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January 30, 2007

Star-Tribune's No-Account Nick Coleman: No One Would Ever Call Me A Liberal

Pretty funny stuff. Powerline reports on the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's staff's seething over the hiring of a conservative opinion writer to add balance. Apart from general cluelessness and nastiness, there's this gem:

Coleman (full disclosure: he is a longtime friend of mine) has been a Twin Cities columnist for more than thirty years. He, and nearly all of the other Star Tribune staffers with whom I spoke, have no objection to adding new voices to the paper—even an unabashed conservative voice. His problem is placing Kersten on the metro pages in an attempt to create a “balance” and respond to the regular accusations of liberal bias hurled at him and fellow columnist Doug Grow. “You find the last time some Democratic politician or liberal blogger referred to me as, ‘our good friend, Nick Coleman.’ It’s never happened. They all hate my guts, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

In fact, there is no end of Star Tribune readers who agree with the description of Grow and Coleman as “liberals.”

Not sure what can explain this level of self-delusion. I've quoted his scary-important burblings before. You make the call.

Liberals tend to fall into two categories, and sometimes both.

"I'm Too Complex For Categorization And Labels" Liberals. These liberals are so enamored of their amazing complex and unpredictably maverick minds they simply will not countenance the suggestion their mode of thinking, or emoting, falls into rather common patters generally associated with left-liberalism. They fetishize their one or two departures from the liberal herdthink consensus ("But I'm not opposed to private social security accounts!"), as if having a pair of weakly heterodox positions is enough to auto-excommunicate them from the Holy Mother Church.

Got news for ya: This isn't called being "so complex as to defy categorization." It's called, simply, "being human."

The irony here is that this argument is so self-defeating-- they think they're not liberals because they imagine that conservatives are so robotically Borg-minded as to not have any heterodoxies of their own. Thus demonstrating that not only are they liberal, they're so goddamned liberal they've never even spoken to a single conservative.

"I Do Not Believe In 'Liberalism,' I Just Believe In 'Common Sense'" Liberals. Here a liberal simply takes what is, demonstrably, according to every poll and every election since 1980, a left-of-center politics and simply redefines it as "centrist." Only people to their far left are "liberals" (but they generally are never so impolite as to call them such).

If they're in "the center," that makes the majority of the country what, praytell? Well, they're "outside the mainstream," and ought not be included in the survey, as their opinions are so bizarre and hateful as to be not be worthy of consideration.

Again, the belief is self-defeating -- or self-mocking -- in its implicit claim that one can't be defined as "liberal" because anything further to the right is simply inhuman. There is no "liberalism" at all, for their is no worthy opposite by which to contrast it.

And of course many liberals subscribe to both of these beliefs at once, in which case they take pride in the labyrinthine complexities of their fiercely independent minds while they simultaneously comfort themselves as being believers in the "common-sense centrist consensus mainstream position that everyone knows is correct."

Good stuff. They keep us laughing, and that's something, I guess.

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posted by Ace at 03:12 PM

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