Friday, June 16, 2006


Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind

Larry Johnson made the followingcomment on his blog Karl is a shameless b[.....]d. This could explain why his mother killed herself. Once she discovered what a despicable soul she had spawned she apparently saw no other way out. The responses are predictable. Some people on the left are shocked and say it's inappropriate. Some cheer him on. People on the right uniformly attack Johnson and (because Johnson points out Rove's failure to serve in the military) use the occasion to unearth every bit of hate they spewed against the Clintons. But the lack of self-reflection is what is really telling. If it needs to be said, I think it's wrong to use a parent's suicide as a verbal dagger against a political opponent. Since Larry Johnson is a conservative Republican (or recovering Republican), I am not especially surprised that he's engaged in this sort of bitter, scorched earth tactic. So let's go back a few years to the Clinton White House, and rememeber what Republicans were doing then. All sorts of scurrilous allegations (Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, Haircutgate, etc.) were made against the Clintons and circulated freely by the so-called "liberal" press. In the end, all of those smears proved false-- though Republicans continue to circulate them. But worst of all was the attack on White House counsel Vince Foster. Yes, he did suffer from depression. But a very small fraction of depressed people commit suicide. And fewer of those specifically ascribe their feeling of hopelessnes to a relentless smear campaign by The Wall Street Journal. What followed was one of the most disgusting episodes in American political history. Free Republic had board after board claiming Vince Foster had been Hillary's secret lover. Many of the people spreading this scum also claimed that Hillary was a lesbian, but then logic was never their strong suit. Foster-- unable to defend himself-- was accused of enormous crimes, such as espionage and money laundering. Indeed, ten years later, the right was continuing to metaphorically exhume Foster to claim a conspiracy far less credible than any "conspiracy theorists" of the left have ever come up with. For the right-- especially the WSJ, Limbaugh, and others who spread this venom--to continue to deny any responsibility is monstrous, despicable, almost inhuman. There's a further irony. The anti-Clinton wars were almost certainly run by the Bush family. That the attacks came through the Wall Street Journal and were allowed to pass almost unfiltered through corporate media suggested that the corporate right was uniformly on board. Maybe they all had the same bright idea. Or maybe Poppy's Rolodex had something to do with it. So maybe-- not certainly, but maybe-- Karl Rove was personally involved in driving Foster to suicide. None of this justifies Larry Johnson's use of a personal matter against Karl Rove. It's kicking below the belt. But if he felt that was the only way to communicate with Rove, that I can understand. About 10 years ago, Bill Clinton warned us against the politics of personal destruction. I took the message to heart, as I know that many people on the left did. But some people's hearts are very hard. In creating a climate of division and anger, the Republican Party has sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind. Here are a couple of the comments from right-wingers on Johnson's thread: Add to your list pot smokin' Oxford attending Bill Clinton to your "Chickenhawk" list. And, if Karl is dispicable, what about Hillary?? Defending her rapist husband while all the time knowing he was guilty of the very least serial adultery, the very worst, felony rape. Being involved in the "suicide" of her "friend" Vince Foster. There is two America's now.. both hate each other and I am personally looking forward to swinging my Louisville Slugger and smashing some liberal pumpkinheads. Liberalism is the cancer... a bullet is the cure.
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