Kidding themselves

It’s ironic, if somewhat unsurprising, that so many conventional liberals insist on thinking of themselves as apolitical moderates. The fact that their basic assumptions are perfectly in line with those of the mainline Democratic party – if not the Move On Xtreme Neosocialists – doesn’t seem to matter as much as their desire to aspire to being the voice of impartial reason. But this is as ridiculous as the New York Times and the ABCNNBCBS cabal’s insistence on their “objectivity”.

Consider Scott Adams’ list of nominees for his Weasel Awards:

Weaseliest Individual
George W. Bush
Karl Rove
Cindy Sheehan
Ray Nagin
Tom DeLay
Tom Cruise
Michael Brown (ex-FEMA head)
Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (Gov. of Louisiana)
Rafael Palmeiro (baseball player suspended for steroids)
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Lindy England (Abu Ghraib abuser)
Mary Landrieu (Senator of Louisiana)
Bill Frist

That’s five major Republican figures and one minor Republican figure versus four minor Democratic figures. Hillary Rodham Clinton nee Clinton nee Rodham Clinton nee Rodham can’t even get a nomination? Jean-Francois Flippy Flop isn’t even potentially a weasel?

Weaseliest Behavior
Advocating the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools
Gas price gouging
Reporting it as “finding supplies” when white people loot
Corporate boards approving CEO pay packages
Politicians blaming other politicians
Downloading music or movies without paying

This sounds like a list of Democratic Party talking points. Where’s the far more hypocritical examples such as the media support for campaign finance reform, gun control advocates who have armed bodyguards and those who invoke Martin Luther King in seeking to justify skin color-based discrimination? Adams claims that these lists “doesn’t reflect my views. I have no coherent political views of my own.”

Now, this may be true, but not only have we heard that before, we hear it all the time. So, forgive us if we’re skeptical. By way of example, consider Chuck Klosterman waxing anti-ideological on ESPN:

I am an apolitical person. Absolutely nobody believes me when I say that, but it’s true. Every conservative person I know thinks I’m mixing Noam Chomsky’s personal Kool-Aid, and every liberal I know seems to assume I want to shampoo Ann Coulter’s hair while watching outtakes from “The Passion of the Christ.” I have no idea how this happened. For example, I don’t have an opinion on abortion. I really, truly do not. You want to have an abortion? Fine; take my car keys, You think abortion is murder? Well, you’re probably right. Who knows? Either way, it doesn’t have anything to do with me. Do I think George W. Bush is the worst president of my lifetime? Well, of course I do — but that’s not because he’s a Republican. It’s because he somehow (a) got into Yale, yet (b) claims “the jury is still out” on the theory of evolution.

Everything is situational, and that reality informs how I interpret the world. At least within my mind, it seems as though any people who consciously and consistently perceive themselves as right-leaning or left-leaning are simply admitting that they don’t want to think critically about complexity. It always strikes me as staunchly unsophisticated and mildly insane.

Ah yes, the old “I’m being criticized from both sides, ergo I am perfectly situated in the middle” line. That’s new. Now, Klosterman may truly be indifferent to politics, but it’s not at all difficult to determine where he stands on the political spectrum, which is to the left of center. Only someone who is inherently left-leaning subscribes to the notion that all everything is situational, and furthermore, no one who has any connection to the right would ever suggest Noam Chomsky as a counterpoint to Ann Coulter; you either have to be left-leaning or a student of the left to even bring him up in the first place.

A disdain for consistency is the hobgoblin of the ignorant and an inability to make sense of complexity is not an indication of sophistication, but of insufficient intelligence.