Thursday, August 13, 2009

'Un-American' Attacks Un-American

Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer made a big ruckus last week by describing health care protesters as "un-American." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called the protesters "evil-mongers." The President himself has allowed his Administration to track critics and call on ordinary citizens to report their neighbors. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is calling protests out of the mainstream.

What's wrong with this picture?

In 2002 and 2003, in the run-up to the war in Iraq, many on the Left sated that they were being called unpatriotic. Still, if you look back on that time period, then-White House Press Secretary Ari Fleisher went out of his way to state that the protesters were excersizing their constitutional rights. president Bush reponded to his critics in a conciliatory tone, even meeting with Cindy Sheehan.

Many of the criticisms of the protests against the Iraq War was that the protesters didn't realize that many of their rights were determined by military action, not that these rights should be curtailed or silenced.

Still, now, the President and his political allies have regularly tried to paint their opponents as extremists. Reports of Nazi references and articles about increased militia activity are attempting to portray the average opponent of the health care plan (including perhaps some Blue Dog Democrats) as the ideological equivalent of Timothy McVeigh.

This demonization has been met with glee from the media. MSNBC, once so critical of President Bush's 'scare tactics' has taken a very harsh tone on these new protests.

The days are gone that city-clean Subarus carry that "dissent is the highest form of patriotism." Now, instead, the left is only attempting to protect the United States from a resurgence of the Klan, Neo-Nazis, and non-organic food eaters.

To call your political opponents un-American or unpatriotic while they are simply practicing the same rights you falsely stated that President Bush was curtailing is tactless and malevolent. To scream that they are extremists when they do not advocate violence or hatred is irresponsible and in itself 'fear-mongering.'

Political discourse is devolving as disagreeing with the President is slowly being perceived as hating America.

I'm sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we're Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.

--Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

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1 comment:

rjschwarz said...

Under Clinton Right wing Militias were popping up everywhere. Or so they said. It becomes a convenient straw man to distract people and limit the influence of your political enemies by association.

Its a standard move in the party playbook although they are a bit hamfisted about it this go around.