David Gutmann at the American Spectator takes a look at the rhetoric coming from the right and compares it to the rhetoric that has come from the left, and concludes that the nastiest venom has consistently come from the left.
Frank Rich describes the Republican leadership and Tea Partiers as “goons” hurling “venomous slurs” — including racist epithets and even death threats — at Democratic congressmen who voted for ObamaCare. He takes particular exception to Sarah Palin’s call for a “reload” — as though she were summoning the Tea Party knuckle-walkers to take up firearms. Such verbal incitement, he warns, could quickly lead to actual assassination attempts.
I agree that there is no place in our politics for ugly threats; but I don’t agree with Rich that such murderous language is exclusive to Republicans or Tea Partiers. Quite the contrary: assassination threats against the opposition were first introduced into contemporary discourse by the many “progressive,” usually Democratic commentators, politicians, and bloggers caught up in the “Bush Derangement Syndrome.” There was no penalty for openly indulging such fancies, and so left-wing commentators and bloggers were liberated to indulge Orwellian “two-minute hates,” and to dream up innovative ways to impeach, jail, and even kill president Bush.
I love how typical it is that Rich begins by decrying the incivility of conservatives by calling them names.