Conservatives think liberals are misguided; liberals think conservatives are evil

During this political campaign, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Sashi McEntee, who is running as the San Francisco/North Bay Republican candidate for the California State Senate.  You only need a few minutes in Sashi’s company to realize that she is intelligent, energetic, blessedly pragmatic, and extremely nice.  Her politics are practical and, if voters would give her a chance, would reap enormous economic benefits for her constituents and for California too.

Because she is both a business woman and a social creature, Sashi has a large mailing list.  As her campaign gears up, she’s been sending emails to people on her contact list to promote her campaign.  One of those people is someone Sashi has always know is liberal, but it’s apparent from his response that he never realized before that she was conservative.  I quote verbatim:

Sorry Sashi but the very fact that you are running as a republican disqualifies you as an intelligent and caring member of society. Surely you must realize this and if so how is it possible that you can associate yourself with that party.

The republican party has rampaged through this society and destroyed its very foundations with its insane deregulation notions and its spin mastering of our leadership into a personality cult. The very selection of McCain and his even more cynical selection of an extremist like Palin is the clearest evidence possible for any thinking person that the Republican party is simply evil in both intent and action.

If you have any moral conscience you would declare yourself an independent and declare your opposition to the Republican agenda and its membership.

Heaven help us if the likes of you and your party are elected.

Within one second, Sashi went from being someone this man felt friendly towards, to being the embodiment of evil.  To him, as James Taranto so often likes to say (having picked it up from an AP story some months ago), “everything seemingly is spinning out of control.”  His universe is a cruel and random place — and it’s all the Republicans’ fault.

To Progressives, politics is no longing about people espousing different approaches to achieve the same overall goals.  Instead, it’s become an existential battle against the forces of evil incarnate.  That is, in their own minds, they’re not just battling evil ideas (or foolish one), they’re battling evil people.  And what’s really frightening is that, to Progressives, the evil people aren’t him, they’re her.

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  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ Helen Losse

    Maybe liberals think conservatives are “evil” because they won’t just discuss the issues, but rather want to go with character assassination. Isn’t that what McCain plans to do?

  • BrianE

    Helen,
    Now it depends on what you define as character assasination. Given Barack’s meager record of accomplishments, how do we know that people like Davis, Ayers, Rezko, Wright, etc. won’t have an undo influence on him?
    And given nothing empirical to base a conclusion on how Barack would govern, other than his words, isn’t a discussion of these associations valid?

  • suek

    Character assination.

    Just exactly how do you define that? What constitutes “Character”?

    Do you think character is a relevant issue in the presidency?

    What issues do you think need to be discussed?

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Character assassination also implies attributing falsehoods to a person’s character. Here, though, McCain is questioning Obama’s judgment based on his known associates. It goes as much to competence as it does to character, and it’s based on truth. That’s fair game in an election.

    As for the attack on McCain and the Keating Five, that’s pretty old news, isn’t it? McCain has done his mea culpas and learned his lesson. Obama has never apologized and doesn’t seem to have learned anything. To the contrary, his constant denials, coupled with his still shady associates, indicate that he knows he has something to hide, but believes he has nothing to learn.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ Helen Losse

    Suek,

    Actually, most of the issues have been discussed. That’s what McCain is afraid of. He’s afraid the American people want something different, and it’s not him. He’s afraid the condition of the economy will lead people to vote for Obama.

  • suek

    >>Actually, most of the issues have been discussed.>>

    If that’s true, then why do you make a complaint that McCain has not addressed the issues?

    >>He’s afraid the American people want something different, and it’s not him.>>

    Maybe this is true – that they want something different – but do they actually know what the “something different” is? Do you think the American people want socialism?

    >>He’s afraid the condition of the economy will lead people to vote for Obama.>>

    So are we all – especially with the Democrats lying about their role in the condition of the economy.

    I simply cannot believe that Chris Dodd – who took more money in donations from Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac in a period where he was _chairman_ of the committee on financial regulation than any other Senator in the _entire_ Senate – and Barney Frank – who had a ten year affair with the head of Fannie Mae while protesting that the affair had no effect on his functioning on the same financial committee – are going to be _investigating_ “how we got to this point”.

    What blind stupidity!! Of course, no more “stupid” than having Jamie Gorelick – who devised the rules that established the wall that prevented information about in country terrorists being communicated between the FBI and the CIA – as a member of the board “investigating” how 9/11 could have happened.

    As far as I’m concerned, that kind of stupidity can be explained by only one thing – corruption in the Senate.

  • suek
  • Mike Devx

    Helen,
    Let’s take a small step back: The question is: who is fit to be President when we are facing terrible economic turmoil?

    It is certainly reasonable to question Barack Obama’s readiness to handle the American economy. Should I listen only to today’s talking points by the Obama campaign?

    I don’t want to see a radical, collectivist leftist as President. I know where that leads. Everyone paying attention knows where it leads. The problem is: Unconvinced voters don’t know that Obama is a radical leftist collectivist.

    Make them aware of that, and his ability to manage the US economy is called into question, as it should be.

    You, Helen, are convinced that McCain cannot handle the economy. Here in Book’s domain, we tend to disagree.

    I might also ask: Can you point to one thing, even one, in Obama’s past, where he has succeeded at something that indicates that he can handle our economy?
    I’ve looked; I cannot find it.

    Chicago Annenberg Challenge with William Ayers (Ayers NOT as a terrorist but as a radical leftist) : Evaluated by the national Annenberg Challenge as having no effect. $160 million spent on radicalizing youth, not one penny for core educational instruction. Result: No effect. Now THERE’S a success!

    Chicago Housing Reform for the urban poor (with Tony Rezko) : Obama coordinated the money and assigned it to a group of selected developers. Result: Massive Failure. The targeted neighborhoods were extremely poor and black. The housing built for them is now condemned, boarded up, dangerous. The black poor of Obama’s Chicago are demonstrably worse off due to Obama, while Obama’s rich friends skated away with millions. Corruption and complete failure.

    In the US Senate, nothing but signing on as co-sponsor to bills led by others. Leadership? None.

    Where are Obama’s successes? They don’t exist. I can’t bear the thought of this fellow, with such a rich leftist collectivist history, managing our economy. Nothing could be more frightening to me.

    If the American people, all those unconvinced voters out there, ever get a hint of this knowledge – which the media is preventing them from hearing – you will see a very different picture come Election Day. You talk about McCain’s fears, but you sure don’t talk about Obama’s fears, and this is where they reside.

    I will grant you this: A massive economic crisis always hurts the party of the current President. But to say McCain fears talking about the economy is missing the point. Pay attention to tomorrow’s debate: I guarantee you that John McCain will not avoid the economy. This makes your point moot.

  • http://betterangels.typepad.com Ronald Hayden

    Mike, I can’t believe you left out the works Obama published as a law student and then law professor which showed his deep understanding of…of…

    Damn, I’m sure those works are around here somewhere, let me Google them and get back to you…

  • Mike Devx

    Ronald,

    It’s not the first time I’ve brought up the issue of Obama’s failures at reform. Look, I believe the guy genuinely wants to succeed! He cares! But all the care and concern won’t bring one iota of success.

    He spent *loads* of effort on health care reform while in the Illinois Senate. His success there? A task force that generated recommendations for reform, not one of which has been enacted. He did show skill at managing coalitions and creating legislation that got the task force together, which was *not* easy. But a task force issues recommendations; that’s what they do. There is no legislative accomplishment there. I’m trying to be fair, but come on, Americans! A task force got organized, and issued recommendations! Is *that* success!?!?!

    I guess I’m disappointed in “Americans” in general. You’ve got a hope and change, reform candidate, and the American public seems to not even be asking, “What’s his record? Why should I believe he will accomplish good things?”

    Maybe this focus on Obama’s character will translate into Americans taking a good hard look at the guy. A good hard look is all that’s necessary. The rest will follow.

  • http://betterangels.typepad.com Ronald Hayden

    (First, I should make it clear I was joking about Obama’s published works…another interesting feature of his career is that he not only avoided the tough votes, but he managed to get through law school and being a law professor without publishing anything substantive. Unusual, I hear!)

    It’s not the first time I’ve brought up the issue of Obama’s failures at reform. Look, I believe the guy genuinely wants to succeed!

    I’m sure he wants to succeed, and that he genuinely cares about making the world what he thinks of as a better place.

    However, I don’t think we can say, at this time, that his definition of success includes any type of reform, at least political reform. He has always campaigned on reform, but he has never actually enacted it, probably because it would cost political support. He has also signed onto reforms done by others, or reforms put together and made ready for him to take ownership of (Emil Jones would do this for him frequently), but he hasn’t, that I’m aware of, ever done the hard work of actually making sure reform passes and then sticks.

    Presumably as President he will attempt to enact his version of reform on the financial sector, and the health sector and such. As we saw with Clinton, that stuff is tough to get done, but perhaps with a Congress chomping at the bit to regulate without fear of veto they will get things through (probably to the detriment of all of us).

    However, I will be surprised if any serious political or ethical reform occurs under Obama. McCain spent years grinding away at his ill-considered reform bill until he could get it passed over the objections of both parties; we just haven’t seen that kind of will-power with Obama.

    But, perhaps like a Supreme Court candidate who shows his true colors once he gets the job, Obama will surprise us all.

    If he does, we may regret even that…a President who promises much and delivers little may be less damaging than a President and Congress who join together to “just do something” about a lot of things that impact our lives…

  • suek

    >>he managed to get through law school and being a law professor without publishing anything substantive.>>

    I think it’s been substantiated that he was _not_ a law professor, but rather a lecturer. Even that may be a substantial accomplishment, but it’s not the same thing, if I understand correctly.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ Helen Losse

    Back to the title: Because Democrats post SNL skits and Republicans attack former pastors!!

  • Mike Devx

    Because Democrats pull SNL Skits written by phenomenally courageous writers, whenever their powerful benefactors become disgruntled. Democrats: The Party Of Principle!

    Because Republicans attack – wait just a second. Attack!?! With machetes, I assume? Did they chop off his hands? Extract his lying, vicious, monstrous, racist tongue with red hot pincers? No… they criticized his vicious, unreasoning, near-insane hatred of America. Oh, the Horror! The Horror Of It All! Daring to be critical! Those Republican monsters! Daring to voice criticism means “attack”, and it means “evil”.

  • BrianE

    Campaign Finance Reform is coming back to bite McCain. The value of the press as a campaign tool was never calculated by McCain. He’s learning the difficulty of overcoming inertia.
    The Democrat message– vote for us and the government will give you more stuff (healthcare, clean air, beautiful children, etc.)
    The traditional Republican message- We can’t afford all this stuff, you can do it better yourself if you try harder.

    Since it takes X number of times for a message to be “heard” by a person, the Republican message, by the nature of it being a more complicated message to communicate, requires an advantage in dollars, since money=speech.
    Add to this the fact the media by virtue of its liberalism, naturally reinforces the Democrat message, will require even more money to overcome. Republicans don’t have enough money.
    Let’s hope I am wrong.

  • Ymarsakar

    Back to the title: Because Democrats post SNL skits and Republicans attack former pastors!!

    The only person not discussing the issues here is Helen.

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