Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A Note From the Paranoid Left

Hi there! Here I am, waving at you through the little porthole that sometimes opens between you in the Saneland and me and other raving lunatics of the paranoid left. I have learned this and much else from the so-called liberal media. Here is Michael Kinsley on us and our tinfoil-wrapped conspiracy theories about the Downing Street memo business:

Although it is flattering to be thought personally responsible for allowing a proven war criminal to remain in office, in the end I don't buy the fuss. Nevertheless, I am enjoying it, as an encouraging sign of the revival of the left. Developing a paranoid theory and promoting it to the very edge of national respectability takes a certain amount of ideological self-confidence. It takes a critical mass of citizens with extreme views and the time and energy to obsess about them. It takes a promotional infrastructure and the widely shared self-discipline to settle on a story line, disseminate it and stick to it.

It takes, in short, what Hillary Clinton once called a vast conspiracy. The right has enjoyed one for years. Even moderate and reasonable right-wingers have enjoyed the presence of a mass of angry people even further right. This overhang of extremists makes the moderates appear more reasonable. It pulls the center of politics, where the media try to be and where compromises on particular issues end up, in a rightward direction. Listening to extreme views on your own side is soothing even if you would never express them and may not even believe them yourself.

I had to stop for a moment here and make horrible faces into the mirror. I wanted to see a real dangerous lefty weirdo. Looked good. In any case, I'm fairly middle-of-the-road, as divinities go (did I ever ask you to sacrifice anybody?). And Kinsley is full of shit as Billmon points out:

As I mentioned earlier, the latter argument is one the rest of the media poodles have been barking for weeks: "It was old news." "Everybody knew about it at the time." "We were having trouble with our flea collars."

Or, if you're the Associated Press: "We just never got around to it."

However, according to Kinsley, what everybody knew three years ago is a paranoid theory now, albeit one promoted to "the very edge of national respectability."

You have to admit: He's got us coming and going. By insisting that the media cover the story of Bush's illegal rush to aggressive war, we've demonstrated we're just a bunch of unreasonable extremists peddling a paranoid conspiracy theory -- one that "everybody" already knows is true.

How can you argue with logic like that?

You don't argue with logic like that. You enjoy its ludicrous nature. That's the way to stay sane, even if you are hanging onto the extreme radical lefty edge with your very toenails.