Thursday evening is “Chick TV” night so the Beast generally finds other ways to amuse himself. Last night he eschewed his usual strategy of booting up the DVR and savoring reruns of HBO’s “ROME” or cackling derisively at the mess Sci-Fi’s “Battlestar Galactica” has made of season 3 and went online instead, whereupon he allowed himself to be drawn into one of those ad hominem mud wrestles that passes for debate with a Liberal in Yahoo Politics chat.
It is important to understand that when you enter the asylum that is online political chat you are going to run into mobs of gibbering loons. In their daily lives these people might appear normal, but when they hop in front of the keyboard and boot up the chat program it acts much like Dr. Jeckyl’s mythological serum: all sense of proportionality, restraint and social mores evaporate, freeing the inner beast to run wild.
And BOY does it run wild.
The discourse follows a set pattern: Libs enter the room, set about attacking The President with the usual slurs. Conservatives engage and defend on specific issues and when the Libs discover they are losing the fight they immediately leap to “The War”.
FU_GWB: The Stupid Chimp has destroyed this economy! ROTFLAMO!!!
BEAST: Well, if you look at the economy under Clinton in 1996, we were doing quite well. 5.2% unemployment, inflation very low at 3%, and overall growth at 2.2%. The MSM reported this as good news: 85% of all major economic stories on the economy in the summer of 1996 were positive.
BEAST: BUT compare the MSM reaction to even better numbers under Bush in 2004 – economic growth at 3.9%, unemployment at 5.4% and inflation at 2.7%. However 77% of all major media economic coverage was negative.
BEAST: Why is good news never good under a Republican administration, FU?
FU_GWB: You lying REPUKES really screwed up the war!
For chat Libs “The War” is a rhetorical safe spot that functions like “ghouls” or “home” in a game of tag. The Libs ring the Cons like Grackles on a telephone wire, screeching the same tired slogans about the war over and over. The cons ignore them and talk to each other about various issues until a couple of Libs get bored and dash off The War and into the ring to engage on some of these other issues. Once they have been roundly beaten they retreat back to the safety of The War and go back to squawking until their feathers are unruffled.
Sometimes the Beast gets frustrated and tells them “You know, you guys won’t have The War forever – you need to appreciate it while you got it. One of these days it will end and what are you going to do then?”
The War makes Libs lazy because it’s too easy. You can always tell which of the Libs in a room is the least swift on his mental feet because he will never let off on The War. The more adroit will debate (which is a very elevated word for what actually goes on in these rooms – it would be like calling The Rape Of The Sabine Women an Ice Cream Social) on many topics. Sometimes an actual honest exchange of ideas happens, but not often.
These Libs are the absolute loopiest of the infamous internet “Nutroots”. They are the Zombies of Kos who crawl out of the Democratic Underground freshly infected with the latest viral meme then fan out to spread it across the net. You can always tell when the newest spin has been incubated because you will hear it on chat first.
You hear a lot of old ones too – last night FU_GWB tied himself into the rhetorical Gordian Knot that the US has no right to dictate to other nations what kind of army or weapons it should have:
FU_GWB: The REPUKES are giving China a hard time about increasing the size of their army! How dare WE dictate to another nation what they do? What gives us the right?
BEAST: FU – it all depends on the kind of nation that’s arming itself, doesn’t it? If they are friends, then fine. If they are potential enemies; murderous dictatorships, fanatical theocracies, etc, then that’s a different story. This is a familiar argument: They made it in the 30’s when Germany rebuilt the Luftwaffe (Who are we to tell Germany they can’t have an air force?) and when they expanded the Wehrmacht (Who are we to tell Germany they can’t have an army?). Much as I hate to invoke the old “reductio ad hitlerum” argument, it applies in this case. When your potential enemies mobilize military force or start cobbling together nukes that they could use against you, you have a right to step in. People elect governments to see to the common defense, don’t they?
FU_GWB: ROTFL! Stupid REPUKE doesn’t know we have the United Nations for that!
BEAST: Maybe, but how well have they been doing? They were useless in Kosovo; they have done nothing in Rwanda and Darfur. Do you really want to give up the power to defend your nation to a group of impotent foreigners? Does that seem responsible to you? If we don’t defend ourselves, who’s going to do it for us?
FU_GWB: Yeah you REPUKES have done so much better in Iraq…
And so on…
In a sense The Beast is being a bit disingenuous here, because there are certainly many smart Liberals with good arguments to make for their respective positions. Showcasing the frothing howlers does give short shrift to those sane Libs. Likewise there are plenty of nutty conservatives in online chat whom The Beast is ignoring as well. Honesty requires The Beast acknowledge that, while this post focuses on the on the lefty chat nuts, he does not mean to imply that they are typical of the political left.
They are just typical of the political left in chat.