Monday, January 08, 2007


Meet the New Anger...

As someone who's long been familiar with the foam-at-the-mouth style of rhetoric favored by the right wing for the past several decades, I'm alternately amused and...well, angered when so-called "conservatives" start tut-tutting about the Angry Left: "Oooh...they used a naughty word -- the left is completely unhinged!"

Haven't they ever listened to their own compatriots' radio talk shows. After all, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, et al are hardly paragons of civility. And this anger is hardly new. I remember a certain NYC far right talk show host on an ABC-owned radio station, circa 1987, exclaiming, "I hope all those fags get AIDS and die!"

And he kept his job, despite complaints from the gay community.

So, this morning, following links from Atrios and Matt Yglesias, I was pointed to an article from National Review Online about the so-called "New Anger" in American politics, particularly but not exclusively among liberals. I just shook my head in disbelief when the author of the NRO article wrote:

"When [the New Anger] did arrive in politics, New Anger found homes on both the Left (e.g. Howard Dean) and Right (e.g. Ann Coulter), but the Left provided much more commodious quarters."

Talk about a textbook example of intellectual dishonesty! Look, Howard Dean doesn't even come close to using the kind of violence-and-genocide-tinged rhetoric that is Coulter's trademark. Some examples:

"[Canadians] better hope the United States does not roll over one night and crush them. They are lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent."

"I think a baseball bat is the most effective way [to talk to liberals] these days."

"When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors."

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building."

"We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens's creme brulee. That's just a joke, for you in the media."

I've found only one Howard Dean quote that that even approaches Coulter's typical vileness: "I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for, but I admire their discipline and their organization." And he later clarified that as applying only to Republican leaders, not Republican voters. And guess what: If a Republican said the same exact thing about the Democrats, even without the clarification, I would've just brushed it off as typical political rhetoric...not the poisonous Coulter-style brand.

Yeah, Howard Dean is just like Ann Coulter.

And Canada is just like Nazi Germany.

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