Saturday, June 04, 2011

A couple more thoughts on a previous post

A quick followup to the post about the Ed Schultz affair and the difference between how the left and the right and how people or movements that can be associated with the left or the right are treated differently by media.

As I noted, for years, the right slammed the left with little equivalent response. Since at least the time of Barry Goldwater and maybe even before, the right has adopted a "take no prisoners" approach to political debate.

Yet throughout that time, right up until rather recently, the left was expected to be unfailingly polite, to be understanding, cooperative, gentile, to "see things from the other side's point of view," to respond to the assaults with little more than "tut, tut" or at worst "tsk, tsk." We were supposed to feel obligated to prove we were "better than that."

And as a direct result we got rolled over and over again. And you can be damn well assured that his was just the way the right wanted it, just the way they liked it.

Well, at some point during the reign of George Bush the Lesser, a lot of folks on the left half of the US political spectrum just got fed up. I suspect a good part of the reason was the impeachment of, in fact the overall treatment of, Bill Clinton. I mean, after all: Bill "End welfare as we know it, NAFTA, WTO, DOMA, the list goes on" Clinton? Even he gets excoriated? For some, that was the last straw.

So the left, the overall left, started hitting back and giving as good as it got. As I recall, some even said "the gloves are off" in so many words.

And all of a sudden all kinds of media and much of the political establishment are getting the vapors, fanning themselves madly and bemoaning how "uncivil," how "coarse," our political discourse has become. All of a sudden they are looking for the fainting couch because they need to lie down.

When it was the right attacking the left, that same media and political establishment, for the most part in fact all but exclusively, just didn't care. But when the left started to hit back, all of a sudden, it was a crisis.

It's just another way that the inherent bias in favor of the right shows up in our media and our politics. Because if there is anything that is unacceptable to that establishment, it's for the left - the real left - to play the game by the very rules the right set down.

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