A few days ago, I tried to explain this concept to one of my Republican friends. She's not as conservative as her parents, but definitely on the GOP side of things. She asks me what I think about Bush now (she knows me as a moderate, originally pro-war Democrat). So I go into my stock rant about how Bush sees everything as a political opportunity and doesn't take the war on terror or American security seriously. And her eyes widen.
You sound just like a radical
And I try and explain: No, no. I mean, yes the radicals are upset. But it's the moderate liberals like myself who are downright furious. We feel like we were stabbed in the back, like he took our trust and completely betrayed us. That's what you're seeing here.
She shook her head: I'm sorry David, but you do, you sound just like a radical.
And to an extent, she's right. Saying that "Bush only acts for political gain" is pretty radical. Not as radical as, say "Bush only acts for his oil company buddies" or "Bush only acts to appease the Zionist scum," but still, it's pretty radical. And yet I feel perfectly justified saying it. I loathe President Bush, for a variety of reasons, one of which is radicalizing me at the precise point when I was quite happily tacking toward the center. I like to think of myself as pretty well-spoken and rational. But I can go into a sputtering rage as well as anyone else when confronted with the utter incompetence, disrespect, and apathy toward anything but electing Republicans that this administration displays as a matter of course.
Has anyone seen Dogma?:
Loki: I've heard a rant like this before.
Bartleby: Don't you fu**ing do that to me.
Loki: You sound like the morning star.
Bartleby: You shut your fu**ing mouth!
Loki: You sound like Lucifer! Man, you've fu**ing lost it! You're not talking about going home, Bartleby. You're talking about fu**ing war on God. Well fu** that. I have seen what happens to the proud when they take on The Throne.
I've heard a rant like this before...
UPDATE: Carpetbagger Report also tracks his shift. He says Marshall's post "struck a chord." Well, this passage struck a chord with me:
I can definitely relate. When I started the site, I made a conscious decision to strike a "moderate" tone. The writers I enjoy most - people like Josh and Kevin Drum - can deliver devastating political critiques, but do so in even-tempered, always-fair, always-intellectually-honest ways. It's a style I've tried to emulate, and will continue to do so.
But like Josh, given the political environment, I find it impossible to take a detached, impartial look at the landscape and maintain a stoic temperament.
I, too, founded this blog in that spirit, and have tried to adhere to it. After all, the blog that inspired this one is (was?) written by a Republican. Even though I didn't agree with everything he said, I always had to take it seriously. I wanted to evoke that same respect from all parts of the political spectrum. I was one of those who believed the best in his opponents, because that was my only hope of persuading them. Sometimes, I still have that hope. But my government, I fear, is beyond all reason. And that is at once very depressing and very, very scary.