Lance Mannion has a kickarse post – Why We Don’t Like Him – on the US media’s uncritical adoption of the argument that the Left has an irrational distrust of President Bush, the wingnutteria’s invented mental illness “Bush Derangement Syndrome”.
Say you know a guy who likes to kick his dog.
Every morning you see him out walking his dog and whenever the dog stops to sniff around the guy gives the poor mutt a swift kick in the ribs.
You tell your neighbors about him. One of the neighbors says, “Boy, you really don’t like this guy, do you?”
“No, I don’t,” you say, “Who likes someone who’s mean to his dog?”
Little time later you hear this guy who kicks his dog wants to open a kennel in the neighborhood. Board pets, groom them. Where he wants to put the kennel is zoned residential so he’s asking the town board for a variance. You go to the town board meeting and stand up and say you don’t think he should get the variance. It’d ruin the neighborhood, you say. Besides that, you add, this guy abuses animals.
Your neighbor, the one who observed how much you dislike the guy for kicking his dog, stands up and tells the town board not to pay any attention to what you say. Because you just dislike the guy.
Lance presents a few more examples of rationally grounded disgust with people who have been observed many times over being unreliable, disloyal, untrustworthy, corrupt and/or incompetent, and how others might misunderstand or misrepresent that objective assessment as mere irrational dislike. Dismissing any negative assessment of political opponents as just a matter of irrational bias, as if all of politics is just another personality contest, trivialises important arguments and makes them easy to dismiss. It’s just another form of spin.
I would just like to point out, as if it hasn’t been pointed out a thousand times and won’t need to be pointed out a thousand more, that the reason Liberals don’t like George W. Bush’s plans is that they are bad plans that he makes worse by managing them incompetently and corruptly—in fact, incompetence and corruption are usually built into them as selling points to Republicans.
And the reason we don’t like him is that he has a long history of pushing bad plans that he makes worse by managing them incompetently and corruptly.
We don’t like people who kick dogs.
We don’t like corporate executives who abuse employees and hurt their own companies.
We don’t like dishonest electricians who do substandard work.
We don’t like incompetence and corruption.
And we don’t like Presidents who start unnecessary wars and lose them, who let cities drown, who bankrupt the Treasury and give away the store to their rich pals and cronies, who write legislation specifically designed to undermine existing government services, make things worse for the poor and the middle class, and give away the store to their rich pals and cronies.
Too bad for us.
We’re irrational on the subject.
In the smaller Australian economy, the opportunities for corruption on the BushCo scale are fewer, and governmental incompetence has not had the spectacularly disastrous consequences either. Still, the “legislation specifically designed to undermine existing government services, make things worse for the poor and the middle class” agenda is going strong.
Just more dog-kicking. Which no-one should apologise for finding despicable. “As if it hasn’t been pointed out a thousand times and won’t need to be pointed out a thousand more”, that’s why the Left in Australia is disgusted by Howard, not deranged about him.
crossposted at Larvatus Prodeo