Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Liberals vs Conservatives

It turns out that Conservatives are just better people than Liberals. They are more patriotic, they care about the Constitution, they don't think it's ok to lie about Conservatives, they aren't misogynist, and they are just happier. This according to John Hawkin's latest article.
That's because, as Charles Krauthammer once said, To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.

If you think your opponents are evil, you tend to be okay with using tactics that you would describe as "evil" under other circumstances to fight them. If you're up people you compare to Nazis, it’s easy to tell yourself that lying to beat them isn’t so bad. If you're in a dispute with people who you believe are just too stupid to understand what's going on, you feel compelled to try to explain yourself a little better.
Moderately amusing for Hawkins to advance this argument in the middle of an article in which he is argueing that Liberals are, more or less, evil.
The conservative view produces love of country. The other view produces a deep seated dislike of our nation.

. . . Christianity and liberalism have become largely incompatible.
Touching. Hawkins isn't a particularly deep thinker, but even this should stand out to him.

And now let's look at what his readers have to say. I should note that I have decided to go back to looking at Townhall comments after an article from two weeks ago.
If Liberals didn't have hatred to rule and control their lives, they would have nothing to live for.

. . . They are the epitome of Arrogance, Stupidity, and Hypocrisy.. so why should anyone expect anything other than that, from them.. And they are without a doubt, the most vile, repulsive, and despicable, sad and pathetic human beings in American Society, ever..!!!

. . . Conservatives believe in good personal hygiene while liberals are no lovers of soap and water.
Boy we liberals are bastards aren't we? It's almost like we deserve to be hated. But of course Conservatives don't hate us, they just think we are stupid. And apparently smelly.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Render unto Ceaser

Doug Giles latest article is pretty short. I don't know if it got cut in half by Townhall, but it doesn't look like it. The point is simple enough - early Christians rebelled against the Roman State. This is because they had Faith in God, while all of the other subjects of the Roman Empire had Faith in the State.
The early church, however, made it clear amidst this crapola that their allegiance was to Christ and not the edicts of Caesar — especially when Caesar’s dictates conflicted with the Word of God. Yep, it was the church’s disdain for Caesar’s unrighteous decrees (the decrees that required their obedience at the expense of their convictions) that got them killed.

Get it right, folks: It wasn’t the church’s belief that Jesus is God, or their love of covered dish dinners, or their Christian rock music that got them the ax; it was their holy defiance to the demonic edicts that Caesar attempted to slap them with.

Now he doesn't make clear which edicts he is talking about; nor does he make it clear which Ceaser he is talking about. Possibly he doesn't know or didn't consider it relevant. But it is an interesting reconstruction of that part of history. Rather than being innocent victims, peaceably trying to live the dictates of their new religion, Giles recasts them as rebels, defiantly standing up to the state. Kind of like the tea-partiers I guess.

Let's look at a reader comment from Tea Partier.
I contend we are in the immoral situation with a foreign psuedo POTUS, who is a Communist and a muslim in his heart because the American Church has allowed itself to become intimidated by the IRS.

. . . We need a resugence of the Black Brigade to speak the truth to power regardless of the IRS. If the modern church stopped bowing and scraping to the taxman they would be in stronger positions to challenge the ungodly turn this Republic is taking. And could by their stand, help restore us to our judeo/christian roots.
I'm not sure what the term Black Brigade is intended to refer to. There were Black Brigades in Mussolini's Italy, charged with fighting the Allies as well as Italians who were insufficiently exuberant in supporting Mussolini. There was a Black Brigade made up of African Americans that defended the city of Cincinnati in the Civil War. There was a movie, entitled the Black Brigade, about a bunch of all black troops blowing up a dam in Nazi Germany. So I guess I'm not sure which one Tea Partier is referring to.

Still, he does seem to want a brigade of some sort to stand up to Obama.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Crazy vs politically motivated

At this point it seems pretty clear that Loughner was simply crazy, not motivated by partisan politics. And, nearly a week after the shooting, the right is just getting warmed up in their lectures to liberals about thinking that they are violent. Case in point, Michelle's latest article, in which she brings up a bunch of incidents in which liberals assumed right wing nefariousness which turned out to be simply crazy people. She brings up things like the windows smashed that turned out to have been a left winger who did it or the census worker with Fed written on him who turned out to have been a suicide.

Actually let's stop there. Census worker found in the cemetary, with the word "Fed" on his chest, and Michelle Malkin chastises us for not thinking that was somehow related to an anti-Government feeling?

She does kind of shoot herself in the foot by bringing up this one, though.
In April 2009, a disgruntled, unemployed loser shot and killed three Pittsburgh police officers in a horrifying bloodbath. The gunman, Richard Poplawski, was a dropout from the Marines who threw a food tray at a drill sergeant and had beaten his girlfriend. Was this deranged shooter who pulled the trigger to blame? Nope. Despite evidence that Poplawski's homicidal, racist tendencies manifested themselves years before Obama took office, lefty publications asserted that the real culprit of the spree was the "heated, apocalyptic rhetoric of the anti-Obama forces" (according to mainstream liberal Atlantic Monthly pundit Andrew Sullivan), along with Fox News and Glenn Beck (according to mainstream liberal journalist Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly online).
No see that guy actually was a right winger who was obsessed with the Government taking away his guns (and in lieu of what he did with them, perhaps he should have had his Guns taken away from him). But I will concede he was crazy (and I'll be returning to this).

But of course that's Malkin's only mistep. She doesn't bring up the other times that violence or threatened violence was directly related back to the right wing. Such as Byron Williams, Beck devotee, who planned to assassinate leaders of both the Tides Foundation and the ACLU (but was stopped thank goodness). Or the assassination of George Tiller while he was at church. Or the various bricks through the windows that weren't thrown by liberal transvestites. Or the brother of a congressman who had his gas line cut (this was an honest mistake; a tea party activist got the wrong address).

But let's go back to crazy Richard Poplowski. Of course he's crazy. And anybody who takes gun in hand to attack imaginary enemies is crazy. I mean, you'd have to be crazy to act that way. That does sort of let our buddies on the right permenantly off the hook, though. As much as they point a world in which evil liberals work to destroy America, only a crazy person would act on that world view.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

No Signficant Segment

From Michael Barone's latest article.
No American politician, no significant segment of any political movement, no statistically identifiable share of the American people wishes the violent death of its political opponents.
Let's check out some comments from Townhall Readers over the years.
Honestly, stop calling this fool "brilliant" and an inspiring speaker - he is neither. We are on the cusp of either a revolution or a complete downfall in this nation. Pick your side.

Homosexuality is a deviant.pathetic desease that should be wiped off the face of the earth. They are infesting our schools,sexually abusing our children,fornicating like sick animals in our public areas and are actively trying to destroy the very fabric of civilization.

Once the fighting starts, everyone will start picking sides; and the fighting will continue.

If all of this sounds familiar, you are correct. It happened in 1775. I am afraid it is about to happen again.

I truly believe that modern liberalism is so dark and deranged that it is unworthy of debate. To debate that form of evil, only gives it credibility.

I view the democratic party as those who would destroy our nation for the sake of power over others' hopes and dreams. They must be destroyed at all costs! This IS a fight to the death....Let's Roll!!!

Well, I think the editors...

... of the New York Treason should be drawn, quartered, hanged, then shot, their carcasses burned, and the ashes scattered to the wind, with their heads stuck on pikes until the crows devour all the flesh.

Stand 'em against a wall and shoot them. It wouldn't take but a couple 'til the rest of these petulent swine started catching on. Perhaps Mssr. Keller should be deported to Iraq and set out on a street corner in the Sunni triangle. Then he could BECOME news as we watched some of his good buddies saw his head off while screaming "Allah AKBAHR!" (in response to New York Times reporting)
One of the convienences of public shootings is that anybody who engages in them must be a nutcase. That sort of exempts Conservatives from their hateful speech. v

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Time for Christianity

This is hard to believe. Erick Erickson has written that the conversation around this tragedy is focusing on the wrong aspects.
Through it all though, well meaning people on both sides of the ideological and partisan divide are not talking about the one thing that should be talked about — a saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Yep. He also points out that Loughner was both of the left and a loon. But the key point is that if you don't pray you might end up insane like Loughner.

I'm not opposed to people turning to faith in times like these; it's a natural response. Nor do I think such responses need to be private. But, and this is a big but, this is far beyond that. And just plain out nasty. Not the least of which because Rep Giffords is jewish.

Got this from Media Matters.

How dare you politicize Loughner's actions! And anyway he was a Liberal!

Yeah some of the less bright members of the Conservative Pundit core are going down this route, among them Terrence Jeffrey in his latest article.
Would it be fair to at least entertain the hypothesis that Loughner's disdain for religion and admiration for the writings of Marx and Hitler had some connection with his manifest disregard for morality and the sanctity of human life?
Yep. Life means nothing to us Liberals; it's amazing we aren't all out shooting Democratic Politicians.

Those Damned Liberals

In his latest article, Brent Bozell takes Liberals to task for rushing to attack Conservatives in the wake of the Tuscon Shooting.
I have never witnessed such an immediate rush to tar a majority movement in my life -- without an ounce of evidence.

The star of the media's Smearing Olympics was Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, a Democrat who rushed to the readily available media microphones to proclaim the shooting was the natural outgrowth of hot "anti-government" talkers, that "the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from the people in the radio business and some people in the TV business" was to blame.
Let's be honest here. I assumed when I heard about this attack that it was a right wing attack. Why would I think that? Because for decades the right wing noise machine has described Liberals and Democrats as the enemies of America, as wanting Americans to be miserable so they can get political power, as being basically evil. Limbaugh conservatives see liberals as their enemy. Or to quote Mr. Limbaugh.
We view liberals as a threat to the founding of this country. We view them as a threat to the future. We view them as a threat to the traditions and institutions that have defined this country's greatness. We view them as people who need to be defeated, not worked with.
Is it surprising that after years of such characterization, I might expect that some day somebody might act on this world view.

Here's the thing. Limbaugh and Palin and Beck and all don't feel powerless. Whatever they pretend, they know that elections come and go, and their ideas will get back in power. That's the way of it. Do their followers share the same mentality? Or is it possible that their followers, after hearing years of Conservatives explaining that the system just doesn't work and that Democratic politicians are evil, might decide that they can't wait for the system to work. That they know where evil is and they know how to deal with it.

Obviously in this case, Loughner turns out to be crazy. And, it must be acknowledged, some of the Reporting on this issue was hasty. I had a gut reaction to this news; but I'm not a reporter. Reporters should wait until they get all the facts.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Your Weekly Rush - Don't Kid Yourself

Well, I wish I could say this wasn't predictable. Limbaugh is mostly concerned about Liberals blaming Conservatives for the Arizona shooting, but of course he also suggests that Loughner is probably a liberal (although crazed). But mostly he's worried about martial law.
Don't kid yourself. What this was all about is shutting down any and all political opposition and eventually criminalizing it. Criminalizing policy differences, at least when they differ from the Democrat Party agenda. One of the more disturbing things about this incident is that someday the left will finally get their wish. One of these days it's going to happen. This is all setting the table for it.
Of course it wasn't that long ago that Conservatives were calling for sedition trials against Liberals for criticizing President Bush. Possibly this is a bit of projection? Limbaugh would dearly love to see Liberalism dissappear from acceptable political discourse.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thoughts on the Recent Shooting

I haven't been around for a bit, what with the holidays and all, but the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords requires a bit of commentary. I went to Salon this morning to review what they had on the issue. As it turns out they have two articles suggesting that the actions of Jarad Lee Loughner were motivated by craziness rather than politics. Laura Miller's "The real message of Loughner's book list" suggests that his books can be seen as anti-authoritarian but don't give much of a message beyond that. Steve Kornacki's "Let's not make this something it isn't" is even more direct.
At best, the connection between Palin’s behavior and Saturday’s tragedy is abstract. If anything, the shooting reinforces a point that James Fallows has made: The motives of political assassins rarely have anything to do with mainstream political debate and rhetoric. For now, at least, this seems to be the case with Loughner. This doesn’t mean it’s unreasonable to criticize Palin and others who push the envelope with their rhetoric. But when liberals use this moment to highlight every provocative statement Palin has made, it’s also not unreasonable if she says that her opponents are trying just a little too hard to make her the villain.
That seems fair. Crazy people like Loughner are unlikely to stop being crazy if we just talk more nicely about our political opponents.

Salon also has an article by Alex Pareene tracking the use of gun and violent imagery from the Right; not hard to do, unfortunately. And while this article starts out from Kornackis point, it quickly deviates right back into blaming conservatives for Loughners actions.
Whether Jared Loughner is a far-left nihilist or a right-wing racist or -- as he most likely is -- some weird politically incoherent amalgamation of extremist beliefs tinged with paranoia, he wasn't driven to murder by angry campaign slogans. Steve Kornacki's right -- Loughner was not a Gadsden Flag-wielding Tea Partier incited to violence by the Twitter messages of Sarah Palin. But he is a product of the culture, and there's a reason he chose to attack a Democratic Congresswoman. There's a reason why his paranoia was directed at an elected official, the closest representative of what he saw as in illegitimate government. The attempted assassination of a member of Congress seems depressingly like the inevitable conclusion of two years of hysterical revolutionary language suffusing every single domestic political debate.
We shouldn't blame Palin et al. for the actions of Loughner, but they did create a cultural context for such actions to make sense. Kind of a backhanded way of blaming Palin.

That said, it's nothing on Rachel Alexander over at Townhall. Her article, "The Left Hypocritically Exploits Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' Shooting," does exactly what it says on the tin. She focuses entirely on Loughner and his reading list and fairly explicitely blames liberalism for his madness.
Did the values pushed by the left of moral relativism, self-indulgence promoting acceptance of his imbibing of illicit drugs, and “tolerance” of hate-filled totalitarian books like The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf while dismissing the teachings of the Bible contribute to Loughner’s delusions? Perhaps.

Loughner is behind bars, so we may find out someday. Meanwhile, as more evidence comes out revealing Loughner has ties to the left, not the right, expect the left to suddenly blame his actions on mental illness.
Subtle. Alexander's only reference to Loughner's victim is in the title, incidentally. Presumably she figures that everybody knows the details.