Thursday, September 14, 2006

Visiting Liberals Again

I visited over at Marc Cooper’s blog after reading that he is a friend of GM Roper, who is on my regular wheel of blogs to read. Marc is a contributing editor at The Nation, a liberal news and social commentary magazine that has been a major playor for decades. I threw in comments on several threads – but I doubt I’ll be back to visit much.

I keep hoping to stumble upon a liberal blog where issues are discussed without rancor or snark, and are more interesting than the simple repetition of campaignish talking points. There must be some.

The common premise, of blogger and especially commenters, seems to be that the Bush Administration predicted and has continued to maintain that the GWOT would go well, even rosily. Anger at that seems to take up all the oxygen. I think that is answerable, but more importantly, that’s a separate issue from the question of how well things are going.

The appearance there is that what Bush says about the GWOT is more important than the GWOT itself. That’s the stereotypical accusation that the right makes of the left, that it cares more about getting Bush than about how America is doing, and I wonder that they would hand me that stereotype so readily. And they do. To me, what the administration says has always been of secondary importance. Each public statement has many audiences, and what each of us would like to hear for our own questions may not be the point of every statement.

Look, reverse the situation. Whether John Kerry or Marc Cooper or Frank Rich ever admits that they’re wrong is of little interest to me. When we intervened in Bosnia, I gave no thought to whether Bill Clinton was ever going to say “We shoulda gone later; we shoulda gone earlier; we had too many cooks; we shoulda started with more elephants” or whatever. That sort of analysis comes much later. I wanted to know whether we were gaining or losing ground military and diplomatically from each piece of the strategy.

I didn’t mention it there, believing that what I did write would be confrontive enough, but there’s projection leaking out everywhere. Because their only goal is to trash Bush, they believe that mine must be to defend him. Whatever else I’ve written is seen through that prism. If I say something mildly positive, then I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid and have a dozen unrelated views attributed to me. If I write something mildly negative, there is this immediate assumption that conservatives are finally admitting what a terrible president he’s been.

It is responses like this that keep giving me evidence that for many liberals, there is this enormous importance that their world-view be consistently resupported. There seems this constant wriggling on the hook, with enormous energy invested in what should be simple disagreements. Something more is at stake for them.

In fairness, I did have a pleasant back-and-forth disagreement with one commenter there. Maybe I should specifically invite him over.


Woody said...

AVI, I commented at Marc Cooper's site regularly for about two years, because I viewed it as a place where conservatives and liberals were given equal chances. Maybe it was at the time.

However, the Left got crazier and crazier. I finally learned why Ann coulter wrote the book "How to Talk with a Liberal if You Must." Their standard responses bore no resemblance to the issues and points raised and were totally void of logical analyses. Then Marc got a little nutty on his posts and was even pushing tickets to a college lecture on impeaching Bush.

I told G.M. to shoot me if I ever commented there again, so I stay away for the above reasons and so as to keep G.M. from becoming a felon for murder--and unable to vote in rational states.

copithorne said...

I went to the link.

I found posts containing substantive arguments with supporting documentation. That isn't something I find here, at AVI. If you find anything in Marc Cooper's blog that supports your argument, I welcome you to refer to it.

I'd ask you a couple of questions:

Does it make sense to you that people might be angry about the death of 2600 of their fellow citizens?

Does it make sense to you that someone could be angry about $300 billion+ deficits?

It seems to me that you retreat into a realm of abstraction where actual policies and their actual consequences don't really register with you.

And, in that light, this post of yours is projection.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Sorry you don't like abstraction.

Anonymous said...

Avi, like Woody, I used to comment at Marc's site a lot, he is the one that encouraged me to blog, and even posted on his site one of my lengthier comments as a post in it's own right. But those days are past. Most of his commenters are much farther to the left than even Marc, and many take him to task when he knocks the Democrats (Marc lables himself as a progressive and a member of the "independent" set). Oddly enough, those same commenters don't raise a word when he knocks the Republicans in general or Bush in particular... wait, that's not odd at all given the commenters.

It has gone from where discussion can be held, to a sea of unrestricted warfare via ad hominem and snarkiness.

Marc is and will remain my dearly beloved friend (as you are and will be) but most of his ideas are too full of BDS for my tastes.

copithorne said...

I value the lives of my fellow citizens more than I value abstractions.

Your writing is consistent with holding the opposite set of values.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I am quite content to let my previous arguments and general actions make their case without further addition.