Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 14, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

LIBERAL HATRED....Here's a meme that's had its day and needs to be put out to pasture now: the horror of all us Bush-hating liberals. David Brooks picked it up last month, Nick Kristof repeated it yesterday, and former Bob Dole flack Douglas MacKinnon spreads more alarum today.

But here's the curious thing: they all agree on who started this.

  • Brooks: "And for those who are going to make the obvious point: Yes, I did say some of these things during the Clinton years, when it was conservatives bashing a Democrat, but not loudly enough..."

  • Kristof: "Considering the savagery with which the Snarling Right excoriated President Clinton as a "sociopath," blocked judicial appointments, undermined U.S. military operations from Kosovo to Iraq, hounded Vincent Foster and then accused the Clintons of murdering him, it is utterly hypocritical for conservatives to complain about liberal incivility."

  • MacKinnon: "To be fair, hate was the fuel that energized many on the right during their diatribes against former President Clinton. And hate clouds the judgment of a number of Republicans today. Hatred of the left can also be found in a number of best-selling volumes by conservative authors."

Normally, when you agree that the other fellow started a fight, you also agree that it's the other fellow who should be taken to task. You don't blame the victim for finally getting up the gumption to fight back. Yet that's what all three of these guys do.

What's more, they act as if conservative rage is just some quaint bit of nostalgia from days of yore. Give me a break. Bill Clinton left office three years ago and the hate brigade is still churning out books about him and Hillary. And the vitriol is every bit as intense as ever.

Now, I happen to agree that white hot anger can eventually become counterproductive, but I want to know why these guys all think that it's liberals who should back down, rather than the conservatives who are the original rage-meisters and continue to shout from the rooftops to this day. Shouldn't they be the ones to hold out an olive branch first?

Kevin Drum 10:02 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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