Commentary on the ruckus

Here are few comments on the rhetoric blame game and political gamesmanship using murder as a leverage.

John Steele Gordan warns: Memo to Liberals: Beware the Internet.

the old days are over. Not so long ago, if you wanted to prove that a member of the chattering classes had flatly contradicted himself in order to advance a political agenda, you had to go to the library, get a roll of microfilm, insert it into a machine, and then search for the earlier statement. If your memory was faulty as to where or when the earlier statement had appeared, this process could take hours, even days. Often it wasn’t worth the bother.

Today you need only click the icons for Google and/or YouTube, push a few keys, and bam! — you have proof positive of the chatterers’ shameless hypocrisy. A few more clicks and their intellectual perfidy is all over the Internet.

That makes comparison and contrast in the matter of personal consistency a means to evaluate the worth of someone’s words.

Peter Wehner describes The Cynicism and Intellectual Corruption of the Left.

words matter, because there is no evidence that we know of that “inflammatory language” that has “become a steady undercurrent in the nation’s political culture” drove Loughner to pull the trigger. … Yet this doesn’t appear to matter much at all to those on the left. They are determined to draw some deeper meaning — and some political advantage — from this tragedy. They want to libel conservatism.

It is all quite sick, really. Not a few liberals are attempting to use a human tragedy to advance an ideological agenda. They are using dead and broken bodies as political pawns. The blood was still flowing from the gunshot wounds of slain and wounded people in Tucson as liberals began an extraordinary and instantaneous smear campaign. It will end up making our political discourse even more angry and toxic.

I was naïve enough to be surprised at what has unfolded in the last 48 hours. The cynicism and intellectual corruption on the left is deeper than I imagined.

Bruce McQuain describes how Political opportunism never lets a crisis go to waste.

I continue to be incredulous of the blatant political opportunism this shooting of Rep. Giffords has unleashed on the left. OK, not really. But in a way, it is the Paul Wellstone memorial all over again on a national level.

First, all of this angst over political rhetoric is so overwrought and overblown as to be laughable. There has never been a time in the history of this land that the language hasn’t been rough or partisan. Never. Pretending this is the worst it has ever been is simply historically inaccurate. It may be more obvious now because of mass communications and the democratization of opinion, but it isn’t at all any different than it ever has been. Folks, do a little digging in the history books.

Our political speech should not be held hostage by the “unstable”. And this latest nut is a perfect example of the point. It appears he was not swayed by anything to do with political speech by anyone but Giffords. He was obsessed with her and for all we know, he got his orders to shoot her from the chicken pot pie he ate the night before.

Durbin’s nonsense notwithstanding, we cannot and must not make ourselves hostages to what could happen if some nut decides to take something literally. There is a difference between a random nutball deciding for whatever reason to do something and a movement that advocates violence as a solution to political problem. We must not bow to the pressure to accommodate the former by denying our free speech and we must not accept the latter as a solution to anything. But what we can’t do is lump the former with the latter and just curb our speech “in case” it might set one of the nuts off. That’s precisely what Durbin and his ilk are suggesting.

Daniel Harper describes The Left’s McCarthyism and cites George Will writes in the as well as Bill Kristol on C-SPAN

This McCarthyism of the left – devoid of intellectual content, unsupported by data – is a mental tic, not an idea but a tactic for avoiding engagement with ideas. It expresses limitless contempt for the American people, who have reciprocated by reducing liberalism to its current characteristics of electoral weakness and bad sociology.

Then there’s the business blogger who sets himself as being morally and intellectually superior to Palin (because his opinions of governance are different) and then, despite the cross hairs map he shows to qualify his point, suggests that blaming Palin is perhaps a bit overblown. Or there is the tech blogger who tries to be superior by noting that Glen Beck suggesting stopping violence with a gun.

And yes, there is a difference between the sides in this issue regarding political opportunism and rhetoric.

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