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Left and right agree: We don’t need no concern-trolling NYT op-eds

Left and right agree: We don’t need no concern-trolling NYT op-eds

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:


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.


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A highly related and thought-provoking piece by Ed Driscoll…

Note that it is a sword that cuts across partisan lines.

LukeHandCool | June 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I read Mr. Almond’s piece yesterday.

“The title was just the catch. The column really was a hit on the right, …”

Yep. Exactamundo.

I read Almond’s manifesto last evening having found it on

In defeat, liberals cry out to RINOs to befriend them in bi-partisan kumbaya so construction on the Politically Correct Liberal Highway To Hell does not stop.

    Ragspierre in reply to VotingFemale. | June 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    It had the same COMPLETELY authentic and sincere feel of the Collectivist’s calls and pledges regarding “civility”.

    Or, none.

      A defeated liberal request for a Rodney King solution…

      Brought to you by the party which invested millions and years to smear you as islamophobic racist homophobic ignorant redneck whitetrash heartless astroturf teabagging women-hating stupid fascist nazi KKK Neanderthals.

      Did I mention Racists?

      No Thanks

        I can stand a certain level of intellectual abuse but I found this to show that Almond had learned nothing …

        By contrast, consider the popular response to the Great Recession. The Tea Party — inflamed and partly financed by well-funded lobbying groups — took to the streets to blame government for a crisis caused primarily by Wall Street.

        Shoot. Why didn’t he just call us all “teabaggers” ? That seemed to be what he was thinking.
        The meme “about “well-funded” astroturfing, when applied to the Tea Party or AGW skeptics, is just so much BS. And they weren’t there to complain about the “Great Recession” as much as they were protesting the government’s policies in it’s wake.

        Ragspierre in reply to VotingFemale. | June 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm

        You left out toothless, swamp-dwelling, snake-handling, science-hating, baby-killers (in Iraq or someplace), crazy, inbred…

          “a crisis caused primarily by Wall Street”

          We can solve this. Just look to see who has been getting the most political contributions from Wall Street around 2008 … it’s .. it’s .. surprise … Barack Obama.

          TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Ragspierre. | June 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm

          … and mouth-breathing, cousin-marrying, neckbearded, trailer-trash, NASCAR-loving, global-warming denying, People Magazine-viewing (as opposed to ‘-reading’), non-recycling, rodeo-watching…

          A Lefty is a master at calling his/her inferiors “stupid” in a variety of ways.

I didn’t find much to agree with. It seemed as though he used a great draw then delivered more dreek.

My take away phrase was: <b."… reinforcing easy prejudices …"

Almond seemed to be saying that it was all a game when it came to folks like Hannity and Rush (like Madcow, and all of MSNBC weren’t completely engaged in the same media business model).

1. Like another NYT piece I mentioned in the Tip Line, this makes me suspect the Left is fabricating excuses for losing in November. IMO the whining tone is a giveaway. The excuses amount to that they are so doggone trusting and nice that they did not realize how evil conservatives are.

2. Not a reason for Republican complacence, but for redoubled effort.

3. I’d like to see a list of “conservatives” that Almond wants to reach out to. I suspect that David Frum is a typical member.

DavidJackSmith | June 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm

If you think Almond’s a nut — wait till you read the radical-left crazies posting their hate-filled idiocy.

    I have … this is why I say “… reinforcing easy prejudices …” is the take away.
    I’ve been reading the political mags for over 3 decades. Both parties have been trying to have a “big tent” to include their immediate fringes and at least the votes of the “center” and what I all the “indifferent.” Since 2004, the Democrats have moved to not just expect the votes from the Left, but to live there.
    Virtually nothing in this country ratchets to the Right (and no pile of university studies by Left leaning apparatchiks will convince me otherwise).

LukeHandCool | June 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm

The sad thing is, this

“and I always make sure to switch the station back to NPR before returning the car to my wife”

concern troll probably truly sees himself as some sort of above-the-fray, free-thinker type.

If you want to find some common ground between left and right, he’s willing to meet you … half way … over in the far corner of left field where all serious moderates dwell.

I’d just as soon take Rodney King (who has been arrested a few times since the riots) at his word:

“Can’t we all just get along?” ** sniff sniff **

What a maroon.

“I take a perverse and complicated pleasure in listening to all the mean, manipulative things those people say.” …You mean when they say things like, “The private sector is doing just fine?”

(Almond just has Warren envy.)

TheSupercilious Steve should try diving into original documents.

He can get them, now, because he probably can afford his very own computer. If, for example, he were to google “Tea Party Platform” he could find several sites that talk about the TEA Parties, and he’d find out that getting his knowledge of this grassroots movement from his fellow participants in intellectual bankruptcy.

He could start by googling “TEA Pary Platform”. It would be an education for him.

TrooperJohnSmith | June 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm

This writer obviously has that huge stick up his ass that most Uber-Lefties have. He’s saying, “We’re nasty, mean and stupid, because the evil Right made us that way.” He’s playing the more-righteous-than-you card, implying that the Left has sunk low in its struggle against the outrages against the right.

Should we tell him about Saul Alinsky, Bill Ayers, Margaret Sanger and the Progressive eugenicists? To name a few?

That almost reads like a clever, cartoonish parody of a stereotypical blinkered, condescending, smug liberal.

Are we sure that was in the NYT and not The Onion?

    Ragspierre in reply to s_dog. | June 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    The only real difference seems to be that the Collectivist cocoon reads one as gospel.

    Well, and they have no sense of humor…