Joe Romm today focuses his wrath on a (very long and repetitive) piece in Washington Post Outlook entitled “Why are liberals so condescending?” No I won't give the WaPo a link. See what Joe has to say and click from there if you feel the need to read this sort of thing again.
But just as the terrorists win if you become terrified, this meme (which has appeared in MSM, various magazines purporting to be liberal, and over and over again on discussion boards), the conservatives win if liberals take this bosh seriously. It, of course, plays into the ever-popular conservative meme of victimization and thereby gives the conservative base a feel-good reflex, along with another way to bash liberals. A double win for conservatives.
But there's more. These articles and screeds are designed to tilt the playing field away from fact and toward an acceptance that all viewpoints are equally valid. It also makes liberals like Romm irritated and perhaps a bit sheepish; we're nice people, we're not condescending. Joe stays on the attack throughout his piece, but I think he's missing the point that the WaPo piece is designed to make him waste his time refuting it. And, as he refutes it, referring snobbily to fact as something that might be privileged above opinion or divine revelation, he provides more material from which conservatives can claim liberal condescension.
And more timid liberals might pull back on their arguments to allow that, for example, the conservatives have a point about freedom of religion meaning that Pat Robertson should be allowed to say that the Haitians had it coming from his God. And in doing so, they move toward validating insane viewpoints. And the conservatives can notch up the craziness.
To the casual onlooker, the spat may look like the poor conservatives are just trying to get a word in edgewise.
It's a nice little trap.