Conservative ‘crazies’ have a lesson to teach


I am a fan of Eric Zorn, the liberal progressive columnist of the Chicago Tribune, mostly because he is usually well-reasoned and honest. I share his frustration with the legions of Obama-haters who are latching in vain onto whatever they can to attempt to prevent him from taking office — in this case, a half-cocked attempt to disqualify him on what appears (to me, anyway) to be a fabricated technicality related to the geography of his birth.

But his latest response (“Sigh. The crazies are back.“) seems petty, partisan, and short-sighted:

Silly me. Here I’d been thinking that the wild-eyed foamers who were driven nearly to madness by the prospect of Barack Obama’s election to the presidency would have crawled back into their basements and waited for Obama to be sworn in before they began waving their arms and ranting again.

But no. Political insanity knows no holiday.

Sorry, EZ, but the truth just isn’t that simple.

First, the necessary disclaimer: I am not beholden to either political party.

I’m certainly not conservative, at least not how the majority of the electorate tends to use that word in its most simplest sense. I voted for Obama, and I helped to vote in Portland’s first openly gay mayor. I’m in an interracial marriage, and I’m on staff at a multi-ethnic church founded in a denomination that is leading the charge for diversity among others of its kind.

I recycle, I read Slate, I ride my bike, I rail against corporations, I’m a fan of NPR. I’m a college graduate, I’m part of the creative class, and I run my own business. From a demographic standpoint, I’m probably every Prius salesman’s wet dream.

But I’m not really liberal either.

I may be a registered Democrat at the moment, but I only registered this year, for the express purpose of voting for Barack Obama in the Oregon primary. (In fact, I had to restrain myself from openly laughing at the guy who knocked my door yesterday, because his pitch included all kinds of wrongheaded assumptions, starting with the idea that I would ever give money to the ACLU.)

On many — dare I say, most — bellwether issues, I fall just right of center.

So forgive me if this sounds preachy or vindictive; it’s just that I feel so uniquely qualified to make the following statement:

Conservative crazies won’t let up on Barack Obama because liberal crazies never let up on George Bush.

I hate to oversimplify issues, but on this one, I really do think it’s that simple.

Portland is the land of the leftist bumper stickers, and I’d bet a pair of NBA playoff tickets that the “Is it 2008 Yet?” bumper stickers went into circulation as soon as Dubya won the right to a second term.

It wasn’t fair then, and it’s not fair now. But if you fail to acknowledge this, all the complaints of fairness reek of liberal partiality.

Zorn, if you’re reading this, I know you’re not a fan of the Bible. So forgive me for alluding to Hosea 8:7a in this case:

If you sow the wind, don’t be surprised when you reap the whirlwind.

I’m Jelani Greenidge, and thanks for Mixin’ It Up with me.

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