Leslie Savan writes that “as a character, and not merely a critic, of the right, [Stephen] Colbert held a unique key to the riddle of modern conservatism: How do they keep getting away with it? Why have so many conservatives turned into such small-minded haters and deniers of science, of reality?”
Tom Johnson covers mostly websites (e.g., Salon, Talking Points Memo, Daily Kos) for NewsBusters. He blogged frequently for the site from 2005 until 2007 and has been a regular contributor since 2011. From 1989 until 2002, he was an entertainment analyst for the Media Research Center and its spinoff, the Parents Television Council. From July 2004 until June 2005, he monitored National Public Radio for the MRC. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona.
Daily Kos founder and publisher Markos Moulitsas is exultant that we are “finally moving on” from the embargo “despite the wailing and teeth gnashing of the [Marco] Rubios and [Bob] Menendezes of the world, and the new generation of Cuban Americans is leading the way.”
The Esquire blogger is pleased that with Obama’s executive action on immigration and the shift on Cuba, “the Republicans now have two major freak-outs in their base that will do nothing except inflame the implacable Right, and thereby cripple the party's ability to reach out to the new Hispanic voters it claims it wants to attract.”
“What the average person is seeing right now,” declares the American Prospect’s Paul Waldman, “is an entire party mobilizing to defend the use of torture, whether they will call it by that name or not. And that looks to be having an effect on public opinion.”
Penn State’s Sophia McClennen praises Colbert for “remind[ing] us that you could care about your nation and simultaneously find American exceptionalism disturbing” and comments that conservatives have “controlled the idea of patriotism for so long that it is easy to forget that there is no logical reason to think that Rachel Maddow loves her country any less than Glenn Beck.”
The Esquire blogger argues that anti-Obamacare lawsuits and an effort to weaken Dodd-Frank derivatives regulation are examples of how “the slow, steady and inexorable campaign to render this president a non-person in the long sweep of history continues apace.”
The Nation’s Leslie Savan alleges that conservatives still are fixated on the image of the Rev. Al as “a radical and a race hustler,” and opines that “because he’s the best-known single figure in the growing protest movement, the right will blame him for any violence.”
The Talking Points Memo editor and publisher contends that no matter what right-wingers say, Obamacare is “almost certainly the most deeply scrutinized, discussed and argued over piece of legislation of the entire 20th century and early 21st century.”
Dylan Scott writes that “Gruber-mania has gripped the conservative mediasphere in a way that few stories have, becoming another brand-name controversy like Benghazi and the IRS,” and that “the larger meaning was baked into Gruber-gate -- there is a hashtag and Gruber can now be used as a verb -- almost immediately.”
Laura Kipnis of Northwestern University claims that “you can tell a lot about a man by what he thinks about Hillary, maybe even everything,” and that conservatives who’ve written biographies of her tend to be “guys with a lot of psychological baggage, emotional intensity, and messy inner lives.”
Simon Maloy argues that Carson’s “significant following of Republicans who will happily back a radical bomb-thrower for president for no other reason than his refusal to be ‘politically correct’...doesn’t speak well of the health of the conservative movement.”
The Esquire pundit claims that “every militarized halftime show, every Concert for Valor, every local television anchor wearing a flag pin or a yellow ribbon, is testimony to how the Pentagon has transformed the country from a skeptical republic to a sentimental beer commercial.”
John Judis of the New Republic and Jeffrey Toobin of the New Yorker believe that young black men often get a raw deal from police, but aren’t convinced that Wilson’s fatal shooting of Michael Brown fits into that paradigm.
In an interview with New York magazine, the comedian-actor commented, “It’s not that Obama’s disappointing. It’s just his best album might have been his first album.” Rock also dealt with topics including huge improvements in American racial relations and his belief that “Ellen DeGeneres [is] the gay Rosa Parks.”
In his rave review of Katha Pollitt’s book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights, Adam Gopnik argues that “the choice—the only actual choice, in the world as it really is—is between safe, legal abortion and dangerous, illegal abortion. Everything else is just misogyny, cruelty, and superstition.”
David Roberts of the environmentalist magazine Grist declares that the right has “systematically and progressively destroyed the very notion of a nonpartisan arbiter of information” with an eye toward increasing its power and smashing liberal initiatives such as Obamacare.
Ed Kilgore contends that if the Gipper had headed the Republican ticket that year, he would have lost to Jimmy Carter and consequently would have been an also-ran if he’d sought the 1980 GOP nod.
One blogger argued that media outlets which took the story seriously should “spend the next three-plus years publishing articles [or] airing pieces” telling the public that it was “a cynical and spiteful lie from the beginning.”
The Talking Points Memo editor and publisher claims that illegal immigration is similar to same-sex marriage in the sense that “even if you think those things are terrible it's very hard to find a victim. And it's even harder to explain why that victim is you.” He writes that it doesn’t make sense to argue that “anti-immigration Americans -- and let's be honest, mainly white people -- are oppressed in some way by having undocumented immigrants be able to walk around in the open and be able to work in the open.”
The Mother Jones blogger contends that Obama’s immigration action “is politically pretty brilliant. It unifies Democrats; wrecks the Republican agenda in Congress; cements the loyalty of Hispanics; and presents the American public with a year of Republican candidates spitting xenophobic fury during primary season. If you're President Obama, what's not to like?”