Call For Civility -- From the Left

WSJ has an excellent article by Lanny Davis about his own party's intolerance and depth of hatred. The left aren't waiting to debate the other side of the aisle, they're too busy cannibalizing their own.

I came to believe that we liberals couldn't possibly be so intolerant and hateful, because our ideology was famous for ACLU-type commitments to free speech, dissent and, especially, tolerance for those who differed with us. And in recent years--with the deadly combination of sanctimony and vitriol displayed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Michael Savage--I held on to the view that the left was inherently more tolerant and less hateful than the right.

Apparently Mr. Davis never heard the wild rantings of Al Franken, Randy Rhodes or Janine Garofolo on their radio programs.

One Sunday morning on C-Span I debated Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel on the Lieberman versus Lamont race. Afterwards I received a series of emails--many of them in ALL CAPS (which often suggests the hyper-frenetic state of these extremist haters)--that were of the same stripe as the blog posts, and filled with the same level of personal hate.
But the issue is not just emotional outbursts by these usually anonymous bloggers. A friend of mine just returned from Connecticut, where he had spoken on several occasions on behalf of Joe Lieberman. He happens to be a liberal antiwar Democrat, just as I am. He is also a lawyer. He told me that within a day of a Lamont event--where he asked the candidate some critical questions--some of his clients were blitzed with emails attacking him and threatening boycotts of their products if they did not drop him as their attorney. He has actually decided not to return to Connecticut for the primary today; he is fearful for his physical safety.

Neither party is lily white when it comes to political chicanery, but I cannot recall anytime a prominent Republican or 'celebrity' Republican voiced a desire to kill, maim or torture a Democratic opponent. If there are such cases I would heartily denounce them and expect others in the Republican party to do so as well.

Davis wraps up his piece with this:

Mr. Lamont and all other liberal Democrats should remember the McCarthy era and not fall into the trap of the hypocrisy of the double standard--that it's not OK when Ann Coulter dispenses her venomous hatred, but it is OK when our side's versions of Ann Coulter do.

This is a good start.

Posted by Mutti at August 8, 2006 10:51 AM | TrackBack

I dont understand where Mr. Davis is getting at with the McCarthy comment. Maybe he's read one too many revionist books about that era but from what I've studied and read, the liberals were the ones actually doing the mud slinging and name calling. The people McCarthy called out as communists were in fact communists and I believe that only one wasnt a communist. The liberals were the one in hysterics, accusing those who turned in the commies of being homosexual, alcoholics, etc etc. Conservatives did not particpate in those kind of low life games. "McCarthyism" is probably the most ill reported and revised part of American history. Poor guy drank himself to death because the liberals relentlessly lied about his private and public life. Maybe I'm misunderstanding Mr. Davis' comment, but I dont think "McCarthyism" is the best example to use

Posted by: shira at August 9, 2006 10:50 AM


They did a masterful job of slandering McCarthy; 'repeating a lie often enough it will be believed' definitely pertains here.

Davis said more than a few things I took issue with, for one: mentioning Limbaugh, Savage and Coulter (whom he named repeatedly), as though they have led the parade on hatefulness and the left somehow just now joined it.

I remember way back in the '80's when the liberals would call press conferences and scream the Republicans wanted to kill all the children with poisoned water, or kill the elderly because of rx costs, etc. They've gotten so shrill with their rhetoric of death and destruction that perhaps only now Lanny Davis is hearing it.

Don't know where he's been but at least he's hearing it.

Posted by: Dee at August 9, 2006 02:25 PM