Saturday, October 8, 2005

Why is Ultra Affixed to Conservatives Only?

Interesting how some liberals torture the word “ultra.” A recent column by liberal columnist and dissenter priest Andrew Greeley (who markets himself always wearing a roman collar but who, unlike his church, favors women priests, married priests, contraception, relaxation of strictures on sexual mores and general absolution) calls the Catholic magazine First Things ultra-conservative. The magazine is a journal of intellectual inquiry in the church and favors the theology of the teaching magisterium. In addition, in the same column, Greeley refers to the National Catholic Reporter, a newspaper that publishes him and like him endorses free-wheeling criticism of Rome and the magisterium as just that—the National Catholic Reporter…not the liberal National Catholic Reporter nor the ultra-liberal National Catholic Reporter. Ergo: there is no such thing as ultra that applies to liberal in the liberal vocabulary.

Now consider a popular political newsletter about Illinois that free-wheelingly applies its writer’s prejudicial views toward ideas. The words ultra-conservative are recklessly applied—which is code for someone who holds views the writer disagrees with. I have not seen ultra-liberal applied to any politician in that publication. Which means there is no leftish view that is propounded that is out of bounds. Once on a radio show with Lynn Sweet, the frequently absolutists, defiantly judgmental Washington bureau chief of the Sun-Times, who doubles as a political analyst often on the editorial page (a unique juxtapositioning where one day she reports the news with purported objectivity and the next day she writes opinion on the same story where originally only she and God knew whether there was no admixture; no only God knows) ran a litany of supposed ultra-conservatives of which number I am sure, by her lights, I qualify. I asked her gently if she could name any ultra-liberals. She paused and the silence continued so long that the moderator intervened. She never thought of any. The next day, when I bumped in to her, I asked if she had found any ultra-liberals yet. She hadn’t. I asked, “Would Ramsey Clark qualify?” She didn’t say yes, didn’t say no. So much for passionate liberal objectivity. Now you can resume reading this ultra-conservative stuff.


  1. I like paleo-liberals. You don't see it applied often. But most liberals stuck way in the past without a new idea since the 1960s. Paleo appt for them.

  2. I would like to send an email to Tom Roesser, but no general email address appears on the site. What is Tom's email address?