Mitch Berg has a good piece that dissects Jonathan Chait’s apologia for Bush-bashing. Berg points that Chait’s constant smearing of the right doesn’t match the facts and displays a willful ignorance towards the arguments being made.
He also points to this brilliant piece by David Brooks in The New York Times that also takes a look at the pathology of Bush hatred.
The quintessential new warrior scans the Web for confirmation of the president’s villainy. He avoids facts that might complicate his hatred. He doesn’t weigh the sins of his friends against the sins of his enemies. But about the president he will believe anything. He believes Ted Kennedy when he says the Iraq war was a fraud cooked up in Texas to benefit the Republicans politically. It feels so delicious to believe it, and even if somewhere in his mind he knows it doesn’t quite square with the evidence, it’s important to believe it because the other side is vicious, so he must be too.
This describes the left-wing echo chamber as represented by Atrios, Hesiod, and the other hard-left anti-Bush blogs that have become virtual mouthpieces for any group that opposes Bush. I always find it interesting that the arguments of the right of the blogosphere being an echo chamber are now exactly true about the left. Considering that these sites might as well be paid propaganda and fundraising organs of the Democratic Party it seems that the echo chamber concept was the dominant model for the left-wing blogosphere. While InstaPundit, VodkaPundit, Spoons and myself have criticized Bush in the past and will continue to do so, the left wing of the blogosphere accepts whatever the DNC line is as gospel.
The policy of the left is based on a singular worldview: we’re the good guys, and anyone who disagrees with us are bad guys. They’re not only wrong, but they have to be stopped, and their mere presence is a direct threat to democracy.
In essence, it’s an argument from fanaticism. It’s an argument that is not only corrosive and childish, but when one side refuses to even acknowledge the legitimacy of the other, democratic discourse is impossible. The Republicans may have been guilty of many of the same crimes throughout the Clinton years, but in the post-September 11 period when this country cannot afford to sacrifice its national security in the name of temporary partisan advantage such actions are not only unwise, it’s simply unacceptable. Petulance and hatred is not policy, and in a time where policy is what is needed, the Democrats have proven themselves unfit to lead.