[Revised to correct numerous typos and improve the flow.]
I have long been fascinated by the contempt certain left-wing bloggers hold for Ann Althouse. As I noted in a previous post, she’s “kind of like the South Park of blogging. . ., directing her snark at pretty much anything she finds amusing” regardless of politician affiliation. She’s basically an equal opportunity riffer.
You wouldn’t think she’d earn the ire of any particular partisans.
Indeed, given the enthusiasm of left-of-center bloggers had for Barack Obama in last fall’s campaign, you’d think they’d love Althouse. Having backed Bush in 2004, she came out for Obama last year, voting for him in the Wisconsin primary, one of the most decisive contests of the Democratic campaign. Her support for their man helped give him added credibility, an example of his appeal to moderate Bush voters.
Not just that, she’s had kind things to say for a number of conservatives, even offered occasional praise for Sarah Palin. They could use her to show how broad-minded people, having seen the strengths on both sides, prefer Obama.
But, maybe they just couldn’t stand her because sometimes she refrained from riffing Republicans and denounced Democrats instead. Her occasional praise of Republicans really got under their skins. Her support for Obama was not absolute. Â She did not see him as a messiah, but merely the better of the two candidates (in each of two contests, for the Democratic nomination and later the White House.)Â And she’s aware of the President’s imperfections, criticizing him from time to time.
I think that’s part of the reason those bloggers can’t stand her; she’s only a lukewarm supporter of Obama and not a rabid critic of his opponents.
I believe, however, the real reason the mere mention of her name whips those bloggers into paroxysms of anger and invective is that right-of-center bloggers love her even though we often disagree with her.
Glenn links her regularly as have many of the other leading conservative (and libertarian) blogs. My readers, even some of the most conservative ones, love her. Some alert me to her posts, with one Republican woman saying she checks Althouse as much as she checks this site.
I think it’s Althouse’s popularity among conservatives that really gets a lot of liberals. They can’t fathom how such supposedly narrow-minded right-wingers could appreciate the work of a blogress who doesn’t share our political sentiments and often criticizes our party’s candidates. Her popularity on the right shows that we welcome and appreciate those who don’t toe the conservative line, who hold different points of view than our own.
In short, her popularity upsets the left-wing narrative of an intolerant right. So she must be badmouthed to prevent right-of-center bloggers from being seen as respectful of those with whom we sometimes disagree.
FROM THE COMMENTS: “Apostasy is worse than Heresy. That’s why they hate her so.”