Apparently, Rip-Van-Winkle-like, Bill O'Reilly and Karl Rove simply slept through the 1990s, when Republicans couldn't stop obsessing about the Mighty Clenis and its powers of seduction.
Yesterday on The O'Reilly Factor, they both were mewling piteously about the mean liberals who are having a bit of a heyday with Mark Sanford's Appalachian Trail Adventures:
O'Reilly: Some in the Muslim world believe in stoning people. Apparently, some in the USA believe in stoning as well -- stoning with words.
Because, of course, Bill O'Reilly never attacks people with his words. You Pinhead!
What really got Rove's goat was Paul Begala, having the audacity to point out that he, like a lot of us, have had enough of the GOP's Holier-Than-Thou schtick, which they use with great regularity to beat liberals about the head and neck for their supposed "licentiousness".
Rove: I guess what it comes down to is when you get to socially liberal ideas like abortion, and like gay marriage, the left will seize on any opportunity that they think they have in order to condemn those who are pro-life and pro-traditional marriage. And it's just -- you know, there are people who are maybe moderate in their views on economics, or maybe nationalist on their views on international affairs, but when it comes down to social questions, they're liberal, and it's an instinct, and they cause a lot of people -- you know, like Paul Begala.
O'Reilly: I was just going to say that. Is that unbelievable?
Rove: Unbelievable. I don't recall -- you know, who exactly is accusing him of being a poor father or a poor Christian or not a patriot. But this sort of artificial victimhood -- and again, the purpose of it is, is to say to people --
O'Reilly: But wasn't Begala the guy, that it was just about sex, he and Carville were running around -- that's all they said for two years!
Don't you just love it when the guy who perfected right-wing victimhood as a phony schtick indulges it right there onscreen -- and then accuses the left of it!
And O'Reilly misses his own point: Begala was obviously complaining about Republicans' propensity to condemn all liberals as "immoral" based on a single person's failings (see, e.g., the right-wing claim after Sanford that "liberals are more to licentiousness"). Which is now the position he and Rove are trying to claim -- while accusing Begala of the opposite.
But the real capper was this:
Rove: What we saw last night was the coarseness and ugliness in American politics, carried forward by people who claim not to be political actors, but commentators and observers. And they gave the lie to their so-called neutrality or objectiveness last night.
Quoth the cohort of Lee Atwater and the man who "makes [Charles] Colson look like a novice".
The right's projection strategy is reaching absurd heights these days. But it at least makes for some amusing TV.