As a truly fair and balanced guy, Thom always has at least one Fascist on his program. (Recently, he even had the grand-daddy of all neo-cons, Norman Podhoretz, on the show.) After the lunatic du jour had finished foaming at the mouth about SCHIP and how we would be murdering children if it were not vetoed by the Texecutioner, a caller started criticizing the Fascist, and Thom said, "He's a decent guy. I don't want to attack him personally; I just disagree with his policies."
I know that we liberals/progressives are forgiving and tolerant, but there's a serious flaw in this idea, and I think it is one that should be addressed. Unless you are saying that conservative pundits don't believe their own policies and are just spouting right-wing nonsense to get paid (which is bad enough), you are somehow divorcing a person's policies from his/her personality. How in the world does that work?
My personality is optimistic about the nature of humanity. I believe that as a group, we are basically good people, but that we can be misled by propaganda, fear and malignant leaders into supporting policies that are not good for us. Thus, I am a liberal/progressive, and any ideas I have regarding government will come out of those beliefs. In contrast, according to John Dean's excellent book "Conservatives without Conscience," conservatives believe that people are inherently evil, and thus advocate for Big Brother to hold our "bad" impulses (homosexuality being one, terminating a pregnancy another) in check through governmental regulations.
The Fascists understand that attack politics works, and that character does matter, precisely because of this fundamental truth: that a decent person does not advocate against giving health insurance to children, or support bombing Iran for no reason, or say that torture is just dandy, or support the removal of habeas corpus and other Constitutional rights in the name of "security."
Fascist pundits are not decent people. Fascist politicians are not decent people. And if our Democratic leadership would have another "At long last, have you no decency, sir?" moment, it could go a long way towards waking Americans from our long Orwellian nightmare.