Pookie Monster

Various things that you may not yet know about, but should.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

A look into the bubble.

As a man of the right, that which most disturbs me about the left is not so much their ideology as their reality; more specifically, the distortion of information as it passes though the liberal media and their insular little worldviews which make Ann Coulter look like a model of broadmindedness. From inside that left-wing bubble, the world looks, let us say, different.

I need look no further than my local paper's letters to the editor page for expressions of shock and wonder that anyone could actually believe in conservatism, since that's exactly the same thing as choosing to be stupid, racist, "anti-intellectual", "corporate", theocratic, mean-spirited, and several other sorts of evil. I have quite literally punched two holes in my walls in sheer rage after being blindsided by unusually obtuse examples of such ignorance in local pubs.

David Adesnik of OxBlog is a genuine left-of-center intellectual who spends of lot of column-inches skewering other liberals who inhabit the Bubble, and debunking many of the unfair and irrational anti-Bush and anticonservative memes. He sounds almost like Coulter sometimmes. It's interesting, then, to read the following two comments from him the other day:

1. "Well, the fact is that no one I know and/or respect relies on Fox or Rush or the Washington Times for their news.

Now, that statement is intended as an explanation for why he's fisking Jon Stewart as an unbiased news source instead of the folks he mentions. But what's interesting is that, even if a case can be made for bias at the 'Good Times' or at FoxNews, no one - no one - in Mr. Adesnik's circle of acquaintances reads the Times or watches the nation's highest-rated cable news channel. (Full disclosure: I haven't watched Fox, or hardly any other TV, for a coule of years, but I use foxnews.com more than any other single news source.)

Rush is a different case. I don't know anyone who treats Rush as a fair and balanced news source, either, including Rush himself--and the indictment of Jon Stewart, I gather, depends on him presenting himself as a non-ideologue. Absent that, from what I read of Stewart, he may be closer than anyone else to the liberal Rush Limbaugh that they've been seeking all these years.

2. {In reference to Cheney's comments on homosexual marriage] "When Dick Cheney's right, he's right. Gay Americans are not second-class citizens. On the other hand, I'd appreciate it if more Republicans who didn't have gay children came out against the No Gay Marriage Amendment...Dick Cheney is selfish, not compassionate.

Let me preach on this for a minute. What Dick Cheney actually said was that citizens should be able to enter into any kind of relationship they wish, but that the issue was what sort of "sanction" they should get from the government. That's as succinct a statement of the opening links of my own argument against gay marriage that I've ever heard.

The point is that the government's nonrecognition of certain relationships does not prevent anyone from forming any contracts among themselves as they like. Therefore, the government's neutrality toward such contracts involves no discrimination or second-class citizenship. This holds true even in contrast with the ready-made marriage contract, with all its implied terms, that is offered for the convenience of couples that could, in legal theory at least, have children. Government, after all, has a legitimate interest in the welfare of children.

That's an argument for the conservative position on gay marriage. (Others exist, as do counterarguments.) My point here isn't that its right (although I believe it is). It's that it exists, and is legitimate, and is evidently held by Dick Cheney.

The idea that gay marriage is about ceasing to discriminate against a minority is the liberal position, or at least an argumant therefor. Cheney's comments only sound like an endorsement of gay marriage if viewed through the assumption that opposition to gay marriage is necessarily grounded in a desire to deprive homosexuals of some incidents of "citizenship", or restrict their "freedom". That's not the case.

It is true that Cheney prefers that gay marriage be dealt with on the state level. So does John Kerry, who's endorsed state constitutional amendments against it. I happen to agree with them. But that's a matter of 'how' and 'where', not 'whether', gay marriage should be forestalled.

On the other hand, it is fortunate for serious minds that a bias realized is a bias neutralized. (I'm quoting someone, but I don't know whom. Emerson? Whomever it was, Mr. Adesnik posted more recently a magnificent Roger Simon post (read the comments too) about coming out of this same phenomenon, under the title 'Me in a Nutshell'. That's fair (and balanced); no one is completely free of preconceptions, except me, [Ahem. -Ed.] and Oxblog remain my favorite liberal commentators because they do make an effort to disagree with conservatism, instead of straw-man neofascists.


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