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October 15th, 2009

The Problem With Political Discourse Today

In one of the most unintentionally funny posts of the year, this morning a blogger at Red State waxed philosophical about how the removal of Rush Limbaugh from a consortium trying to purchase the St. Louis Rams is a warning shot to all conservatives; that as a group they needed to stand up and fight even harder against the liberal tyranny. The man was being serious when he wrote the following:

Tonight Rush became the metaphor for all of us… every man woman and child in this great nation of ours.

The enemy of this great nation, the enemy of you and me, Rush’s enemy… those on the left, inside and outside of this nation abhor success… and when faced with it will destroy it… by any and all means possible.

We all have our dreams in life… such as they might be. Rush dreamed of being an owner in the NFL.

Tonight the left proved that they will stop at nothing to end our dreams. Our dreams of success and happiness devastate their need to dominate and control you and me… and well everything and everyone.

See, the reason why Limbaugh didn't get the team is that the liberal media spread all sorts of lies about racist things that Limbaugh didn't say or mean. Sure, let's just ignore a body of evidence that shows otherwise. I think my personal favorite divisive Limbaugh remark: "NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons." Yeah, I can see how football players would be begging for a chance to play for a team he was part owner of. 

But I digress, from my original intent. So, what happens when a liberal appears on Red State and asks a calm, rational comment to the post? Forgive me for reposting the original question and the response in their entirety, but I think this illustrates what exactly is wrong with political discourse today:

realitybased77:
Please tell me this was posted in irony. I’ve never seen such a self-pitying bunch of nonsense on this scale in a while.

The NFL owners are hardly a bunch of leftists… I would be willing to guess that the overwhelming majority are conservatives. It has nothing to do with the left not allowing it. The NFL’s most prized identity is its brand. They are the number one professional sports league because they’ve managed that brand and created something broadly popular. Limbaugh does not fit in that mold.

Rush has made a career saying things that at best, could be considered divisive. And while I don’t agree with what he says, I agree he has the right to say it. But words have consequences, and if he can’t handle the fact that a broad swath of the country do not like what he says, maybe he should find a new line of work.

jack_savage:
You bailout whore, death panel loving, racist jerk. I would also like to point out that you have been accused of child molestation, and we would like to get your response to that before you post further.

What you and your pseudo-intellectual ilk ought to be concerned about is the fact that an American cannot tell the truth without the left trying to silence him, or worse.

This isn’t about race, it certainly isn’t about racial reconciliation (I haven’t seen race relations this bad since the late 60’s). It is about silencing anyone who doesn’t agree with you. Not debating them- silencing them.

Who is going to stand up when they come for you, pal?

Nice, huh? The whole problem is that for 20 years, the leaders of conservative discourse have incessantly conflated liberals with treason, socialism, hating America, communicsm, socialism, facism and all things they define as "un-American" -- just to name a few terms. The likes of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Mike Savage, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck and a significant cast of lesser-knowns have made a living off such language and have (if you will excuse the pun) liberally used such terms in the titles of their books. After 20 years of this, is it any surprise that when confronted with a calm, reasoned statement that a right-wing nut-job immediately goes of the rails with name calling? Of course not.

Yet, we have a national media that continues to insist that bipartisanship is important and that it's very important for democrats in Congress to reach out to the Republican Party. Let's ignore the fact that the Republican Party did no such thing while W. was President, and let's ignore Grover Norvquist's famous statement: "Bipartisanship is another name for date rape."

What we're really seeing in this wonderful Red State post is that the right-wing of the Republican Party has become completely unhinged. I don't believe those of us on the left need to resort to name-calling, but I do think Democrats at all leverls of government  treat them as the know-nothings they are. By that, I mean it's time to make it clear that we view their arguments as silly and without merit, and we will no longer even attempt to bring them to the table for discussion. You can only have adult discourse when both sides are acting like adults, and far too many in the Republican Party are in need of adult diapers.

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