ROBERT SCHEER….At the risk of pissing off a devoted cadre of my readers yet again, I’m going to answer a question they asked last week: why don’t I like Robert Scheer? Here’s the answer, contained in the first few sentences of his column today:

If they were true to their principles, moderate Republicans and consistent conservatives would be supporting John Kerry. Instead, their acquiescence to the reckless whims of George W. Bush marks a descent into that political abyss of opportunism where partisanship is everything and principle nothing.

How else to explain their cynical support for this shallow adventurer, a phony lightweight who has bled the Treasury dry while incompetently squandering the lives of young Americans in a needless imperial campaign?

If this were written for a liberal blog or The Nation it would be fine. But it’s not. It’s a column written for the mainstream press, and I doubt that even one single LA Times reader ? and certainly not one single conservative ? will change their vote this year based on this kind of juvenile shreekiness. Quite the opposite, in fact.

That’s why I don’t like Scheer. He’s a smart guy and a talented writer, but he’s too self-indulgent to modulate his tone based on his audience. He’s got valuable op-ed real estate at his disposal, and the purpose of valuable op-ed real estate is to persuade doubters, not drive them into the hands of your enemies by confirming their worst fears about your own side.

Until he figures that out, he needs to be confined to writing flyers for anti-globo rallies and polemics for CounterPunch. In the meantime, I don’t feel like losing any elections because of him.

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