Monday, May 14, 2018


Thank you, Yastreblyansky and Tom, for some great posts while I was away. I know that both of you covered the recent ] liberal-bashing New York Times pieces by Bari Weiss and Gerard Alexander, but I wanted to make a few more points about them.

Weiss, Alexander, and others say lefty language is so intemperate that conservatives inevitably gravitate toward right-wing extremism in response to being called extremists. I just want to point out that one of the most widely read conservative essays written during the 2016 campaign compared the Democratic candidate for president to the hijackers who intended to fly a plane into the U.S. Capitol on September 11, 2001. It began:
2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.

Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto.
The author of that article went on to serve in the Trump White House. Yet I don't know any Democratic voter who became more radical, much less a terrorist, in response to the comparison of our candidate to one.

We're told by Alexander that being a popular entertainer is one of the platforms that "come with a lot of power to express values, confer credibility and celebrity and start national conversations that others really can’t ignore." Alexander says that liberal entertainers abuse this power by choosing to "paint with very wide brushes." "Pressing a political view from the Oscar stage" and "flatly categorizing huge segments of the country as misguided" are, according to Alexander, "domineering" acts that "reveal a tremendous intellectual and moral self-confidence that smacks of superiority."

I'm reminded of what a popular conservative entertainer said during the 2008 presidential campaign:

Obama, he's a piece of shit, and I told him to suck on my machine gun. Let's hear it for him. And then I was in New York. I said, "Hey, Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset, you worthless bitch. Since I'm in California, how about Barbara Boxer, she might want to suck on my machine gun. And Dianne Feinstein, ride one of these you worthless whore. Any questions?
This entertainer, who over the years has also called Clinton a "toxic cunt" and Obama a "subhuman mongrel" (among many other insults), was invited to the White House last year. Funny, no one says that right-wing tolerance of Ted Nugent will condemn Republicans to permanent minority status in American politics, nor do Weiss, Alexander, et al. seem to believe that there's anything particularly chilling about what Nugent says while holding a (prop) weapon of murder.

Does our side respond to provocations like these by becoming more radically, aggressively left-wing? Our party certainly doesn't.
CONWAY, Ark. — To many Democratic leaders, the path to power in Washington looks like Clarke Tucker.

He supports the Affordable Care Act, but not a single-payer system. He signals misgivings about Nancy Pelosi as the next House speaker. And even when addressing an audience of Democratic Party regulars, he does not attack President Trump by name.

In short, he comes across as a moderate — and exactly the kind of candidate who leading Democrats believe the party should field in Republican-leaning districts to bolster the majority they hope to win in the House in November.
Democrat Gwen Graham said she would consider Republican David Jolly as a Florida gubernatorial running mate....

An anti-Trump Republican who had served in the House with Graham in 2015 and 2016, Jolly was first mentioned as a possible running mate for yet another former Democratic member of Congress from Florida, 2016 Senate candidate Patrick Murphy, whose allies want him to run for governor this year.
That's how we respond to the intimidation of gun control advocates and "Lock her up!" chants and descriptions of Mexicans as rapists. We didn't nominate a radical for president in 2016 or 2012 or 2008 or at any time in this smashmouth political era. We politically control embattled corners of America, conservatives control the rest, and yet we're the powerful aggressors. We're attacked as not fit to call ourselves Americans and yet we run candidates eager to compromise. When is it our turn to go extreme and blame other people because we did?

No comments: