Steve Almond writes in The NY Times, Liberals Are Ruining America. I Know Because I Am One:

This, to be blunt, is the tragic flaw of the modern liberal. We choose to see ourselves as innocent victims of an escalating right-wing fanaticism. But too often we serve as willing accomplices to this escalation and to the resulting degradation of our civic discourse. We do this, without even meaning to, by consuming conservative folly as mass entertainment.

If this sounds like a harsh assessment, trust me, I’m among the worst offenders. Yes, I’m one of those enlightened masochists who tune in to conservative talk radio when driving alone. I recognize this as pathological behavior, and I always make sure to switch the station back to NPR before returning the car to my wife. But I can’t help myself. I take a perverse and complicated pleasure in listening to all the mean, manipulative things those people say.

The title was just the catch.  The column really was a hit on the right, and the quote above is just a taste.  The column was complete concern trolling.

From the right:

Moe Lane:

But [what] was the most offensive sentence at all?  “We have to seek out those on the right willing to engage in genuine dialogue and ignore the rest.”

Why in God’s name would I want to talk to you, Steve Almond?  You are a bad person.

Darleen Click:

Yes, Steve, I don’t believe what I write, what I say, or how I live my life. I just do it for the sweet, sweet check from the Koch Brothers I get each month.

Or was that Haliburton? Being such a binary, un-nuanced bitter clinger, I have trouble keeping my Evil Overlords straight.

From the left:

Digby:

This fine fellow at the NY Times thinks liberals are ruining America because by paying attention to the right wing we are somehow making it impossible to find common ground with them. I find this unconvincing, since we ignored them for decades — during which time they created a monster. And that monster is now mainstream.

Erik Loomis:

I just don’t understand some types of liberals. This is particularly true of the self-hating liberal who consistently believes that if we only ignored those naughty conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and find the many reasonable voices of the Right, we could bring the nation out of decline.

We have found common ground:

Dear Steve Almond — butt out.