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Ed Driscoll

Insert Obligatory Godfather Reference Here

June 1st, 2009 - 7:46 pm

Jimmie at the Sundries Shack shares his take on Playboy’s meltdown today:

But to answer [Moe Lane's] question, I think the answer is simple. What happened is that the left has made it very clear that there is nothing off-limits so long as it targets the right. Take a quick look at the memeorandum entries on the story. You won’t find much in the way of progressive commentary, not even from the strident so-called feminist bloggers. I do give big props to Whiskey Fire, who kicked Cimbalo around very nicely. Good on you, man. Would that more of your fellow progressives were there with you.

I’d make one caveat to Jimmie’s post: as we saw last year with Hillary, the left has made it very clear that there is nothing off-limits so long as it targets what’s perceived to be to the right of them, as Olbermann’s assassination fantasies of first Hillary Clinton — and only later Sarah Palin — highlight. There was also Randi Rhodes referring to Hillary as a “big f***ing whore” and Geraldine Ferraro as “David Duke in drag” (both within the same rant).  And author, screenwriter and director Nora Ephron writing at the HuffPo that the Pennsylvania Democratic primary “is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women.”

There’s little doubt that had Hillary ultimately won both her primary fight and the election in November, she would have dragged the country almost as hard to the left as President Obama already has. But she was perceived by Obama backers on the left during the primaries as being to his right, and hence deserving of the full hyperbolic ad hominem dehumanizing treatment the far left normally reserves only for those with an (R) after their name.

As Jim Geraghty wrote last spring:

In and of itself, it’s shocking, but it’s otherworldly when we think about what Hillary Clinton has meant to liberals for most of the past sixteen years.Maybe Bill Richardson owes James Carville money, because that would help explain the bitter jihad the former Clinton strategist seems to be on, so relentlessly decrying the New Mexico Governor as “Judas” that Richardson stopped doing media appearances. It didn’t take much for Obama-backing General McPeak to declare Bill Clinton the equivalent of Joe McCarthy. And if you’ve read any Hillary vs. Obama thread on a liberal blog lately, you know that there have been friendlier back-and-forth exchanges in snakepits.

There’s something vaguely reassuring about all this, from the view of sitting on the right. It reveals to conservatives that the nastiness exhibited in our earlier disagreements with these folks was never personal; these people are clearly nasty to anyone who disagrees with them. Geraldine Ferraro’s long service to the Democratic party means nothing to many Obama backers; she’s a racist, “David Duke in drag,” as Rhodes put it. I’m sure Senator Patrick Leahy thought his decades of work on the left side of the aisle had bought him some street cred from feminists, but no, he was called sexist when he called on Hillary to leave the race.

Hillary gets called a “monster” by Obama’s surrogates; Hillary’s surrogates wonder out loud if Obama ever sold drugs. Today Clinton surrogate Ed Rendell speculates that Americans know only half the story of Barack Obama. Day in, day out, in this race it continues.

Is there nastiness on the right? Sure. But it’s hard to imagine somebody being the equivalent hero to the right the way Hillary was a hero to the left, so suddenly and severely pitched overboard – no, that’s not it, denounced and demonized — when somebody else came along.

It’s not personal, Sonny; it’s strictly business. (See also: Lieberman, Joe.)

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