The broken left wing

Conservative bloggers' response to leftist blogger Maryscott O' Connor, who was featured in a prominent Washington Post front page article yesterday titled "The Left, Online and Outraged,"  has been not surprisingly, and perhaps deservingly so, brutal (see here, here, here, here, and here).

However, in all fairness, consider what would have been the right's reaction had the Supreme Court ruled in a manner that enabled Al Gore instead of George W. Bush, to win the 2000 Presidential election. There is not a single person on the right that can convince me that conservatives' reaction would have been anything but furious outrage. Hence, the Left's outrage stems in part from the bitter pill of the 2000 Presidential election outcome. The key operative words here being "in part."

Reading through the entire piece by the Post's David Finkel, one comes away with the impression that Mrs. O' Connor and the other leftists cited in the article apparently suffer from arrested development. There is a juvenile quality to their writings. Like a contumacious adolescent embroiled in an argument with a parent, there is a heavy dosage of unrestrained anger, envy, hatred, and profanity, particularly of the scatological nature. However, there is a woeful inadequacy of reasonably stated, substantive arguments against the Bush Administration — and many can indeed be made of this or any administration.

What we are left with is the impression that the blogosphere serves as a pressure valve, a place where angry leftists (and rightists) can vent without a care in the world for decorum, rationality, and prudence.
I can support the blogosphere's role as pressure cooker to an extent. Blogs are a great tool for unfettered communication. Viewpoints can be expressed in a manner that generally would not appear in a newspaper. There is of course an underside to this fact: since newspapers are not in the business of publishing profanity—laced invective, for starters, the blogosphere remains the domain where libertines can expound with near total impunity.

Thus, in its underside mode, the blogosphere has given both a place and an audience for the conspirators; the hate—monger; the Holocaust denier and his sympathetic fan; the crackpot; and other sordid elements of the anti—American fringe. I will both for reasons of scale and scope, forego an examination of the other sordid elements on the web, i.e., Islamist Jihadis, pedophiles, scam artists, and the like. The main focus here is the far left bloggers, in particular, Mrs. O' Connor.

If the Post's Mr. Finkel had intended a puff piece on Mrs. O'Connor, it backfired miserably. In a case of perhaps unwittingly allowing his subject to hang herself with her own rope, "The Left, Online and Outraged" did precisely just that. Perhaps that was Finkel's intention, or his editors; perhaps it was a set up piece. How anyone could read the entire article and be left with anything but a negative impression is beyond my understanding.

There are many gems in the piece, and they do not all belong to Mrs. O'Connor. Here are but a few:

"Laura Bush Talks; No One Gives a [expletive]," someone who calls himself the Rude Pundit writes on his Web site, and he continues: The Rude Pundit doesn't give a retarded dog drool what Laura Bush has to say about the Olympics."

Mrs. O'Connor described:

She smokes a cigarette. Should it be about Bush, whom she considers 'malevolent,' a 'sociopath' and 'the Antichrist'? She smokes another cigarette. Should it be about Vice President Cheney, whom she thinks of as 'Satan,' or about Karl Rove, 'the devil'? Should it be about the 'evil' Republican Party, or the 'weaselly, capitulating, self—aggrandizing, self—serving' Democrats, or the Catholic Church, for which she says 'I have a special place in my heart . . . a burning, sizzling, putrescent place where the guilty suffer the tortures o f the damned'?

Again, Mrs. O'Connor in action:

In the angry life of Maryscott O'Connor, the rage begins as soon as she opens her eyes and realizes that her president is still George W. Bush. The sun has yet to rise and her family is asleep, but no matter; as soon as the realization kicks in, O'Connor, 37, is out of bed and heading toward her computer.

Out there, awaiting her building fury: the Angry Left, where O'Connor's reputation is as one of the angriest of all. 'One long, sustained scream' is how she describes the writing she does for various Web logs, as she wonders what she should scream about this day. ... 'WAKE THE [expletive] UP,' she writes next, and this time, instead of pausing, she keeps going, typing harder and harder on a keyboard that is surrounded by a pack of cigarettes, a dirty ashtray, a can of nonalcoholic beer, an album with photos of her dead father and a taped—up note —— staring at her —— on which she has scrawled 'Why am I/you here?' [Emphasis added. Note her use of upper case letters to stress a point. This is a typical device of the adolescent and sophomoric style of writing.]

Mrs. O'Connor describing her nearly unhinged state:

I am this close to being one of those muttering people pushing a cart. I'm insane with rage and grief. But I also feel more connected than I ever have. 

"Bill," one of Mrs. O'Connor's fans, apparently sat up all night with his thesaurus before he posted this rubbish:

It was rather though[t]less of me to compare the most asinine, brutal, criminal, disgusting, enraging, felonious, gross, horrendous, incompetent, jaundiced, kleptocratic, lazy, malicious, nefarious, objectional [sic], psychopathic, quarrelsome, repulsive, sanctimonious, treasonous, unfit, vindictive, wasteful, xenophobic, yahooish, zealotic piece of [expletive] inhabiting the White House and the planet to persons suffering with a neurobiological disorder.

Other bloggers chimed in on one of Mrs. O'Connor's postings:

Meanwhile, over on Eschaton, Dave is writing, 'As a matter of fact —— I do hate Bush!'"

On Rude Pundit: 'George W. Bush is the anti—Midas. Everything he touches turns to [expletive].'"

On the Smirking Chimp: 'I. Despise. These. [Expletive]!'"
And on Daily Kos and My Left Wing, the responses keep rolling in.
'Thank you, Maryscott.'

'Thank you for the kick in the [expletive].'

'I wrote to my [expletive] so—called representatives.'
I also wrote to my [expletive] congressman to get off his [expletive] [expletive] and do the right [expletive] thing.'"

What would any critique of the left blogs be without a sample of Daily Kos rage?:

She [Mrs. O'Connor] wrote it, sent it to Daily Kos, saw it appear online, watched as people responded to it —— and learned something about the effect of being both heartfelt and vicious. 'It's impactful,' she says. 'It gets attention.'

It also felt good, she says, transforming even, and soon she was posting regularly to Daily Kos, where she became one of the more widely read diarists with attention—getters such as 'Go [expletive] Yourself, Mrs. Cheney' and 'Bush Must Be HIV Positive By N ow (you can't [expletive] 500 million people and not get infected).'

There is a reason why the far left bloggers come across as so unhinged. Utter immaturity would appear to be one, but it is not the main reason.

The far left bloggers can afford to be so reckless, so irresponsible, wishing death on a sitting President in a time of war for example ("'I just want to see these [expletive] swinging from their heels in the public square,' reads a recent comment from someone named Dave in a discussion about the Bush administration on a Web site called Eschaton") because they are powerless and will remain so. They have not a chance of taking over the reigns of responsibility and political leadership, and thus can afford to be so imprudent, childish, and ultimately useless.

The more irrelevant the hardcore left becomes, the more shrill its voice. And that shrillness, rising ever—so steadily with each and every posting on My Left Wing, Daily Kos, and Democratic Underground, will rise directly in proportion to the far left's ineffectiveness.
So shout on, Maryscott, shout on!

Michael Lopez—Calderon     4 17 06

Conservative bloggers' response to leftist blogger Maryscott O' Connor, who was featured in a prominent Washington Post front page article yesterday titled "The Left, Online and Outraged,"  has been not surprisingly, and perhaps deservingly so, brutal (see here, here, here, here, and here).

However, in all fairness, consider what would have been the right's reaction had the Supreme Court ruled in a manner that enabled Al Gore instead of George W. Bush, to win the 2000 Presidential election. There is not a single person on the right that can convince me that conservatives' reaction would have been anything but furious outrage. Hence, the Left's outrage stems in part from the bitter pill of the 2000 Presidential election outcome. The key operative words here being "in part."

Reading through the entire piece by the Post's David Finkel, one comes away with the impression that Mrs. O' Connor and the other leftists cited in the article apparently suffer from arrested development. There is a juvenile quality to their writings. Like a contumacious adolescent embroiled in an argument with a parent, there is a heavy dosage of unrestrained anger, envy, hatred, and profanity, particularly of the scatological nature. However, there is a woeful inadequacy of reasonably stated, substantive arguments against the Bush Administration — and many can indeed be made of this or any administration.

What we are left with is the impression that the blogosphere serves as a pressure valve, a place where angry leftists (and rightists) can vent without a care in the world for decorum, rationality, and prudence.
I can support the blogosphere's role as pressure cooker to an extent. Blogs are a great tool for unfettered communication. Viewpoints can be expressed in a manner that generally would not appear in a newspaper. There is of course an underside to this fact: since newspapers are not in the business of publishing profanity—laced invective, for starters, the blogosphere remains the domain where libertines can expound with near total impunity.

Thus, in its underside mode, the blogosphere has given both a place and an audience for the conspirators; the hate—monger; the Holocaust denier and his sympathetic fan; the crackpot; and other sordid elements of the anti—American fringe. I will both for reasons of scale and scope, forego an examination of the other sordid elements on the web, i.e., Islamist Jihadis, pedophiles, scam artists, and the like. The main focus here is the far left bloggers, in particular, Mrs. O' Connor.

If the Post's Mr. Finkel had intended a puff piece on Mrs. O'Connor, it backfired miserably. In a case of perhaps unwittingly allowing his subject to hang herself with her own rope, "The Left, Online and Outraged" did precisely just that. Perhaps that was Finkel's intention, or his editors; perhaps it was a set up piece. How anyone could read the entire article and be left with anything but a negative impression is beyond my understanding.

There are many gems in the piece, and they do not all belong to Mrs. O'Connor. Here are but a few:

"Laura Bush Talks; No One Gives a [expletive]," someone who calls himself the Rude Pundit writes on his Web site, and he continues: The Rude Pundit doesn't give a retarded dog drool what Laura Bush has to say about the Olympics."

Mrs. O'Connor described:

She smokes a cigarette. Should it be about Bush, whom she considers 'malevolent,' a 'sociopath' and 'the Antichrist'? She smokes another cigarette. Should it be about Vice President Cheney, whom she thinks of as 'Satan,' or about Karl Rove, 'the devil'? Should it be about the 'evil' Republican Party, or the 'weaselly, capitulating, self—aggrandizing, self—serving' Democrats, or the Catholic Church, for which she says 'I have a special place in my heart . . . a burning, sizzling, putrescent place where the guilty suffer the tortures o f the damned'?

Again, Mrs. O'Connor in action:

In the angry life of Maryscott O'Connor, the rage begins as soon as she opens her eyes and realizes that her president is still George W. Bush. The sun has yet to rise and her family is asleep, but no matter; as soon as the realization kicks in, O'Connor, 37, is out of bed and heading toward her computer.

Out there, awaiting her building fury: the Angry Left, where O'Connor's reputation is as one of the angriest of all. 'One long, sustained scream' is how she describes the writing she does for various Web logs, as she wonders what she should scream about this day. ... 'WAKE THE [expletive] UP,' she writes next, and this time, instead of pausing, she keeps going, typing harder and harder on a keyboard that is surrounded by a pack of cigarettes, a dirty ashtray, a can of nonalcoholic beer, an album with photos of her dead father and a taped—up note —— staring at her —— on which she has scrawled 'Why am I/you here?' [Emphasis added. Note her use of upper case letters to stress a point. This is a typical device of the adolescent and sophomoric style of writing.]

Mrs. O'Connor describing her nearly unhinged state:

I am this close to being one of those muttering people pushing a cart. I'm insane with rage and grief. But I also feel more connected than I ever have. 

"Bill," one of Mrs. O'Connor's fans, apparently sat up all night with his thesaurus before he posted this rubbish:

It was rather though[t]less of me to compare the most asinine, brutal, criminal, disgusting, enraging, felonious, gross, horrendous, incompetent, jaundiced, kleptocratic, lazy, malicious, nefarious, objectional [sic], psychopathic, quarrelsome, repulsive, sanctimonious, treasonous, unfit, vindictive, wasteful, xenophobic, yahooish, zealotic piece of [expletive] inhabiting the White House and the planet to persons suffering with a neurobiological disorder.

Other bloggers chimed in on one of Mrs. O'Connor's postings:

Meanwhile, over on Eschaton, Dave is writing, 'As a matter of fact —— I do hate Bush!'"

On Rude Pundit: 'George W. Bush is the anti—Midas. Everything he touches turns to [expletive].'"

On the Smirking Chimp: 'I. Despise. These. [Expletive]!'"
And on Daily Kos and My Left Wing, the responses keep rolling in.
'Thank you, Maryscott.'

'Thank you for the kick in the [expletive].'

'I wrote to my [expletive] so—called representatives.'
I also wrote to my [expletive] congressman to get off his [expletive] [expletive] and do the right [expletive] thing.'"

What would any critique of the left blogs be without a sample of Daily Kos rage?:

She [Mrs. O'Connor] wrote it, sent it to Daily Kos, saw it appear online, watched as people responded to it —— and learned something about the effect of being both heartfelt and vicious. 'It's impactful,' she says. 'It gets attention.'

It also felt good, she says, transforming even, and soon she was posting regularly to Daily Kos, where she became one of the more widely read diarists with attention—getters such as 'Go [expletive] Yourself, Mrs. Cheney' and 'Bush Must Be HIV Positive By N ow (you can't [expletive] 500 million people and not get infected).'

There is a reason why the far left bloggers come across as so unhinged. Utter immaturity would appear to be one, but it is not the main reason.

The far left bloggers can afford to be so reckless, so irresponsible, wishing death on a sitting President in a time of war for example ("'I just want to see these [expletive] swinging from their heels in the public square,' reads a recent comment from someone named Dave in a discussion about the Bush administration on a Web site called Eschaton") because they are powerless and will remain so. They have not a chance of taking over the reigns of responsibility and political leadership, and thus can afford to be so imprudent, childish, and ultimately useless.

The more irrelevant the hardcore left becomes, the more shrill its voice. And that shrillness, rising ever—so steadily with each and every posting on My Left Wing, Daily Kos, and Democratic Underground, will rise directly in proportion to the far left's ineffectiveness.
So shout on, Maryscott, shout on!

Michael Lopez—Calderon     4 17 06