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Our loonies versus their loonies

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Whenever I get into a discussion with a Republican over how nasty conservatives have become over the past 15 years, I often get the "well you have Michael Moore" refrain.

Only problem is, yes we do have Michael Moore, and when did he ever suggest blacks are genetically inferior to whites (Republican David Duke), that Supreme Court justices should be assassinated (Republican Ann Coulter), and when was he ever indicted (Tom Delay, Jack Abramoff, Scooter Libby, and oh so many more)?

He hasn't, because Michael Moore is someone conservatives simply disagree with, and that makes him per se hateful. Kind of like the Dixie Chicks, except they have boobs too, which makes it an even bigger crime in Republican circles that they have opinions.

I started thinking about all of this during the brouhaha this week with the Washington Post's ex-blogger who was a plagiarist and a liar, in addition to having some interest racial views about Coretta Scott King. I was trying to think of whether the top bloggers on the left were as dishonest and angry and hateful as the top bloggers on the right. And that got me thinking more generally. And what I realized was that across the board, the liberals who conservatives most hate simply aren't as hateful themselves as the worst the conservatives have to offer.

They have terrorists - pro-lifer murderers. Who do we have on the liberal side who outright murders their political opponents?

Ann Coulter and Pat Robertson have called for the assassination of their political opponents. Jerry Falwell and the religious right groups are bigots who are still embraced by the Republican party. Who do we have on the religious left who even holds a candle to these hatemongers?

Then there's the angry factor: Ken Mehlman, O'Reilly, Hannity, Scarborough, Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, Newt, Frist, Santorum, Delay, George Will, Krauthammer, most of the top Republican bloggers, Bob Dole, Cheney, and more. The Republicans are an angry party, most of their leadership on TV, the radio and in politics is simply motivated by, and exudes, an unhealthy anger.

But who on the left exudes the same? Michael Moore? Hardly, the man is usually smiling and laughing in his appearances. Compare him to Sean Hannity. Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary or Bill? None of them are angry or nasty. Nor are our TV personalities angry: Keith Olbermann and Jon Stewart get their points across with humor and facts, but not the obvious seething hate you see from a Hannity.

Think about the conservatives most hated by the left. They're all angry, negative, nasty-hearted mean people. But compare them to those most hated by the right: Hillary, Bill, Moore, Soros, Phil Donohue, Alan Alda, Norman Lear, and a whole host of Hollywood - Barbra Streisand on down. Where do you find the hate and the anger spewing from those people? Sure, the right hates them, but you really can't point to any of these people who are as filled with hatred and anger as anyone on the right. In fact, the quality most often shared by those hated by the right: intelligence, eloquence, and a message.

So, in conclusion, their religious folks are angrier and nastier than ours - well, theirs are outright bigots, ours are puppy gods. Their political leaders are angrier and nastier, whereas again, ours are puppy dogs. Their TV and radio personalities, and their other celebrities, all kind of nasty (they get Charlton Heston, enough said, gun man).

Across the board, conservatives are represented by people who are simply motivated by, and exude, an irrational hatred and anger. Is it any wonder that Republicans are so prone to striking out domestically and internationally at whomever they perceive as today's enemy?

The real question is who would want to join a political movement whose cohesive element is fear and loathing? About 33% of the population, tops. And that's where you find the Republican party today.

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