When your name is “Palin,” you have no right to defend yourself

January 14, 2011

I was going to go off on another rant‡ about Democratic politicians, mainstream journalists, and leftist activists (but I repeat myself) and their blood libel against the Right and Sarah Palin, but then I watched this episode of PJTV’s Trifecta and realized that Greene, Ott, and Whittle said everything I could. And did it better. Just watch;  I’ll wait here.

Take away line from Whittle: “I have to count to ten.”

Of the many odd, even outrageous, things I’ve read and heard over the last few days since the shooting spree and, especially,  since her address two days ago, the corker has to be that Sarah Palin should have stayed out of the fray, kept herself above it all, let others handle it for her. In other words, she should have shut up.

To which I reply: Horse manure.

This was no garden-variety criticism from the Left that one could reasonably shrug off and let others handle. This was a monstrous accusation of inciting mass-murder, including the killing of a child, and of encouraging the attempted murder of a congresswoman. No human being could or should stay silent when slandered in that way. Sure as the sun rises in the East, someone would twist that silence into an admission of guilt, and others would believe him. To say that she had no right to defend herself is either cynical or idiotic, take your pick.

And to say she had been wronged but should have done the “politically smart thing” and stayed out of it shows monumental blindness to what’s been happening: a desperate attempt by the left-liberal establishment to destroy the one potential candidate who truly scares them and to delegitimize the movement of average Americans she symbolizes — and even free speech itself. Not only did she have to speak to defend herself, she had to fight back to defend the right of the Right to say anything other than “Yes, master*.”

This was not a case where Sarah Palin could sit back, eat moose dogs, and let others fight her battle. Besides, outside of talk radio and Center-Right blogs, just who the Hell has been defending her? Where are all these people she should let take up sword and shield in her name? I didn’t see a rush from the Republican “leadership” or the political experts on the talk-show carousel. Governor Palin gets carpet-bombed by the perpetually outraged Left, and all we hear is the sound of crickets from the Republicans and mealy-mouthed tongue-clucking from the talk-show panels. Thanks a lot, guys and gals. It’s nice to know you’ve got her back. Try not to stick a knife in it, okay?

We all saw the ABC news clip in the video above. Like Greene said, millions did. Millions who don’t read Center-Right blogs or listen to talk-radio, but who still get their news from the MSM — and they were just told Sarah Palin was to blame for Tucson. And yet she was supposed to stay silent in the face of garbage like that, day after day?

No. Forget it. Not this time. I’ll even stipulate that there have been instances she’s fired back at more ordinary criticisms when she shouldn’t have, because she’s a fighter.

But not now.

Governor Palin had to respond to these slanders; it was her right and she was right to do it.

LINKS: Allahpundit has an assignment for budding speechwriters: “Try to write an address titled ‘I Didn’t Kill Anyone’ without sounding aggrieved.” Daniel Blatt thinks Sarah Palin made a mistake. I disagree in the comments. Power Line has a superb quote from President Lincoln about an earlier Democratic blood libel. Lori Ziganto calls her speech thoughtful and on-target, while accusing the Left of losing it’s grip on reality.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

 

*Any bets on how long it will take some hypersensitive Lefty to accuse me of racist rhetoric?

‡Guess I did, anyway.

Advertisements

Pravda would be proud

July 20, 2010

People on the Right have for years complained about a media establishment biased toward the Left, only to be roundly mocked as paranoid, even when some evidence shows they were right. (For example) During the 2008 campaign, it became increasingly apparent that the major media had given up objectivity and was openly pulling for the victory of then-Senator Obama. While concentrating all their powers on Sarah Palin’s tanning bed, they almost totally ignored Obama’s political background, relationships, and lack of experience.

But they weren’t just passively avoiding anything that might be critical of Obama or detrimental to his presidential bid. No, at the very least some members of a now-defunct private mailing list  for liberal and left-wing journalists and other opinion makers called “Journolist” were looking for ways to actively intimidate into silence not just conservative critics, but even more moderate liberal members of the MSM. How would they do this?

According to The Daily Caller, by smearing their opponents as racists:

It was the moment of greatest peril for then-Sen. Barack Obama’s political career. In the heat of the presidential campaign, videos surfaced of Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, angrily denouncing whites, the U.S. government and America itself. Obama had once bragged of his closeness to Wright. Now the black nationalist preacher’s rhetoric was threatening to torpedo Obama’s campaign.

The crisis reached a howling pitch in mid-April, 2008, at an ABC News debate moderated by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. Gibson asked Obama why it had taken him so long – nearly a year since Wright’s remarks became public – to dissociate himself from them. Stephanopoulos asked, “Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?”

Watching this all at home were members of Journolist, a listserv comprised of several hundred liberal journalists, as well as like-minded professors and activists. The tough questioning from the ABC anchors left many of them outraged. “George [Stephanopoulos],” fumed Richard Kim of the Nation, is “being a disgusting little rat snake.”

The members of Journolist weren’t about to see their champion hurled to the ground. But, rather than investigate and try to refute the allegations regarding Reverend Wright and Obama, they instead decided to attack their colleagues:

“Part of me doesn’t like this shit either,” agreed Spencer Ackerman, then of the Washington Independent. “But what I like less is being governed by racists and warmongers and criminals.”

Ackerman went on:

“I do not endorse a Popular Front, nor do I think you need to. It’s not necessary to jump to Wright-qua-Wright’s defense. What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically.

“And I think this threads the needle. If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us. Instead, take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.”

In other words, a naked call to play the Race Card in American politics in order to stifle debate and criticism. Racism is the most vile charge one can make in our society; to accuse someone of it is to smear them for a long time, if not forever. And the discussants on Journolist were about to unleash it on their professional colleagues.

It’s fair to note that the people mentioned in the DC article formulating this strategy are almost all opinion journalists, such as Katha Pollitt at the progressive The Nation. One would expect them to try to shape the debate and defend their ideological positions, just as their counterparts at The Weekly Standard or National Review would do.

But not by character assassination and implying they were racists. And not by attacking members of the “objective press” for simply asking tough, legitimate questions.

That crosses the line not just into advocacy journalism, but propaganda of the worst sort, the kind I’d expect to see from the “journalistic organs” of a totalitarian state. Jack Reed and Walter Duranty would be proud.

The Daily Caller promises more in the days to come, and it will be interesting to see how far this rot has spread from politically-oriented opinion journalists to mainstream reporters.

I suspect it’s gone quite far.

(via Big Journalism)

LINKS: More from John Nolte, who says the playing of the race card isn’t the most shocking thing; Andrew Breitbart, who thinks the reporters at Pravda were better people; Kurt Schlichter, who talks about the MSM memory hole; Ed Morrissey, who considers the implications of this for the Left’s attempts to paint the Tea Party as racists; and William Jacobson, who says “Yes, Liberal journalists did manipulate the 2008 election.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


There’s also the violence card

April 26, 2010

In an earlier post, I wondered if the race card was the only card left in the (Social) Democrats’ deck. The answer is “no,” as Jack Kelly reminds us in a column at Real Clear Politics. They also can and do play the “angry, violent mob” card, accusing conservative protesters of near-sedition and having a potential for terrorism:

It is a despicable smear to attempt to link critics of the tax, spending and regulatory policies of the Obama administration to [Oklahoma City bomber Timothy] McVeigh. Imagine how Mr. Clinton and Mr. Klein would howl if it were asserted that those who protested the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were responsible for the shooting at Fort Hood last November which left 13 dead.

No prominent conservative has asserted that, of course. But it’s a meme among the eminences of the left that the tea party movement is comprised of “angry” knuckle-dragging bigots one Rush Limbaugh broadcast away from insurrection and murder. All this despite the fact the only violence reported at tea party rallies has come when left wingers assaulted protesters.

Kelly then recounts two incidents of left-wing violence from among the several that have happened over the past year. But, one wonders, why do the progressive-statists feel the need to smear the opposition as barely contained rioters? Kelly offers one potential answer:

What really terrifies Democrats is not just the number or size of tea party rallies, but that they are occurring at all. For more than a century, the protest demonstration has been almost exclusively a left-wing thing. Conservatives just don’t demonstrate. The tea party indicates a level of street activism on the right unprecedented in our history.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Dec. 16 indicated the tea party was more popular than either Democrats or Republicans. Respondents approved of the tea party, 41 percent to 23 percent. More disapproved of both the Republican Party (28-43) and the Democratic Party (35-45) than approved of them.

So the tea party must be smeared, lest it gain even more adherents.

I think he’s on to something, but it’s not just fear of the other side developing its own mass movement. As I wrote yesterday, the progressives realize they cannot win the argument based on policy ideas or empirical results, most of the nation rejects what they offer and hates what they’ve done. So all they have left is to try to distract moderates and independents by painting Tea Partiers and other activists concerned by what’s going on in Washington as racists on the edge of violence. For all the Left accused then-President Bush of distracting people from the real issues by playing to their fears, they themselves are doing it in spades.

Yet more and more people are on to the game they’re playing, and each time they lay down the “race” or “violence” cards, their power to intimidate shrinks just a bit more.


Is Harry Reid a louse or just stupid?

December 8, 2009

I suppose both could be true, given the pettiness and ignorance needed to describe opponents of nationalized medicine as the equivalent of those who opposed civil rights or defended slavery:

Reid Compares Opponents of Health Care Reform to Supporters of Slavery

Reid argued that Republicans are using the same stalling tactics employed in the pre-Civil War era.

“Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, ‘slow down, stop everything, let’s start over.’ If you think you’ve heard these same excuses before, you’re right,” Reid said Monday. “When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said ‘slow down, it’s too early, things aren’t bad enough.'”

He continued: “When women spoke up for the right to speak up, they wanted to vote, some insisted they simply, slow down, there will be a better day to do that, today isn’t quite right.

“When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today.”

That seemed to be a reference to Thurmond’s famous 1957 filibuster — the late senator switched parties several years later.

And if you need to see it to believe it, here’s the video:

Harry needs more than a few lessons in History. For  starters, when Thurmond filibustered the 1957 Civil Rights Act, he was a Democrat. The act itself was proposed by President Eisenhower, a Republican.

But, let’s not stop there. The Democrats have a long and dirty history with civil rights that’s largely been swept under the carpet. Prior to the Civil War, it was the Democrats who defended the institution of slavery and pushed for its expansion. They were so closely tied to slavery that they had effectively married the issue and become almost a Southern regional party. After the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan and other White supremacist groups that attacked Black and other Republican citizens and office-holders was founded by Democrats and, after Reconstruction ended, functioned as the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party to enforce an apartheid regime in the Jim Crow South.

And that’s not all. Democrats fought against all federal anti-lynching legislation for 90 years until 1964. It was a Democratic “progressive” President, Woodrow Wilson, who introduced segregation to the Federal government.  FDR’s New Deal labor policies sent Black unemployment skyrocketing. And it was a Democratic senator, the honorable Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Oh, and he had been a recruiter for the Klan, too.

This is nowhere near the whole story of the Democrats, slavery, and race relations. Bruce Bartlett’s Wrong on Race is a well-written, heavily documented summary. I recommend it for a good eye-opening.

Really, though, Reid’s odious dismissals of legitimate political opposition are only the latest in a long line of attempts by Democrat leaders in recent years to defeat their opponents through smears and waving the bloody shirt, not through the strength of their policy arguments. The late Senator Kennedy infamously slandered Judge Robert Bork from the floor of the Senate upon learning of Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Judge Clarence Thomas was accused of being a base sexual harasser during his SCOTUS confirmation hearings. Senators Kennedy and Durbin compared American troops to Nazis and followers of Saddam Hussein during the abu Ghraib scandal, way out of proportion to what really happened. And this last summer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi compared American citizens exercising their legitimate rights to protest ObamaCare to Nazis.

And now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Republicans (and some fence-sitting Democrats?) who are representing their constituents -exercising legitimate opposition to nationalized health care and making use of all the parliamentary tools available to senators- are comparable to defenders of slavery and the oppression of women.

It just goes to show how bankrupt their arguments are. They can’t win on the merits of cost, economics, or politics – the facts are all against them, as are a majority of the American people. So, instead they hurl rhetorical bombs and hope that cows moderates and conservatives into submission.

How pathetic.

Regarding the question in the subject line, I still haven’t decided if it’s either-or or both, but it looks like Nevadans have realized they’re being represented by a schmuck: polls have the Majority Leader well behind both likely Republican opponents.

Good. Maybe they’ll finally rid the Senate of that smell.

LINKS: More from Legal Insurrection, Hot Air, and Big Government.

UPDATEReid doubles-down on his stupidity. (via Matt Lewis)


Playing the race card as penance?

September 19, 2009

Hans von Spakovsky wonders if Jimmy Carter’s disgusting accusation that most of those opposed to Obama’s policies are motivated by racism isn’t due to guilt over his own racist past:

As Laughlin McDonald, director of the ACLU’s Voting Project, relates in his book A Voting Rights Odyssey: Black Enfranchisement in Georgia, Carter’s [school] board tried to stop the construction of a new “Elementary Negro School” in 1956. Local white citizens had complained that the school would be “too close” to a white school. As a result, “the children, both colored and white, would have to travel the same streets and roads in order to reach their respective schools.” The prospect of black and white children commingling on the streets on their way to school was apparently so horrible to Carter that he requested that the state school board stop construction of the black school until a new site could be found. The state board turned down Carter’s request because of “the staggering cost.” Carter and the rest of the Sumter County School Board then reassured parents at a meeting on October 5, 1956, that the board “would do everything in its power to minimize simultaneous traffic between white and colored students in route to and from school.”

So, is America’s worst ex-president seeing racists everywhere out of guilt for his own defense of segregationism? Maybe. Regardless, it’s a disgusting insult to people legitimately concerned with the country’s direction and opposed to Obama’s policies. It cheapens the very real suffering of Blacks under slavery and Jim Crow by equating that with mere political opposition. And it’s a pea in the same rotten pod with his antisemitism.

Jimmy Carter truly is an embarrassment to his country and a disgrace to the office he once held.


Addicted to the race card

August 21, 2009

Joker card

There’s an old saying that “patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” In other words, when he can’t have his way by means of persuasion, a politician desperate to win will appeal to loyalty to one’s country and make disagreement seem like betrayal or even treason, thus bullying opponents into submission.

In modern America, the equivalent for the Left has been to cry “racism” whenever someone disagrees with their policy objectives. Do you question the effectiveness of large government social programs? You must hate poor people, especially Blacks. Do you think the constitutional role of the judiciary is to interpret the law, not make policy? You must want to deny non-Whites their civil rights, you crypto-Klansman. Do you think the second amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms? Then you must be afraid of minorities, cracker.

Whatever else, it cannot be because you disagree honestly with the goals of our first African-American president – it’s just because he’s Black.

In an article for National Review, Jonah Goldberg (whose book, Liberal Fascism, is must-reading) looks at the irony in the willingness of President Obama and his supporters to play the race card and finds a stacked deck:

What if America transcended race, and Barack Obama wasn’t invited?

The question comes to mind as cries of racism grow ever louder among Obama’s supporters.
No one should be surprised. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, liberal Democrats have to accuse their opponents of racism. Indeed, somewhat to their credit, fighting racism — alas, even where it doesn’t exist — is one of the reasons they became liberal Democrats in the first place.

And that’s the great irony of the Obama presidency. It was Obama’s supporters who hinted, teased, promised, and prophesied that Obama would help America “transcend race.” But now, it is they who shrink from their own promised land.

After all, it was not Obama’s detractors who immediately fell into the comfortable groove of racial grievance and familiar “narratives” when Henry Louis Gates insisted that a police instructor in racial sensitivity had to be a racist. That was Obama and his choir of heralds.

From Day 1, Obama’s supporters have tirelessly cultivated the idea that anything inconvenient for the first black president just might be terribly, terribly racist.

Indeed, it can be argued that it is the conservative and libertarian opposition that’s “transcended race,” because they’re refusing to give deference to Obama on the basis of his ethnicity. Instead, they’re treating him just like any other president they might strongly oppose – with loud criticism and even mockery. Sure, there are almost certainly a few who dislike Obama because of his half-African ancestry, but the opposition attacks on him have been overwhelmingly for his far-Left domestic policies, weak foreign policy, amateurish political skills once in office, and a flip-flopping that borders on serial mendacity.

It’s the liberal Democrats and their allies in the broader Left who’ve been obsessed with race and unable to ascribe any honest motive to their opponents. And this addiction to playing the race card at the drop of a hat only hurts their program, because it galvanizes opponents who don’t like having their motives or intelligence insulted. And it shows the intellectual and political bankruptcy of their position that, even with overwhelming majorities in both chambers of Congress and control of the White House, they can’t convince a majority of Americans that their program is the right one.

So, it must be racism.

Oh, and Johnson’s observation about scoundrels and patriotism? They play that one, too.

FURTHER READING: Sister Toldjah has made almost a hobby out of tracking PBO’s use of the race card. And Bruce Bartlett has an excellent book that examines the dirty history of the Democratic Party and race: Wrong on Race.

UPDATE: It seems New York’s Governor Paterson can play the race card, too. (h/t JammieWearingFool) Also ST.