Many conservatives finished the year angry about the same thing they were angry about at the beginning of the year: liberal double standards.
As I write this, GOP House Whip Steve Scalise is in hot water over reports that he spoke to a group of racist poltroons in
But one common response on social media is instructive. Countless conservatives want to know: Why the double standard?
When Republicans are in power, "dissent is the highest form of patriotism." When Democrats are in power, dissent is the racist fuming of "angry white men."
Peaceful, law-abiding tea party groups who cleaned up after their protests -- and got legal permits for them -- were signs of nascent fascism lurking in the American soul. Violent, anarchic and illegal protests by
When rich conservatives give money to Republicans, it is a sign that the whole system has been corrupted by fat cats. When it is revealed that liberal billionaires and left-wing super PACs outspent conservative groups in 2014: crickets.
When Republicans invoke God or religious faith as an inspiration for their political views, it's threatening and creepy. When Democrats do it, it's a sign they believe in social justice.
One can do this all day long. But while examples are easy, explanations are hard.
I don't know who first said, "Behind every apparent double standard lies an unconfessed single standard" (and as far as I can tell, neither does the Internet), but whoever did was onto something.
What looks like inexplicably staggering hypocrisy from the conservative perspective is actually remarkably consistent from the liberal perspective.
Well, "perspective" is probably the wrong word because it implies a conscious, deliberate, philosophical point of view. What is really at work is better understood as bias, even bigotry.
If you work from the dogmatic assumption that liberalism is morally infallible and that liberals are, by definition, pitted against sinister and -- more importantly -- powerful forces, then it's easy to explain away what seem like double standards. Any lapse, error or transgression by conservatives is evidence of their real nature, while similar lapses, errors and transgressions by liberals are trivial when balanced against the fact that their hearts are in the right place.
Despite controlling the commanding heights of the culture -- journalism,
It was a hilarious and revealing moment. Stewart -- who recently had to turn down a pleading request from