Friday, October 31, 2008

Morning Joe Entering Silly Season

Joe Scarborough, who I like, did a silly piece on folks on the upper west side of NYC supposedly saying "nasty things" to McCain-Palin supporters (specifically his "news you can't use" correspondent, Willie Geist), and take it as "representative" of some broader population. He asks, "Would the same thing happen in Nashville?" (in the other direction, against Obama supporters), since Mr Geist went to Vanderbilt for college.

While there's room to debate how "nasty" the comments of these folks really were, I can tell you that there are plenty of conservative areas where reasonably intelligent people are being just as nasty. I've heard numerous accusations of socialism directed towards friends of mine who support Obama, and really really nasty things being said about the candidate himself. It's depressing, and the total lack of intellectual diversity here really makes it isolating. Heck, people only tell a McCain supporter in the upper west side to "go to the east side." Here, they tell us to go in a different direction - the nicer ones imply that that direction is somehow farther North; the not-so-nice ones imply that that direction is more downward, and somehow involving flames that burn but do not consume.

This still all misses the point. In either event the jackasses are an irrepresentative subsample of the overall groups of supporters. Most McCain supporters are decent folks who want the best for the country. Most Obama supporters are decent folks who want the best for the country. The contention that lefties are more (or less) nasty than righties is misleading. A jackass is a jackass on either side and can't be held up to represent the whole group. The bigger question is: why raise the subject? Are McCainiacs so desperate to villify the left that it's no longer a matter of: (1) winning the ideas; (2) personally attacking the other candidate, or; (3) cherry picking facts. Now it's a matter of making personal attacks against the rank and file supporters of a candidate, party or set of ideas? Seems silly to me.

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