Wednesday, January 8, 2014

We're all haters now; Clinton redux

The left has begun to realize that the public is not enamored of the hate filled rhetoric that is the raw meat of liberalism.  Americans are beginning to react against the continual assault of liberal incivility with anger and revulsion.

Liberals reaction is to go back to the Clinton playbook and tell America that everyone in the media is full of hate and says vile things so there’s no reason to blame the left.  In the 1990’s we were told that Clintons perjury was ok since everyone lied. Similarly his abysmal treatment of his wife and daughter were no big deal because cheating was normal for powerful men.

Liberals managed to convince America that even though Clinton was bad everyone else in politics was bad too so it didn’t matter.

They’re now trying to deflect any anger directed at the real uncivil speech constantly emanating from the left by convincing America that liberal’s visceral hatred of any who oppose them is not unique.

In an article on Politico by two left-wingers trying to hype their book the case is made that all political commentators, except those on CNN apparently and the MSM, are full of outrage and offense.

Anyone who is listening to the media today however realizes that there is a fundamental dichotomy between the political commentary of the left and the right in America.  The left compared Bush to Hitler and applauded a movie that showed Bush being assassinated. Liberals told us that was a sign of courage; speaking truth to power.  The Right on the other hand says that Obama’s policies are violating the Constitution and wreaking America while eschewing personal attacks on the President and for that villainy conservatives are called racists. Liberals attack people, conservatives attack political positions.

To advance their cause, ensuring that liberals can continue to spew hate with impunity, the authors are forced to try and lump all disagreements into a single bucket labeled outrage.

Expressing strong concern about Obama’s blatant violation of the First Amendment rights of nuns in Colorado is put on par with being outraged that Republicans dare run candidates against incumbent female Democrats because in doing so Republicans are waging a war on women.

In the article false comparisons abound.  For example Bashir’s calling Sarah Palin an idiot and suggesting that she should be force fed fecal matter is put on the same plane as Rush Limbaugh’s supposedly calling the Pope a Marxist—Limbaugh actually said “This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the pope.”.

Let’s compare the two comments. First Rush made very clear that he respects the Catholic Church and the Pope but that he disagreed with what the media were reporting the Pope to have said.  It is clear that Rush never read the 51,000 word exhortation himself since, among other things, it never uses the word capitalism—it condemns unfettered consumerism—and it specifically says that welfare programs are dehumanizing and that the best way to help the poor is to give them a job.  Rush was responding to what the media was reporting—where it was said that the Pope was condemning “unfettered capitalism”—note that the title of the transcript is “It's Sad How Wrong Pope Francis Is (Unless It's a Deliberate Mistranslation By Leftists)”.

Rush then rightly identified what the media was reporting as being socialist if not Marxist in nature.  Rush did not attack the Pope personally but what he, Rush, thought the Pope was saying.

Is this an offensive statement?  Given that liberals have no problem with Marxists, including university professors such as Obama’s mentor Bill Ayers, and given that in America today Marxists are not reviled or oppressed it’s unclear how anyone can declare that calling what appears to be a socialist economic perspective Marxist is outrageous.

On the other hand Martin Bashir personally insulted Palin calling her a “world class idiot”. He also wished ill on her by suggesting that she should be force fed human excrement.  That is nothing like Rush’s critique of the media’s misrepresentation of what Pope Francis said. 

Rush attacked what he thought the Popes ideas were while expressing support for the Pope. Bashir demonstrated hatred of Palin because she refused to conform to Bashir’s ideology. Rush demonstrated concern that the Pope was supporting an ideology that would result in more, not less, poverty while Bashir was saying that Palin should be personally punished for disagreeing with him.

Bashir was spewing hate of a person while Rush was condemning a political philosophy.

Another false comparison was between Glenn Beck—who is on the far edge of the conservative movement—with Chris Matthews—who is in the center of liberalism.  Chris Matthews said

They are political terrorists, and like all terrorists, including those who use bombs…”

about the Tea Party. 

The article equates that with Glenn Beck

“[Barack Obama] is a Marxist revolutionary, and the reason why you know this to be true is on health care.”

In post 9/11 America does anyone really think that declaring that Obama who is pushing for the government takeover of 1/6 of the US economy is a Marxist is even remotely on par with declaring Americans who want smaller government equal to terrorists who revel in murdering women and children?  The Marxist label might have packed a punch in the 1950s but these days it won’t incite many Americans to anger.

The article then uses the false premise that Fox News is as full of hate and outrage—a conclusion they say is based on their “non-partisan” research team—to say that the reason hate speech continues is that audiences like it. Given that liberal non-network media—apparently network media were not examined—have a small audience compared to Fox and conservative talk radio the authors had to declare conservatives to be as uncivil as liberals in order to support their conclusion that incivility is fueled by ad dollars.

The article essentially blames all of the incivility on American viewers—shades of Carters malaise speech—because supposedly they watch uncivil shows.

Even though the same
article says

“Americans tell pollsters they dislike this kind of talk and believe it degrades our political system.

the authors claim that because 47 million viewers watch it it’s the viewers fault.

The problem with that reasoning is that in order to get the 47 million number the authors had to conclude that Rush, Fox News, Glenn Beck et al are just as uncivil as Chris Matthews and Martin Bashir.  Without the audience numbers from conservative media the authors whole point collapses.

But we can see that the argument is wrong in that if it is viewers desire for outrage that is the cause of liberal incivility MSNBC should be seeing it’s ratings soar after years of constant outbursts of raw hatred. Yet the liberal sources, like MSNBC, that do in fact wear their incivility on their sleeves as a badge of courage are seeing their audiences bleed away.

The article proves it’s own point is wrong when it declares that the worst offenders are Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann closely followed by Sean Hannity.  If the authors premise that it’s viewers who drive advertisers to fund uncivil shows and conservatives are as bad as liberals is true why would Fox have let Beck leave and why is Olbermann sans a meaningful job while Sean is getting good ratings?

We need to counter this new liberal smear campaign by noting that condemning failed policies is not the same as condemning the people you disagree with.

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