Apr 202012
 

Before we get to today’s Friday Night Cartoons, there is an opinion piece in todays Washington Post that I’d like you to peruse. It was penned by Eugene Robinson and pretty much hits the nail right on the head. Here are a few pertinent excerpts…

Republican rhetoric over the top

Not all overheated political rhetoric is alike. Delusional right-wing crazy talk — the kind of ranting we’ve heard recently from washed-up rock star Ted Nugent and Tea Party-backed Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) — is a special kind of poison that cannot be safely ignored.

Let me be clear: I’m saying that the extreme language we hear from the far right is qualitatively different from the extreme language we hear from the far left — and far more damaging to the ties that bind us as a nation. Tut-tutting that both sides should tone it down is meaningless. For all intents and purposes, one side is the problem.

This is what distinguishes the flame-throwers of the far right from those of the far left. Nugent and his ilk seek to deny their political opponents the very right to believe in a different philosophy. Agree with me, he says, or be stomped.

There is no symmetry here. The far left may hurl insults at the right but doesn’t scream “fascism” whenever a Republican proposes privatizing Medicare.

So this is what I want to know: Mitt Romney, do you agree with your prominent endorser Ted Nugent that the Obama administration is evil and hates America? House Speaker John Boehner, do you agree with your star freshman West that “78 to 81” of your colleagues are card-carrying communists?

Speak up, gentlemen; I didn’t hear you.

You can click on the article’s title to read the whole thing.
 

  5 Responses to “Republican rhetoric over the top”

  1. I don’t need to read Robinson’s entire column to know he’s megabricks short of a full load. His idea of the “ties that bind” this nation together is a left-wing nanny state run by the likes of Cass Sunstein and Van Jones and supported by the millions of so-called Americans who define Lenin’s ‘useful idiots’. Of which he’s in the top tier. I’ll pay attention to that fool when he condemns Mike (Wife Beater) Tyson for wondering why George Zimmerman hasn’t been shot yet; or when he finds something wrong with the New Black Panthers for putting a million-dollar bounty on Zimmerman’s head; or when he sees something wrong with Eric Holder’s Justice Department letting guns pass into Mexico so his boss can blather about more gun control. Robinson is too stupid, and in the tank for the left to be taken seriously.

  2. I don’t need to read Robinson’s entire column

    Yes, you do.

    Thank you, though, for so perfectly illustrating his premise. :)

  3. Everybody’s rhetoric is over the top, including mine.

    All the name calling and chest pounding, by anybody towards anybody else, is evidence the conversation is really about personal psychology, not the nation’s interest. Very few people in the midst of the political fray seem brave and honest enough to say out loud what we all already know privately.

    The nation’s interest is best served by calm, rational, informed discussion of relevant facts, with the goal of seeking compromise and real world solutions.

    The challenge here is that such discussions require thinking and actual work, and usually aren’t that sexy. It’s CSPAN or PBS material.

    The major media channels, including this blog :-), can’t build audience and ad revenue on such thoughtful compromises, so the conversation is shifted towards the more colorful and controversial speakers.

    Once anybody, on any side, starts yelling and pointing fingers, they’re making public the fact they aren’t really all that interested in what’s good for the country.

    Yelling and pointing fingers is yelling and pointing fingers, it makes no difference who is doing it.

  4. @ Phil:
    Just FYI, this blog receives no ad revenue. Never has in the ten years it has been in operation. Most likely never will. (Never say never, but there are currently no plans to go commercial.)

    It is my firm belief that Republicans and their policies are bad for this country. I will continue to believe that and I will continue to state and illustrate that on this blog. If that is what you care to label as yelling and pointing fingers, so be it.

    Thank you, though, for thinking that this is a major media outlet. ;)

  5. @Len, thank you for allowing your major media outlet to indulge my interest in this topic.

    It’s your firm belief that the Republicans and their policies are bad for this country. Ok, got it.

    This can be edited to….

    There are policies that are bad for this country.

    Or better yet…

    There are policies that are good for this country, and here’s what they are, and why.

    If a specific bill is pending before Congress that we believe in or reject, we can identify the deciding swing votes within the Congress, and alert our readers that they should attempt to influence the decision of these members, whatever party those members are with.

    When the focus shifts from policies to people, partisans on all sides tend to get sucked in to hyperbolic statements that undermine their credibility, such as declaring 50% of the country evil.

    That kind of rhetoric from anybody neither advances the country’s interest, or the interest’s of the partisan. It’s self defeating on all fronts.

    What that kind of rhetoric does is push away the very people on the other side who need to be persuaded to our point of view if our preferred policies are going to prevail.

    The alternative to that is ever increasing polarization, which means that every time the pendulum swings away from us for a few years, all the policies we’ve succeeded in enacting get reversed.

    Point being, our understandable and very human love of combat, and our sincere interest in the nation’s future, are in conflict with each other.

    As we’ve discussed, the real dividing line is not between left and right, but between the middle and the extremes.

    The messy middle is the only place we can make real sustainable progress.

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