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September 21, 2009

Comments

I recall watching a 60 Minutes piece back in roughly 1998, shortly after Al Qaeda "declared war" on every American man, woman, and child wherever they may be. So everyone with an IQ above 80 could infer that that would include: inside the United States. Experts had been talking about the inevitability of a major terrorist attack inside the US for at least a decade before 9/11.

I think it may be more important for Dems to believe that Reps are kooks than vice versa. That follows from the adage: Conservatives think liberals are good people with wrong ideas. Liberals think conservatives are bad people with wrong ideas. In other words, liberals use demonization more effectively than conservatives do.

I have discovered that it's hard for liberals to believe this. This concept comes up, for example, when debating Rush Limbaugh. Many libs imagine that Limbaugh mostly does character assassination. He does do some of that, but there's a lot more focus on issues than his critics generally imagine.

I see it another way. I think it may be more important for conservatives to believe that liberals are weak-kneed people with wobbly ideas, than to believe that they are good people with bad ideas. And, when the argument is framed as "liberals are making our country unsafe" or "liberals just want everyone dependent on the government" then that is just another kind of demonization. I'd call it a draw.

Raleighite, you and I do not agree on what is an issue. I think the question of whether to cut defense spending or to grow government are major issues. I agree that Reps frame these issues so as to support their POV. Nevertheless, that's different from routinely accusing conservatives of being racists and stupid.

E.g., if voters oppose some liberal on the issue of defense, it's not because they personally dislike weak-kneed people. It's because these voters are afraid that his policies might result in another attack against our country.

Congrats to John Smith for his crushing first post; I hope it gets a reply.
Later, I notice David | September 21, 2009 at 12:46 PM, "Conservatives think liberals are good people with wrong ideas. Liberals think conservatives are bad people with wrong ideas."
David now has the opportunity read an initial examination of the still growing eliminationist rhetoric on the mainstream right. It is not, as Raleighite says, "... just another kind of demonization." An ignoramous or fool or lunatic is not demonic; they just need help. By contrast, traitors, along with war profiteers and torture promoters, are demonic and dangerous.

Janus Daniels, I'll buy the general principle that hateful rhetoric can lead to violence. However, I believe the left has has been responsible for the majority of the hateful rhetoric as well as all of the recent violence.

In terms of rhetoric, look at the President's recent speech to Congress. Once an opponent responded, "You lie." OTOH the President's speech insulted opponents of health care reform several times over, calling them liars and worse. He speaks so smoothly, it's easy to overlook the hateful things he says, especially when they're aimed at people you disagree with. Note also how liberals from President Carter to Maureen Dowd have called conservatives "racists" based on no evidence.

Three violent political acts have been committed in recent months, all aimed against conservatives. One was shooting to death an abortion oppponent. Another was beating up a black conservative so badly that he wound up in a wheelchair. A third was biting part of part of a health reform opponent's finger.

Many people are unaware that conservatives are so often the victims. IMHO that's because the media gives far more attention when the victim is liberal. Suppose the shoe were on the other foot. Suppose conservatives had badly beaten a black liberal or suppose a pro-choice demonstrator had been murdered, It would be front page news for days or weeks. As it is, few would recognize the names James Gladley or James Pouillon.

Also, conservatives get blamed for things they didn't do. E.g., at my local supermarket a group of demonstrators had a poster comparing Obama to Hitler. They were followers of Lyndon LeRouche. LeRouche supports some kind of world government, so he's no conservative. Many or most of the Obama/Hitler comparisons have come from LeRouchites. Nevertheless leading Democrats find it convenient to blame conservatives for all of the comparisons. Sadly, the mainstream media seldom correct them.

Harvey Milk was assassinated by Dan White, a Democrat. I don't blame the Democratic Party for the assassination. Dan White was crazy. He committed suicide a few years later. However, it's surely unfair to blame conservatives, as Nancy Pelosi recently did.

Pelosi also blamed Kennedy's assassination on conservatives, even though Lee Harvey Oswald was far left, an admirer of Fidel Castro. Few, if any, in the mainstream media pointed out the unfairness of her charge.

More violence against conservatives in today's paper (fortunately minor) http://www.operationrescue.org/archives/elderly-pro-life-activist-attacked-injured-in-flagstaff/

David Said:
In terms of rhetoric, look at the President's recent speech to Congress. Once an opponent responded, "You lie." OTOH the President's speech insulted opponents of health care reform several times over, calling them liars and worse.

I stopped reading here. Obama was not "insulting" when he spoke about lies. He was being accurate. There is a difference. Joe Wilson is either an idiot or a liar. I personally think he's both, but I can understand why the president didn't want to say that in public.

Aischros, the Democrats have essentially admitted that Joe Wilson was right, not by words, but by actions. Wilson's complaint was that the bill lacked any mechanism or requirement to verify legal residence status. The Dems and Obama subsequently modified the bill to fix the problem Wilson had pointed out.

No, the protections were there as they are in all federal legislation due the numerous laws already on the books. Just because the Democrats occasionally make political mistakes and fail to realize that adding more useless provisions only makes the complaint seem valid, doesn't mean they "admitted Joe Wilson was right".

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