The galling incompetence of supposed opponents of the far-left, Part 1 (Limbaugh, Fluke, "slut", Jacobson)

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Rush Limbaugh recently used the word "slut" when discussing Congressional testimony given by one Sandra Fluke [1]. That activated yet another battle in the leftwing's long-term war to get him off the air, and their latest effort has been more successful than others: several sponsors have dropped their ads from his show. One of them even dropped off after Limbaugh issued an apology.

What would be extremely great is if there were a smart, level-headed, mainstream, inclusionary, broad-based opposition to the efforts by the far-left to silence their opponents and against political correctness in general. Perhaps around 66% to 75% of the U.S. would side with such an effort.

What we get instead are people like William A. Jacobson, Associate Clinical Professor, Cornell Law School, the author of the blog post "Make an example of Carbonite (Update: ProFlowers joins Rush boycott)" (link). His mindset and that of other rightwing bloggers and the Tea Parties tends to be the opposite of the laundry list above: their efforts aren't smart, they have trouble being level-headed and mainstream, and they compete against each other to be as exclusionary as possible. Rather than a message that would appeal to most Americans, their message only appeals to perhaps 33% at most. With an open debate about the impacts of Teaparty-style economic policies, it might end up around 10% to 15%.

Bear in mind that there isn't anything particularly crazy about Jacobson's post (for that, see some of the other posts at his site such as the ones on However, it's not smart and it's not effective. There's nothing about it that would change anyone's mind; a weak DailyKos supporter isn't going to decide not to participate in efforts to get Limbaugh off the air or similar actions because of that post or anything at Jacobson's site.

Instead, his post is just entertainment: a worthless echo chamber exercise that will have no long-term effect. Let's be extremely generous and say that 100,000 [2] people see that post. Of that number, maybe 10,000 might think about doing something, maybe 1000 of those might actually do something, and maybe 10 might remember the next day what they did the day before. Conservatives tend to be failures when it comes to sticking with something and with doing things in general; they're great at sitting around whining or waving loopy signs like little kids, but an actual concerted effort towards a goal is something they've shown repeatedly that they can't handle.

It wouldn't be that difficult to blunt the impact of efforts like the current attempt to get Limbaugh off the air (note: do see this post). How I'd do that should be incredibly obvious; just look around. If any Teaparty types have made it this far, I know they aren't going to understand that or learn from this post. Instead, they're just going to dismiss this as an Obama-supporting site and then go back to friendly and completely ineffective confines. And, the far-left is going to continue succeeding at their attempts to stifle speech.

3/8/12 UPDATE: To provide one data point, here are three tweets by one Chris Coon (@Coondawg68) consolidated, after I sent him a link to this post and after I'd attempted to point out to him that the recently re-released 1990 video of Barack Obama at Harvard won't change too many minds. These are responses to this post:

first sentence has error. It wasn't congressional testimony. No swearing in. It was a presser dressed as one. #fail... here [CBS News link] 'fake hearing' 'mock hearing' etc... if you're trying for smarts, get facts right... I gave you the chance, blew it in the first sentence. Dismissed.

Coon is somewhat right about one thing: Fluke didn't speak before an official congressional hearing, just to a group of Democratic members of Congress. However, several others have referred to Fluke's statement as "testimony" (link, link, link). And, Dianne Feinstein later read Fluke's statement into the Congressional Record (wiki: ).

The problem with Coon's statements is that the details of the Fluke incident aren't what this post is about. I was intentionally ignorant of the details of the story because I frankly don't care to know those details. This post is about the rightwing response to the leftwing's latest battle against Limbaugh; it isn't about the finer talking points of Fluke's testimony or about Limbaugh's remarks themselves, as should have been clear from [1] below.

The unfortunately good thing about Coon's statements is that they underline my points above about rightwing incompetence. Because I didn't bother to look up details that aren't really relevant to this post, Coon and those like him would dismiss this post. And, that's stupid.

Tea Parties types have various issues that cause them to not only reject any criticism, but to attempt to undermine anyone criticizing them even when such criticism would help them. For instance, linking to American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center, League of United Latin American Citizens, or any of the dozens of other groups and people linked from the topics page would help the Teaparty types: in large numbers of cases, the Teaparties and I share opponents (even the large number of opponents they don't know about). Rightwing bloggers have shown little ability to compile pages like that. It would help the Teaparty types to help me, but instead they continually try to undercut me and instead go back to worthless echo chambers where they're told what they want to hear, repeated ad infinitum.

While I thank Coon for helping to prove my point, it would be better if those like him would show some competence occasionally.

[1] I haven't listened to what he said, so I don't know whether he actually called Fluke that. But, the specifics of this latest incident aren't what this post is about.

[2] He gets over 14,000 visitors per day and might get close to twice that today, so 100,000 is indeed very generous.