Monday, August 22, 2005


The Eliminationist Rhetoric Of The Conservatives

Dear Reader: 1) Go read this post by The Poor Man. 2) Try to imagine any of these people being allowed to exist in polite society if their targets were Bush and his family and friends. The right wing loves to fling around eliminationist rhetoric and has got away for years flinging it, so much so that they've long since stopped worrying about being called to account for it by our national corporate media.

What it takes to defeat these people are folks willing to go toe to toe, keep reading back their own words to them, and refusing to apologize for holding principled positions on issues like illegally invading foreign countries.

For far too long, people have been buffaloed by right-wingers' phony attempts to divide their opposition by say, linking Kweisi Mfune to Louis Farrakhan and then Farrakhan to Hitler. Farrakhan-- who is by any sensible definition a right-winger-- has said anti-Semitic things. So has Pat Buchanan. In fact, anti-Semitic statements are fairly common. So are racist statements. So are un-American statements that express contempt for the Bill of Rights and the 13th and 14th Amendments.

Common doesn't mean right, and it doesn't mean acceptable. But when there's no perspective, the debate gets absurd. "Up is downism" happens when you can't tell the difference between small and large. We saw it in the "So what that Bush lied? So did Clinton!" line.

But the attempt to link Cindy Sheehan with anti-Semitism and even the Nazis is so completely deranged that something very bad may result: people may conclude that charges of anti-Semitism are all phony. They aren't. Indeed, I am concerned about anti-Israel backlash, which I think is developing on the left (not to mention the Buchanan right) precisely because legitimate criticism of Likud policies has been repressed through false accusations of anti-Semitism.

To return to thread topic, the outrageous and all-but-criminal statements quoted by The Poorman need to be preserved, repeated, remembered. Senior figures on the American left never, never advocated the kind of hate, violence and terrorism that Limbaugh and Coulter casually and routinely represent.

No, not even at the height of Vietnam, not even when the Republican Party reduced a third of this nation to destitution in The Great Depression, not even now.
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