… and clearly Ron Silver is one of the few. Read this Pajamas Medias piece, where he smacks down wussie NYT columnist Paul Krugman and other like-minded individuals who, 6+ years after 9-11 still don’t get it:
In Krugman’s reading of history, our president has damaged our democracy more than the Alien and Sedition Acts during John Adams’ tenure; more than the suspension of habeas corpus during Lincoln’s, more than Eugene Debs (a leader of the labor movement who opposed Woodrow Wilson as the Socialist Party candidate in the 1912 presidential election) going to jail, under the Espionage Act, to serve a 10-year sentence for making an anti-war speech during the Woodrow Wilson years. The Espionage Act was passed at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson, who feared any widespread dissent in time of war, thinking that it constituted a real threat to an American victory.
And more than Roosevelt trying to pack the Supreme Court during peacetime and the subsequent internment of Japanese-American citizens, as well as Nixon’s use of the government to punish his personal enemies. The genius of our governance is that we have self-correctional ways of coming to terms with government excesses and have an electorate that is vigilant in making sure rights are not abrogated. This has always been and will remain a tension in our polity, along with liberty and equality and pre-Civil War amendments and post-Civil War amendments. Most First Amendment “rights” were developed during the last century, not at our founding. So-called “privacy” rights are the battleground now.
So, does Mr. Krugman really think it takes courage to critique U.S. policy, strategy and tactics in an ongoing war against our real enemies? His willful blindness is more of a danger to our Republic than today’s battles over the details of NSA surveillance, or whether section 215 of the Patriot Act is excessive and needs to be adjusted, or that the Abu Ghraib scandals were anything other than the actions of sadistic, rogue military persons and not representative of our armed forces. We will make the corrections over time. That is part of the genius of our Founders. But our civilization and its values may not have the time if we cave in to the Paul Krugmans of the world. I’m making an issue of Mr. Krugman (an expert in the dismal science of economics) because he has a forum in the New York Times. Although I’d gain a great deal of respect for his employer if they published the Danish cartoons or covered Muslim on Muslim violence with the same relish they cover our own government’s shortcomings.
It’s too easy to critique the reflexively anti-American wackos (you know who you are). But it’s what Lenin used to call “useful idiots” that may cause the real harm. As the quite sober English weekly the Economist noted last week, Frank Rich of the New York Times accuses the Bush administration of conducting a “quiet coup, ultimately more insidious than a blatant putsch like General Musharraf.” The Economist goes on to say that everyday “thousands of would be Riches and Coulters inject similar sentiments into the blogosphere.” A coup? A putsch worse than Musharraf? This is not you, me and with all due respect Ms. Coulter on her website but the New York Times, the alleged paper of record. When will the editors have the courage of their convictions and publish a picture of the president, resplendent in brownshirt and little mustache?
Ron Silver: Hollywood’s thinking man.