“Hate groups do exist across the political spectrum, and have for a long time. But they have nothing to do with the expressions of frustration over deficits, taxes and Obamacare that we have heard at so many Tea Party gatherings. That frustration, felt by Republicans, independents and even some Democrats, is an entirely mainstream reaction to the sharply activist course the president and congressional leadership have taken. While the level of frustration is indeed a threat, it is a political threat. Ask Democrats running in this November’s elections.
It’s important to distinguish between a political threat and a physical one. As Clinton might say, the hate accusers should watch their words.”
(Excerpted from Byron York in today’s Washington Examiner, What’s behind the anti-Tea Party hate narrative?)
Where Is Frank Rich!? [Jonah Goldberg]
I once went and looked back through Nexis at all the times Frank Rich invoked Ari Fleischer’s terrible, speech-chilling admonition to “watch what they say.” In one column he compared it to 9/11itself in cultural importance. Of course, Frank Rich was not alone. Fleischer’s off-the-cuff suggestion immediately after 9/11 that people — including Republicans like Rep. John Cooksey — take a moment to think before saying something stupid, set off a prairie fire of idiotic paranoia about the looming Bush police state, or what Christopher Hitchens mockingly dubbed “Ari Fleischer’s Reign of Terror.”
Now we have what increasingly appears to be an orchestrated media campaign, led by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s think tank, to demonize tens of millions of American taxpayers because they keep invoking the Constitution. And the fact that this is a hackneyed repeat of the same play the Democrats have played for decades, if not generations, doesn’t seem to bother any of the usual “sophisticated” political observers, like Frank Rich. They’re perfectly happy to play their party recycling the same old “Brown scare” talking points that pass for intelligent commentary.
Ramesh Ponnuru hosting WaPo discussion board on the topic.
Liberals are attacking the tea parties the way they always attack mass movements of the right in this country: by labeling them racist and prone to violence. (Although they can’t always figure out whether they want the tea parties to have more blacks or fewer.)
Former president Clinton–who, as Peter Wehner reminds us, didn’t raise a peep when liberals were writing novels and making movies about assassinating President Bush–got into the act over the weekend, suggested that today’s anti-government rhetoric could encourage bloodshed.
Clinton was speaking on the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. In 1995, he attributed the atrocity to his political opponents. This smear, luckily, did not encourage any violence against the Right, because nobody took him seriously.
All of us should strive to be responsible in our political rhetoric, which is to say to be as fair and accurate as we can be. That advice is always worth giving, even if the person giving it is doing so, like Clinton, for transparently political purposes. But it’s not worth giving only, or especially, to tea partiers.
Over to You, Bill Clinton, Frank Rich, Joe Klein et al. [Mark Steyn]
Actually, there is a lot of incendiary hate out there — here, for example. The voiceover is by U.S. citizen (and spiritual mentor, most recently, to Major Hasan) Ayman al-Awlaki. He is explaining the rationale for killing identified individuals, including the creators of South Park.
Mr. al-Awlaki says things like, “Harming Allah and his messenger is a reason to encourage Muslims to kill whoever does that.”
Maybe he’d get a worse press if he were to stop pussyfooting around and explicitly incite violence by saying something openly hateful like “I’m becoming very concerned about federal spending.”