Yesterday digby put up a really good post taking Jon Stewart's The Daily Show to task for going down the road of false equivalence, equating the looniness on the right to something only remotely similar on the left:
See? He's a real liberal with real liberal ideas. But he doesn't engage in all the ridiculous double standards of your average fool out there in the hinterlands (or the earnest "professional left" either, thank God.) And that's what's important. Liberals aren't allowed to be uncool or unfair. It makes us all embarrassing and shit, taking sides, acting out, being like ... well ... dirty hippies or Teabaggers.
Both Tom Tomorrow (one of the very, very few editorial cartoonists that I read regularly; buy his book to support his good work!) and Chris Hayes chimed in, supporting digby's position. And of course, this is something that Glenn Greenwald here on Salon has hit on a number of times. And it drives me absolutely wild, too.
Let me be clear about this: while I believe that a lot of Tea Partiers are sincere, I think that both a large amount of their demands (lower taxes for everybody, but don't cut my Social Security!) are, not to put too fine a point on it, completely nuts. I mean, completely. These people are essentially unhinged.
Their support by heavily-monied interests that only want to use their zeal to pass their regressive social agenda is also odious. Not to mention that most of their more visible spokespeople--Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, Christine O'Donnell, Glenn Beck--are lunatics, idiots, ignoramuses, or a combination of all three.
So drawing a comparison between those folks, and the people on the left who are basically saying, "I say there, good man; I do believe that's not cricket!" is absurd. And digby (and Mr. Tomorrow and Chris Hayes and Glenn Greenwald and anyone else) is absolutely right to poke holes in that false equivalence. As Tom Tomorrow summed up in a tweet:
don't you understand ironic hipster detatchment is the best way to approach political debate?
But here's the thing I wanted to say (as I completely bury the lede): things suck right now. I mean, they really suck. Lying (let's call a spade a spade here!) Republican politicians got elected by riding a wave of justifiable anger during bad economic times by promising to concentrate on "jobs jobs jobs", and now that they're in power are doing basically everything that they've had on their collective agenda for the past 30 years, but are completely ignoring jobs jobs jobs.
They're taking a battering ram to abortion rights. They're trying to break unions. Slash social programs that are inexpensive and affective, but that they don't like (Hello, Planned Parenthood!). They're doing their level best to hand over as much to the corporations that support them as they can, as fast as they can, before people catch on and boot them out of power. They're trying to enact their radical social agenda with equal speed. In short, they lied about their intentions, and now we're living with the consequences.
Some days, the news that comes pouring in from digby or Glenn Greenwald or Rachel Maddow is so unbelievably depressing that I basically can't deal with it. It generates in me a level of crushing angst, of soul-destroying existential despair, that if I'm not careful will flatten me completely.
So how can one cope? Detached ironic hipster humor. Sometimes, when you can't do anything, when you can't even cope, it's all you have left.
Not saying we should stop fighting the madness, stop reading the news, stop listening to Rachel Maddow (bless her bones). Not disagreeing with digby, or Tom Tomorrow, or Glennzilla, or Chris Hayes. No. All I'm saying is, sometimes ironic hipster detachment is all we have left. That's all.
(Hell, lately I've been so depressed that I can't even watch The Daily Show. That's existential despair!)