingly admits that he cannot quite go full Both Siderist with Alex Jones (yet!), but does think that the Left is worthy of suspicion and needs to be monitored:
While Alex Jones has no exact analogue on the left, we have to watch him, and also watch out to make sure that something similar is not emerging on the left.
One might ask, "Who the fuck is 'we'?" if one had not already moved on to note how this little bit of "If only we had know!" counterfeit hand-wringing is what truly makes it art.
For years, we imagined that we could simply ignore the crackpots because they were postcards from the fringe. But I’m haunted by this question: Had we done more to expose the viciously dishonest hoaxes, might things have turned out differently?
I know that that Conservative hustlebucks like Charlie Sykes are not particularly brave or smart, and it would have clearly been too much to ask that they actually join us dirty hippies on the ramparts as we labored every day for decades to do everything we could to stop the Right from going completely mad.
But what these professional Conservative moralizers could have done at any time over the last 25 years is decide that it was simply immoral to make a living by siding with Conservative madmen and vandals and against those who were trying to prevent or at least contain the damage.
But they didn't. And here we are. And there are not enough Meet the Press guest appearances and New York Times column inches in the world to wipe away that permanent stain on their mingy, little souls.