[Enjoy a bonus commentary by Burt! -ed.]
When you saw the lengths to which the left went in their attempt to connect loony Jared Loughner to Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and/or the Tea Party, the surprise is that they never thought to connect the dots between Charles Manson and Barry Goldwater or Jeffrey Dahmer and Ronald Reagan.
Even though it was obvious that Loughner was as crazy as a bedbug and as political as a beanbag, it didn’t stop the likes of Dick Durbin, Paul Krugman, Steny Hoyer, Charles Rangel, Al Sharpton or Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, from trying to turn him into the poster boy for the Republican party.
As scurrilous as that was, what made it even more reprehensible is that those on the left never condemn the words or deeds of those who carry the water for the Democrats. Nobody, after all, has to sit around and wait for someone who just might be a Republican to display his hateful side. All a conservative has to do is visit the Huffington Post, the Daily Kos or tune in MSNBC any night of the week.
When Democrats accuse Republicans of hateful speech, you might notice that they never supply specific examples. On the other hand, Steny Hoyer (D-MD) made this generalization about millions of Tea Party members: “My presumption is that they have unhappy families.”
My presumption is that Mr. Hoyer is very presumptuous. But if millions of decent, patriotic Americans are unhappy, perhaps it’s because louts like Hoyer are doing everything they can to destroy the country. He went on: “The fact is life is about trying to reach accommodation with one another.” I guess he’s referring to the way that members of his party accommodated those who opposed ObamaCare. I seem to recall that it consisted of Obama’s telling the Republicans to sit down, shut up and get out of the way.
I seem to recall that the same Democrats who now insist that Sarah Palin essentially put out a contract on Rep. Giffords when, in 2010, she “targeted” Giffords’ congressional district, didn’t have a problem with Democratic Senate candidate Joe Manchin’s TV ad showing him firing an actual rifle at the ObamaCare bill and promising “I’ll take dead aim on Cap and Trade.”
Does anyone recall liberals getting up in arms over Democrats hoping Dick Cheney would die on the operating table? Did I miss the editorial in the NY Times where they chided their readers for equating George Bush with Adolf Hitler or discouraging them from reading a book or seeing a movie that fantasized Bush’s assassination?
In the wake of Jared Loughner’s psychotic episode, the left is demanding an end to hate speech. But, hate speech, by their reckoning, is anything said in opposition to Obama’s agenda. It clearly does not encompass Chris Matthews calling Sarah Palin a zombie and saying that he hoped Rush Limbaugh’s head would blow up. Regarding Michele Bachmann’s appointment to the House Intelligence Committee, he claimed, “This is great irony. I wonder what the rules are for getting on that committee. I guess they’re pretty lenient.” But obviously the rules are not nearly as lenient as those dictating who gets a talk show on MSNBC.
Speaking of which, that network’s Keith Olbermann has a regular segment on his show in which he announces the Worst Person in the World. I can assure you that Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh get named far more often than Islamic terrorists or North Korean despots.
Hollywood liberal Alec Baldwin, we should all remember, urged people to stone Rep. Harry Hyde’s house; NPR’s Nina Totenberg wished AIDS on Sen. Jesse Helms and his grandchildren; former Florida congressman Alan Grayson announced during his campaign that Republicans who opposed ObamaCare were out to kill old people; talk show host Ed Schultz beseeched the Good Lord to take Dick Cheney to the Promised Land. “See, I didn’t even wish that the guy go to Hell. I just want him to get the hell out of here.” But when it comes to Republicans in general, Schultz is through being Mr. Nice Guy: “Shove those bastards right into the dirthole!”
Ever hear a left-winger condemn Bill Ayers, who regrets he didn’t blow up more government buildings than he did; or Jeremiah Wright, who espoused his racism from the pulpit for more than 20 years; or Al Sharpton, who rode to fame on the backs of New York cops he had knowingly slandered?
Has any MSM movie critic ever chastised Michael Moore for trying to pass off heavy-handed left-wing propaganda as fact-based documentaries or written an expose of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth?
For that matter, has a Democrat ever questioned why Tom Delay has been sentenced to a three-year term for money laundering, but Charles Rangel got a wrist slap for a laundry list of offences, including tax evasion?
As everyone knows, both parties “target” the opposition at election time and it is childish to pretend that political discourse, no matter how heated it may get, will set off a murderous rampage in anyone but a psychotic. And such pathetic creatures can be set off by any number of things, including cuckoo clocks, Andy Rooney’s voice and burnt toast.
But the fact remains that if there really were a way to curb rhetoric meant to incite violence, it wouldn’t be Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, who would be silenced. Instead, it would be army field officers, football coaches and stand-up comics who can’t go five minutes without talking about murdering, fracturing and killing their audience.
©2011 Burt Prelutsky
Copyright © 2013 BernardGoldberg.com