Thursday, December 24, 2009

Right imitates left in a good way (if you're on the left)

One of the few things that conservatives did better than progressives in the US was to welcome converts. On the left, it seemed that anyone repudiating their past just got criticized for their past, while people on the right loved conversion stories.

But now, following Representative Parker Griffith's party switch from Democratic to Republican, the conservatives are trying to make life as difficult for him as possible. Yes, the switch is minor bad news for the Dems, although it's part of the long history of conservative Southern congressional seats switching to the Republican party. The consolation for the left is the hostile reaction Griffith is getting on the right, and what it says about the insularity of the conservative movement.

On a related note, climate denialists still seem to love a good conversion story, something like "I used to believe in global warming, but then I heard the excellent points raised by Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck and now know the truth." I translate that as really meaning "I used to pay no attention to global warming and was only vaguely aware of the issue. When I finally became more interested in my conservative political values, I started paying attention more, but only to factoids that reinforce my conservativism, and global warming doesn't fit what I would like to believe." Maybe they'll start hating the converts too as their circle shrinks.

Unrelated bonus blogging - recently watched two good movies, The Descent and Out of the Past. Descent was a good horror flick, with an all-female cast and some technically accurate rock-climbing (ignoring that the skill required is professional level, not something amateurs could do). Out of the Past was a great 1947 film noir with Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas at the beginning of their careers. Also watched Oldboy - I've gotten used to violence in films over the years, but that was just too harrowing for me.

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