I have never bought the “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism” line. This line was a favorite of the Left during the Reagan-Bush years, then disappeared from bumper stickers during the Clinton years only to reappear alongside even worse bumper stickers during the administration of George W. Bush. Now the slogan has disappeared again, but this time, worse is afoot.
The attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a Jewish woman, by Jared Lee Loughner, a man who out tin-foils tin-foil hat wackos everywhere, is being turned into a political cudgel to slam government critics. So far Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Tea Party activists have borne the brunt of these attacks, but a low-level smear campaign is underway in social media such as Facebook. To be sure, this is no Kristallnacht for the Right, but it is clear that elements of the Left are going to get their hands bloody by using this tragedy for political gain in a way that Conservatives are incapable of doing.
The problem for the Right is that personal responsibility is one of its core values and it is difficult for us to blame a movement for the actions of one man. But the Left has no such qualms. The Left views people as incapable of free will and sees them instead as pawns used by greater forces and therefore fundamentally a victim. To a conservative a murderer is responsible for his actions and may pay for them with his life. A liberal sees that same murderer as an indictment of the society that bred and raised him, and believes that Society shares in some of the blame for his deed, if not all of it.
The same dynamic is in play now. Loughner is clearly crazy, as any man who cites such politically disparate books as Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto as inspirations – on top of rants about literacy, gold backed currency and conscience dreaming whatever that is. Loughner was not a member of any known political organization – unlike Obama fanatic Amy Bishop and Jacob J. Ward, both registered Democrats, or Norman Leboon, a man who threatened to kill another Jew in Congress, Eric Cantor. Leboon donated money to the Obama campaign, yet all these wackos who voted Democrat were quickly forgotten by the sympathetic press. The Right condoned this forgetfulness because it saw these people for what they were: nutjobs who were responsible for their own actions. Few on the Right would have blamed the Democratic party for their actions – and rightly so in my view.
But the Left has raced to use Loughner against the Right even though Giffords wasn’t liked by the Left. Giffords, aside from being a Jew, was a conservative Democrat, a member of the Blue Dogs who supported Gun Rights and a strong US foreign policy. Just two days before the shooting “BoyBlue” (it’s 2011: only cowards use fake names) wrote a scathing hit piece on DailyKos for Giffords’ vote against Nancy Pelosi for house minority leader. Following in Josef Stalin’s footsteps, when the Left’s short-memory interferes with its agenda, it has no trouble airbrushing history: Kos has deleted that post, evidently forgetting that on the Internet unlike the good old days of Pravda, everything lives forever.
Nothing stops the Left from a good story, even when the facts are inconvenient – such as the lack of evidence tying Loughner to any right-wing group. At this time we don’t know what the shooter’s motives were. Was Giffords targeted for being Jewish? If so garden variety anti-Semitism could be to blame. Giffords may have been targeted by the Arizona Tea Party for defeat, but the truth is that Giffords is far more conservative as a Democrat than many Republicans. If Tea Partiers were as violent as the Left believes, there are far more liberal Democrats who would have to be worried – but the Tea Partiers are about as dangerous as a roomful of bingo players, and Liberals know it deep down. But the facts won’t stop them from sticking to the fiction that they regularly spew out.
And where the Left’s hypocrisy is particularly blatant (and galling to the Right) is with Islam. Here we have a whole religion full of extremists acting on orders from others, geared especially towards violence, and even former President Bill Clinton refuses to call the religion on the carpet, choosing instead to attack a fat man in Boca Raton. Take the example of Ft Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan. Hasan was in communication with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Anwar al-Awlaki, yet we were told time and time again not to jump to conclusions or blame Islam for the actions of one man.
So Liberals blame the Conservatives for the actions of a nutjob acting alone attacking a conservative Jewish politician, but does not blame Islam for the calm and deliberate actions of a man acting on behalf of self-described leaders of the religion (and its founder)?
Maybe they should try some of that conscience dreaming.
UPDATE: Make that a high level smear campaign. The Guardian – the Lefty newspaper that cannot blame Islam for acts committed in its name has no trouble with smearing the American Right. Given the Guardian’s love affair with Saddam Hussein, Islamic fascists and anti-Semites on the Left, it’s rather ironic to see the newspaper up in arms about a wounded Jew.