LOPEZ: Fact: There are liberals who are not bullies. Don’t you lose a chance to communicate with them, maybe win them over, when you engage in the generalizations?
SHAPIRO: The hope is that just as we on the right have marginalized many who discard reason for vitriol, they will too. Michael Moore still gets box seats at the Democratic National Convention. Al Sharpton still visits the White House. David Brock is still the administration’s chief media consort. Until the Left is forced by the American public to disassociate from its own bullies, it’s enabling them.
LOPEZ: You call out Bill Maher and Joy Behar and others for crass name-calling. But aren’t you engaging in more family-friendly name-calling in Bullies? “The Keebler Elf?”
SHAPIRO: Of course! That’s the point — until we stop treating bullies with respect, we can expect to get our lunch money stolen. I’m not attacking Alan Dershowitz with name-calling, because Dershowitz is a more intellectually honest liberal with whom you can at least have a discussion. But boors like Behar and Maher don’t receive the privilege of civility. Think of politics like the Geneva Conventions: If you agree to play by the rules, you’re treated by the rules. The minute you discard the uniform and decide to go rogue (and calling Sarah Palin a “c***” counts), you lose all right to civility. You can earn your way back in. But neither Maher nor Behar have done so.
As for George “The Keebler Elf” Stephanopoulos, he’s lost his right to civility because he’s a bald-faced liar. He portrays himself as an objective journalist, when he’s a mouthpiece for the Obama administration. Discarding the uniform of the other side and masquerading as an objective journalist earns you mockery and scorn, not civility and legitimacy.
LOPEZ: How does Barack Obama “coordinat[e] with his extragovernmental allies to launch devastating attacks on political enemies”?
SHAPIRO: The scam works like this. First, the Obama administration identifies a target. Then, they discover a flaw in the target. They can’t legislate against the target, of course. So instead, they go to their allies at organizations like Media Matters, which is staffed to the gills with friends of Obama — so much so that Media Matters has regular calls with the White House. They ask Media Matters to go on the offensive, and to coordinate with outside groups to astroturf secondary boycotts against those targets. This usually involves concerted letter-writing campaigns to advertisers who would prefer not to be embroiled in controversial political issues. Then the White House, as if by chance, weighs in to give the boycott weight. This forces the target to back down or be destroyed.
This has happened over and over again under this administration. When it came to the so-called war on women, the Obama administration launched a devastating publicity campaign, in coordination with its allies, against Komen for the Cure, an anti-breast-cancer organization that receives no government funding. Komen had committed the unpardonable sin of hiring Karen Handel, a former Republican candidate for Georgia governor, as its policy wonk — and it had, for reasons that had nothing to do with politics, decided to part ways with Planned Parenthood (Planned Parenthood is Komen’s least efficient grant recipient, since it does no mammograms). Obama and Planned Parenthood launched an all-out media assault on Komen that resulted in Handel’s leaving the organization and Komen’s reinstating its relationship with Planned Parenthood. And the Obama administration parlayed that assault on Komen into a polarizing campaign labeling those who backed Komen sexists who opposed women’s health.