‘Mature conservatism,’ continued – Altercation – MSNBC.com: “The guy who said that was slapped with a ten day suspension. But what about these guys?”How can one account for the unhinged ranting of otherwise interesting folk like Eric Alterman when George Bush is the subject?If there is one thing you learn from teaching college students, it is that people are often much simpler than you think. Bright ones often have long and elaborate reasons for what they do, but it usually comes down to the same simple motives, things like love and hate, charity and greed. Eric Alterman rages against George Bush. His rage has become irrational. Why? What could his motive be? The very anger in this postings betrays him. He cannot persuade for sneering. He cannot make a good argument against the President for falling into bad ones. Today was a good example. Alterman has an excellent education and yet he still compares lying to Congress about steroid use to quotes about WMD by the White House. It appears the simple distinction between knowing that one is doing steroids and lying about it and being wrong about one’s rational beliefs regarding WMD escapes him.His rage makes him irrational.What is one to make of this?I think the simple answer is that there is not much left of the Left. They are reduced to their last bastions, certain parts of the Academy and Hollywood. Folk attracted to these areas are the very sort that hate people like George W. Bush. This allows folk like Alterman to exist as “leaders” of the Left without any other group checking the natural blind spots of the class. There just are not enough Leftist business leaders or traditional religious left to balance out the small mindedness of what is becoming a movement with one dimension.Talking to each other, they feed their prejudices and begin to sound unhinged to outsiders. Academics, film stars, rock stars, writers, and a few politicians are not going to point out when your views go too far.And Geoerge Bush is the kind of kid that as a student drives most of the younger version of the Alterman’s mad. George Bush is the sort that did not take Mr. Alterman or his report card seriously in school. He may have shown disdain for the things Alterman takes most seriously. I don’t think Mr. Alterman likes George Bush. . . and a primary school level and it is leaking out in irrational outbursts. How else to explain juvenile nicknames for the President repeated over and over? How else to explain the failure of a bright man to use even a bit of reason in dealing with the White House?If Bill Clinton was the type of man conservative leaders naturally loath, then George Bush is the very sort of man the last liberals are used to sniffing at. The fact that he is winning. . . and the leader of the Free World. . . drives them mad. The frat boys, the jocks, and the lads living on Dad’s trust fund were supposed to fail and leave the world to Alterman.The fact that frat boy Bush was saved by Jesus Christ and a good wife from certain ruin is even worse. Watch for Alterman to keep lashing out and shouting. The cosmos was supposed to punish men like Bush in Alterman’s view of things. It did not and he cannot take it.
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