11/7/08

My Advice to the Left: Get Your Head Out of Your Ass

From lefty start-ups to high-powered, liberal think tank blogs, rumors have been flying around the internet at the speed of hyperlinks that James Dobson's Focus on the Family mailed a letter comparing Obama's victory to Nazis bombing Britain. That might make for a nice chain-letter of hyperlinks, but it is, to put it mildly, an inaccurate representation of the facts.

I've been watching this story grow all day. On second thought, it's done the opposite of grow. In this strange simulacrum of reporting, the story actually has less information with each successive generation. All it does is spread and, in spreading, become even thinner than the original mischaracterization. Eventually, it boils itself down to an ill-considered, poorly written, cut-and-pasted spasm.

I am annoyed to be put in the position of defending Focus on the Family, but this kind of crap is exactly what people stuck in the so-called right-wing echo chamber are imagining is happening in the just as useless, left-wing head-up-our-ass chamber.

So, for the record, Focus on the Family did not compare Obama to a Nazi. They sent out a fund raising letter reminding their readers of some inspiring words of Winston Churchill during the worst days of World War II.

“Do not speak of darker days,” he said. “Let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days — the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we shall all thank God that we have been allowed, each one of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable.”

There is a well-known, if inexplicable, devotion to an imaginary version of Churchill among neo-conservatives and, by extention, theocrats. I have no direct contact with Focus on the Family, but I would venture that they're probably feeling like the kingdom they recently believed they were about to inherit has somehow slipped from their grasp. If I were them, I would try to regroup, too. I might, I don't know, send a letter asking for money and throw in a moving quote and a historical analogy to help keep the troops' spirits up. Was it appropriate? Of course not; it was a bad analogy--but it was a bad analogy in a literary, not a moral sense.

Frankly, I get letters like this all the time from various and sundry progressive causes. I seem to remember getting a lot of similar sounding emails from Democrats after 2004 telling me to buck up, stay strong, we'll win this if we stick together. It's what you do when you've lost.

So join me, liberal bloggers, in being gracious winners. We have carried the day. Now let's act like it.

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