It's time for some serious man-bites-dog news from the punditocracy. Conservative gadfly David Horowitz -- yes, that David Horowitz -- is denouncing the excesses of anti-Obama rhetoric from the right:
I have been watching an interesting phenomenon on the Right, which is beginning to cause me concern. I am referring to the over-the-top hysteria in response to the first months in office of our new president, which distinctly reminds me of the “Bush Is Hitler” crowd on the Left.
Speaking of this crowd, have you seen any “I am so sorry” postings from that quarter as Obama continues and even escalates the former president's war policy in Afghanistan and attempts to consolidate his military occupation of Iraq?
Conservatives, please. Let's not duplicate the manias of the Left as we figure out how to deal with Mr. Obama. He is not exactly the anti-Christ, although a disturbing number of people on the Right are convinced he is.
I have recently received commentaries that claim that "Obama's speeches are unlike any political speech we have heard in American history" and "never has a politician in this land had such a quasi-religious impact on so many people" and "Obama is a narcissist," which leads the author to then compare Obama to David Koresh, Charles Manson, Stalin and Saddam Hussein. Excuse me while I blow my nose.
This fellow has failed to notice that all politicians are narcissists – and that a recent American president was a world-class exponent of the imperial me. So what? Political egos are one of the reasons the Founders put checks and balances on executive power. As for serial lying, is there a politician that cannot be accused of that? And once, the same recent president set a pretty a high bar in this category, and we survived it. As for Obama's speeches, they are hardly in the Huey Long, Louie Farrakhan, Fidel Castro vein. They are in fact eloquently and cleverly centrist and sober.
So what's the panic? It is true that Obama has shown surprising ineptitude in his first months in office, but he's not a zero with no accomplishments as many conservatives seem to think – unless you regard beating the Clinton machine and winning the presidency as nothing. But in doing this you fall into the “Bush-is-an-idiot” bag of liberal miasmas.
It's either cause for celebration or a sign of the apocalypse that Horowitz thinks Obama haters have gone too far. This is the man who created a website that purports to link mainstream Democrats to terrorists and anti-American dictators and who published an article written by an employee encouraging censorship of dissent after 9/11. Let's just say he's not known for rhetorical restraint.
With that said, it's striking that Horowitz is virtually the only public figure acknowledging this inconsistency. After eight years of condemning the fevered claims of obscure Bush-hating leftists, prominent conservatives like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are making equally absurd claims (Obama as a closet Marxist who secretly hopes to gain control of the means of production, etc.). It's the converse of the almost overnight transition that Limbaugh and Hannity et al. made between crazed Clinton-hating (through early 2001) and claiming no one should criticize the president (post-9/11). Apparently cognitive dissonance is no match for ideology.
PS "Excuse me while I blow my nose" is my nominee for non sequitur of the year. What does that mean?