Memory loss

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on September 30, 2009

Democrats have suddenly discovered that it’s wrong to demonize their opponents.

No. That’s not true.

Democrats have suddenly discovered that it’s only wrong to demonize Democrats.

That is true.

After months of labeling opponents of President Obama’s free-spending ways as “un-American” and “evil-mongers,” the political left is worried that un-American evil-mongers might do something crazy.

New York Times op-ed columnist Tom Friedman wrote the most disconnected-from-reality column in history today in which he agonized over the possibility that someone on the right might go crazy and assassinate “the One.”

Where Did ‘We’ Go?

I hate to write about this, but I have actually been to this play before and it is really disturbing.

I was in Israel interviewing Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin just before he was assassinated in 1995. We had a beer in his office. He needed one. I remember the ugly mood in Israel then — a mood in which extreme right-wing settlers and politicians were doing all they could to delegitimize Rabin, who was committed to trading land for peace as part of the Oslo accords. They questioned his authority. They accused him of treason. They created pictures depicting him as a Nazi SS officer, and they shouted death threats at rallies. His political opponents winked at it all.

And in so doing they created a poisonous political environment that was interpreted by one right-wing Jewish nationalist as a license to kill Rabin — he must have heard, “God will be on your side” — and so he did.

Others have already remarked on this analogy, but I want to add my voice because the parallels to Israel then and America today turn my stomach: I have no problem with any of the substantive criticism of President Obama from the right or left. But something very dangerous is happening. Criticism from the far right has begun tipping over into delegitimation and creating the same kind of climate here that existed in Israel on the eve of the Rabin assassination.

What kind of madness is it that someone would create a poll on Facebook asking respondents, “Should Obama be killed?” The choices were: “No, Maybe, Yes, and Yes if he cuts my health care.” The Secret Service is now investigating. I hope they put the jerk in jail and throw away the key because this is exactly what was being done to Rabin.

One wonders what planet exactly Friedman was on from 2001-2008 as his fellow travelers produced a film enthusiastically reveling in the idea of the assassination of President George W. Bush. Or all of those Code Pink and International ANSWER protests that prominently featured Bush as Hitler posters.

Delegitimation?

That sounds like those “selected not elected” chants we heard from the political left for eight years.

Did Friedman write a column then wondering about what happened to “us?” Good luck finding such a column.

Ironically, the same day Friedman’s column is published we get these dueling headlines over at CNN.com.

The top story refers to Democrat Rep. Alan Grayson going on the House floor characterizing the GOP health care plan as “Die Quickly.” The second story is CNN’s house leftist curmudgeon Jack Cafferty featuring Friedman’s column.

I’d like to think there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed in our political discourse. Unfortunately, I think cable news talking head analysts, columnists and politicians wiped out that line during the Bush 43 presidency and drew a new one.

That line hasn’t been crossed by the current political discourse.

It would be nice if Friedman, Cafferty and their ilk were as concerned as the venom and bile produced by their own side as they are by that produced by the right.

0 comments on “Memory loss”

  1. Democrats voting to use MY taxpayer dollars for ABORTION,
    and pointing fingers at others regarding 'Die Quickly'! SERIOUSLY?????

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Perfectly said: “It’s not that the statue had become unworthy of the museum. It’s that the museum had become unworthy of the statue. “ https://www.nysun.com/editorials/theodore-roosevelt-back-to-the-badlands/91960/

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