I was pleased to encounter the following statement in Fox News article I stumbled over last night. It was made by CNN host Don Lemon on live television:
“We sit around and we talk about these things and we want to give this false equivalence to Democrats and Republicans. That is not where we are right now. Republicans are doing something that is very dangerous to our society and we have to acknowledge that. We have to acknowledge that as Americans, we must acknowledge that as journalists because if we don’t, we are not doing our jobs.”
I was pleased because it’s such a crystalline example of the point I was making yesterday—even moreso if you watch the video (available at the link) to experience the full smirky smugness of Don Lemon.
It’s no small thing he’s saying. We hear it and read it so often these days that we tend to ignore it or let it slide, but this is very radical talk. This is a prime time news host from a major news outlet saying that journalists can’t treat Republicans and Democrats objectively because Republicans are so dangerous.
Where’s the danger?
Lemon was referring to Republicans who continue to support former President Trump after the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol, as well as the recent Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“They have to answer for those questions if they come here on CNN, they must answer for that. If they go on MSNBC, they must answer for that. If they go on ABC, they must answer for that. And they cannot expect to be coddled when they go on to a news organization or if they step in front of a crowd of supporters or voters or Americans.”
Let’s clarify that: if you don’t fall in lockstep with the leftist talking point that January 6 was an insurrection or attempted coup, and if you don’t have a problem with the Supreme Court kicking the question of abortion out to the states to decide on their own, then you’re dangerous.
Don Lemon says so.
You’re so dangerous, in fact, that journalists have to hold your representatives to different standards than those they apply to Democrats. Different, even, than those they apply to sleazy porn lawyers. (The link goes to a YouTube video of Mr. Don “They Have to Answer for That” Lemon reveling in the slime exuding from Michael Avenatti at the height of his 15-minutes of fame.)
Lemon referred to an interview he did with a former spokesperson for the Oath Keepers saying Republicans had become associated with “extremists.” He rejected any Republican opposition to that belief.
“You have the inmates running the asylum basically. You have the extremists because I know there are Republicans sitting out there going, ‘Don Lemon that’s not what we are.’ Maybe it’s not what you are but it’s what party has become and what you have allowed to happen,” he lectured.
Black Lives Matter is an explicitly Marxist organization. Antifa is an openly violent organization. Ruth Sent Us has been calling on supporters to harass public officials at their private homes. Democrats have therefore become associated with extremists and I reject any Democratic opposition to that notion. It’s what their party has become and what Democratic voters have allowed to happen.
Don’t look at me: this is Don Lemon’s logic. I’m just applying it.
It dovetails perfectly with the logic of George Soros, which I covered yesterday.
It dovetails perfectly with the logic of Ole Puddinhead:
It dovetails perfectly with America’s Speaker of the House:
In that clip, Pelosi says the Supreme Court was “undermining our democracy” (with their 2020 decision that a lower court in Wisconsin did hot have the power to change the terms of a scheduled election in that state) by forcing people to choose between “voting and getting sick.” Because going out in public, even just walking to your nearest mailbox to drop your absentee ballot in the mail, was clearly a mortal risk.
Then she went out and got her hair done at a hair salon in San Francisco that was supposed to be closed like all the other hair salons in California. Because no one should have to choose between getting their hair done and—well, no one should even be allowed to get their hair done during a pandemic: it’s like literally killing all the grandmothers or something.
Except for Nancy Pelosi.
Who didn’t even wear a mask.
And when video of that salon visit leaked out, she did the logical thing: she accused the salon of setting her up and said they owed her an apology. I mean, she’s literally the most powerful lawmaker in America: don’t you get it? Her job is making laws, not obeying them. That’s our job.
Sure, it was a bit of a kerfuffle for Madame Speaker, but is that hair fabulous or what?
And let’s never forget Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s incitement to assassination:
Or California Congresswoman Maxine Waters’s incitement to harassment:
(I deliberately chose a Washington Post version of that video to underscore that this isn’t Republican fever swamp stuff.)
These aren’t one-offs. They’re not taken out of context. This is what the Democratic party is and how it operates.
One Democratic official who’s openly called for the harassment of Republicans in the past, even at their homes, is my own Congressional representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In an interesting twist, a conservative provocateur named Alex Stein trolled her the other day.
See the video:
He sort of sneaks his one policy criticism in there (“she likes to kill babies but she’s still beautiful”), but otherwise he comes off as a smitten admirer. He says he loves her, says she’s his favorite “big booty Latina.” He says she looks sexy in that dress. He talks a lot about her beauty and her booty and ends by saying she’s “hot hot hot like a tamale” (probably a nod to Jill Biden’s having recently praised the taco-like uniqueness of Latinos).
I’d have some pretty choice words for anyone talking like that to one of my daughters, but neither of my daughters is a member of Congress and neither of them has ever tweeted out something like this:
Did AOC look uncomfortable to you in that video? Angry? Upset?
Note this all takes place on the Capitol steps, rather than her home, and that she sure doesn’t look like she came over to deck him.
“It’s a bummer,” she says, “to work an institution that openly allows this.”
The institution in question would be the U.S. Congress, on the steps of which the incident took place. If there is a single institution in the United States that ought to allow “this,” it would be that one. Besides, the whole point of protesting is to make people uncomfortable.
This episode led to this brief post from John Hinderaker of the conservative Powerline Blog:
DON’T HARASS LIBERALS
Liberals have been illegally demonstrating in front of Supreme Court justices’ homes and harassing them in public places, like restaurants. This isn’t a new thing–liberals carried out similar campaigns of harassment against officials in the Trump administration. Nor are these outrages being perpetrated solely by fringe characters on the Left. On the contrary, they are encouraged by liberals from the White House on down. A Harvard Law instructor is among the most recent to say that conservative justices “should never know peace again.”
There is no parallel phenomenon on the right. The Trump White House didn’t encourage Republicans to harass Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi or Ruth Bader Ginsberg in public places. No one has demonstrated at Stephen Breyer’s house, calling him a baby-killer. (Nor has an armed would-be assassin been arrested outside his home.) The reason for this is simple: conservatives are not horrible people.
Most rules, though, have exceptions, and yesterday a guy I’d never heard of, apparently a conservative of sorts, posted a video of himself accosting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the Capitol steps and making vulgar comments about her physique. She said afterward that she had wanted to “deck” him, and I wish she had. It would have served him right, and provided entertainment value, too.
Some would say that Ocasio-Cortez deserves this treatment, because she has enthusiastically promoted the public harassment of conservatives. It’s true: she does deserve it. Nevertheless, we conservatives should not be dragged down to the Democrats’ level. This kind of behavior does no one any good. Lately there has been a lot of talk about the possibility of civil war or, short of that, peaceful disunion. If the day ever comes when disunion becomes necessary, let’s not have any ambiguity about whose misconduct brought about that sad state of affairs.
John Hinderaker is apparently alive and well… and living in 2015.
So was I, until very recently.
But we’re hearing more and more of something that’s getting closer and closer to actual eliminationist rhetoric, and we’re hearing it from some highly-placed voices: the President, the Speaker of the House, the Majority Leader of the Senate, billionaire activists, primetime news anchors. The nakedly partisan and divisive rhetoric is passed along approvingly by the New York Times, the Washington Post, NPR, PBS, and other mainstream outlets, as if it were actual journalism. They’ve normalized a level of demagogy unprecedented in my lifetime.
Just to pull a single example out of a hat: see if you can find a single establishment news outlet that examined Joe Biden’s claim that the dreaded Georgia voter identification law was worse than Jim Crow—that is was “Jim Crow on steroids.” It wouldn’t have been hard: the Democrats’ awful Jim Crow laws are well documented and the Georgia bill and law were publicly accessible. But even after the last Georgia election, where record turnout completely crushed the idea that the law was in any way suppressive of anyone’s right to vote, the media made no effort to contradict the President’s lie: a lie that had no other purpose but to promote division and hatred for political gain.
As Hinderaker observes: there is no parallel phenomenon on the right. The “dangerous extremism” of American Republicans is a phantasm, a specter, a bogeyman. The dangerous Republican is like Keyser Soze: a myth, a spook story that Democrats tell their voters at night. If you don’t vote for us, the Republicans will get you…
Wait, hold on: there are deranged Republicans out there. Handfuls of them here and there. Every party has its crazies, but the Democrats embrace them. Remember when Trump kept having to disavow the nutjobs? Here’s a highlight reel:
Compare that to the Democrats: find me one of them “disavowing” Antifa or the BLM Marxists. Find me a video of any leftist or Democrat acknowledging that the Georgia voting law had nothing in common with the Jim Crow laws. Find me the establishment media journalist pressing a Democratic politician to reconsider their racialist characterization of the law once the last election showed that, if anything, the new law increased voter participation.
Find me the establishment journalist who took AOC to task for her 2020 tweet endorsing the idea that protests were supposed to make people uncomfortable. Find me one who even questioned the premise.
Which party had a fervent supporter attempt to assassinate—to massacre—multiple Republican Congressmen at a charity baseball game? Which party had a fervent supporter attempt to assassinate a Supreme Court justice? Which party had a fervent supporter drive a goddam truck into a bunch of dancing grandmothers in a Christmas parade? Which party just loves the idea of protesters making you uncomfortable—you entitled extremist!—but is appalled at the idea that anyone might make them feel uncomfortable?
Here’s the current vice-president back in 2020, when she was still a candidate, saying that the violent protests unleashing death and destruction across America at the time “aren’t gonna stop, and they should not stop.”
Maybe even just some political language to emphasize that she supports the peaceful protests but of course abhors the violence?
Anything like that?
She’s a Democrat, dummy. Wise up.
The madness is echoed across the Atlantic in Denmark, where I can routinely read how dangerous and extreme American Republicans have become in Berlingske, Politiken, BT, Information, Jyllands-Posten, TV2 News, and on the taxpayer-funded DanmarksRadio (DR). I chronicle all that on this blog. It’s incessant.
Danes who don’t know any better buy right into it, of course—why should they doubt it? It’s what they see on the news, what they hear on the radio, what they read in their newspapers. Even when they tiptoe into the Anglosphere and sniff at the Times or the Post, or turn their cable to CNN or the BBC, it’s the same Bizarro world of violent Republicans threatening the very existence of the American republic.
So I’m routinely placed in the awkward position of colleagues saying the most ridiculous and misguided things about American conservatives: if I speak up, they’ll think I’m a dangerous extremist. If I don’t, who’ll ever straighten them out on this whole mess?
I understand the reluctance of Hinderaker and conservatives like him who caution against lowering ourselves to the Democrats’ level. To some extent I share that view. But it’s increasingly untenable when the leftist rhetoric continues to demonize us even as their policies are inducing one fiasco after another—are in fact, as I noted yesterday, wreaking destruction across the western world.
Conservative ideas can’t persuade voters when merely articulating them is grounds for being silenced, shamed, or ostracized due to the lies being perpetrated by the left. People can’t be persuaded by ideas they aren’t allowed to hear.
So while I agree with Hinderaker’s headline (Don’t harass liberals), I have to question his sincerity. On the one hand he says she deserved it—and she most certainly did, having just last week mocked the idea that there was anything wrong in protesters hounding Brett Kavanaugh out of a restaurant—while on the other he wishes AOC had gone with her (alleged) instincts and decked the guy.
“It would have served him right,” he says. And he thinks it would have been entertaining.
Would Kavanaugh have been within his rights to go out and start throwing punches at the protesters harassing him at his home all spring?
Would Hinderaker have approved of any Trump-era cabinet officials harassed by Maxine Waters’s shock troops to have brawled with them?
Yeah, no. I’d like to see America take a few steps back from every flavor of political violence. Let’s not be rooting for anyone to deck anyone else.
I don’t want to harass liberals. I don’t want anyone to harass anyone.
But the left’s campaign of demonization, division, hysteria, and, yes, harassment has to be opposed somehow. Rank and file Republicans aren’t going to endure being treated this contemptuously forever: patience has a shelf life.
I’m hopeful that those aggravated Republicans and the aggravated Democratic moderates and genuine liberals who are clear-sighted enough to be disgusted by what the Democrats have been up to—and they are out there, those sane voices in the Democratic wilderness—will hand Democrats the absolute drubbing, the pummeling, the mauling they deserve at the ballot box in November and that’ll be that.
In the meanwhile, what can conservatives do?
I don’t know. But if Democrats don’t change their tune I’m afraid that conservatives are going to start doing things I think we’d all prefer they didn’t do—maybe even behaving as badly as Democrats.
That’s not something any of us want to see.
It’s a basic law of mammalian behavior: poke too much and sooner or later you get poked back.
Because patience has a shelf life.