I hate the inane discussions on cable news shows. Besides artificially defining every debate as right against left, the shows actually seem to have the mysterious ability to leave viewers dumber than they were before they turned on the TV. Since most of the time there is really no “news”, the cable stations must feed their insatiable 24-hour cycle with coverage of the Scott Peterson trial and stupid political debate shows. At least the coverage of the Peterson trial is somewhat informative.
One of the worst shows is “Hannity and Colmes” on Fox News, where the suave and eloquent Hannity (a conservative) beats up incessantly on the wimpy, wishy-washy Colmes (a liberal). Conservatives are far better at using this medium, so much so that I actually feel bad for the hapless liberals on these shows.
So, I picked out some of the common debate strings on cable news shows and outlined some equally ridiculous retorts that liberals can use to gain the upper hand. My suggestions will only lower the quality of the existing debate, but maybe its time for liberals to have some fun too.
Topic 1: The Anti-American Left
How come liberals who criticize American foreign policy are accused of being unpatriotic, but conservatives who attack our culture are described as “moral”?
New liberal comeback: Next time a conservative talks about our decaying public culture, accuse him of being part of the “anti-American” right who always blames America first. After all, our culture (say this part with special indignity) is the best in the world and everybody wants to live here, right? Love our disgusting culture or leave it!! When you bash America, you only strengthen our enemies. For example, Jerry Falwell and Mullah Omar both agree that God belongs in the public square. So isn’t complimenting Jerry like providing aid and comfort to the enemy?
Topic 2: Moral Values in Red States
How can people in red states criticize blue state morals when they have the higher rates of teen pregnancy, divorce, and violence? (thanks to http://www.mydd.com/ for pointing me towards these links)
New liberal comeback: The 2008 Democratic candidate should talk about repairing our public culture and restoring trust and responsibility to the White House, beginning with a massive aid effort to red states, to reform their immoral behavior and reduce our national averages for everything bad. It could be formally proposed as the MORALITY Act (Mission to Oppose Red State Alcoholism Lewdness Infidelity and Teen Pregnancy to save our Youth) Sure, the data on alcoholism and lewdness might be mixed, but let’s go with it. That’s what I call a culture war!
Topic 3: Homosexuality
If gays are determined to destroy America, why have they fought so hard to join the most American of all institutions, the military and marriage?
New liberal comeback: Next time a conservative conspiratorially talks about the “gay agenda”, immediately accuse her of being weak on national security (who doesn’t want more soldiers?) and indirectly contributing to a high divorce rate. (If a lot of gay people got married on one day, our national divorce rate could go down by 5 points!)
Topic 4: The Liberal Academia
Why do conservatives complain about their under-representation in academia, but simultaneously tell liberals not to be obsessed with ethnic diversity on campus?
Two new liberal comebacks:
1. When pressed on the lack of conservatives in academia, explain that conservatives don’t work hard enough in school, have developed a “culture” that doesn’t emphasize higher education, and shouldn’t blame the “man” for their problems. They just need to work harder.
2. Here’s a proposal that will satisfy both sides. Give minority kids preferences to get into elite schools and make their financial aid contingent on joining the College Republicans. What a great way to achieve a consensus on diversity!
Topic 5: Immigration Reform
Why do conservatives emphasize the negative impact of illegal immigrants, without even mentioning how the technology and agriculture sectors are powered almost exclusively by immigrant labor?
New liberal comeback: Since immigration leads to increases in productivity, anyone who bashes immigrants is really supporting a “Soviet Style economy” where labor mobility is limited and consumer goods are scarce and expensive. Make sure to enunciate and pause for effect after saying “Soviet Style economy”. Also, anyone who complains about immigrants is also anti-farmer (Remember to praise the family farm for about ten minutes or so before you use this one).
Topic 6: Our Corrosive Entertainment Culture
Why do conservatives blame liberals for the smut on TV and in movies, when most of it is produced by large corporations who are large GOP donors?
New liberal comeback: Next time a conservative mentions Janet Jackson and the Super Bowl, liberals can argue back that they are “anti-business” and that any burdensome regulation hurts business. If we’re not careful, our smut will soon be produced over seas where tax laws are more favorable and the government is less intrusive.
Topic 7: Wasteful Government Spending
Why do conservatives always rail against excessive government spending when “red states” get more than they pay for from the federal government?
New liberal comeback: Continuously refer to red states as “welfare states”. Explain how blue states will not tolerate any more GMC truck driving welfare kings.
Sometime soon, I will come up with a few conservative comebacks to some of the most annoying liberal talking points, such as..
“Americans don’t know enough about the rest of the world. Do you know that most Americans don’t have a passport?” (insert expectation of jaw dropping silence about here)
“Americans are so unpopular around the world. We need to be more consensus-driven like the Europeans.” (said with a completely straight face)
“The Soviet Union would have collapsed anyway. It had nothing to do with Reagan or our massive military buildup.” (said with smug confidence)