The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


As the vote totals for Super Tuesday begin to come in, I can’t help but feel that both the far-Right and the Left have become unhinged—but in different ways.

The far Right hates John McCain with an irrational fury that is almost comical. Rush Limbaugh calls him a liberal (he is not a liberal) and Ann Coulter states emphatically that she’d vote for Hillary Clinton if John McCain garnered the GOP presidential nomination.

Noemie Emery provides some insight:
The point is that the ideological right is filled with a vast, free-floating fury that can't find a target upon which to dump all this ire. At least, not one that either makes logical sense, or provides a psychologically satisfying object on which to unload all this feeling …

It appears that the Right needs a perfect conservative—a person who is so doctrinaire that the likes of Rush Limbaugh would beam with pride. Never mind that even the vaunted Ronald Reagan (who raised taxes and appointed moderate supreme court justices, among many ‘sins’) was considerably less than the perfect ideologue who exists only in right-wing fantasies. No matter. McCain is a “liberal” and that’s the end of the discussion. Unhinged.

And the left? It appears that many on the left have fallen in love (quite literally) with the idea of Barack Obama. No matter that the idea has almost no real correlation to the man. Like a teenager in love for the first time, the Left has become intoxicated with Obama and now projects its every fantasy on the candidate's call for "hope" and "change." Unhinged.

Fred Seigel comments:
Obama’s achievements in reaching out to moderate voters are largely proleptic: words aren’t deeds. And while he has few concrete achievements to his name, he does have a voting record that hardly suggests an ability to rise above Left and Right. In 2005, his first year in the Senate, the man who made a specialty of voting “present” in the Illinois State Senate refused—despite repeated entreaties—to join a bipartisan agreement among 14 senators not to filibuster President Bush’s judicial nominees. After his first two years in the Senate, National Journal’s analysis of roll call votes found that he was more liberal than 86 percent of his colleagues, and his voting record has only grown more liberal since then. The liberal Americans for Democratic Action now gives him a 97.5 percent rating, while National Journal ranks him the most liberal member of the Senate. By comparison, Hillary Clinton, who occasionally votes with the GOP, ranks 16th. Obama is such a down-the-line partisan that, according to Congressional Quarterly, he voted more often with the Democrats than did the party’s majority leader, Harry Reid.

This is the record that appeals to Ted and Caroline Kennedy and the aging boomers who have long nursed hopes for a renewal of Camelot. But now as then, a charismatic political personality carries more dangers than benefits. The “politics of meaning,” which emerged from the Kennedy years and has now resurfaced with Obama as its empty vessel of hope, is doomed to disappoint because it asks more from politics than politics can deliver.

The MSM’s aversion to explore Barack Obama's positions and associations provides an image of the man that is skewed toward the center. Talk radio’s aversion to provide an honest critique of John McCain provides an image of the man that is skewed to the Left.

One can only hope that thoughtful Democratic and Republican voters can sort it all out … before they make a mistake that the entire country may come to regret.