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Keeping their houses in order

This weekend, a rather interesting study in contrasts was presented for political observers.

In Las Vegas, the Nutroots community held their Yearly Kos gathering. The assorted fruits and nuts who make up that particular community were treated to fawning media coverage (including at least two kisses from National Public Radio, one from Weekend Edition Sunday and one from On The Media), as well as some flagrant whoring from prominent Democratic party officials. Former Virginia governor Mark Warner was a featured guest, addressing the faithful and seeking their support.

Meanwhile, over at Fox News, one of their hosts scored an interview with Shirley Phelps-Roper, of the loathsome and despicable Westboro Baptist Church. (These are the assholes who have been holding their little "God hates America because we haven't wiped out all the fags" protests at the funerals of fallen US soldiers.) Fox News' Julie Banderas laid a smackdown on this deranged whackjob in a way that can only be called "Biblical."

As one who considers himself as a moderate, I tend to think of myself as in a good position to observe both extremes. And while both sides have their extremists, their nutjobs, their whackos, it seems that the right is a little better at keeping them marginalized, holding them at arm's length, giving them the attention they crave without catering to their whims.

On the left, though, they seem eager to embrace them, to bring them into the inner circles, to pander to their demands. I find myself speculating that the left so misses being in power, so eager to reclaim their past prominence, that they find themselves making Faustian bargains with anyone they think might be able to help them.

Say what you want about Michael Savage, Ann Coulter, Pat Robertson, and their ilk -- they might be among the loudest voices on the right, but they are not the most predominant.

After all, the Republicans never elected Pat Buchanan to national party chairman.


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Comments (27)

JayYou wrot... (Below threshold)
mak44:

Jay

You wrote: " The assorted fruits and nuts who make up that particular community were treated to fawning media coverage"

We get your ref to "nuts." Care to elaborate on "fruits?"

I suspect the left's embrac... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

I suspect the left's embrace of the whackjobs in their party stems from their desire to show that they truly have open arms for everyone. They fail to realize that this is self-defeating. For every nutcase they add, they push a moderate the other direction. Eventually, you have the margins on the left covered, but you have lost the middle.

While I am not a big fan of Bill Clinton, he fully understood this. He worked hard to appeal to the moderates and marginalize the extremes. It was a successful plan and it earned him two terms. His wife is trying the same thing, but she doesn't have the same instincts he does and she is alienating everyone on all sides.

the extremes on the right h... (Below threshold)
tim:

the extremes on the right have an important distinction from those on the left, they're analysis is usually correct. the lefty logic is a round of horseshoes; make alot of noise but rarely hit the mark.

also, who is the "predominant" voice on the right, if not savage, coulter, buchanan or rush?

mak44:<blockqu... (Below threshold)
langtry:

mak44:

We get your ref to "nuts." Care to elaborate on "fruits?"
Over are when days of the expression "Fruits" referred solely to Gay men. While that definition is primary, according to "Urban Dictionary"http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fruit "fruit" also connotes 'an idiot', 'really good weed', 'the output of one's ovaries/spermatazoa', and 'some one who is being weird, but isn't quite at the level as a freak'. In that sense, JayTea's using the term correctly.
Rush is not the same as Sav... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Rush is not the same as Savage or Buchanan. Both Savage and Buchanan are way out on the fringe. Rush is much more mainstream. He actually takes liberal calls and tries to persuade them. He's by no means a fringe kook. (Hey, even Algore once called Rush a "distinguished American" back during the 90s.)

Meant to add that Coulter i... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Meant to add that Coulter is the right's unofficial bomb thrower. She often makes good points, but she also often opens her mouth before she engages her brain.

Tim has a good point. The l... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Tim has a good point. The left is upset because Ann Coulter told the truth about who they really are. The liberals cannot be honest about themselves. They have to hide it behind all the fancy words and to cover up their rotten ideology. They know that they stand on the wrong side of history again and their corrupt worldview is disintegrating before their very eyes. So all they can do is personal insults, even compared Coulter to Zarquawi. That 's the depth of their intellectual and moral corruption.

mo: you had me till "gore" ... (Below threshold)
tim:

mo: you had me till "gore" reference source! we do have a habit of labeling realists "kooks." culturally we have become void of substance; therefore, there is a source for the lack of appreciation for the brutal honesty, though sometimes unworkable ideas, advanced by the critical minds of savage, coulter. in fact, that is really the divide between them and rush; he is more mainstream because he doesn't concern or invest himself with single causes or points of political debate - like bill o'reilly. they are not really detailed guys (save say, the border with bill o).

Mak,Maybe this link ... (Below threshold)
scsiwuzzy:
Hey "mak-i-e 43 2/3" just l... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Hey "mak-i-e 43 2/3" just look in the mirror to see what one looks like. (you add the words) he he

Tim - I just threw in the A... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Tim - I just threw in the Algore praise as a tweak. I wondered if anyone had remembered it;)

Jay:As to the libera... (Below threshold)
Bryan:

Jay:
As to the liberal blogger convention, I particularly enjoyed reading the comments from Howard Dean and Harry Reid, such as "We need you to be our megaphone." This is further evidence of the Democrat leadership pandering to the far left by supporting the very same blogger who practically rejoiced in the death of four Americans in Falluja in 2003 ("...I feel nothing over the death of mercenaries...Screw them.")

Who's <a href="http://www.t... (Below threshold)
Cagle88:
Cagle88,By your stan... (Below threshold)
scsiwuzzy:

Cagle88,
By your standard, should we condem FDR for not just meeting, but working with Stalin?

JayYou wrot... (Below threshold)
mak44:

Jay

You wrote: "Say what you want about Michael Savage, Ann Coulter, Pat Robertson, and their ilk -- they might be among the loudest voices on the right, but they are not the most predominant."

Have you ever checked out Michael Ledeen and his cabal at the AEI? This guy has not been marginalized nor is he un-predominant and he sups w/ the First Circle. He's one of Ronald Reagan's gifts to America that keeps on giving.

Nuts & fruits..... twigs & ... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Nuts & fruits..... twigs & berries - just figures of speech.

This reminds me of the time a year or so ago when I was teaching a Microsoft Access class, and began teaching about queries. A gay man in the class told me that I had insulted him with that term, and I was not to use it in his presence again.

To this day, every time I get to that point in the lesson book, I pause and wait for an assault.

Have you ever checked ou... (Below threshold)

Have you ever checked out Michael Ledeen and his cabal at the AEI?

What -- other than the fact they're to the right of Nancy Pelosi -- do you find objectionable about the American Enterprise Institute?

I'm not defending anyone, I'm genuinely curious.

Once again, Wizbang writers... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Once again, Wizbang writers revert to name-calling instead of dealing with substance. Like it or not, and as Kos said on Press the Meat, it's a cross-section of the Democratic Party. Lots of different types there - I know it's hard for you to face it.

But we all know when you get down to it, it's jealousy. It was an incredible conference.

But we all know when... (Below threshold)
Martin A. Knight:

    But we all know when you get down to it, it's jealousy. It was an incredible conference.

Jealousy ...?

Heck, ever heard of CPAC? We on the Right been having these sort of things for quite a while. We already had the infrastructure; all the Conservative Blogosphere needed to do was plug in.

So, I am not really impressed with YearlyKos with its 1000 attendees ... it's really nothing new.

CPAC began in 1973, certain... (Below threshold)
jp2:

CPAC began in 1973, certainly you should be happy with it's success.

However, I'm clearly talking about the blogosphere here. You knew that though. And it's very new. Can you imagine Wizbang/Powerlie getting Senators, Congressman, Governers and activists together?

Left or right, what's happening with the blogs is wonderful for our democracy.

Psychotic rambling and inan... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Psychotic rambling and inane conspiracy theories are good for our democracy?

Interesting.

If you can't notice the blatantly authoritarian streak in Kos and the other lefty sites (notice how conservatives get banned in short order?), you're not paying attention.
-=Mike

So yes, conservatives have ... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

So yes, conservatives have had to do a lot of work to marginalize their kooks. That was one of Reagan's first tasks in the early '80s: to rid conservatism of the bigots and authoritarians who had attached themselves to it in the '50s. There's been a lot of success. Remember when David Duke was a force in Louisiana politics, and was seriously discussed in certain circles as a Presidential candidate? We don't have to worry about that much anymore. Falwell, Swaggert, Robertson... they may still be loudmouths, but they have no influence over conservative thinking.

As for the Democrats... well, don't think that their willingness to embrace Kos is really anything new. Remember, not all that long ago, the party was equally willing to embrace George Wallace.

"If you can't notice the bl... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"If you can't notice the blatantly authoritarian streak in Kos and the other lefty sites (notice how conservatives get banned in short order?), you're not paying attention."

Have you ever been to Redstate? It's an art from over there. Plus, the most popular right-wing blogs are too scared to even allow comments.

Fox News' Julie Banderas... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:

Fox News' Julie Banderas laid a smackdown on this deranged whackjob in a way that can only be called "Biblical."

Not that I could see. It was just a face-slappin', hair-pullin' bitch fight between two cantankerous harpies. It was actually pretty embarrassing.

And while both sid... (Below threshold)
JD:
And while both sides have their extremists, their nutjobs, their whackos, it seems that the right is a little better at keeping them marginalized, holding them at arm's length, giving them the attention they crave without catering to their whims.

Objection, Your Honor - Facts not in evidence.

Fred Phelps was a Democrat. As in Donk. He was a Gore delegate on the floor in the 1988 Donk Convention. He ran for Governor of Kansas in 1990, and placed third in the primary, garnering about 11,000 votes (Source - http://www.lcrga.com/archive/200010251159.shtml). There are also some nice pictures of AlGore, TipperGore and the good reverend and his wife having a fine old time in Topeka.

I wonder if there are any WizBangers in Topeka or Shawnee County, KS, who could go and invesigate what party affiliation, if any, Mrs. Phelps-Roper has. If she is so enamored of her daddy, though, I have a sneaking suspicion it won't be with the GOP.

Cousin Dave... (Below threshold)
mak44:

Cousin Dave

You wrote: "So yes, conservatives have had to do a lot of work to marginalize their kooks. That was one of Reagan's first tasks in the early '80s: to rid conservatism of the bigots and authoritarians who had attached themselves to it in the '50s. There's been a lot of success."

May ass! You must have been stuck in the outhouse, cousin, for the past 25 years if you think that statement is accurate in this Universe.

It was in the 1980's, under the aegis of Reagan, that the right wing kooks and crypto-bigots and crypto-authoritarians came crawling out of the woodwork in the multitudes. Your party and you conservatives never got rid of your kook baggage from the '50's and '60's; you just had an extremely long period of gestation. And in the 80's it became like the birth of Damien.

mak44 - Where islamokook sp... (Below threshold)
JD:

mak44 - Where islamokook splodeydopes are concerned, I'll take our "birth of Damien" to the constant rebirth over and over of political versions of Carrot Top produced by the "Loyal" Opposition.

Until such time as the Donks are able to provide leaders, the Donks (and their policies) will not be followed. It's a pretty simple concept.

And no amount of crap-throwing or revisionist history will alter that fact.




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