Crossposted with the Center for American Progress. With Mickey Ehrlich
What do conservatives fight about? Judging by the recent on-air spat between Joe Scarborough and Rush Limbaugh, the answer is both plenty and nothing at all. This was a debate characterized by a remarkable lack of depth, even by these gentlemen's considerable standards.
It began with Joe Scarborough expressing regret at Obama's failed bid for the Chicago Olympics in a blog on the Huffington Post. Scarborough took issue with the tone of conservative cheers for the loss of the Olympics:
"The fact President Obama failed makes me respect him more for taking the chance, and the fact many right-wing figures opposed the president's mission shows just how narrow-minded partisanship makes us all."
The post is basically an innocuous bit of relativism, with Scarborough attempting to equate the right's rage directed toward Obama to that directed toward previous presidents. All we need to do, he insists, is talk with each other instead of at each other. In spite of his choice of an utterly inconsequential issue to burnish his moderate credentials, Scarborough somehow attracted Limbaugh's scorn when, on "Morning Joe," he cited the radio host, specifically, as being guilty of the "stupid" "rhetoric" he had referred to in his piece...
You can read the rest of Eric Alterman and Mickey Ehrlich's analysis in their recent article, "Think Again: "I'll See Your Testicles..." (Catfight on the Right)"
Eric Alterman is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and a Distinguished Professor of English at Brooklyn College. He is also a Nation columnist and a professor of journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. His seventh book, Why We're Liberals: A Handbook for Restoring America's Most Important Ideals, was recently published in paperback. He occasionally blogs at http://www.thenation.com/blogs/altercation and is a regular contributor to The Daily Beast.
Mickey Ehrlich is a freelance writer and a teacher at Kingsborough Community College.