Wasn’t yesterday awesome, with all the pontificating about Scalise, even though nobody knew the facts of the story yet?
Yesterday—I guess because they felt left out—conservatives and Republicans showed they can be just as fact-deficient when constructing a narrative as any of the progressives and journalists they criticize.
I started to list some examples here, just from Twitter, but I honestly don’t have the heart.
It never seems to occur to opinionaters on the right that it doesn’t matter what right wingers do—they’re never right.
Remember that old Far Side cartoon with a doctor in the horse ward of a hospital? He was carrying a treatment book for horses.
Every malady listed, the treatment was “Shoot.”
That’s the way professional journalists are nurtured to treat Republicans and conservatives.
Make a stupid remark about rape? Shoot.
Disparage the 47%? Shoot.
Speak at a meeting umpteen years ago in the same hotel with some white supremacists? Shoot.
Be correct about anything? Shoot.
And on our side of the narrative, first thing we do when one of our own gets in trouble is race to the gun so we can be first to shoot.
Honest, it’ll hurt less if our side does the shooting.
Well…no. It doesn’t. It only reinforces the stupid and then puts it on us.
Jonah Goldberg posted about the underlying, Republicans-are-always-wrong phenomenon today.
As I write this, GOP House whip Steve Scalise is in hot water over reports that he spoke to a group of racist poltroons in Louisiana twelve years ago. Whether it was an honest mistake, as Scalise plausibly claims, or a sign of something more nefarious, as his detractors hope, remains to be seen.
I excerpted those paragraphs to show how a grownup responds to incomplete stories.
Goldberg goes on to describe some of the many examples of liberal double-standards we all know and whine about.
I’ll skip to the heart of his case:
If you work from the dogmatic assumption that liberalism is morally infallible and that liberals are, by definition, pitted against sinister and — more importantly — powerful forces, then it’s easy to explain away what seem like double standards. Any lapse, error, or transgression by conservatives is evidence of their real nature, while similar lapses, errors, and transgressions by liberals are trivial when balanced against the fact that their hearts are in the right place.
Despite controlling the commanding heights of the culture — journalism, Hollywood, the arts, academia, and vast swaths of the corporate America they denounce — liberals have convinced themselves they are pitted against deeply entrenched powerful forces and that being a liberal is somehow brave. Obama, the twice-elected president of the United States, to this day speaks as if he’s some kind of underdog.
So why do we jump on stories like this rather than wait until we actually know what we’re talking about?
If your goal is to get in front of the story (whatever that means), you need to get in touch with reality.
Conservatives are never going to be in front of anything but a firing squad in the eyes of the narrative-keepers.
…why do we frame what we we think we should do solely in terms of political-journalistic optics, and not on doing the right thing?
Here’s what I said to one guy yesterday:
Let’s try this: Let’s try knowing what we’re talking about first, then doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.
In the long run, wouldn’t it be interesting to see what would happen if we developed a consistent, repeated pattern of integrity-based decision-making and behavior?
As opposed to habitually tossing people overboard when the narrative turns against them?
By the way, that’s how you build a prejudice-overcoming brand.
Consistently, over time, doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.
I missed catching Matt Lewis yesterday in the act of being adult:
Matt K. Lewis, Daily Caller: Some Conservatives Want Steve Scalise Gone (For All The Wrong Reasons)—
Is it possible a politician could speak at a meeting for a group called “EURO” where there were reportedly ”no banners, no paraphernalia that suggested a white nationalism conference” — and not realize the pernicious beliefs of the host? One assumes it’s possible.