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April 17, 2006
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.
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:
Mrs. O'Connor described:
Again, Mrs. O'Connor in action:
Mrs. O'Connor describing her nearly unhinged state:
"Bill," one of Mrs. O'Connor's fans, apparently sat up all night with his thesaurus before he posted this rubbish:
Other bloggers chimed in on one of Mrs. O'Connor's postings:
What would any critique of the left blogs be without a sample of Daily Kos rage?:
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.
Michael Lopez—Calderon 4 17 06