The Washington Post had an incredibly chilling look inside the mind of the fringe left last week:
In the angry life of Maryscott O’Connor, the rage begins as soon as she opens her eyes and realizes that her president is still George W. Bush. The sun has yet to rise and her family is asleep, but no matter; as soon as the realization kicks in, O’Connor, 37, is out of bed and heading toward her computer.
Out there, awaiting her building fury: the Angry Left, where O’Connor’s reputation is as one of the angriest of all. “One long, sustained scream” is how she describes the writing she does for various Web logs, as she wonders what she should scream about this day.
She smokes a cigarette. Should it be about Bush, whom she considers “malevolent,” a “sociopath” and “the Antichrist”? She smokes another cigarette. Should it be about Vice President Cheney, whom she thinks of as “Satan,” or about Karl Rove, “the devil”? Should it be about the “evil” Republican Party, or the “weaselly, capitulating, self-aggrandizing, self-serving” Democrats, or the Catholic Church, for which she says “I have a special place in my heart . . . a burning, sizzling, putrescent place where the guilty suffer the tortures of the damned”?
Sadly, she isn’t alone. In fact, I’d argue that she’s probably representative of the average denizen of The Daily Kos or one of the other Democratic community sites. Now, there is no doubt that the right has its fringe lunatics as well, but the level of vitriol and abject hatred coming from the Left these days is absolutely shocking. O’Connor’s impotent rage seems to be the hallmark of the typical left-wing blogger these days. This hatred isn’t as much about policy as it is personal. It’s all about George W. Bush and his litany of sins, real and imagined. It isn’t a question of policy, a question of different aims, it’s the utter demonization of the other side.
The left side of the blogosphere has become a fever swamp of hate and irrationality – what value is a place like Eschaton to someone who doesn’t share it its strident anti-Bush convictions? Is a blog like that designed to persuade or to vent? Based on O’Connor’s own attitudes, the latter is clear.
The problem with hatred like this is that it doesn’t go away. And there’s nothing that a fanatic hates more than an apostate, which is why the Democratic Party is getting pulled farther and farther towards the fringes and moderates like Sen. Joe Lieberman are being punished for having the audacity of standing behind their principles. Does anyone really believe that all that anger will go away on January 21, 2009? Or will the left find new targets for their ire. Those who profit from this anger have every reason to keep fanning the flames of hatful partisanship – after all, that hate keeps their books flying off the shelves – how long will it be before that hatred turns on the party that helped spawn it?
The level of partisan hatred from the left is poisonous to rational civil discourse. The argument that “well, they do it too” is absolutely no excuse. If the left wants to have more than their own impotent rage, they’ll have to moderate themselves. Sadly, moderation seems to be in short supply these days.