Watching the Capitol Gang tonight really galvanized something in my mind. I've seen this addressed a few times on the web, although in slightly different terms. What I'm talking about is the basic, elemental chasm between proponents of the Left and the Right.
Often this is spoken of as the left being more willing to engage in self-examination; to legitimately criticize a left leaning politician, statesman or pundit for holding a view that seems out of touch with liberal orthodoxy. The right, however, marches along in virtual lockstep, rarely expressing individual thought, always speaking their talking points.
But it goes much further than that. Witness the spin from the rightwing pundits after last night's debate. Ben Ginsberg (why is he around so much? I thought he left the campaign to do legal work for the noble SwiftBoatLiers?), Kate O'Bierne, and most other identified Republican operatives almost never say a discouraging word about their boy. No matter what the level of performance, he is always spoken of as The Great Leader, firm in conviction and message.
This was even displayed last night, when GWBush, asked to define his 3 biggest mistakes, could not seriously even come up with one. The Bush Doctrine seems to be one infallability, no matter what the relevant evidence suggests. To paraphrase his favorite attack line on Kerry, "Right then, right today, right tomorrow." And right makes, er, might. Or something. Heh.
The problem with this method of propaganda is that it has the very danger of backfiring. And it almost did after the first debate. Most winger pundits HAD to admit that their boy looked a little shabby, and I found it delicious.
But after last night, it was back to business as usual. GWBush was John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Lawrence of Arabia all rolled into one. And I finally reached the conclusion that these people are so devoid of conscience they would praise his performance while he had carnal knowledge of their spouse on stage in front of America!
The left has its paid shills, of course, We expect nothing less than undying support from Terry McAuliffe during the campaign, for example, since he is in fact head cheerleader. And so we take what he says with a grain of salt. But I'm tending toward the opinion that there is really only one person associated with the right that will dare to speak truth to media power. And I find it a very strange turn of events for me to say that I actually respect...(gasp)...Pat Buchanan a little bit.
But so far, only a little bit. But that's more than I respect any other right winger.