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There’s always a villain for the left
(Haven’t you been following their attacks on conservatives?)

In quite possibly the best movie about movies, the 1941 classic Sullivan’s Travels, the title character, when asked how “the girl” fits “into the picture”, responds, “There’s always a girl in the picture. What’s the matter, don’t you go to the movies?

Just as a movie’s gotta have a girl, some on the left just gotta have a villain.  Whether it was Herbert Hoover from 1932 until the rise of Richard Nixon or that cantankerous Californian himself in the 1970s, Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, Newt Gingrich in the 1990s and then George W. Bush and Dick Cheney until Sarah Palin stole the show in 2008, members of the vast left-wing conspiracy have been looking to advance their cause by denigrating a Republican politician.

And now with the Koch brothers, they’ve found a new team to vilify.  While these guys share Reagan conservatives’ commitment to free markets, the billionaires are more libertarian than conservative.  But, no matter, as Matthew Continetti reports in his must-read article, The Paranoid Style in Liberal Politics, in the Weekly Standard:

During the fight over health care and cap and trade in 2009 and 2010, liberals went looking for baddies against whom to mobilize public opinion. The Kochs’ wealth and political involvement made them an obvious choice. Reflecting on the ferocity of the onslaught that ensued, Charles [Koch] told me, “I didn’t anticipate the hatred, the advocacy of violence.” He must not have been paying attention.

Back in 2005, when Republicans controlled the federal government, liberals had asked themselves, Where do we go from here? They’d long studied what they called the “counter-establishment,” the array of conservative foundations, think tanks, and media. These institutions, liberals concluded, had pushed America to the right. What the left required was the mirror image of the Olin and Bradley foundations, the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute, The Weekly Standard andNational Review, talk radio and Fox News Channel. The left needed to build a “counter-counter-establishment,” a “vast left-wing conspiracy” to combat the “vast right-wing conspiracy” that had impeached Bill Clinton and elected George W. Bush.

Jane Mayer’s August 2010 New Yorker article, “Covert Operations”, “became a sort of Rosetta Stone for Koch addicts. It was the template for any liberal wanting someone to blame for all the trouble in the world. Mayer had unlocked the secrets of the Kochtopus.”  (Emphasis added.)  And some liberals just have to have someone to blame.

These villains of the liberal imagination were using their millions to fund nefarious conservative organizations not because they shared their principles, but to line their own pockets.  It seemed “impossible,” Continetti contends

. . . for the liberal activists to acknowledge that libertarians might actually operate from conviction. Charles and David believed in low taxes, less spending, and limited regulation not because those policies helped them but because they helped everybody. “If I wanted to enhance my riches,” said David, “why do I give away almost all my money?”

What is it about some on the left that they just can’t understand that conservatives and libertarians might just be operating from principle?  Why is it they assume our support for the party that has not embraced the agenda of the various gay organizations is based on our own inner psychological turmoil rather than our real philosophical convictions?  Does it even occur to these folks that we might agree with Republicans more often than we agree with Democrats (on issues unrelated to our sexuality), that we believe conservative ideas (as a whole) represent the best means to keep our nation strong and to effect its improvement?

To some on the left, the only principled actors, the only true idealists, are those on their side of the political aisle.  Someone supporting an opposing principle must, by definition, be acting to advance his own interest — or that of the corporations for which he shills.

And since right-wingers are, by definition, such corporate shills, all too many on the left feel they need an appropriate poster boy to help expose their adversaries sinister machinations.  In this template, liberals don’t need arguments to promote their cause, but a villain to demonize those who would thwart their own political agenda.

Just as Hollywood movies have their formula so too do left-wing pundits and activists.

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71 Comments

  1. VtheK: Hi! Cas is challenging how one is to read this statement which you wrote:

    And the corollary: stupid, bitter, jealous, hateful, venal liberals demonize individuals because it’s easier to make people hate than to think.

    Hi! Cas prefers the interpretation that you are writing of liberals all of whom have each of these characteristics in common: they are all stupid, all bitter, all jealous, all hateful, all venal. (That would mean that you consider Soros, Hillary, Schumer, Obama, Moore, et. al. to be stupid and bitter and jealous and hateful and venal.)

    On the other hand, I read your statement as a potpourri of liberals some of whom are stupid, others who are bitter, those who are jealous, the hateful ones and the venal lot. I would also assume that some might actually have more than one and even all of the characteristics.

    Since Hi! Cas has become something of a content editor of the comment section, how would you “over explain” your corollary?

    I am more than a bit biased here, as I often puzzle over what Hi! Cas is trying to communicate, so I am not signing on to the “content editor” role.

    It would be interesting to see how long Hi! Cas could keep this stream of consciousness meandering around in search of a basic point.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 2, 2011 @ 10:25 pm - April 2, 2011

  2. Hi Heliotrope,
    VK can defend himself–why do you put words into his mouth? Maybe it is as you suggest; maybe it isn’t. But VK can answer for himself. I appreciate that you want to keep VK’s back, but really, this is a small thing, right?

    Comment by Cas — April 2, 2011 @ 11:23 pm - April 2, 2011

  3. Hi! Cas:

    Not only can VtheK “defend” himself admirably, but he will do so if he so chooses. I do not share the conceit that VtheK is hanging on every word and nuance in this tread waiting for Hi! Cas to move a pawn.

    I am no more “keeping VtheK’s back” than I am putting words in his mouth. I put VtheK on notice that you were back playing a new game of judgmental semantics and that his words were your platform.

    If you feel a bit winded, it is because you ran out of breath and depth a long way up the thread.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 3, 2011 @ 11:11 am - April 3, 2011

  4. Hi Heliotrope,
    It is very simple–I am not interested in your interpretation of VK’s statement–I am interested in VK’s interpretation. VK is not a book about which we argue the meaning of (is he?)–he can tell us what he thinks. If he does not want to talk about what he meant by his statement, OK. I am just trying to get at what he is saying–as it is ambiguous. That you feel the need to “put him on notice” about my diabolical shennanigans is interesting, to say the least.

    Comment by Cas — April 3, 2011 @ 6:46 pm - April 3, 2011

  5. As previously stated, meta-arguments don’t interest me; I think they are just a weaselly tactic for avoiding having to either defend or condemn the rotten behavior of the left.

    Comment by V the K — April 3, 2011 @ 7:26 pm - April 3, 2011

  6. Hi VK,
    I am after the meaning of your statement: “And the corollary: stupid, bitter, jealous, hateful, venal liberals demonize individuals because it’s easier to make people hate than to think.”
    It is a simple question–are you referring to some, most, all liberals? I didn’t think that was a question of “meta-arguments” just argument. If you feel it is “just a weaselly tactic” to ask for clarification of what a statement you made applies to, then, that tells me a lot, thank you.

    Comment by Cas — April 3, 2011 @ 8:42 pm - April 3, 2011

  7. Nicely played, V the K.

    Above Cas stated this:

    VK is not a book about which we argue the meaning of (is he?)–he can tell us what he thinks.

    But then, when you didn’t answer it, it went ahead and started arguing meaning onto your statements.

    If you feel it is “just a weaselly tactic” to ask for clarification of what a statement you made applies to, then, that tells me a lot, thank you.

    Cas doesn’t realize that, in its attempt to snipe at, insult, and bait you into responding, it revealed its own prejudices and bigotry, not to mention its utter hypocrisy.

    Cas’s problem is that, lacking principles or honesty, it must support and endorse the statements of its fellow liberals, regardless of how much it contradicts Cas’s previous whines about “poisoning the well”. Since it cannot reconcile its obvious and blatant hypocrisy in this regard, it must spin and try to attack from a different angle, always avoiding the question, always dodging, never giving an honest answer.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 4, 2011 @ 10:39 am - April 4, 2011

  8. Cas’s problem is she lacks the intellectual candlepower to understand a statement that was perfectly clear to everyone else in the forum. Perhaps she should seek out a forum more suited to her capabilities.

    Comment by V the K — April 4, 2011 @ 10:43 am - April 4, 2011

  9. Hi! Cas:

    I put VtheK on notice because I thought he would be thrilled to know that he is required to over explain everything he writes to accommodate any possible cockamamie error of context you might scrounge up to go off on a tangent.

    I was working with you here. Understand? I was giving you miles and miles and miles of rope. Now, say “thank you.”

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 4, 2011 @ 11:23 am - April 4, 2011

  10. Hi NDT and HT,
    I am just asking for clarification. You can talk of “problems” and “rope” all you want, but it is just a simple question that I ask of VK, concerning what he meant by a statement. It is actually being very polite, since I am not jumping to any conclusions or assuming a Vulcan mind-meld ability to fathom meaning, when such is not clear.

    Maybe VK thinks all liberals fit into one or all of these categories, or maybe most, or maybe only a few, but who knows? VK won’t tell us. And that is interesting.

    Comment by Cas — April 4, 2011 @ 1:01 pm - April 4, 2011

  11. It is actually being very polite, since I am not jumping to any conclusions or assuming a Vulcan mind-meld ability to fathom meaning, when such is not clear.

    Unfortunately, Cas, here’s what you’ve already stated.

    If you feel it is “just a weaselly tactic” to ask for clarification of what a statement you made applies to, then, that tells me a lot, thank you.

    And:

    VK won’t tell us. And that is interesting.

    Conclusions, jumped to. Assumptions, made.

    Nicely done again, V and Heliotrope. Cas doesn’t yet seem to fathom that its perpetual attempts to wiggle out of the web of deceit it’s spun around itself are only making matters worse.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 4, 2011 @ 3:26 pm - April 4, 2011

  12. NDT,
    “Cas doesn’t yet seem to fathom that its perpetual attempts to wiggle out of the web of deceit it’s spun around itself are only making matters worse.”

    sometimes I wonder dude…

    Comment by Cas — April 4, 2011 @ 4:31 pm - April 4, 2011

  13. Cas is either too dim to figure out a statement that no one else had any trouble understanding, or is feigning ignorance to derail discussion.

    Either way, it does not reflect well on her.

    Comment by V the K — April 4, 2011 @ 6:57 pm - April 4, 2011

  14. And VK,
    You still choose to not share with us what you meant by your statement–truly sad.

    Comment by Cas — April 4, 2011 @ 11:29 pm - April 4, 2011

  15. Hi! Cas,

    I am asking you directly: Do you think that VtheK believes that Hillary Clinton, George Soros, Harry Reid, and President Obama are stupid and bitter and jealous and hateful and venal?

    Do you have the character to say that you do think that is what VtheK believes? You see, if you do not think that is what VtheK believes, you have no point in pursuing all of this.

    However, you would admit, I hope, that anyone who thinks all liberals have all of these negative characteristics is so underwhelming as to be a waste of space, oxygen and notice.

    So, call it Hi! Cas.

    Comment by Heliotrope — April 4, 2011 @ 11:52 pm - April 4, 2011

  16. HT,
    “Do you have the character to say that you do think that is what VtheK believes? You see, if you do not think that is what VtheK believes, you have no point in pursuing all of this.”
    Dude, it is not on me to divine what VK means, when he makes an ambiguous statement. When asked to explain it, I ask only what he means. What can be so hard about that? I do not yet know what to think about what VK thinks, because VK hasn’t been clear. It seems that you look for the worse in those you converse with, HT. I just want to understand where VK is coming from, and here I am, talking with you about what we both don’t know, because the guy who does know is being very coy about it all! Golly gee whiz!

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 2:29 am - April 5, 2011

  17. And HT,
    “I am asking you directly: Do you think that VtheK believes that Hillary Clinton, George Soros, Harry Reid, and President Obama are stupid and bitter and jealous and hateful and venal?”
    I have no idea. I think VK sincerely believes the things he says at #17. He believes these are legitimate criticisms, not hate. However, others will see things differently, and argue that some or all of these are not factually correct or emphasize certain things and minimize others. For example I take exception with his characterization of job losses & BO.That is a topic of debate we can have. I am sure Dan will oblige us with a thread on this issue at some point in time, so we can get into it when that arrives. Does VK hate BO? Well, we would have to ask VK. And we could also ask him to clarify what he meant by his corollary at the same time.

    This is so weird, talking about someone in the third person like this–a fishbowl experience…

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 2:47 am - April 5, 2011

  18. Heliotrope, now you’re almost getting to be cruel. 🙂

    You maneuvered Cas into saying this:

    Dude, it is not on me to divine what VK means, when he makes an ambiguous statement.

    when Cas has regularly and repeatedly divined what V the K means, and always in an insulting and derogatory fashion:

    If you feel it is “just a weaselly tactic” to ask for clarification of what a statement you made applies to, then, that tells me a lot, thank you.

    VK won’t tell us. And that is interesting.

    You still choose to not share with us what you meant by your statement–truly sad.

    And then the ultimate in hilarious projection.

    It seems that you look for the worse in those you converse with, HT.

    Again, Heliotrope, masterful. You’ve figured out that Cas can’t stop itself from making bigoted statements and namecalling to try to get people to respond. The more you string it out, the more you make it obvious that Cas is a bigot who is assuming the worst about everyone; moreover, you exploit Cas’s lack of principles and consistent argument to make it obvious that Cas is a hypocrite who will never hold itself to the standards it demands of others.

    Well done.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 5, 2011 @ 11:28 am - April 5, 2011

  19. NDT,
    Still flinging…

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 3:22 pm - April 5, 2011

  20. Cas,

    In the immortal (and correct) words of V the K above:

    Now, Cas has reached the point where her game has been revealed, her credibility is gone, she has no argument left… so she does this playground tactic of asserting “Ah ha, I won” and skulking away. Childish, really.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 5, 2011 @ 3:56 pm - April 5, 2011

  21. NDT, Calmer than you, dude

    Comment by Cas — April 5, 2011 @ 5:54 pm - April 5, 2011

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