Today’s Lesson in Progressive Politics: Rolling Stone

November 15, 2010

Rolling Stone, the magazine that brought you a five-star review of Mick Jagger’s Goddess In The Doorway album, is featuring in their upcoming issue a political roundtable to discuss the results of the midterm elections. The roundtable consists of Peter D. Hart, who is “known for his nonpartisan poll for NBC News and the Wall Street Journal,” every Democrat’s favorite sage David Gergen, and Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi.

Gergen, as is his wont, tries really hard to be as bland and faceless as a Journey Greatest Hits album and succeeds admirably. The nonpartisan Hart maintains that the results are “hard to stomach.”

But it is Matt Taibbi who gives the real lesson in What Progressives Think:

Taibbi: To me, the main thing about the Tea Party is that they’re just crazy. If somebody is able to bridge the gap with those voters, it seems to me they will have to be a little bit crazy too. That’s part of the Tea Party’s litmus test: “How far will you go?”

Gergen: I flatly reject the idea that Tea Partiers are crazy. They had some eccentric candidates, there’s no question about that. But I think they represent a broad swath of the American electorate that elites dismiss to their peril.

Hart: I agree with David. When two out of five people who voted last night say they consider themselves supporters of the Tea Party, we make a huge mistake to suggest that they are some sort of small fringe group and do not represent anybody else.

Taibbi: I’m not saying that they’re small or a fringe group.

Gergen: You just think they’re all crazy.

Taibbi: I do.

Gergen: So you’re arguing, Matt, that 40 percent of those who voted last night are crazy?

Taibbi: I interview these people. They’re not basing their positions on the facts — they’re completely uninterested in the facts. They’re voting completely on what they see and hear on Fox News and afternoon talk radio, and that’s enough for them.

Gergen: The great unwashed are uneducated, so therefore their views are really beneath serious conversation?

Taibbi: I’m not saying they’re beneath serious conversation. I’m saying that these people vote without acting on the evidence.

Thank you Matt for being honest. This is what Progressives think: those who disagree with their agenda are crazy and ignorant. And they call us intolerant.

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