Monday, June 06, 2005
On civility in discourse: I mentioned yesterday Sen. Harkin's slur against "Christian broadcasters" -- and by extension Christians who listen to or watch them. I've criticized Falwell and Robertson in the past -- along with the Christian Coalition and their voter guides -- for things they've said. I think Falwell's comment that the 9/11 attacks were "God's judgment" was outrageous, wrong and worthy of condemnation. That doesn't mean that you get to take free shots at them in perpetuity and claim, without any evidence, that they say liberals and Democrats are in league with Satan.
If Falwell, Robertson or anyone else makes that claim, I'll condemn what they say and distance myself from it, but you didn't hear a rush of liberal columnist, bloggers or pundits rushing to microphones when Democrat Party chair Howard Dean said that Republicans are "evil." You've only had Rep. Barney Frank (Barney Frank!) condemn Dean for "convicting" Minority Leader Tom DeLay before he's even been indicted. You finally had John Edwards denouncing Dean for his claim that "most Republicans haven't worked an honest day in their lives."
But, at best there's silence on the left when these slurs are hurled, usually it's enthusiastic cheering. Compare Democrat slurs to GOP Party head Ken Mehlman on "Meet the Press" yesterday. (via Best of the Web Today)
I would respectfully disagree with that. . . . I would respectfully disagree with Senator Danforth's characterization. . . . I would respectfully disagree with their statement on that. . . . I would respectfully disagree with those numbers. . . . I would respectfully disagree with Mr. Pozen, Tim. . . . I would respectfully disagree with that finding. . . . Well, again, I would respectfully disagree, at the same time recognizing the tragedy, and how hard it must be for his mom and his whole family.
You see how easy this is? Maybe Democrats should sit down with their anger-management counselors and practice.