Right wing frat boy superstar James O’Keefe, in an interview with Phyllis Schlafly’s niece Anne Cori, offers up what I call the myth of the passive conservative. For the extremist, nothing is ever taken far enough, no one is ever sufficiently zealous, and today’s incredibly aggressive right wing has to be recast as being passive wallflowers who just don’t fight hard enough.
O’Keefe: I think the problem with the Right, the Right – that is, the conservatives – they don’t like blood in the water. I mean that in a figurative sense. They don’t like shaking things up. They’re afraid to be effective because to be effective is to be hated. One of the things that Rush Limbaugh said, I can’t remember where he said it, but he said, ‘You have to understand that when people hate you and fear you, it’s a sign of respect. And I think it’s impossible to be effective as a conservative without being feared and hated and attacked in a very nasty way. These people don’t play nice, they don’t debate you. They try to destroy you using the government.
And I think people need to realize, the book ‘Breakthrough’ is about what one must go through in today’s society to speak truth to power. It’s very different than it used to be, I think.
Cori: Well, James, do you have advice for people who wilt in the face of criticism?
This is one of the key differences between liberals and conservatives. Liberals, generally speaking, think brains are more important than “balls.” We value intelligence and thoughtfulness over machismo and bluster. This isn’t true in every case, of course. We have our Ed Schultz’ too, which is exactly why he annoys me so much. He’s exactly the kind of blowhard that conservatives tend to love.