Paul From Minneapolis

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I Think This Is A Pattern

On the Web, that is:

An outrage-inducing story concerning W and his crew erupts on the left and is swallowed whole by many millions within seconds. If there is an analogy to be found in nature, it would be the effect produced from tossing a handful of grub worms onto the water above a school of undersized, malnourished bluegills hiding under dock: there is little hesitancy.

More slowly, usually in a few hours or a day or two but sometimes it can take months, the story is dismantled by hard-working conservatives. They show it pretty convincingly to be based not on fact, or on all the facts, or they describe another way of looking at things that makes at least as much sense. However, most meaning just about all of the left-leaning people who have heard the story and gobbled it down have a) no interest in hearing the other side and b) no automatic internal system for suspecting their own perceptions might be wrong (it’s a life-long issue with them).

To complete our analogy, imagine returning to those same stunted bluegills in order to explain, with careful argument and nuance, why they simply should not have been so excited by those grub worms yesterday, or last summer. It could not matter less to them. They have moved on to other pursuits. Unless you bring more grub worms, you do not exist. I would expect it would be very frustrating.

The end result is the one we all know: a substantial grouping of compassionate, concerned left-leaning folk who keep building up little fortresses of outrage made up events they don’t understand very well, although they think they do. (They are very well-read, it’s well-known.)

With that in mind, here is a nicely-done and doomed-to-have-no-effect takedown of the story that goes: “W signed a bill that means Texas is putting to death indigent black children in the hospital, so he is a racist hypocrite.”

Done from the left, I should say, and congratulations. It may be that I give left-leaning folks too little credit. It may be that a lot of them approach these stories with skepticism, and know enough to be aware of holes and to seek out explanations rather than swan-dive into the soothing waters of indignation. If that’s the case, I really wish those people would talk more than do. Because I don’t hear them very much. And I'm listening.