Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kathleen Parker Never Saw It Coming

Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker was surprised by the vicious and threatening e-mail she got after suggesting that Sarah Palin should do John McCain a favor by quitting the ticket.

First Draft offers some terrific insights into Parker's predicament:

Honestly, what did you think?
These are the people who called 9/11 widows grief pimps . . .

These are the people who laughed at the idea of Timothy McVeigh making a detour to the New York Times Building. . . .

These are the people who said Pat Tillman's family should shut up and go away. That Cindy Sheehan was a whore. That Valerie Plame was a criminal. That Richard Clarke was a monster.

Did you think it would be different because you've written favorably of their pet causes in the past? The past doesn't exist to these people. There is no yesterday. There is no last week. There is no last year. There's only today, and you're with them or you're not. . . .


  1. Some people simply cannot stand to have others disagree with them. It's sad.

    Did you see the things Obama's fans said about Clinton? Or the things Clinton's supporters said about Obama? Anti-war Republicans, pro-life Democrats, whatever -- if you go against the grain, wear your asbestos underwear.

  2. The irony is that Parker was surprised by it. Back in 2003, she wrote a column in which she quoted an anonymous friend in the military who thought that the Democratic candidates should be "lined up and shot" for disagreeing with Bush's foreign policy.

    I agree that the level of discourse can get pretty low on both sides of aisle, but the casual invocation of physical violence against one's opponents seems to me to be practiced much more frequently on the right.

  3. I've said it before and I'll say it again...the far left and far right are equally as goofy and equally as intolerant of anyone who disagrees in any with with them. Fuck 'em both!

  4. Not really a defense, but a mitigating circumstance: many on the right then (and now) saw the actions of many on the left as "aid and comfort" to the enemy -- aka, treason. That is a capital offense.

    And there were a few that really might have crossed that line back then.

    But, yeah, in modern America you really shouldn't be surprised when people get nasty over politics. It's stupid, but it's everywhere.

  5. Wake up and smell the coffee Chris. Haven’t you read Ann Coulter’s, Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism? This has nothing to do with opposing Bush’s foreign policy. According to the conservatives of Coulter's ilk, everything that any liberal has done for the last fifty years has given aid and comfort to America’s enemies. Parker was just jumping on the band wagon.

    “Treason” is just a slur used indiscriminately by right wing hate mongers to demonize people who disagree with them politically. They repeat it so often that otherwise decent people like you start to believe that there is something subversive about thinking and saying out loud that maybe The United States of America isn’t God’s special favorite among the nations of the world. They convince you that criticizing America or its government is so reprehensible that it is alright to talk about killing people who think that maybe America could behave itself better in the international arena and that maybe it could do better by its own people.

    Remember the little boy who cried "wolf" Chris. If you are going to apply the word “treason” to legitimate political discourse, it will no longer have any meaning when you really need it.

  6. I have a strict no Coulter policy.

    While both sides have a bad habit of using slurs for people who disagree with them politically, every slur isn't necessarily untrue.

    There is a qualitative difference between saying "we don't need to invade [country]" and saying that we deserved the attacks on 9/11. The former is debate; the latter is bordering on encouraging our enemies (and possibly more attacks).

    If you are going to apply the word “treason” to legitimate political discourse, it will no longer have any meaning when you really need it.

    True. The same can be said about racism, sexism, and a host of other slurs that are thrown around our society. Both sides should be more cautious.

  7. Let me ask you this Chris: how do you avoid being forced into the situation where we have to abandon political discourse altogether any time there is a war? Isn’t any political discourse about a war necessarily going to involve some level of disagreement about the war? Isn’t internal disagreement always going to be encouraging to the enemy in the war?

    BTW, I applaud your no Coulter policy.