In his latest post, Glenn Greenwald writes about John Cole of the blog Balloon Juice, and his extraordinary post This is No Fun. John, one of the Top 20 conservative bloggers, has gotten off of the bus:
In short, it really sucks looking around at the wreckage that is my party and realizing that the only decent thing to do is to pull the plug on them (or help). I am not really having any fun attacking my old friends- but I don’t know how else to respond when people call decent men like Jim Webb a pervert for no other reason than to win an election. I don’t know how to deal with people who think savaging a man with Parkinson’s for electoral gain is appropriate election-year discourse. I don’t know how to react to people who think that calling anyone who disagrees with them on Iraq a “terrorist-enabler” than to swing back....
...And I don’t know why my friends on the right still keep fighting for these guys to stay in power. Why do they keep attacking decent people like Jim Webb- to keep this corrupt lot of fools in office? Why can’t they just admit they were sold a bill of goods and start over? Why do they want to remain in power, but without any principles? Are tax cuts that important? What is gained by keeping troops in harms way with no clear plan for victory? With no desire to change course? With our guys dying every day in what looks to be for no real good reason? Why?
You see, John wanted to believe, so he did. He got on the bus 6 years ago and went happily to sleep. Yesterday, he woke up and said "How the fuck did we get here?"
It's interesting, though, to scroll down to the commments, where I expected to see the spittle flyin' and the ad hominems being hurled. Instead, I found more of the same sadness that informs Cole's post, and that sadness was coming from both sides of the aisle. There was a civility, a compassion present, because the truth is: real Americans, true patriots of either party, can only be dismayed at where the bus has taken us. Right now, this second, it's as ugly as it's ever been, as George W. Bush and his henchmen, surveying the wreckage around them and feeling the cold opinion of history being written, drag us all into the gutter.
Then it hit me: while we may be able to wrest Congress away from the Republicans, what will it take to reclaim public discourse from those who make a living by poisoning it? Sure, the Limbaughs and Hannitys come to mind, but the Chris Matthews and Blitzers are, in an insidious way, more dangerous because they are "respectable." But don't be fooled: like good little house slaves, they toil day and night to keep you pseudo-informed and pissed off. For them, comity is death and partisan rancor is the sweet elixir of life, and so, as US troops die and real news goes unreported, all day long they blather about John Kerry's non-existant insult.
So Wolf, you've been warned; Rush, you're on notice: first, we're gonna clean up Washington, then, we're coming for you.
Olbermann, carry on.