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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ideological Wars Bore Me

It might be that my main Congressional source on the Dr. Anna Chacko story comes from an office of a reliable liberal. When we first hooked up, I mentioned that I am a conservative and they responded simply, "no worries". Also, members of ACORN 8 mostly consider themselves liberal. Certainly, if I followed a strict ideology, I'd have no use for interviewing Wade Rathke.

I enjoy ideological debates, but ideological wars I have no use for. It implies that someone's view of the world makes them a bad person. That I have no use for. I believe people should reject corruption at their core. To make an ideology something akin to evil is exactly the sort of corossive thinking that has infected our politics. Those that do it become heroes in certain quarters but in fact all they do is preach to the converted. So, this is exactly the sort of story that I believe is everything that's wrong with politics today.

In fact, just a few miles away and across the Potomac, in Alexandria, Va., one of the groups Clinton was talking about, the Media Research Center, founded in 1987 by L. Bent Brozell III, is engaged in a longer-running attack on the media from the right.

Shortly after launching Media Matters, founder David Brock said he hoped his group would some day be as influential as Bozell’s, and that day appears to have arrived. They have roughly the same budget ($10 million) and staff, and are equally adept at provoking the other side.

The MRC, as a rule, doesn’t comment on Media Matters. Conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart, though, has no such rule.. “I’m 100 percent at war with those people,” he recently told POLITICO.

This sort of thinking means that one side of the ideological aisle can do no right and the other can do no wrong. All these sorts of groups exist to do only two things: expose every flaw of their ideological opponents and hammer home why they are right. That's it. That's boring and it accomplishes nothing.

Breitbart, on who's site my work appears on occasion, has become a hero on the right. That's because he takes every opportunity to expose each and every corruption or mistake of the left. He gives the right a total pass. In fact, Big Government stipulates that you "don't go after your own". So, on such sites, stories are important because they fit into a proper ideological box. By that token, the folks at Media Matters are largely the same, only their targets are different.

Michelle Malkin, in talking about the Pentagon attacker made sure to mention that he's a registered Democrat. has 180 million registered voter records available online (thanks to Anne Horrigan). Thirty-six-year-old John Patrick Bedell’s voter registration records in Hollister, CA are available for any journalist before he/she goes off and labels him a “right-wing extremist.”

Guess which party he registered under in 2005 and was actively registered under as of 2008?


How sad? A man shoots up a government building and what does Michelle Malkin think is important? What party the shooter belongs to. Meanwhile, Daily Kos is convinced that reconciliation is perfectly fine now even if it was an aversion to all things good when Bush used it for tax cuts.

The Founding Fathers realized when they structured this they wanted checks and balances. They didn't want things rushed through. They saw the parliamentary system. They knew it didn't work. So they set up the place, as George Washington described it, where you take the hot coffee out of the cup and you pour it into the saucer and you let it cool a little bit and you let people look at it and make sure it's done correctly. That's why we have the 60-vote situation over here in the Senate to require that things get full consideration.

Ah, yes. Because the Founding Fathers obviously didn't want a simple majority of the Senate to be able to ram through anything as unconstitutional and downright un-American as health care reform.

But passing a bill to permit drilling in Alaska? Well, that's obviously different.

Personally, I think a story is important if it's fascinating. That's a much better standard because that which fascinates someone is difficult to define beforehand. As such, any number of stories would then become important. If you engage in an ideological war however, the only thing that becomes important is that which makes your ideology good and your opponents bad. That is inherently a corrupt way to practice journalism. If hard core liberals think conservatives are the devil and vice versa, then one has to be wrong. Yet, both are equally sure it's the other. In such a case, it usually means both are wrong.


AG said...

I really feel that the degree of anger in our politics has been ratcheted up because of the weak economy. Although its also rather frustrating when people can't even agree to the same set of facts.

mike volpe said...

That's true, as someone once told me, "the truth is often incidental to other agendas".

United Citizens Council said...

ACORN uses government funds to lobby for more government. It is one of the most corrupt orgs in politics. It is what it was created to do.

mike volpe said...

I'm not sure that your allegation has been proven though certainly suggested. I'm not sure, however, what that has to do with the price of tea in China.

Mark said...

The idea that one side is all sweetness and light and the other side is evil incarnate gives me a splitting headache. I left one side because "we" refused to hold our own to the same standard that we held the other side. It was very liberating to shed the ideology and just look at the facts.

GW said...

I will give you your premise that we are in an ideological war, though I dispute your premise that both sides are equally at fault. True, Big Government may be one sides, but what can you say of ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and CNN. How many stories do they run that are at odds with the left wing narrative? The NYT, long the most influential newspaper in the country, took an extremely hard turn to the left a decade ago. How is the right to respond to all of this? Simply roll over?

I think your making a particular example of Malkin was very poorly chosen. She was, as I recall, responding to several in the MSM that were attempting to paint this individual as a righ wing nut whose outlook on life coincided with the views expressed by the Tea Party movement. If you want expressions of "sad," why not take a look at the numerous attempts to smear the Tea Party movement as everything from a barely concealed arm of the KKK to the tip of the "right wing" militia movement. To hold out Malkin as "sad" while ignoring the context is a bit ridiculous.

I have no issue at all with holding the right accountable for maintaining the same standards of conduct and veracity to which we would hold the left. Intellectual honesty and integrity demands as much. But I think you miss that balance in your post.

Mike said...

The biggest problem with ideological debates is that reality never seems to reflect any ideology.

We waste our time arguing over who's ideology is better while politicians impose no one's ideology.

At this point I just want politicians that are truly representing the people who elected them. I'm just not seeing anything but politicians representing special interests. It annoys me to no end that people are so passionate about their ideology of what role government should have while ignoring what we do have.

What person in their right mind truly believes that healthcare reform is going to lower healthcare costs and not add to the deficit? What do they base this belief on? It's certainly not based on history. Whether you believe that government should provide healthcare for all or not, reality is that our government is terribly inefficient/corrupt/incompetent when they attempt to do anything.

Even though I'm a libertarian, I'd take the textbook definition of socialism over what we have today and the complete fascist state that we're heading towards.

mike volpe said...

GW, this isn't an ideological piece. Nor did I say that it happens as often on each side.

Yes, it's sad. A man kills people and the only thing that the likes of Malkin want to do is settle ideological scores. That's sad.

I don't know who does what more. That would require a scientific study. I do know that the Right condemns the left for bias all while being biased. So, whatever.

As to Mike, I don't mind ideological debates. I like ideological debates. It's why I love Mark Lamont Hill. He makes intelligent left points.

What I hate is when someone makes their ideological opponent akin to the devil. That happens on both sides.

Mike said...

I don't mind ideological debates, but too many people are distracted by them. I'd like to see people more interested in political/government reality debates.

How can a single person on this earth believe that healthcare reform is going to be better run than Medicare and "paid for" by eliminating Medicare waste and fraud?

How can a single person on this earth believe that cap and trade is the answer to slowing the human effects on global warming if it's even real to begin with?

How can a single person on this earth not realize that the only reason why global warming is in politics at all is money and power? Why would politicians care about 100 years from now when they don't even care about 4 years from now?

Pick the reality statement:
1. They'll do it better this time.

2. I want them to just pass anything and then fix it later.

3. Government should provide free healthcare for all.

4. I willingly hand over my freedom and trust government to not abuse the immense power they granted themselves.

mike volpe said...

All good points though I think there's some ideology in them.

I think that we need to focus more on the structure of government. The intertwined relationships between powerful powerbrokers and the government and how our government structure allows all that and what that does to the nature of legislation.

Personally, I'm tired of hearing "our system is broken". I want to know what's broke and how to fix it.

It's sort of like in Chicago when I hear the politicians are corrupt. I don't care about that. I want to know about specific corruption, what lead to it, and how to fix it.

Understanding TIF's in Chicago is much more important than screaming "Daley is corrupt".