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Recapping the Days When Dissent Was Patriotic

August 16, 2009

Today I ran into a stultifyingly remarkable individual on Twitter who can’t seem to understand the difference between right wing and left-wing dissent over the past eight years.

The vast majority of liberals are (as I have said on numerous occasions) good an honest people who are simply wrong about nearly everything.  But just occasionally, a liberal will break loose from the herd and insist upon trying to play moral equivalence games.  Thus, the seditious, treasonous, perfidious, and quite often pusillanimous behavior that is altogether too typical on the left gets framed in terms of but the right does it, too! Let’s examine that, shall we?

The left acts as though the use of Nazi symbols and comparisons is the sole province of the right.  Alas… how quickly we’ve forgotten the George W. Bush presidency, except when our elected leaders need someone to scapegoat for everything.

Oddly, the charge of Nazism and, by extension, fascism, occurs without the slightest thought of irony on the part of the left.  Fascism occurs on the left side of the political axis.  Ah, but I digress.  The germane point here is that many of our friends on the left have forgotten gems like these:

Hmmm.  Dissent sure is swell, isn’t it kids?

But only during the “dark night of fascism” under George W. Bush.  A fairly extensive collection of “Bush equals Hitler” allusions can be found here.

The sudden onset of amnesia on the left isn’t limited to hirsute protesters.  The media’s captivation with dissent then versus now is manifestly obvious.

Back when dissent was all the rage, Kieth Olbermann took the airwaves on a nearly-nightly basis to decry the tyrannical oppression of grassroots liberal dissent.  Quoth the bespectacled buffoon then, in reference to Colin Powell’s letter about Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib:

“It’s unacceptable to think,” he [Bush] said.It is never unacceptable to think.

And when a President says thinking is unacceptable, even on one topic, even in the heat of the moment, even in the turning of a phrase extracted from its context, he takes us toward a new and fearful path — one heretofore the realm of science fiction authors and apocalyptic visionaries.

Oooooh!  The spooky Bushitler, it seems, was apparently insinuating that it was against the law to think.  Except that he wasn’t, but that doesn’t stop the indefatigable Olbermann, who continues on:

Between your confidence in your infallibility, sir, and your demonizing of dissent, and now these rages better suited to a thwarted three-year old, you have left the unnerving sense of a White House coming unglued – a chilling suspicion that perhaps we have not seen the peak of the anger; that we can no longer forecast what next will be said to, or about, anyone who disagrees.

So apparently, dissent was awesome, great, fantastic; it was something to appreciate and to encourage.  But not since we have the blessed Savior in office!  Now, dissenters are mere roadblocks to progress toward utopia.

Well, what was—what was the whole thing for the last two or three cycles from the Republicans was if you vote Democratic you‘ll die because of terrorism.  That one seems to have waned, and now, it seems, if you vote Democratic, you‘ll die because of health care reform.Which begs this larger question—the op-ed in “The Washington Post” today by Steven Pearlstein—if the Republican Party and others were actively schilling for the health care industry, knowingly inciting a dissatisfied portion of the American public towards violence with propaganda, knowing that it‘s never going to be vetted or checked by people who want to believe this, who need an excuse to get riled up and perhaps actually violently angry.  How is that different than what Hamas or Hezbollah does?  How are these people not political terrorists?

Wow!  Of course, it is worth noting that Olbermann himself is not immune to the “conservatives equal Hitler” disease, having once referred to Ken Starr as Heinrich Himmler–“glasses and all”.

Here’s Olbergoebbels (since he seems to appreciate Nazi comparisons, I figured he’d enjoy one aimed at him) opining on name-calling, then and now:

Of course, there is the latest trend in comparing the “birthers” to “truthers”.  Despite the obvious truth that a group of people (mistakenly) protesting the president’s birth certificate are decidedly not equal with a group of people who believe that either a) George Bush and our government were complicit and/or negligent in the 9/11 attacks, or b) our government took steps to increase the devastation by purposely blowing up additional towers in the aftermath.  I’m sorry, but the two are worlds apart.  That doesn’t stop leftists from demagoging the hell out of the birthers now:

The conspiracy theorists who have claimed for more than a year that President Obama is not a United States citizen have found receptive ears among some mainstream media figures in recent weeks.

Despite ample evidence to the contrary, the country’s most popular talk radio host, Rush Limbaugh, told his listeners on Tuesday that Mr. Obama “has yet to have to prove that he’s a citizen.” Lou Dobbs of CNN said that Mr. Obama should do more to dispel the claims. Larry King, also of CNN, asked guests about it. Chris Matthews debated it with guests on MSNBC, and “NBC Nightly News” even did a segment debunking the theory.

Cable news is often stretched for news in the summer, but the birth certificate case has been fueled by the combustible combination of luck, compelling video, media-savvy doubters — and an outlandish topic.

Unfortunately, the media were less than inclined to apply the same level of scrutiny to truthers; in fact, they were portrayed sympathetically:

“[Group press director Michael] Berger, 40, is typical of 9/11 Truthers — a group that, in its rank and file, includes professors, chain-saw operators, mothers, engineers, activists, used-book sellers, pizza deliverymen, college students, a former fringe candidate for United States Senate and a long-haired fellow named hummux (pronounced who-mook) who, on and off, lived in a cave for 15 years.”

So there you go: right wing “birthers” are ghoulish simpletons hell-bent on usurping the president’s rightful authority.  Left-wing “truthers” were–well, golly-gee-whiz, just your average run-of-the-mill, everyday American Rockwell types!  They were just swell, weren’t they?

The list goes on and on.  The “deather” phenomenon–which is grounded in actual, physical, reproducible evidence in the form of health care draft legislation–is treated with greater contempt by left-wing dunces in the media who readily embraced the Halliburton canard long after Dick Cheney had all but provide DNA samples disproving any link whatsoever between himself and the lunatic theory that the Iraq war was created to enrich Halliburton’s corporate coffers.  And of course, we see what a sterling group of thinkers the “no war for oil” crowd was, as evidenced by the fact that oil is as plentiful as water and as cheap as air!  Gosh, that sure worked out well for America, didn’t it?

Now that we’ve had just a brief trip down memory lane, maybe we can stop pretending that liberal Democrats are much more than a rag-tag assortment of lying hypocrites.

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