One of the lines of Democrats is, “They mean and crazy, we nice and sane. Republicans are extreme and dangerous, and Democrats are good, well-meaning citizens.” I thought it might be timely to offer, or re-offer, a piece I did about a year and a half ago, called “All Wee-Weed Up: Protests on the right, hypocrisy on the left.” Go here, if you wish. The piece will remind you — if reminding you need — of the general stance of the Left during the eight years of Bush 43. I’m not talking about obnoxious rabble on the street — such rabble will always be with us. I’m talking about esteemed writers, artists, and officeholders.
Here was Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee: “I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for.” Plus, “This is a struggle of good and evil.” By “this,” Dean meant politics in general. “And we’re the good.” An editor of The New Republic wrote a piece called “The Case for Bush Hatred.” It began, “I hate President George W. Bush.”
Is Nazi stuff your concern? John Glenn said of Republican campaign rhetoric, “It’s the old Hitler business.” Al Gore said that the Bush administration was “unleash[ing] squadrons of digital brownshirts.” Julian Bond said of the Bushies, “Their idea of equal rights is the American flag and the Confederate swastika flying side by side.” Keith Ellison compared 9/11 to the Reichstag fire. Garrison Keillor called Republicans “brownshirts in pinstripes.”
Assassination? Allow me to excerpt a couple of paragraphs from my piece:
Even before Bush was elected president, the kill-Bush talk and imagery started. When Governor Bush was delivering his 2000 convention speech, Craig Kilborn, a CBS talk-show host, showed him on the screen with the words “SNIPERS WANTED.” Six years later, Bill Maher, the comedian-pundit, was having a conversation with John Kerry. He asked the senator what he had gotten his wife for her birthday. Kerry answered that he had taken her to Vermont. Maher said, “You could have went to New Hampshire and killed two birds with one stone.” (New Hampshire is an early primary state, of course.) Kerry said, “Or I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone.” (This is the same Kerry who joked in 1988, “Somebody told me the other day that the Secret Service has orders that if George Bush is shot, they’re to shoot Quayle.”) Also in 2006, the New York comptroller, Alan Hevesi, spoke to graduating students at Queens College. He said that his fellow Democrat, Sen. Charles Schumer, would “put a bullet between the president’s eyes if he could get away with it.”
A columnist in Britain’s Guardian, Charlie Brooker, wrote, “John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. — where are you now that we need you?” Betty Williams, the Irishwoman who won the Nobel Peace Prize, said, “I have a very hard time with this word ‘non-violence,’ because I don’t believe that I am non-violent. . . . Right now, I would love to kill George Bush.” A novelist, Nicholson Baker, was so filled with rage at Bush, he wrote a novel mulling the question of assassinating him. In Britain, there was a TV movie — a “fictional documentary” — that was a kind of fantasy: on the assassination of Bush. (It was called Death of a President.) Etc., etc.
Etc., etc., indeed. Just one word to the Democrats this week: Get off your high horse, please. One more thing, too: Does the killer in Arizona have any connection to the Republican party, the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, National Review, or the “Right” at all? Any? Why are we even having this conversation? (I know why.)