April 15, 2006


The Left, Online and Outraged (David Finkel, April 15, 2006, Washington Post)

SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. -- 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.

Eric Hoffer would nod knowingly at such pathological hatred:
Free men are aware of the imperfection inherent in human affairs, and they are willing to fight and die for that which is not perfect. They know that basic human problems can have no final solutions, that our freedom, justice, equality, etc. are far from absolute, and that the good life is compounded of half measures, compromises, lesser evils, and gropings toward the perfect. The rejection of approximations and the insistence on absolutes are the manifestation of a nihilism that loathes freedom, tolerance, and equity.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 15, 2006 7:30 AM

Ms Moonbat might want to ponder why the president and vice-president have made their tax returns available to the media, while her heroes, the former president and vice-president, chose to keep their tax returns private while they were office. Perhaps it's because unlike and Mr. and Mrs. Cheney, who have donated eight million to charity this year, their tax returns would reveal a very different picture.

Posted by: erp at April 15, 2006 9:29 AM

"What's notable about this isn't only the level of anger but the direction from which it is coming. Not that long ago, it was the right that was angry and the left that was, at least comparatively, polite."

On which planet has the left EVER been polite? Most lefties I meet are, if nothing else, vulgar (as evidenced throughout the article with its [expletives] bleeped out) and usually obnoxious and insulting as well.

Posted by: sharon at April 15, 2006 10:16 AM

In 1997 al-Gore gave all of $353 to charity on an icome of nearly $200,000:


Posted by: George at April 15, 2006 10:21 AM

Anger when out, hubris when in. The left is nuts. I think they call it 'bi-polar'.

Posted by: Tom C., Stamford,Ct. at April 15, 2006 11:03 AM

Thanks for posting that Hoffer quote again.

Makes me think of the bumper stickers for the perpetually angry that expresses the opposite sentiment, the one that goes "If You're Not Outraged, You're Not Paying Attention".

Also, it applied nicely to the "Chocolate Biccie" post below.

Posted by: Twn at April 15, 2006 11:34 AM

While you can find people both on the left and the right whose anger leads them to coarsen the discussion, and both sides have seen their ability to communicate with each other on the internet reinforce their use of four letter invectives too describe the other side, the difference as of now is the folks who were pushing the ideas that Bill Clinton was assassinating people or dealing drugs out of Mena Airport in Arkansas were not given the favored seat at the table by Republican leaders in the run-up to the 2000 election, the way the Democrats have done more and more in the past three years.

Showcasing Michael Moore at the 2004 convention or having party leaders offering up their own columns and diaries for the Daily Kos despite the low level of language there and Marcos' own "screw them" line about the murdered contrators in Iraq in 2004 is an awful use of common sense in the long-term. Schmoozing with the folks there with the idea that you can gain their support/campagin donations may work in the short run, but once you endorse their website or start hangin' with Michael Moore, you are basically endorsing what they say and do, and you can't plead ignorence later when some f-bomb or threatening post against a GOP official, businessman or other conservative notable comes back to haunt you.

Posted by: John at April 15, 2006 1:21 PM

the leftist brain is incapable of feeling positive feelings, it can only come alive using dark feelings.

"it's just that simple" -- denny craine

Posted by: toe at April 15, 2006 2:14 PM

"The delight of the frustrated in chaos and in the downfall of the fortunate and prosperous does not spring from an ecstatic awareness that they are clearing the ground for the heavenly city. In their fanatical cry of "all or nothing at all" the second alternative echoes perhaps a more ardent wish than the first."

"The reason that the inferior elements of a nation can exert a marked influence on its' course is that they are wholly without reverence toward the present. They see their lives and the present as spoiled beyond remedy and they are ready to waste and wreck both; hence their recklessness and their will to chaos and anarchy. They also crave to dissolve their spoiled, meaningless selves in some soul-stirring spectacular communal undertaking." -- Eric Hoffer

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 15, 2006 2:23 PM

It would seem from the quote above that Free men are relativists. That quote is the summation of the relavtivist view.

The part about nihilism is ridiculous. That is not what classical nihilsism is. What they are talking about maybe communist nihilism but actually forget ... it makes no sense.

Posted by: exclab at April 15, 2006 3:07 PM

I read the article. Interesting that she really really wants to do something about the genocide in Darfur. Unfortunately, her proposed solution is "sanctions and peacekeeping forces". I guess if that doesn't work, maybe she'd go for a strongly worded note from Kofi.

Posted by: ray at April 15, 2006 3:11 PM

The left knows its right. Its just forgotten how. Its like late medieval christianity. Most of the pieces of the puzzle have been lost and no one remembers what the pictures was supposed to be. Perhaps, like late medieval christianity it will chuck out this puzzle and get a new one. I wonder if anyone will notice them doing it.

Posted by: exclab at April 15, 2006 4:46 PM

100m murdered is your idea of right ? idiotic.

Posted by: toe at April 15, 2006 5:24 PM

That quote is the summation of the relavtivist (sic) view.

Mmmm, no, no more than is this:

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in...

Your mileage may vary with respect to Jehova, but with respect to humanity Lincoln's notion is pretty much the same as Hoffer's.

Posted by: joe shropshire at April 15, 2006 5:27 PM

Sharon is correct: the Left has always been fueled mainly by hatred, bitterness and anger. I'm old enough to remember the Reagan years, and even a bit of the Nixon era. The bile now spewed at George W. Bush is not all that different from what the Left spit at those earlier conservatives. The difference now, is that with the Left now almost totally out of power in this country, what little decorum they might once have had is gone. Also, their pals in the MSM see their influence on the wane, and together the Left and the media have little left but to curse and wail. The louder they howl the better I feel.

Posted by: JonSK at April 15, 2006 5:46 PM

The left is always bitter against perceived right-winger in power. Witness Nixon, who gave us wage-price controls, the EPA, affirmative action, and doubled the number of pages in the Federal Register. Yet he was hated by the left and the media from beginning to end.

Posted by: Gideon at April 15, 2006 6:33 PM

Nixon was NOT conservative or Conservative.

Posted by: erp at April 15, 2006 6:40 PM

Besides their nastiness of expression, another constant aspect of Leftism is the need for revenge with no statute of limitations and no forgiveness ever, no matter how much the person may do in implementing their agenda.

The Left never forgave Tricky Dick for his role in the Alger Hiss fiasco. I remember well their glee when he got his, and the hatred when Ford's pardon meant they'd reached the end without the prize. They really wanted "jail to the chief" and that bumbler Ford, totally out of character, took it away from them.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 15, 2006 7:12 PM

On the Nixon pardon, moonbat prototype representative Bella Abzug (D-Greenwich Village/Upper West Side), even demanded that impeachment proceedings be taken against President Ford because he had the audacity to keep Nixon from going to trial. So the current trendy game among Democrats of demanding George W. Bush's impeachment over policy differences had a pedigree that goes back 31 1/2 years.

Posted by: John at April 15, 2006 10:01 PM

Except for being anti-Christian....

Posted by: oj at April 15, 2006 10:56 PM


Yes,politics is relativistic because unimportant. The secular are nihilistic because for them politics is all.

Posted by: oj at April 15, 2006 11:00 PM

What a silly article. The left blogosphere has dozens of policy-oriented blogs that performed brilliantly during the Social Security debate; the policy-wonk bloggers, like Ezra Klein and Matthew Yglesias helped sink Bush's social security plan by pointing out the problems with it, while the right-wing bloggers are dismally bad at policy analysis. And Joshua Marshall has turned his blog into a clearing house for old-style "muckraking" on crooked politicians. Then we have the funny, snarky lefty bloggers who are much funnier than anyone on the right, like Sadly, No! Or how about electioneering strategy blogs like MyDD, or just plain well-written blogs like Digby , which analyzes the way the mainstream media presents right-wing frames as gospel truth, and Orcinus, which does long analysis on the rise of eliminationist rhetoric on the "mainstream" right?

What does the right blogosphere have to compare with the variety and interest of the left blogosphere? The mendacious Bush cultists like Hugh Hewitt and Instapundit? The racist freak show that is Little Green Footballs? The truly nutty Bush cultists at Powerline ("I'm not saying there isn't an Abramoff scandal, I just don't know what it is")? These people are not only intellectually dishonest, but they are far angrier than the lefty bloggers; the righty bloggers constantly accusing their political opponents of treason or of wanting the terrorists to win.

As Glenn Greenwald says in yet another excellent post, this article is just an attempt by the establishment media "to destroy the credibility of the blogosphere and what we do here, mostly because it is so threatening to the establishment media's dying monopoly over the flow of information, news, opinion and analysis."

But then, since The Washington Post is a consistently pro-Bush newspaper, it is hardly surprising that they would run this hit piece.

Posted by: M.A. at April 15, 2006 11:55 PM

There is another philosopher whose observations would nicely complement those of Eric Hoffer: C.P. Snow, who made some very interesting observations about the cultural differences between literary intellectuals and scientists. It might make an interesting exercise to compare Snow's analysis of the thought patterns of literary culture with the behavior of today's Left. Likewise, contemporary conservative thought could be compared with Snow's analysis of the scientific culture. (It would take a better philosopher than I am to do this, but I believe it is worth doing.)

Posted by: David G. at April 15, 2006 11:59 PM

M.A. -

The leftist blogs sank SS reform? Try Republican timidity. Had Bush squeezed Congress by the short hairs, something would have passed. And remember, the Democratic applause during the State of the Union last January will haunt them for the next 30 years.

And exactly how is LGF racist when all it does is quote the moonbats? Over and over and over again. It must hurt (it worked in your case), but it is entirely self-inflicted.

And Instapundit is a mendacious Bush shill? Have you ever read it? Minus the 2nd Amendment and the war, and Glenn is almost a squishy liberal. Didn't you see Harold Ford's picture there this week?

And yes, much the left wants the terrorists to win. In case you have forgotten, a fair percentage of the "Left" did not want to take action against the Taliban. A definite majority probably wants an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. And how many will support any action against Iran (despite the fact that EVERY prominent Democrat has said Iran is a bigger threat to us than Iraq). Sorry, but it's not our fault that the leading lights of the left are Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, John Kerry, Al Franken, Jimmy Carter, John Murtha, Dick Durbin, Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Markos Moulitsas, Duncan Black, Howard Dean, and so on. They are your heroes.

I guess your post is the hive's response to the "Angry Hillary" pointer. Too bad that you also sound a bit breathless, eh?

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 16, 2006 12:42 AM

Bloggers are certainly affecting slant, opinion, and analysis, but in no way are they threatening Old Media's monopoly over the flow of information and news.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2006 3:09 AM


No, just 45 seats in the Senate is enough.

Posted by: oj at April 16, 2006 8:14 AM

Here Snow:


Here Oakeshott who understood better:


Posted by: oj at April 16, 2006 8:18 AM


Pretty revealing that all you have to do is profile a blogger to expose their psychoses. It's stuff like the idea that bloggers rather than enough Democratic Senators to filibuster SS Reform that stopped it that does indeed make the Left hilarious these days, it's just that folks are laughing at, not with.

Posted by: oj at April 16, 2006 8:22 AM

MA. Thanks for the very entertaining glimpse into your alternate universe.

Posted by: erp at April 16, 2006 8:39 AM

i save myself time by never reading postings by mentally stunted individuals; i.e. the left. it's always the same and always completely detached from reality.

Posted by: toe at April 16, 2006 1:21 PM

I figured I'd follow one of M.A.'s link, because I was sure there would be some completely delusional moonbat quote on it without having to read very far. And I was right – from Sadly, No we have

We are 100% sure that the Iraq war has been an enormous waste of resources and has produced a theocratic Shiite government that is waging a war against its minority Sunni Arab population.
Oh yes, the theocratic government of Shi'ites in Iraq which viscously waging war on the innocent Sunni "activists".

This bit of alternate reality is not even argued, it is simply asserted as so obvious that any counter argument is a priori bogus. M.A., if that's your "quality analysis" I have to agree with the assessment of the other commentators.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at April 16, 2006 4:32 PM

Here's the way debate runs with lefties, in my experience:

Them: The Iraq war is illegal and the U.S. supported Saddam for 30 years!
Me: So, he should have been left in power to put people in woodchippers?
Them: No, we should never have supported him in the first place.
Me: But whether we should have or not, he was there putting people in woodchippers. Shouldn't we stop him from doing that?
Them: No, we should never have supported him in the first place.

Rinse, repeat.

Posted by: sharon at April 16, 2006 5:30 PM


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference RAGE IS A TOUGH SELL IN AMERICA::

» "The Rage Begins As Soon As She Opens Her Eyes" from Ed Driscoll.com
When a paper as sympathetic to the left side of the aisle as the Washington Post begins a profile of someone on the left like this...In the angry life of Maryscott O'Connor, the rage begins as soon as she opens... [Read More]