Greg Abbot is the Republican paraplegic running for Texas governor against the gold-digging Planned Parenthood mascot, Democrat Wendy Davis.
Abbott has been relegated to a wheelchair since 1984, when an oak tree fell and squashed him as he was running past it. Thirty years without walking has atrophied his legs, rendering them what many people would call “matchstick-thin.”
This is also how Abbotts’ legs were described by MSNBC’s Zachary Roth on Friday.
“The simple sight of him in his wheelchair,” said Roth, “—matchstick-thin legs dangling in front of him as he maneuvers himself around—is enough to set him apart from the parade of conservative Republican white men who talk about helping the job creators and seem never to have suffered a day in their lives.”
Queue the phony outrage, even though Roth was painting a sympathetic picture of Abbott. He was saying that Roth, to his credit, has actually been through terrible suffering these last 30 years, despite the public perception that Republicans “have never suffered a day in their lives.”
But some people on the right are pretending to be outraged at MSNBC. And if it’s not pretend, then it’s pathetic.
I am so exhausted by the battle being waged between left and right over who can demonstrate the most anger. Conservative outlets used to be a relaxing retreat for me from all the emotionalism injected into politics. They used to be intellectual nourishment. But it’s been so dumbed down for a wider audience that it’s virtually indistinguishable from liberalism. Liberals used to be the only ones who would pretend to get upset over small things, because whoever acted the most incensed was seen as the person standing on moral high ground.
Fighting fire with fire can sometimes be a smart move, but not when the fire is more emotionalism. Liberals have been acting like clowns for the past decade or so, getting themselves into a manufactured huff as a way to win the arguments rather than actually arguing on an intellectual level. And now conservatives are following suit, leaving those who hate emotions-based rhetoric, like me, with nobody to respect anymore.
When Andrew Breitbart died, his website fell under new management and it just hasn’t been the same. Each of the writers there now seems to be vying to compete for Most Emotional, but they still present themselves as fighters for justice—another appeal to emotions (of epic romance)
Ben Shapiro is probably the worst of the offenders at Breitbart. He started a new website called Truth Revolt, which is essentially a more activist version of the Media Research Center. Both attempt to expose liberal bias in the media. But whereas MRC keeps a fairly level head in its stories, TR gets really crazy sometimes. Which is to be expected, since, after all, they’re competing with MRC.
But MRC already does a fine job finding all the media-bias stories that exist, so of course Shapiro and the people at TR have to really reach for anything new that could be perceived as bias if they hope to be different from MRC.
And that’s exactly what we see in this story about the Texas governor’s race. TR called it “incredible” that Roth described Abbott’s legs as “matchstick-thin,” even though that is a common sympathy-inducing phrase. Reading the comments from equally “outraged” individuals leaves a right-winger such as I with no hope for the Right to ever gain any ground among smart people. If our best hope of gaining popularity is to mimic the blind outrage and sheer idiocy of the left, then we’re no better than the left and we deserve being thought of as jokes.