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December 06, 2010

Unnoticed By The Media, Liberals Are Acting All Extreme And Stuff And Blocking The Great Bipartisan Cause Of Compromise

Isn't that always the case? When Jim DeMint calls for ideological discipline, it's a civil war within the party, and furthermore, unamerican in that it is push towards polar extremes of policy that make compromise less likely (or impossible).

You've read 1000 stories with this basic take. Conservatives are evil for pushing a stronger form of conservatism, because it frays the delicate fabric of political society and so on and suchlike.

And yet, when an Anthony Weiner calls for the same type of ideologically rigidity but for the liberal ideology, there is no tut-tutting or cluck-clucking from the media. Such calls are either deemed "good" and useful, or simply benign, or, my favorite, sort of bad but caused entirely by conservatives who are polarizing our politics and causing nice good clear-thinking people like Anthony Weiner to adopt more combative postures themselves.

Here's Weiner rallying the troops:

Rep. Anthony Weiner (N.Y.) had harsh words for President Obama on Twitter on Monday as the White House and leaders in Congress neared a deal to extend both the Bush tax cuts and expired federal jobless benefits.

"Memo to our President," Weiner tweeted, "Why are we always punting on 3rd down? Lets get our offense on the field."

This is the second time in recent weeks that Weiner, a liberal Democrat, has knocked Obama for his dealings with Republicans.

Following a White House meeting between the president and GOP leaders Dec. 30, Weiner criticized Obama for playing too nice.

"I think that President Obama sees bipartisanship as an ends rather than a means," he told the New York Observer.

JWF knocks Weiner for his football analogy, too, noting that you punt on fourth down, not third, unless you're in the Canadian leagues. I'm not sure that part is a mistake, though -- Weiner may be saying that Obama is punting before a punt is even required or prudent, an actual (but rare) play in American football called a quick kick. (I could be technical and note that when you punt, your offensive is already on the field -- the offense punts, not the defense. "Let's get our offense on the field" is technically wrong; "let's keep our offense on the field is correct.)

Maybe Weiner should avoid sports analogies completely.

Football quibbles aside, that's standard criticism conservatives have of our so-called leadership (and one that I believe, a good 85% of the time) -- yes, politics requires compromise, sometimes, but our leadership does seem to want to punt on third down. Or second. Or first.

So I can't get too outraged that Weiner is urging this. But what makes me angry is that liberals get praised by the MFM for this sort of statement -- the media loved Howard Dean's catchphrase "I'm from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party," for example, implicitly calling out many Democrats as insufficiently combative and ideological -- while conservatives are tarred as unreasoning, unreasonable, and unamerican for doing the same thing.

At Hot Air, Claire McCaskill sounds the same notes, calling for "pitchforks" if there's a compromise on the Bush Tax Cuts.

Again, I ask: Why should she not be branded an unamerican extremist? Isn't compromise the highest value a politician should aspire to?

That's rhetorical, of course. In the MFM's telling -- as in their deep-seated belief -- it is wise, noble, and good for a liberal to be as uncompromisingly liberal as possible, as strong-form liberalism is inherently "Good," whereas conservatism is inherently "Evil," so the best move a conservative can make in their eyes (short of outright conversion) is to compromise their Evil so that some Good should prevail.

The media's Humpty Dumpty position on compromise -- an objective good for conservatives, a weak-sister response for liberals -- is a perfect example of how the media crafts neutral-sounding story lines when in fact the choice of when to deploy grossly incompatible and contradictory storylines is shot through with dishonest partisanship and dishonest ideological dealing.

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posted by Ace at 03:12 PM

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