Sunday, November 20, 2005

Michelle, You Ignorant Slut

It was that same blog, in fact, that earlier urged the use of violence against another blogger and even provided directions to that person's home on his blog. I'm not aware of any left-wing bloggers having done that.

Indeed, for all the left-wing wackery out there -- and there's no doubt plenty of it -- what you don't see is this kind of eliminationist rhetoric.

After all, Michelle, it wasn't a prominent Democrat who publicly hypothesized about what would happen to the crime rate if all black babies were aborted. It wasn't a prominent Democratic radio talk-show host in Seattle who said of a U.S. Senator -- yes, the same Dick Durbin whose remarks you find completely out of line: "This man is simply a piece of excrement, a piece of waste that needs to be scraped off the sidewalk and eliminated."

It isn't the most prominent liberal talk-show host in the country who jokes that we shouldn't "kill all the liberals" -- instead, we should "leave enough so we can have two on every campus -- living fossils -- so we will never forget what these people stood for."

It wasn't a prominent member of the "liberal" media who opined that we ought to incarcerate everyone who works for Air America.

It wasn't a Democratic congressman who opined that we ought to ship liberal dissenters to Iraq to serve as "human shields."

It wasn't left-wing letter writers who attacked former USA Today editor Al Neuharth and recommended he face execution for treason. Al Neuharth, mind you -- not exactly Mr. Liberal.

And kooky theories? Well, Michelle, what about the forthcoming tome from a well-known conservative postulating -- against all known historical fact -- that fascism is a liberal phenomenon. Of course, you know all about ignoring the weight of historical evidence, don't you?

It isn't liberal bloggers, Michelle, who have waxed wroth at the General Ripperesque notion that the Flight 94 memorial is actually a tribute to the terrorists, or who have whipped up groundless fears about Islamist terrorists in Oklahoma and elsewhere; no left-wing moonbats groundlessly attacked the Pulitzer winner in photography or attacked USA Today with conspiratorial accusations for a badly retouched photo.

No, Michelle, that would be you and yours.
 
Moonbats, wingnuts, take your pick: The shoe fits -- you.
Malkin also makes a great deal (pp. 163-164) out of a Bush-hating entrepreneur who offered a line of "Kill Bush" T-shirts and cups (the logo being a takeoff of the Tarantino film "Kill Bill"), and observes that no one on the right likewise promoted "Kill Kerry" shirts.

Perhaps not, but there is someone offering, at the same location, "Liberal Hunting Permits" like the one at the top of this post. Ah, but for Malkin, no doubt, there's nothing extremist about such gear.

Malkin also includes photos and anecdotes of left-wing Kerry supporters getting ugly with right-wing Bush backers throughout the campaign, and includes a photo gallery of some of the "unhinged" folk who would do such things.

Strangely missing, though, are shots like these:



[More info here.]



[More here.]

There's quite a gallery of this behavior on both sides of the aisle, really. But an honest and thorough survey of the ugliness will reveal something Malkin doesn't want her readers to know, because it contradicts completely her claim that the right reins in its extremists:

Not only are conservatives guilty of nearly identical behavior that Malkin describes as "unhinged," but the volume of it is at least equal to, if not greater than, that from the left. Right-wing unhingedness is equally pervasive, if not more so, at nearly all levels: it can be found throughout ordinary movement conservatives; conservative media and punditry spokespeople; and among the officials and movement leaders (like Cheney) who set the tone for the rest. And it has been poisoning the public discourse for a much longer period of time.

Anyone who is seriously concerned about the ugliness and division that has become imbued in today's politics should be concerned about the kind of discourse that Malkin documents -- at least, those instances that actually document beyond-the-realm behavior and not simple partisanship. There are enough of these, I think, to give any liberal pause.

But any honest assessment will not only consider all the ugliness across the political spectrum, it will consider it in its respective context. How should we assess left-wing nastiness, for instance, when it appears not only to be a relatively recent phenomenon, but in many regards highly reactive to right-wing provocation?

As I observed in the previous post, the deeply eliminationist nature of so much right-wing rhetoric -- "hunting liberals" being a classic example -- is the antithesis of constructive discourse. Its purpose is to intimidate and antagonize, as well as to encourage similar ugliness.

Conservatives' complaints about left-wing ugliness are akin to those of the lunatic who walks about the town square poking his fellow citizens in the eye with a sharp stick -- and then complaining about their lack of civility afterward.

The most significant context in this regard is another reality: the "unhinged" discourse from the right -- what Malkin calls "a lot of the violence, a lot of the paranoia, a lot of the conspiracy theories, a lot of this hatred" -- has been going on for a long time.

Perhaps it's just a convenient memory lapse by Malkin that omits the fact that conservatives have engaged in ten years and more of liberal-bashing -- consumed by a pathological hatred of Bill Clinton, especially, that came floating to the surface in the form of violence, paranoia, and conspiracy theories.

After all, who could forget all those stories promoted -- not just by fringe players, but by supposedly mainstream conservatives like the Wall Street Journal's editorialists -- about Bill Clinton:
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