Jonah Goldberg at The Corner:
I caught the beginning of the Daily Show the other night and saw what appears to be a recurring segment: “Barackaphobia.” This, as you might guess, is where Stewart mocks anybody who is overly concerned with Barack Obama’s ideas, background, whatever. In short, anybody who takes stark exception to Obama or the cult of Obama is paranoid.
[...]The left loves to characterize conservative dislikes and disagreements as “phobias” and other maladies of the mind. Specifically, conservative “hate” is based on “ignorance” and “fear.” Rhetorically, this tactic amounts to a way for liberals to avoid arguments on the merits….
Barack Obama, as we speak, is being added to that list. If you don’t love and embrace Obama, you’re afraid of him (and, again, fear is the root of racism, etc etc.). You’re fearful of change, scared of hope, terrified of progress.
…whatever fair examples of “Barackaphobia” may be out there for Stewart to beebop and scat on, there were tens of thousands of better examples of what could easily be called Bushophobia (or what many call “Bush derangement syndrome”) over the last 7 1/2 years, and I don’t recall Stewart mocking anybody on that score very much.
Well, of course. That’s because if you’re from the left, you’re really “smart”, “all” of your politicians are visionaries with flawless policies, and all of your opinions are true. If you’re on the right – or more exactly, if you’re not on the left – you are “stupid.” Your pols are “stupid” and all of your opinions are based on fear, prejudice or the lack of an inelegant education. That’s just how it is.
“What if Bush – the president, ours – has been right about [Iraq] all along? I feel like my world view will not sustain itself and I may – and, again, I don’t know if I can physically do this – implode.”
Stewart wasn’t alone in his scary moment, as I noted back then.
Jonah is of course, quite right. You can easily find a bajillion examples of “Bush-o-phobia” both fair and unfair – mostly unfair, much of it intellectually dishonest and just running along a stream of narrative, like the dead thing Chesterton talks about when he writes in The Everlasting Man, “A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.”
You can find examples of people on the right (at least occasionally) agreeing that the Bush-criticisms from the left have some substance to them. I wonder if we’ll see anyone on the left ever conclude that maybe, just maybe, there is some substance to the observations of Obama’s shortcomings, that make them more than just “stupid,” or “phobic.”
That would be interesting.