Matt Lewis explored a pattern of conservatives embracing someone [e.g., Cliven Bundy] who is being “bullied by the government or the mainstream media, and turning them into some sort of folk hero," only to wind up with "egg on their face" when that person "says or does something utterly stupid."
On Wednesday, Daily Kos founder and publisher Markos Moulitsas took that point and ran with it, claiming that an affinity for wackos is "baked into [conservatives'] worldview" and that "there is no similar phenomenon on the Left." Moreover, Kos asserted, right-wing "anti-government rhetoric inevitably breeds eliminationist and/or delusional cranks."
From Kos's post (emphasis added):
[T]his is the best part of my job: watching Republicans embrace some wackjob because he said mean things about Obama or reinforces their biases, then having us laugh when it all blows up on their face. Whether it's Donald Trump, James O'Keefe, Joe the Plumber, Sarah Palin, Dean Chambers, Ted Nugent, Dinesh D'Souza or Cliven Bundy. It even blows up in their faces when they try to reverse this dynamic, such as claiming Don Sterling was a Democrat (he was registered the opposite of that).
The conservative movement's anti-government rhetoric inevitably breeds eliminationist and/or delusional cranks, and there is no shortage of Sean Hannitys cheering them on.
There is no similar phenomenon on the Left, not even close. We didn't rush to embrace Lyndon LaRouche because he said mean things about George W. Bush because we're apparently much better at sniffing out the crazies. There is no one in liberal punditry as consistently wrong as Bill Kristol, Dick Morris or Jennifer Rubin, because we don't need to bend reality to sleep at night. And when genuine liberals go down, like Anthony Weiner, Elliot Spitzer and John Edwards, we don't feel compelled to rally around them and invent conspiracy theories. If someone is a scumbag, party ID doesn't rescue them from our scorn.
Some conservatives wish their side wouldn't rush headlong into hero worship of creepy criminals and whatnot, but it's baked into their worldview. Weird, but true.