My friend Byron passes along an email from the left-wing group MoveOn.org demanding that the Republican leadership disavow all hateful rhetoric and violent actions allegedly emanating from the right in the wake of the health care debate.
Now, to the extent that anyone on the right actually threatened anyone in Congress, it's certainly reprehensible. To the extent that some members of Congress were called names, it's disappointing. That said, these people at MoveOn.org make me laugh. They were utterly silent when tea-partiers were being called "tea-baggers" (a sleazy sexual reference) over and over again on MSNBC and elsewhere, but now they're outraged that some tea-partier allegedly called Barney Frank a "fag." They were outraged that a protestor may have called John Lewis a "nigger" last Saturday (though nobody but Lewis seems to have heard it), but were utterly silent when two SEIU thugs called Kenneth Gladney a nigger, knocked him to the ground and kicked him, putting him in the hospital last summer. Gladney, a 130 pound diabetic, was simply handing out flags at a town hall meeting.
The MoveOn.org crowd are beside themselves that congressmen are receiving hate mail and people are turning up outside their houses to protest their health care reform vote, but they uttered not a peep when Sarah Palin and George Bush were burned in effigy and when protestors were gathering outside the homes of AIG executives and menacing them and their families.
Nor did the Left have anything much to say when Alec Baldwin told a late-night television audience that they should all go to the home of the late pro-life Congressman Henry Hyde and stone him to death, him and his family. Nor was the Left moved to object when Julianne Malveux, a television personality, told her viewers that she hoped Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' wife would feed him lots of artery-clogging foods so that he'd have a heart attack and die.
Some of the mail our congresspersons are receiving is no doubt disgusting, but it's like being sent Valentine's cards compared to what people like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, et al. are subjected to every day, yet no one at MoveOn has done anything I'm aware of to persuade Democrats to disavow the hate directed at conservatives. Indeed, Chris Matthews once said on a morning news show that he'd like to see Rush Limbaugh blown to pieces like a character in a James Bond movie. Then there was the Nobel Peace Prize winner who told a class of school children that she could kill George Bush. What did MoveOn.org have to say about that? Nothing that I remember. Our President even counts among his friends people who bombed buildings and, in the case of Bill Ayers' wife, Bernadine Dohrn, were implicated in terrorist murder. Yet MoveOn has never bestirred itself to demand that Mr. Obama disavow his violent friends.
MoveOn is indignant that some Democrats' campaign offices were vandalized, but they said nothing when John McCain's campaign offices were trashed. They're irate that a coffin was left in a congressman's yard, but the people who left it were actually conducting a prayer vigil for the congressman, and the coffin was used to symbolize the death of liberty. The Left is angry that people called Bart Stupak and wished he'd drown himself, but this happened before he caved on the health care bill's abortion language. The caller was apparently a Democrat angry that Stupak stood in the way of passing the bill.
I very much regret the turn that our public discourse has taken, but vitriolic attacks are almost exclusively a phenomenon of the Left going back to the Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. MoveOn itself has contributed to the degraded tenor of our discourse by sponsoring an ad two years ago that called General Petraeus a traitor to his country.
And now they're in a snit because someone in a crowd of demonstrators may have responded to what seemed to be a deliberate provocation by a group of black congressmen by casting a slur? They're incensed because one of the congressmen was apparently sprayed with spittle from an over-exuberant protestor shouting his demand that congress "kill the bill?" They're upset because a woman called a congressman and told him that a lot of people wish him ill? Talk about straining gnats and swallowing camels.
Go to Hot Air for more on the coffin and supposed spitting incidents. You can witness the heinous crime here at about the 1:30 mark:
What may be most disturbing about the over-the-line rhetoric afflicting our politics is that the liberal media and the Democrats seem to be sensitive to it only when it comes from the right. In defense of the media, though, perhaps there's a legitimate reason for that. Perhaps it's because it's so unusual to find people on the right acting poorly that it's startling and thus newsworthy when it happens. On the other hand, maybe the media simply expects such behavior from the Left and regards it as nothing unusual and thus not particularly worthy of comment.RLC