-- Jonah Goldberg's advice to the people of New Orleans, August 29, 2005
Once upon a time, way back when your humble scrivener lived alone in Chicago in Castle Driftglass, I would rise early on Sunday to watch the Mouse Circus or Gasbag Cavalcade (or whatever the kids are calling the shitty Sunday Shows these days) and critique them, fast-n-dirty to the best of my ability.
At the time, I was working +100 hours a week at my main job and teaching class in the evenings twice a week. I didn't have cable, but I did have a work-supplied Blackberry (text only) and pretty fast internet access, so I streamed what cable news I watched via sites like Rockin' Rooster.
Fun fact: I also never ran fundraiser, partly because my income was adequate to my needs and partly because I had to sign an ethics and financial disclosure statement every six months and tell my employer where every nickle of outside income came from. And I knew once anyone on the job found out I was a Liberal blogger my career would be over. See, back then we terrorist-loving, American-hating Libtards would use naughty words from time to time as we named and shamed the Republican party in ways which are absolutely verboten in swoon-prone polite society.
But I kept writing, every day, either very late or very early and often over lunch at a the hippie coffee shop down the street, because in addition to supporting Liberals causes, donating to Liberal campaigns and fellow bloggers and generally being politically aware and active, it's what I could do.
You might remember that after the 2004 election, we on the Left were furious and shellshocked.
It was inconceivable to many of us that this country could possibly (re)elect a man who was clearly unfit for the job, had surrounded himself with fanatics and criminals and already lead the race for worst president in history by a full lap.
But Karl Rove, Matthew Dowd, Hate Radio and Fox News made sure the madness of the Right stayed at a full boil, and the gutless Center hopped in the windowless van with maniacs because, um, reasons, and so off the cliff we went.
But the momentum of events already long in-progress could not be stopped, and before the fanfare from Dubya's Second Inaugural had died down, the reek from everything that we we terrorist-loving, American-hating Libtards had used our naughty words to warn the country about -- the lethal depravity, incompetence and corruption of the Bush Administration -- began to flood into the public square, figuratively and literally.
And as the sheer comprehensiveness of the failures of the Bush Administration on every front became clearer with every passing day, it became harder and harder for the Conservative media to shout it all away and for the Beltway media to pretend it wasn't happening. The Conservative media did not change, of course, but it did double down on blaming the Liberal Media Conspiracy for, well, everything. In fact, in my very first Sunday Morning Comin' Down from April of 2005 we find:
Sen. Santorum [appearing on This Week...], calls Tom DeLay. “passionate and effective” and apparently the MEDIA is the problem.
As for the establishment Beltway media, well before you could say, "Why does Bloody Bill Kristol still have a fucking job?" the world was suddenly loud with the splashing of their lifeboats hitting the water and paddling like hell away from the unfolding catastrophe they had so eagerly enabled.
And every one of these lifeboats bore the same, proud name: The S.S. Both Sides Do It.
Overnight that became the shibboleth. The magic media conjure words that would allow the worse enablers of the shitstorm that was starting to break to survive with their careers and parking spaces intact. Suddenly, no one was to blame for anything because everyone was to blame everything -- it was so thick in the air that by 2006 it as already a tired joke among certain shitty Liberal bloggers:
So Dick Cheney is found, naked, on the White House lawn tossing burning kittens at homeless veterans and hitting babies with a ball-peen hammer.
What are the first three words out of David Brooks’ mouth?
“But the Democrats!”Anyway, this is a thing I used to do. Week after week, year after year. And although I still keep my hand in (like today) I have given up entirely on the idea that the institutional political media can reform itself.
It can't, because whatever behind-the-scenes corporate directives have turned the fourth estate into a mindless Both Siderist Pez dispenser, it is clear that the sanctity of our democracy is simply irrelevant to the people who control the news. Which is why, 13 years after taking up my pen and pixels to "document the atrocities" as we rage and lament in the long, dark shadow of yet another Republican catastrophe in the White House, who has also surrounded himself with fanatics and criminals and imbeciles, once again doing irreparatble harm to our already maimed democracy and already a full parsec ahead of everyone else in the race for worst president in history...
...I was absolutely unsurprised to find that two reliable, teevee-friendly dregs of the Right -- Stephen Hayes and Erick Erickson -- had been invited by Chuck Todd to share their scintillating Conservative insights with the rest of America on Meet the Press.
And I'll give you three guesses as to where they lay the blame for everything:
ERICK ERICKSON: You know, I disagree with my friend George Will on this, although I do agree with him, that Congress has let their muscles atrophy in legislating. Congress now apparently is a class of pundits, as opposed to a class of legislators. It's a real problem on both sides of the aisle...ERICK ERICKSON: Yeah, I think it is going to get uglier. I think that James Hodgkinson is less an anomaly and an inflection point. We're headed towards more violence I think if people on both sides don't rein it in. It's not enough to say, "Well, you started it," "No, you started it," "This happened," or "This happened."...STEPHEN HAYES: Right, President Trump wants to do this. But look, so do the Democrats. I mean, what was so interesting about your conversation with Angus King and James Lankford, it was a thoughtful, substantive conversation.CHUCK TODD: But by the way, they are in the 40 yard lines of American politics.STEPHEN HAYES: They are. And the politics here, I think one of the reasons you don't have solutions to the broader immigration problem is because it works politically for both parties, the extremes of both parties. Look, Kamala Harris talking about abolishing ICE? Really? That's the solution here is we're going to abolish the bureaucracy that's responsible for enforcing these things?HEATHER MCGHEE: Because Republicans hate abolishing agencies? I mean, this is an agency, I will say--STEPHEN HAYES: That's not the point. The point is, she's offering an extreme solution that doesn't actually solve any problem, because somebody's going to have to perform that duty.CHUCK TODD: To build on Heather's point here, and I want to get Kasie in here, since you did the interview, is this in a way that conservatives will say, "Abolish the I.R.S.," which is sort of a ridiculous proposition, is this going to become that "Abolish the I.R.S." chant on the left?...CHUCK TODD: I hear you. All I know is whatever happened to the golden rule? If everybody just did golden rule, we might be in a tiny bit better place...
We have long since passed the point where the the mainstream media pays any attention to the causal, quotidian racism, paranoia, non-stop lies and hysterical Liberal bashing from the Right. It's like living next to the "el" track in Chicago, which a did for a couple of years when I had a little apartment on Roscoe. After awhile you stop noticing it. It becomes background noise. It becomes normal.
But this same media absolutely freaks the fuck out when when the Left punches back.
Suddenly everybody's got to go to courtesy class, right now!
From the WaPo:
Let the Trump team eat in peace...They will get no argument from us regarding Mr. Trump’s border policy, and when it comes to coarsening the debate, he is the prime offender. The poisonous fruits could be seen, as it happens, Saturday morning in a vile tweet from Ms. Sanders’s father, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, that associated House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, with the vicious MS-13 gang.We nonetheless would argue that Ms. Huckabee, and Ms. Nielsen and Mr. Miller, too, should be allowed to eat dinner in peace...
If Trump succeeds in getting us all to talk and behave like him, he will have won a larger cultural battle than you could ever imagine. In this regard, i fear he is well on his way.— Matt Lewis (@mattklewis) June 25, 2018
Why are so many of our political leaders jerks? @SykesCharlie looks for an answer.https://t.co/ge0MHBAz6I— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) June 25, 2018
If we reach the point where we decide that marching, voting, suing, and speaking isn't enough -- that we have to get in a person's face or disturb the peace of their home -- then we're crossing a dangerous threshold: https://t.co/TyzpW2mrgC— David French (@DavidAFrench) June 25, 2018
Yeah, fuck that.
From the late Steve Gilliard:
It is time to stop looking for an accommodation with the right. They want none for us. They want to win, at any price. So, you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?
Behold, a Tip Jar!