The Corner

Back to the Old ‘Loathe’ and ‘Hate’ Already?

Slate has gotten into the spirit of the new civility with an op-ed by someone known as Emily Bazelon, subtitled “Why I Loathe my Connecticut Senator.” It’s stuffed with a sort of angsty yuppie psychodrama and peppered with “despise,” “loathe,” and “hate” — to such an extent that it almost rivals Jonathan Chait’s classic melodramatic meltdown in The New Republic (“I hate President George W. Bush. There, I said it”).

And, as Byron York has shown, CNN’s worries over Sarah Palin’s metaphorical “crosshairs” turn out to be rather hypocritical, given that both the network’s guests and its own reporters used such allusions all the time in the period leading up to Tucson — and have continued to do so after it.

When a president embraces language like gun to a knife fight, tear up, trigger finger, punish, enemies, etc., and polls suggest that on the key issues of taxes, federal spending, Obamacare, and the size of government the public is not with the liberal agenda, it is going to be very hard for the progressive community to heed presidential calls for “civility.” Incivility has long been essential in both venting liberal frustration with hoi polloi and their bothersome elected officials, and creating opposition through hysterical demonization rather than mere reason.

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