Since the election, the left has alternately gloated, pleaded for conservatives and liberals to pull together to help Barack Obama in the name of unity, or shamelessly carped about “right wing rage.”
The gloating is expected and the unity pleas are naive, but let’s talk about “right wing rage.”
Among others, the Los Angeles Times has cited Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, neither of whom are particularly angry guys, as right-wing rage-holics for not laying down and dying after the election. CNN’s Campbell Brown also hit this same meme — which you can be certain will become more popular as time goes on.
This is actually nothing new. Back in the nineties, Bill Clinton blamed the Oklahoma City bombing on the “many loud and angry voices” in conservative talk radio that “spread hate.”
But the truth is that you don’t have to be angry, loud, hateful, or advocate violence to be a “loud and angry voice” that “spreads hate” in the eyes of the left or the media.
You merely have to disagree with them.
People will see that in the near future, when talk radio is hammered for some incident or another — it really doesn’t really matter what specific incident, because the facts will be secondary — and then the left uses the occasion to try to ram through the Fairness Doctrine and clamp down on Limbaugh, Hannity, and others. If you can’t make a better argument, then use the power of government to silence your political opponents.
You can also expect the Democrats to go back to the “right-wing rage” meme as soon as the glow starts to wear off of Obama. After all, he ran as an “everything to everyone” candidate. He portrayed himself as a diehard liberal and a moderate, a hawk and a dove, a tax cutting free marketer and a statist, a pragmatist and an idealist, a partisan tough guy and a unifier. No matter what he does, a lot of people are destined to be deeply disappointed in him.