But the other day I came across a prime example of how the other side thinks. Actually, they don't think per se, so much as react based upon (here we go with the jargon again) strategically placed memetic and heuristic filters. What I want to do is not respond to the critics so much as take a brief look at what is going on there, and look at some of the processes.
First of all, the post is one of (I assume) thousands clogging the hive-mind of the right's borg-blogs, excoriating John Murtha for supposedly renouncing the U.S. as a greater danger to world peace than Iran or North Korea. Here's how inept this particular post was -- it approvingly linked to an Editor & Publisher article where Ann Coulter conferred her tacit approval of fragging Murtha, then blockquoted an extended excerpt from an article quoting Murtha as saying what he supposedly said. But no link to the article whence came the excerpt, which looked to be pretty much the entire article anyway. So it's not only sloppy and slapdash in its execution (if not outright misleading), but someone should maybe tell this doofus about fair use and attribution.
Anyway, as most sentient bipeds have now been apprised, that original article has been rather extensively corrected:
Naturally, there has been no clarification or correction on the Bare Knuckle site, nor would any sensible person even bother asking, obviously. The propaganda goal has accomplished exactly what it was meant to; the lie ran halfway around the world before the truth had a chance to get its shoes on, as the saying goes. The machine requires regular feeding and manufactured outrage.
If you look in the comments section of the BK post, you'll see where one enterprising troglodyte excerpted one paragraph of one of my recent posts, with no comment or response to my point, nor even an explanation of what the excerpt had to do with their lame point about Murtha. Then, of course, the officers of the 82nd Chairborne whip out their Superman gravatars and go to town with the usual dippy epithets, yet none actually bother to counter much of anything with a cogent argument. Obviously I couldn't care less about tone or civility, but few things are more annoying than belligerent morons who not only refuse to defend their point, but are proudly defiant of their willful ignorance.
But what really gets me is this: the comments of the post start out with a fun little "contest" to pick a nickname for Murtha, such as "Jihad Jack". And that's just bullshit, pure and simple. The fact that they are unserious people, posturing and preening and pretending to be serious, is demonstrated by them putting their trust in a six-deferment pussy doughboy like Karl Rove, and shitting all over a man who volunteered for two wars as a Marine, and has served Congress honorably for decades, and in fact has a pretty conservative record.
And it's not as if Bush's glad-handing corner-turning boilerplate doesn't instantly evoke fond memories of Baghdad Bob. But the obvious parallels are lost on these guys, besotted as they are with their warporn and Coulter-groping.
Enough about these animals; they are preceded by their smell. A larger-scale problem is that of perception. Usually when you hear of a "mainstream" figure -- be they a politician or a media flunkie -- complain about the abusive, choleric nature of internet discourse, you can bet that the object(s) of their plaint are on the left side of the dial, as it were. Nobody on the right complains about Michelle Malkin, or Ann Coulter, or Michael Savage. Nobody on the right is disavowing the irredeemably intemperate (and generally inaccurate as well) nature of their commentary.
No, when you hear about the "fever swamp" or the crazy blogonistas, it's about the top-down command-and-control structure Kos operates from his impenetrable secret mountain fortress, or Atrios' angry -- no, unhinged -- posters. Moonbats, really. And we're hearing these critiques not just from the usual suspects on the other side, where it's to be expected. We hear it from the "moderate" tools who are trying ever so hard not just to tack to the middle or to the right, but to make sure that the actual righties see this cynical tack in that direction.
And that's not only galling, it's self-defeating. We're angry for some very good reasons, and we're the ones on your side, assholes. Trying to curry favor with people who quite literally want to destroy you (politically, if not yet physically) is such an abject exercise in futility, you can't help but marvel that they can't see that for themselves. And they have the goddamned nerve to use their own base -- the very people who are the most knowledgeable about the issues, and the most passionate and motivated to actually get off their asses and vote -- as rhetorical leverage, as political whipping boy.
This is exactly why, against my nature of listening to and even encouraging reasoned dissent, I dumped Marshall Wittman, aka Bullwinkle, off my blogroll months ago. I have no illusions that it was even on his radar; that's obviously not the point. I simply could not stomach any further cynical excursions into his weaselly little mind, where he saw fit to excoriate the "fever swamp" of the left every other fucking day, but never had a goddamned thing to say about the knuckle-draggers festering on the right, who pass around lies and half-truths until everyone's on the same page, who think it's funny to talk about fragging a Congressman, not to mention a veteran of two wars.
Bullwinkle had made it abundantly clear that he couldn't be trusted to delineate the clear difference between the angry left and the angry right. I have never seen anyone on the left openly advocate violence against any member of this administration, nor would I (or anyone else I can think of) endorse such a thing. We despise them, sure, but only to the extent that people get off their hind legs and go to the damned ballot box, get these ticks out of our hide once and for all, before we're drained.
Violence is not part of the equation, or the rhetoric, yet it is part and parcel on the right. "Jokingly", of course. Because nothing says "teh funny" like Ann Coulter opining that Tim McVeigh should have blown up the New York Times building, as if it weren't in Times Square. I know I'm splitting a side at such a notion. That anorexic cunt should go on the road with Larry the Cable Guy -- and stay there.
There are such massive qualitative differences between the two sides, many of which get discussed and, in a sense, peer-reviewed by commenters and fellow bloggers (and ultimately approved by King Kos, of course) that it is flat-out irresponsible for someone not explicitly of the right to just throw out blanket condemnations of "the left". Bullwinkle and the rest of the Shrum/DLC jagoffs need to get some shit straight, that their opaque disavowals do nothing for them. They are obsessed with shaving a point here or there from erstwhile Chimpco supporters who apparently have some buyer's remorse or something.
I say fuck 'em, those swing demos. They should watch and read as many news sources as they have time for; if they still can't figure out for themselves that this gang has royally fucked up pretty much everything they've touched, and has no plan to fix any of it except to politicize and distract, then what the hell can Bullwinkle or I or anyone else say to convince them? Either they pull their heads out of their asses or they don't; dumping on the people who have been paying attention all along is massively counterproductive.