No Danny, you are neither a righty nor a lefty (though I kinda agree with your emailers that you sometimes come off as a bit of a “whiner”). No, what you are, Danny, is conventional, in that peculiar establishment media sense that so internalizes the traditional journalistic paradigm of objectivity and impartiality, that you seek to impose your own values on the rest of the world.
You accuse others of “open cynicism and closed minds,” all the while unskeptically embracing your own open cynicism toward party politics. And that makes you at best an observer, and at worst (and despite your best intentions), occasionally a tool, because it is through partisan politics that public policy is enacted and executed in the real world.
And that’s what pisses off your readers on both sides of the ideological divide, because despite your genuine centrism and your devout nonpartisanship, as a newspaper columnist with a relatively large audience, your opinions can make a difference, whether they be informed by the conventional wisdom spoonfed to you by district officials during the school closure controversy, or the relentless equivalency with which you approach the often unequivalent failings of politicians in both parties. Yet your oft repeated disdain for the workings of our two-party system leaves your commentary mostly devoid of constructive criticism but for the easy attack on partisanship in general… an attack that can’t help but irritate us partisans.
You fret about “polarized, triballike camps” as if man hasn’t always been tribal by nature, while implying that the “nichification of news” of which bloggers like me have been a part, is a cause of, rather than a response to, the realpolitik that rules our world. No, you’re not a partisan, but don’t be deluded that your refusal to actively engage in these partisan battles isn’t occasionally useful to one side or the other.
So criticize all you want. That’s your job, as it is mine. The difference is, I also view my job as trying to make a difference, and if that means getting my hands dirty in the real world of partisan politics, well that’s fine by me.