MORE ON FALWELL
Christopher Hitchens to CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday night:
Who would, even at your network, have invited on such a little toad to tell us that the attacks of September the 11th were the result of our sinfulness and were God's punishment if they hadn't got some kind of clerical qualification?
Er, here, from January, is Dinesh D'Souza; he thinks liberals were responsible for 9/11. (He's a guest of CNN's Glenn Beck; he thinks liberals are responsible for all the other evils in the world.) How is what D'Souza says materially different from what Falwell said? And D'Souza hasn't got some kind of clerical qualification. Of course CNN would invite someone who made a statement like this who wasn't a preacher. Like D'Souza, such a person would almost certainly have a book to promote, and CNN would be happy to oblige.
(And yeah, I know -- Hitchypoo isn't upset because Falwell suggests that God would direct his wrath at people like me. Hitchypoo is upset because Falwell suggests that God would direct his wrath at people like himself.)
Meanwhile, I see that rightists (and not-so-rightists) are in a tizzy about some of the indelicate reactions to Falwell's death. The Populist on Tuesday:
...to bash a dead man to the point of just being vile, is just plain disgusting and wrong, and totally reprehensible. ... My Point is this, Just because you don't like someone or disagree with his Political stance or Religious Beliefs, it does not give you a license to be uncivil and asinine.
Michael van der Galien at the Moderate Voice, shortly afterward:
I agree completely: some of the comments I read were highly insensitive, rude and, yes, even hateful. Ironically enough, that's exactly what those same people say about Falwell.
Many of them are not much 'better' than Falwell: they are just two sides of the same coin.
Cadillac Tight on Tuesday:
Note the glee at Democratic Underground concerning Falwell's death, and contrast it to most conservative commentary on the death of Molly Ivins. Then tell me the left doesn't have a rage problem.
OK, let's take Point #1: "to bash a dead man to the point of just being vile, is just plain disgusting and wrong, and totally reprehensible." Is that an absolute rule? Speak no ill of anyone who's dead? Let's see: David Duke is going to die someday, isn't he? (Warning: that's a link to his Web site.) Are we not allowed to say bad things about him when he croaks, "Just because [we] don't like [him] or disagree with his Political stance or Religious Beliefs" -- even if it's clear to us that Falwell hated gay people and feminists and liberals in a way that's indistinguishable from Duke's hatred of non-whites and Jews? (And Falwell said nasty things about blacks and Jews, too.) So -- absolute prohibition on speaking ill of the dead, or is there any leeway for hate? What are the rules here? Do we have nice about Duke, too?
The blogger at Cadillac Tight has a point: many right-wingers do try to say nice things when an ideological enemy dies or becomes seriously ill. This is followed in short order, however, by other right-wingers pointing out how much more polite right-wingers are than left-wingers. The righties aren't morally superior; the righties are acting morally superior. I read more right-wing Web sites than most people on the left, and the subtext of every "Pray for the family" remark at the passing of a liberal is "Look at me! Look at what a good person I am! I despised this person, but I wish his/her family well! (Oh, and I do it by invoking religion -- not like those religion-hating liberals!)" It's a slick act, but I don't buy it. It's done just so it can thrown in my face.
And why even fake civility for a hatemonger anyway?