Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Shrill Right

I don't know if anybody has noticed that the level of shrillness from the right has risen considerably of late. I'm not referring to the run of the mill expected exaggeration of the Hannities and Limbaughs or silliness of the Gibsons and "O'Reallys" I mean the out and out squalling that's been going on. Words like "phony soldiers," "traitorous speech," "disgusting ads," "strangling" critics, it's gotten pretty deep. Maybe you've noticed a pattern, or cycle (assuming the whole thing doesn't make you too disgusted to remember).

Here's what I've picked up on, when it looks as though there is a challenge to "Republican" dominance or they're in trouble the nutcase rhetoric begins and escalates. As Bill Clinton improved in the polls and had successes in policy the rhetoric amped up, it went from annoying investigations to allegations of murder, drug dealing, and finally impeachment. This isn't to say that Bill didn't offer up some pretty attractive bait, but it sure got hot for awhile. When McCain threatened the BushCo primary, out came the nasty allegations, Max Cleland found out that an amputee vet was fodder for nastiness, John Kerry got "swiftboated," as terrorist alerts accelerated and any criticism of it was either weakness inviting an attack or out and out treasonous aid and comfort to the enemy. By 06 when polling showed Democratic resurgence the gloves came off and the rhetoric went nuts. Hannity and Limbaugh made Michael Moore sound downright conventional (and that my lefty friends is a stretch).

What I'm getting at is that under threat the Republicans get awfully nasty and their surrogates get downright lunatic with hate and fear. Blogs that were pretty centrist drift right and manage to persuade themselves that they are still centered - since the loony right has gone off the deep end. As their policies fail and even the complicit media can't hide the failures they are driven farther and farther from reason. When a moderate Republican blogger takes time to discuss with an anonymous loon the idea that criticism of a military commander or the behavior of troops or their mission is actual treason and then partially agree, the "center" has lost its way.

Treason is a serious charge, it involves either giving to the enemy such things as intelligence (ie troop movements or logistics or technology); or providing food, shelter, or security to them. It in no way involves the exercise of speech to criticize the mission (as demoralizing as that might possibly be) or to criticize the abilities or honorableness of conduct of their superiors, it does not even include calling troops names (as stupidly rude and obnoxious conduct as that is). You have the right to be stupid in public, you have the right to be obnoxious in public, you have the right to make a fool of yourself in public (lacking these rights the Republicans would be in jail). You also have the right to be exactly right and loudly so.

The fringe elements of the Republican Party have taken it off a cliff, that is unfortunate. What is truly unfortunate is when the responsible elements of the Party follow them over. Nobody ever forgets being called a traitor. Not ever. Those who "inadvertently" participated are not forgotten. They are remembered, they are discounted, they have ceased to be fellow citizens by placing that between us. They have established that I am not a citizen of "their" country and quite frankly - I don't wish to be. Their difficulty is that it's not "their" country. The day it is "their" country is the day I take out the weapons and make them prove it. There. The gauntlet is thrown down, you can pick it up or back up and go away.

22 comments:

DD877 said...

What pray tell is treason?
Kerry got Swift Boated for lies
THE story about his Christmas cruise of 1968 comes to mind. H said that President Nixon sent him to do some bad and illegal things. President Nixon wasn't President Nixon till 1969.

I am Coyote said...

Funny, I thought you were talking about the left taking the Democrat party off of a cliff.

It was the left, (wasn't it?) who called Gen. Patraeus a traitor?

It was the left who jumped to the expanded rhetoric of Limbaugh.

It has been the left who has been constantly accusing Dick Cheney (who I personally have no time or respect for) of being a criminal

Something as simple as denouncing the antics of MoveOn and DailyKOS could position the Democrats squarely in the middle. Yet somehow the party as a whole just could not find within itself to do something as moderate as that.

Chuck Butcher said...

The "middle" as defined by the right? C'mon Coyote, sometimes you've got good ideas, but when you start standing up for the folks responsible for the R's abysmal polling and accusing the Democrats, well...

I've noticed that the right's problems with the Pe(Be)traeus add were on the stupid play on the name and not the facts contained. That is a little different from telling lies, and making accusations of treason. But then, as far as I know, you haven't engaged in it.

Steve Culley said...

would failure to secure our borders be considered treason? I think so.

Chuck Butcher said...

The President has violated his oath to the Constitution, folks are free to make of that what they please.

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