The left’s long march.
To see Alinskyites, radical intellectuals, and Woodstock yuppies lecturing fellow Americans on the virtue of civility is tiresome but unsurprising. No one is more authoritarian than a successful left-wing revolutionary: he rises to power by extolling dissent, then stays in power by suppressing it.
Were the Tea Partiers rabid left-wing professors instead of patriotic Americans, they would receive tenure and places of honor at high-brow luncheons. Were they veterans of UC Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement, they would serve as nostalgic subjects for a Time retrospective. Were Tea Partiers “demonizing” the American government in the deepest sense — teaching the young to view the Founding Fathers with patronizing contempt and the documents they wrote as reactionary relics to be replaced by a “living Constitution” — they would have jobs in the Obama administration.
Barack Obama would have the public believe that placard-waving grandmothers sitting in lawn chairs pose a greater threat to the country than Bill Ayers. One would think a former Alinskyite like Obama who wrote a gushing blurb for a book by that domestic terrorist — a book addressing the subject of educating the young, no less — and sat placidly through the “God damn America” sermons of Jeremiah Wright might approach the topic of civility a little more gingerly.
Claptrap about “civility” invariably comes from pols and pundits who celebrate or condone the most dangerous and rancid violations of it. When not whining about the Tea Party or talk radio, they are usually found busying themselves with poisonous ACLU-style causes of one kind or another: from defending the right of open jihadists to teach at Ivy League schools to raising funds for Woodstock commemorations.
Nothing is more perilous to public discourse than the “demonization” of government, Bill Clinton solemnly warns. But all he means by “government” is liberals in power, and all he means by “demonization” is resistance to the contempt that those liberals show for the constitutional authority underpinning just government.
We’re seeing a replay of the inane and self-serving chatter about civility that the left cranked up after the Republicans took Congress in 1994. A memorable instance from that phony period is that very civil chaps like Paul Begala and E.L. Doctorow, a novelist who accused Ronald Reagan of perpetuating a “gangsterdom of the spirit,” sat on the “Penn Commission on Society, Culture and Community,” the University of Pennyslvania’s hastily-formed and half-baked response to what it saw as the spread of annoyingly effective Limbaughian resistance. A Who’s Who of enlightened society gathered for a few years thereafter to mull over the “explosion of incivility” and the alarming rise in “rudeness.”
But what was really on their minds? Just thwarted or stalled liberal legislation and goals, as evident in the title of many of the talks given at the sham commission’s events: “Tobacco and Its Regulation,” “Affirmative Action and the Culture of Intolerance,” “Immigration and the Fracturing of Community,” “The NEA & NEH Funding Crisis,” “The Great Health Care Debate of 1993-1994,” “Community Building in the late Twentieth Century.”
Then as now, “civility” was nothing more than a euphemism for the docile acceptance of liberalism’s advance and “incivility” was equated with effective resistance to it.
Once again blaming conservative talk radio for the Oklahoma City bombing, Bill Clinton says, “The words we use really do matter because there are, there’s this vast echo chamber. And they go across space and they fall on the serious and the delirious alike.” This is as fatuous as saying that 9/11 wouldn’t have happened if America had spoken more nicely about the Taliban. Moreover, if “words” mattered as much as the self-appointed custodians of civility now claim, they wouldn’t waste their time trying to purge Tea Partiers and talk show hosts from politics. They would spend it clearing out the Ward Churchills from their academic lounges and editorial luncheons. Timothy McVeigh’s most sympathetic chronicler was Gore Vidal.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online