08 August 2011

That hateful rhetoric

Cato at Liberty | David Boaz | Stop the Hate

People in Washington are hurling harsh words at other Americans: words like terrorists, Satan, suicide bombers, Hezbollah, gone off the deep end, “recklessly diminished the power and reach of the United States.” No doubt the president and the mainstream media have denounced this sort of divisive, extremist language, right?

Yes, they have, many times. Except this week the divisive, extremist language has been directed at Tea Party members, the House Republican freshmen, libertarians, and other people determined to rein in federal spending, after deficits of $4 trillion in three years. The political and media establishments just can’t believe that anybody would actually try to use a debt ceiling increase to get a commitment to fiscal responsibility in the future.
Boaz quotes Barton Hinkle:
Richmond Times-Dispatch | A. Barton Hinkle | The media's two-minute hate

But as it turns out, there is one thing The New York Times hates more than hate itself: the tea-party wing of the GOP.

"Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people," fumes columnist Joe Nocera in his Tuesday column, "Tea Party's War on America." Has the GOP "gone insane? … Why yes, it has," writes Krugman several days before, going on to denounce the party's "fanaticism" and lack of rationality: "It has gone off the deep end," he concludes. The editorial board agrees, terming the tea-partiers an "ultraorthodox" and "extremist" group who "are not paying close attention to reality," who are "willing to endanger the national interest" and who show no "signs of intelligent life."

To Thomas Friedman, the tea-partiers are the "Hezbollah faction" of the GOP. According to Maureen Dowd, "The maniacal Tea Party freshmen are trying to burn down the House." They are "adamantine nihilists," and "political suicide bombers."
See also the jackassery displayed by Froma Harrop. Ed Morrissey gives Harrop both barrels. Ken joins in.  (Seriously, read those.)  Summary: despite being responsible for a project called "Restoring Civility," she had things like this to say in a recent column
The tea party Republicans have engaged in economic terrorism against the United States–threatening to blow up the economy if they don’t get what they want. And like the al-Qaida bombers, what they want is delusional: the dream of restoring some fantasy caliphate.
When called out on her incivility, she offered a really tortured defense, claimed the only characteristic of civility is allowing other people to speak their piece, then deleted critical comments from her blog and closed the comments section.

PS Putting aside the hypocrisy or civility issue, I have a question for the people who think the GOP's negotiating position was akin to terrorism: what is the debt ceiling for? If only terrorists won't raise it (or demand fiscal reforms in order to raise it), why do we have it?

I had a back-and-forth with someone on a comment thread who thought that voting to oppose raising the debt ceiling was (his words) "treasonous" and "a coup."  Look, I think it's pretty absurd for Congress as a whole to approve a budget that spends more than it raises and then oppose borrowing the difference.  But there is such a huge difference between voting against a policy you like a sudden overthrow of the government that I don't even know where to begin.

1 comment:

  1. "I had a back-and-forth with someone on a comment thread who thought that voting to oppose raising the debt ceiling was (his words) "treasonous" and "a coup.""

    Wasted your time. Instead, you should've waited for him to commit to that position and then pointed out that Obama, Biden, Pelosi, and a bunch of other Democrat leaders opposed raising the debt ceiling when the Republicans were in the majority, and asked if Obama was treasonous at that point?

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