It is amusing to hear an affable lefty like E.J. –routinely treated well by center-right and right wing commentators including me and Pete– implicitly decry the descent of political conversation via the use of a generalized suggestion that conservative commentators are attack dogs rather than his opposite number on the other side of the spectrum. Sure, there are crazed people on both left and right, but the vast majority of the big name commentators are almost all genial in person, serious in thought, and respectful of their opponents dignity as human beings even though the disagreements are deep between the two sides. It doesn’t advance the idea of civil debate to continually blast your opponents as somehow different from your allies. We have Rush; they have the Jon Stewart. We have Ann Coulter and Michael Savage. They have Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews. For every force in commentary there is a counter-force, and operatives too numerous to count try hard every day to influence the information the commentariat across the spectrum sees, absorbs and comments upon.