"Why is it that nobody on the left can engage the arguments made by so-called Right-wing nuts without calling them racists or something? I thought you were supposed to be the smart ones..."
There are several deliberate flaws in this question/comment.
1) You can’t "engage the arguments" of wing-nuts, because they don’t make "arguments". Wing-nuts make assertions and then insist you agree and you are stupid if you don't. They tell lies repeatedly until some believe it, setting up straw-men that they then knock down with derision. They ignore the truth, even when exposed. Finally, they hide behind radio microphones and Anonymous posts so they don’t have to engage in real debate.
When is the last time Belling or Sykes (or, for that matter, Anonymous) exposed themselves to an honest public debate with anyone? Their TV shows don’t count – they drop their loud-mouthed radio personas and act as neutral moderators to the friendly panel that they construct. I would like to see, for instance, Belling show up anywhere in a public forum and spout the racist nonsense he spewed after Bradley Tech scuffle. He knows better, so he hides behind his microphone and his sanctimony. Anonymous hides for another reason. He or she won’t let me know who they are because to do so would legitimize me as a voice they have to deal with. Right-wing bloggers and radio wing-nuts only pick up lefty posts if they want to make fun of someone or show how "extreme" the Dem "base" is. And most of those posts they cite are phony, anyway.
2) I always argue against their ideas and not their person. I can and have without resorting to calling them "racist or something" – except when they are actually engaging in racist behavior. It is the supposedly-cerebral Sykes who has become so discombobulated with being wrong all the time that he has resorted to calling, for instance, Rep. Steve Kagen a "crap-weasel" and calling anything he disagrees with "crappity-crap-crap". It is they who engage in the politics of personal destruction, making up lies to belittle everyone from Pelosi to Hillary to Barak "Hussein" Obama so that they don’t have to engage them in a war of ideas.
In fact, I think I give them too much credit for trying to engage in real discussion at all. Radio wing-nuts don’t really want discussion or debate – they want GOP-friendly distraction and divisiveness. A Democratic politician once told me that he tried to call in to get a word in edge-wise on Sykes show and was told by Sykes that his show was "entertainment", and refused to put him on. I can’t imagine what is so damn "entertaining" about having Scott Walker or Alberta Darling with a direct line to the studio any time they want, but the bottom line is – they don’t care about real ideas and debate. As Limbaugh tells his listeners repeatedly, he is only interested in callers that make him look good. People like Sykes only pretend to be interested in public issues and discussion. All they really care about is the sound of their own voice and the advancement of the GOP agenda.
3) I don’t think we are necessarily the "smart ones" in the war of ideas. The construction of the wing-nut GOP echo-chamber by Karl Rove is a marvel of propagandic manipulation. Somehow, he got a whole roster – hundreds of talk-show sycophants and their enabling program directors – who were willing to do nothing all day long but repeat carefully constructed GOP talking-points. This goes right down to writing scripts for various levels (Limbaugh gets this spin, the local dudes get to talk about so-and-so in support, and the late-night ravers like Mark Levine and Michael Savage get to float trial balloons like nuking Iran). It’s quite something really, not constructed by dummies.
Liberals would never be able to construct that kind of message-discipline – nor should we ever want to. The difference between liberals and wing-nuts is moral, not mental. We have the truth on our side – and the wing-nuts and their puppet-masters are smart enough to realize that. That’s why they lie so much.
4) The question is not why I am calling out Belling for his racism. The question is: Why are he and others making blatantly racist statements and promoting division over understanding of the primary issue in Milwaukee and other cities – the legacy of slavery, segregation and poverty?
We are used to this with Belling, who withstood the use of a racist slur about Latinos several years ago and lived to brag and laugh about it. But, it appears, his entire radio station has gone off the deep end. Filling in for Belling on Thursday (who was off spreading his national nut-wings by subbing for Limbaugh), morning wing-nut Jay Weber tried and failed to counter a column by Eugene Kane of the Journal Sentinel. Kane is a favorite wing-nut lightening rod, because he eloquently focuses on racial issues in his Journal Sentinel column from (gasp!) a black perspective, making him the most important columnist in that paper and, perhaps, in the city.
Kane had the temerity, according to the undistinguished Weber, to try to explain a recent black-kids-hitting-white-guy incident on a city bus in terms that were not sufficiently outraged. Weber went off on a racist – yes, racist – rant about how the Bay View and Bradley Tech schools were being victimized by black kids being bussed-in from other parts of the city and how the inner city owes the "white and suburban community" a lot more than we owe them. It was an amazingly naked tirade by the near-amateur, trying to be Belling and finding himself way in over his head. In the middle of it, Weber recited the tired cliche: "I know this is not politically correct...." No, it’s not correct in any way. It’s racist. And it shows how far the standards have fallen for even already-bottom-feeding Milwaukee wing-nut radio.
But, what do you expect from a radio station that now proclaims itself "Your Conservative Home"? WISN is now running a promotion spot for the station that is a mock-commercial for coverage of City Conference basketball games, which, of course, the station doesn’t carry. "All the action, from center court to circuit court!" it claims. Now, that is the way that serious issues in the city should be handled -- with hate, division and mockery.
Or,as my dad used to say when he didn’t think it was: Idn’t that funny?