Tony Blankley offered quite a zinger on the most recent episode of "Left, Right & Center
." Obviously, he went a bit over the top, but the point was dead on. The subject was the "coarsening of our politics."
Initially, the Democrats called the demonstrators who opposed health care “demonstrators”, then they call them a “mob”. Then the Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid, called them “evil”. Then the House Democratic leader, Steny Hoyer, called them “un-American”. Then the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called them “Nazis”. Then the president, on Labor Day, called them “liars”. Then the former Democratic President of United States, Jimmy Carter, called them “racists”. And then the Speaker of the House called them “encouraging assassins” a la Harvey Milk’s murder in San Francisco.
And then the president laments the coarsening of political dialogue. And he does it in an accusatory rather than a concessionary tone. That is an extraordinary list of statements made by the senior elected leadership of the Democratic party against the people who have been making nothing but policy arguments. So yes, there’s been a coarsening, but who’s doing the coarsening?
There were a few other comments, and then Tony had 15 more seconds for his "rant" at the end of the show and said this.
It is interesting that in order to find some rude or outrageous statements on the opposition side they have to look for signs in a crowd of 200,000 people. And for me to find rude and outrageous statements, I go to the senior elected Democratic leaders of the nation. I think that’s an interesting comparison.
Of course, the people with the racist and Nazi signs are just taking their cue from Republican elected officials and right-wing radio and TV commentators.
Blankley is hooting blanks.
Oops, that was supposed to say, "shooting blanks."
No, Blankley's main point still stands. In my observations, you are far more likely to hear incendiary things from Democratic leaders than you are to hear it from Republican leaders. I know there are exceptions, but the trend seems clear to me. Blankley's list from the past few weeks is a good illustration of that trend.
Those Democratic statements referenced above were far from "incendiary" in the original words. Blankley simply re-worded them.
Meanwhile, we have supposedly respectable Republican elected officials questioning whether the President is an American citizen, stating that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has created no jobs at all, or claiming all kinds of nonsense about the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) and the various health care reform bills.
There are too many examples to even start citing them one by one. Blankley is ignoring the Republican campaign of hate and disinformation, while focusing on a few Democrats who spoke out in reaction to the Republicans.
OK, here's one example: In Hong Kong, Palin Again Defends 'Death Panels'
One more, but again there are too many to post all the links: Roy Blunt taking heat for 'jungle monkey' parable
If those are the meanest things Republicans have said in the last month, then you've only advanced my argument, along with Mr. Blankley's.
If you call the monkey joke racist, then you didn't get the joke. Maddow is creating a straw man here. Those who insist on seeing racial overtones where they weren't intended only hurt the cause of improving race relations. You can only cry wolf so many times...
The "death panels" remark isn't hateful. It is spin. It might irritate you, and you might disagree with it, but it isn't in the same ballpark as the personal insults and attacks that regularly emanate from major leaders of the Democratic party.
We hear the hateful remarks on the left and right fringes of debate. It just appears that the leaders on the left seem more willing to parrot that rhetoric than the leaders on the right. It would be cool if our leaders in Washington would rise above the fray a bit more frequently. Probably too much to ask, but a guy can dream...
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