After my friend Mike linked to yesterday's blog post, I figured I owed to my dozens, or hundreds, or... two... new readers to write something pithy today. I have two thoughts so far this morning, basically unrelated. One is a follow-up on yesterday's post, the other an observation on Super Tuesday.
So, to start with the "Slutgate" scandal, or whatever we're calling it now: I have read some more analysis since then, some of it fascinating. I'd love to link to a couple of articles, but in most cases, the content, the comments, or both, contain language that I'd prefer not go out to everybody. Two things jump out at me: despite the fact that I skimmed over the "they do it, too" argument, that's the one getting the most attention. And the standard comeback is that this situation is far worse than numerous misogynistic things said about Sarah Palin, Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Bachmann, or whoever, because those ladies are "public figures" and also because Rush has such a huge army of brainwashed dittoheads and wields so much power in the GOP. That's bull, and bull again. This Fluke-lady is a professional activist who inserted herself into the debate. She's no "Joe the Plumber" private citizen. And Joe got hammered for daring to question the prevailing media narrative. And besides, how "public" a citizen do you have to be to make it acceptable to suggest hate-rape? If there's a bright line about that somewhere, I think I prefer being the naive guy who doesn't know about it--that's just vile behavior, period. As for Rush's "influence," come on. Sure, he's influential, because he's the best at what he does. But he's no power broker. And even if he were, so what? Until I see somebody in the mainstream left publicly admit that Al Sharpton is a fraud and a hatemonger, I don't want to hear it. The second thing is that if you read the comments on this, about every third one mentions that Limbaugh is some combination of obese and drug-addicted. Admittedly, he used to be both. He currently is neither. But how does it make a situation like this better to turn up the ad hominem? And why is it that a Teddy Kennedy (or for that matter a JFK or even a Clinton) can do arguably worse and still be a role model, but any conservative's transgressions live on forever? If there were a department of double-standards, they would stay busy.
My unrelated thought is about Super Tuesday. It's not so much about the on-again, off-again "inevitability" of Romney. But it's about the inbred pessimism of conservatives. Maybe it's because our side doesn't believe in eternal progress or utopianism. Perhaps those of us who are theo-cons have a dimmer view of fallen human nature than our progressive friends, who are always one more education reform away from perfection. But we're a gloomy bunch. If Romney wins, he'll be the worst candidate ever. Unless Santorum wins, in which case he'll be as bad or worse. We had our shot and we blew it. This is the most consequential election of our lifetime, and we've already given it away. Yada, yada, yada. You know what? That's nuts. Here's a link to something funny about guaranteed losses. Don't miss the lesson here: it's not that Romney is Reagan. It's that people really thought Reagan couldn't beat Carter. And now the conventional wisdom (flavored by hindsight) is that Carter never had a chance. Once this one is over, there will be analysis. But it likely won't line up with what "everybody knows" right now. It rarely does.