Fox News is Not News

And Liberal Megan McCardle is not Liberal.


This puts me in mind once of an actual exchange between me and a Bush-4EVER/Bush-who?/I'm-an-Independent/I'm-a-Tea-Partier/Impeach-The-Kenyan-Usurper/MAGA person of my acquaintance which went more or less like this.

Conservative Goof had asserted something idiotic that was, at that moment, a fleeting, canonical Truth among the Tea Baggers.

I very unfairly, I hauled out a quote by Peggy Noonan (because I'm like that) that negated whatever it was that he was blabbing about this time (sorry, but after awhile the ever-shifting string of lies these people tell themselves melt and merge into one, decades-long, shit-stain across the pages of history leading directly to Donald Trump.)

The immediate reply was the boilerplate Republican yadda yadda that dismisses all inconvenient reality -- "Just more Fake News from Liberal Lefty Liberal hack  _____ " -- with Noonan's name plugged in.

I was told quite authoritatively that Noonan was a "strong Democrat" who "hated Bush" and had conspired to "force Obama down our throats".  This was followed by the usual laundry list of horrors inflicted on white people by the Kenyan Usuper, starting with the way his "white Communist" parents had raised him.

At this point your humble scrivener paused for a full beat.

Because I didn't know what to write next?

God no.  After all these years together, have you ever known me to have that problem grin

Because, knowing the full arc of Noonan's shabby Conservative career as I do, I knew that dropping it on this poor bastard would be tossing an anchor to a drowning man?


Because reminding this goof that he had, in the recent past, sent me columns by Peggy Noonan to make some idiotic point or another would be tossing a drowning man two anchors?

Nope.  Drown, baby, drown.

I paused because I knew exactly what would happen next.  Because with Republicans out here in the real world this is what always happens.

An electronic shrug while his wingnut firmware processed the fact that he had just shit the proverbial bed in front of a Liberal for the 100th time.


A scrambling, rambling defense of his own ignorance because Noonan sure sounded like a dirty Libtard.  Coulda fooled anyone.


And a fast-fast rear guard defense -- Doesn't matter because everyone knows Obama is a Kenyan commie sleeper cell anyway -- followed by a quick pivot to a neutral subject.  Weather.  Football.  Cars.  Whatever.

Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.
Year after year.
Decade after decade.
Republican after Republican.

And as a result of running these drills with all kinds of Republicans for many, many years, I have been given a great and terrible gift.  The gift of certainty.  Of understanding that, like measuring the tides or the movement of the stars, the fact that the attitudes, actions and reactions of those on the Right have always been so directly and easily observable means that they are also nearly 100% predictable for anyone who cares to study them.

There are, of course, always outliers -- comets that briefly flare across the sky, defying the stately, clockwork movement of the rest of the Conservative political firmament.  But the reason they catch our attention is precisely because they are so unnaturally rare.  And one tragic side-effect of these one-in-a-million cases of genuine Republican confession and repentance is that far too many soft-hearted Liberals are willing to treat any hint of a wingnut flying even slightly out of formation as a "Look!  Look!" Easter morning moment of ideological validation.

Wake the kids, honey!  Steve Schmidt just called Donald Trump a poopy-poo head on the electronic teevee!  And Rick Wilson called Trump a fucking poopy-poo head!  The tomb is empty!  Christ is risen!

And then the Bad Thing happens and these same Liberals come crashing back to the Earth, brokenhearted because once again they had not bothered to check the warranty on their shiny new poet warrior.

Because the Right collectively is completely reprogrammable and has no long-term political memory. they really don't have this problem.  When one of their Fox News smirk-bots or human Fleshlights falls (or is pushed) from grace, and the imprimatur of the Fox News spotlight is withdrawn, for tens of millions of Republican meatbags, they simply cease to exist.  Unpersoned and replaced the next day by another Republican Truefact Pez Dispenser without breaking stride because they were never more than a delivery system for Republican lies. A cog in the great machine.

It works just as well the other way around too.

When his brand of smirking, Liberal-stomping bile became useful to Trump TV,  it took almost no time at all for Bolshi Freedom Troll Glenn Greenwald to go from being the darling of the Purity Angel Left to Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham's wacky, semi-regular sidekick on the Right.

And to anyone who has paid careful any attention to media and politics over the years, none of this is surprising. What is surprising and sad an dangerous is that so many of my Liberal brothers and sisters seem incapable of learning this important lesson no matter how many times it punches them in the mouth. 

So the next time my Liberal brothers and sisters wake up in bathtub full of ice with their kidneys and wallets missing because some Never Trumper whose head they anointed with precious oils and whose pockets they filled with cash turned out to be exactly the same amoral mercenary they have always been, please find some other shoulder to cry on.  Because my shoulder is very sore from pushing this same stupid rock up this same stupid mountain year after year after year.

Behold, a Tip Jar!