Alternate headline: Liberals won’t call Al Qaeda terrorists but have no issue equating conservative dissent to terrorism. Pick whichever you want. They both fit.
We’ve all watched with growing disgust, frustration, and outrage since even before our celebrity President was elected at how the mainstream media, Democrat politicos, liberal pundits and commentators, and true Beltway RINO elitists (all of whom I’ll refer to throughout this piece as “The Smart Ones” or “TSO”) have all portrayed criticism of the leader of the Democratic Party, our President Barack Obama, as borne not out of conservative principle but rather a supposed ingrained tendency to view the President’s policy ideas through the ugly prism of racism. Oppose ObamaCare? You’re a racist. Oppose cap and trade? You’re a racist. Oppose the Libya mission? You’re a racist. Are you a Governor who didn’t want stimulus money for your state? Racist.
It doesn’t matter what the issue is – if you’re a conservative or lean conservative, well then you don’t like President Obama solely on the basis of race, according to elites. This, in spite of the fact that liberals going decades back have proposed ideas very similar to the ones Barack Obama has – ideas that conservatives have consistently rejected … which you’d think would clue The Smart Ones in on the fact that race has nothing to do with opposition to liberal Democrat policies, because it didn’t with Carter, it didn’t with Clinton, and it hasn’t with any other modern day Democrat Congressional “leader.” And, hey, those guys/gals have all been white.
TSO clearly aren’t as smart as they want you to think they are.
Also, over the last three years or so, we’ve seen a disturbing trend amongst TSO to slander conservatives and other Tea Party types by falsely accusing them of equating Barack Obama to Hitler, of harboring secret fantasies of assassinating him and members of his party, of spitting on black Congressional Representatives, of “Astroturfing” Tea Party protests and rallies, and of possessing an undemocratic “mob rule” mentality when it comes to disagreement with the political opposition. President Obama himself even issued a call to arms to Democrat union heavyweights to “balance” the ObamaCare debates at town halls with their presence which on more than one occasion since has lead to incidents of violence and/or intimidation on the part of that very Democrat support network, a network which we were supposed to believe would add “civility” to the contentious debate. The mainstream media, of course, rarely reported on such incidents.
As Michelle Malkin reminds us, after the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and the TSO smearathon that went on for weeks afterwards in which Sarah Palin and other conservatives were blamed for the Arizona shootings due to alleged use of “violent rhetoric and imagery”, our President and other TSO types called for a “New Tone” of sorts, which conservatives well understood meant: “Liberals propose ideas, and you will endorse them. No questions asked.” Even though so-called “violent rhetoric and imagery” supposedly coming from Palin and other prominent conservatives did NOT influence Jared Loughner in his sick quest, nevertheless the “conservative extremist rhetoric caused this!!!!” narrative had been set by TSO. So America – specifically conservatives – were supposed to “modify” their “tone” in response. Liberals, on the other hand, could continue to say whatever they wanted.
Sprinkled in the mix over the last few years since Barack Obama has burst onto the national scene has been the liberal talking point of how paying your “fair share” of taxes is supposedly “patriotic.” Vice President Joe Biden has been the most prominent of liberals to express this warped belief, with his boss not outright saying it but nevertheless strongly implying it at fancy fundraisers, speeches and and in answers to questions from the MSM (correct me if I’m wrong – I don’t recall Obama outright saying that paying taxes was your “patriotic duty”). It’s an odd thing to say, especially as you’ll remember that during the Bush years – according to liberals – the questioning of patriotism was out of bounds … unless it was them questioning ours, as well as the President Americans elected to serve two terms.
In other words then, like now, liberals have tried to control the debate over who gets to say what, the image we as a country should and should not project, what the definition of certain words like “racism” and “dissent” meant, etc. They’ve mostly gotten away with it, thanks to their accomplices in the mainstream media and liberal opinionators (and faithful “Republican” lapdogs like David Brooks and David Frum), but it’s gotten a little harder for them to justify their remarks in the era of an aggressive conservative social media and persistent conservative blogosphere. Fox News has helped in this regard with their slate of evening and weekend conservative commentary.
What is the common theme here? What has gotten liberals so out of sorts with conservatives over the last 20 or so years to the point they’re using the very poisonous rhetoric they routinely declare as “uncivil”? You probably know it already, but I have the answer for those of you who don’t: It’s called “vocal, loud dissent.” Plain and simple. After decades of liberal opinion domination in the mainstream broadcast media and newspapers, Rush Limbaugh gave conservative talk radio a strong voice in the 1990s, and at that time a growing number of op/ed newspaper pages were either conservative or headed in that direction. Fox News, established in the mid-90s, provided the alternative conservatives were looking for to our one-sided mainstream liberal media establishment by airing the other half of the story, and also by featuring more conservative opinionists, and as a result the network’s viewership has grown greatly since that time. In the late 90s, early 2000s blogs came on to the scene and by 2005/2006 conservative blogs were fairly mainstream, playing an active role in attempting to keep politicians and the media honest, and to influence the debate – issues like the Iraq war and immigration come to mind. Conservative bloggers, once fledgling, have honed their craft and are now not just writing and talking about the issues of the day, they’re holding conferences, being sought after by politicians, candidates, think tanks, grassroots organizations, and mainstream media outlets - whether it be to try and win over these conservative writers, solicit for their ideas, or just to get their opinions. The conservative viewpoint, once shunned by all but small local talk radio hosts, is now something that at last and once and for all can no longer be ignored by TSO.
Which is why we as a collective group – whether we consider ourselves just plain ol’ conservatives or Tea Partiers – must be marginalized, according to the left. In fact, the conservative viewpoint is so not hidden from view anymore that big-money liberals have actually funded so-called “media watchers” like Media Matters in order to “keep conservatives in line” (we’ll forget for a moment about the fact that these Soros-affiliated groups have trouble staying in line themselves ….) by monitoring the comments made by conservatives and Republicans on all news networks – especially on Fox News, in order to be able to take something out of context and distort it into something it doesn’t mean. All for shameless political gain, at the expense of open and honest actual discourse that might help this country going forward.
Dissent, once considered “patriotic” when liberals were routinely engaging in reprehensible conduct like comparing our Commander in Chief to Hitler, and our troops were denigrated as being no better than Saddam’s regime, is officially no longer patriotic in the age of Obama – in spite of the fact that the dissent is over taxes, health care, social policy, and the overall direction of the contrary. Legitimate issues worthy of serious debate. Sadly, though, according to seemingly coordinated attacks from TSO, dissent is not just no longer patriotic; It equates to terrorism.
Let’s take a look at what’s been said recently about Tea Partiers who stood in staunch opposition to any House plan outside of Cut, Cap, and Balance. First, from Vice President Joe Biden:
Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having “acted like terrorists” in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit, according to several sources in the room.
Biden was agreeing with a line of argument made by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) at a two-hour, closed-door Democratic Caucus meeting.
“We have negotiated with terrorists,” an angry Doyle said, according to sources in the room. “This small group of terrorists have made it impossible to spend any money.”
Biden, driven by his Democratic allies’ misgivings about the debt-limit deal, responded: “They have acted like terrorists.”
Biden’s office initially declined to comment about what the vice president said inside the closed-door session, but after POLITICO published the remarks, spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff said: “The word was used by several members of Congress. The vice president does not believe it’s an appropriate term in political discourse.”
Biden later denied he used that term in an interview with CBS.
“I did not use the terrorism word,” Biden told CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley.
Yeah. We get it, Mr. VP. Nuance.
Jonah Goldberg, in a passionate post here, talks about other recent instances of TSO equating Tea Partiers to terrorists:
So flashforward to this week. Tom Friedman — who knows a bit about Hezbollah — calls the tea partiers the “Hezbollah faction” of the GOP bent on taking the country on a “suicide mission.” All over the place, conservative Republicans are “hostage takers” and “terrorists,” “terrorists” and “traitors.” They want to “end life as we know it on this planet,” says Nancy Pelosi. They are betraying the Founders, too. Chris Matthews all but signs up for the “Make an Ass of Yourself” contest at the State Fair. Joe Nocera writes today that “the Tea Party Republicans can put aside their suicide vests.” Lord knows what Krugman and Olbermann have said.
I’m one of those “squishy conservatives” who was ok with the the Boehner debt bill that passed late last week, and I was dismayed at how I and others who took the same view point were slammed by some in the Tea Party as “RINO”‘s in spite of the solidly conservative creds of some who were ok with the Boehner bill - but even as upset by I was by the “family squabble” I, nor did any other “squishy con” that I know of view people who we normally stood with on other issues as “terrorists” and the like. “Squishy cons” and Tea Partiers have the same goals here on the debt ceiling issue - we just disagree on how to get there. As bruising as some of these battles are, you know why they happen and it is because we as a group are so passionate about our country and the direction we see it taking, and we’re desperate to get it back on course. I know what’s in the heart of Tea Party types who I disagree with and it is NOT terrorism of any sort. To characterize it as such, especially by the Vice President of the United States – whether in private or public, is not just insulting but in itself is most definitely not patriotic because, to be cliche, dissent IS indeed patriotic – it’s what generations before us have bled and died for.
Sure, you should always be responsible in how you dissent. As I’ve said before, having the right to say something doesn’t necessarily make it right so say. In other words, unlike the left, I wouldn’t advise staging marches in which burning US flags, the waving of posters of our President with blood dripping down his chin, and the selling Communist literature is commonplace. Then again, I’m preaching to the choir here, because – in spite of the hyperventilating blather from TSO over the last several years – you can’t find one instance of racism and/or violence instigated by Tea Party types and other conservatives at any town halls, at any pro-freedom rallies, or anything else of the sort. The conservative opposition has been passionate and emotional but non-violent outside of a very few isolated incidents involving threats to members of Congress. This stands in stark contrast, I should note, to the endemic union intimidation and violence tactics used in every state where their taxpayer gravy train has been threatened.
So, conservatives, let’s stay united and never forget our common goal: The advancement of conservative ideals, and defeating Barack Obama and the Democrat party by continuing to get under their skin via speaking Truth to Power. When Democrats have to resort to gutter tacts like comparing their political opposition to terrorists, and have to absurdly paint paying taxes as “patriotic”, that tells us one thing, and it’s huge: We’re winning. Let’s keep on winning. All the way to November 2012.
(Photo of Sarah Palin speaking at a Tea Party Express rally in Boston courtesy of UPI/Matthew Healey.)