Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Hack Gap

This is Matthew Yglesias' term for something which the civility-supporters in political debate rarely address: The pundits of the right and the right blogosphere are much more eager and willing to grab on to any scandal on the other side and to milk it for months afterwards. No, even for years afterwards. I still get e-mails about the Clinton scandals of the early 1990s and the anger in them is as fresh as newly-spilled blood.

The pundits of the left (the few that exist) and the left blogosphere are, however, the ones who are mostly accused of incivility and of using bad language. But the left tends not to focus on the scandal-mongering. Remember the Republican married senator who admitted to using escort services while at the same time advocating abstinence outside the marriage? Fascinating rumors were floating around about the requests he made to the escorts he hired, but mostly liberal and progressive blogs did not write about that stuff. Neither have we milked dry Rush Limbaugh's addiction problems or the Congressional peers scandal. Or the many, many, many financial scandals infecting the Republican party.

Yet, as pointed by Mark Kleiman, something that Kos said a few years ago is still discussed in the wingnut blogs. Kleiman mentioned this in the context of the very limited attention given to a recent right-wing column by Stu Bykofsky which advocated a new 9/11 massacre as a way of getting Americans temporarily united again. As a way to stop the bickering, and most likely as a way to make Americans line up behind George Bush in our march towards the chasm again. Of course, Bykofsky did not volunteer to be one of the victims of this new massacre. It's always someone else's pile of dead bodies that we need for unity.

Where are all the lefty hacks to bring this up, again and again? Where are all the lefty hacks to imply that all wingnuts think like Bykofsky? I can't do all that work alone.

More seriously, it's interesting to place this whole idea into the generally accepted conclusion that only conservative Americans have Values and Principles. Liberals have dildoes, I guess.

Nah. It's just that liberal values are almost completely ignored because our public debate takes place within the conservative frame where only conservative values are seen as values.