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Sanity Means Facing Reality

November 1, 2010

I love Jon Stewart, but I have to call bullshit on the whole false equivalency shtick he pulled at the rally on Saturday.  It needs to be said.

When a large portion of the population lives in a fantasy world created by Fox Nooze and hate radio, there is a hard reality that we, the Sane People have to face.  That reality has little room left, unfortunately for civility and compromise.  To paraphrase something I heard a while back; “How do you compromise when one person wants steak for dinner, and the other wants burnt tires and arsenic”. We need to face the fact that there are millions of Americans out there that are beyond reason.  They are willful participants in the curb stomping this nation has endured over the last thirty years, and will continue to endure.  This is reality.

Before proud liberals like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow finally got a voice in the media, what did we have?  We had Fox Nooze , its cheerleaders, and everyone else who was terrified of them.  We had media deregulation, a Government shut-down, endless investigations of trumped up scandals, impeachment of a President for political gain, NAFTA, Welfare “Reform”, a Presidential Election decided by partisans on the Supreme Court, the worst terrorist attack this country has ever known, the Patriot act, an endless war in Afghanistan, an illegal war in Iraq, government-backed “death squads”, legalized kidnapping and torture, kangaroo courts set up as “Military Commissions”, illegal spying and wiretapping of U.S. citizens, U.S. Attorneys fired for refusing to disenfranchise minorities, rampant voter suppression, record deficits, on and on and on…

Is most of this still going on?  Yes.  But at least there are a few voices now in the corporate media willing to call out these crimes for what they are.  If those voices were silent, do you honestly think Fox Nooze and right wing hate radio would suddenly tone it down?  Really?

It’s this kind of pearl-clutching nonsense from the left, always so concerned about the tone of our arguments, that keeps us from standing up to thugs and monsters on the right.  They’re like goddamn George McFly.


Where do we draw the line?  When do we finally say “enough is enough”?  Do we hold our harsh criticism back until they actually do beat a woman to death in the street?  Do we refrain from uncivil accusations of fascism until they start filling camps with Latinos and other “undesirables”?  Should we wait to level accusations of war crimes until after they drop half a dozen tactical nukes on Iran?  When will it finally be alright to go after these people?

Of course Keith Olbermann can take it over the top sometimes, and he targets political opponents with outrage nearly every night.  But when people act outrageously, isn’t that suppose to be the appropriate response?  When has Keith Olbermann ever twisted facts or blatantly lied to support his own narrative?  What mainstream liberal has called for violence against those on the right?  Where is the outrageous behavior on the mainstream left that has sparked the outrage of Fox Nooze and hate radio?  And if it has occurred, who on the left has ever rationalized and defended it?  I dare you to name even a handful of specific instances.  Go ahead and try.

The fact is that there is no equivalency.  None, and to pretend it exists is to deny reality.  That is insane.

American politics used to be a boxing match.  It’s now more of a thunder dome pit fight that doesn’t exactly follow the Queensbury rules.  Standing in the ring calmly suggesting that the other side may not be fighting fair won’t win the match, it’ll only get your teeth knocked out.  Sometimes you just have to fight to win.  That doesn’t mean we should lie, cheat, and steal, but it does mean we have to be willing to give as many punches as we take, or more.

As I said, I love Jon Stewart and everything he has done to expose the insanity of the right every night of the week for over a decade.  But I can’t in good conscience allow him to falsely equate anything our few voices on the left have done to the despicable actions of those on the right.

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