“Hardball: Joan Walsh of Salon Calls Republican Critics of Obama ‘Un-American’ and ‘Traitorous.’”
Update: Media Matters would of course call it a smear, in that weird, self-serving Orwellian redefinition of the word they created at some point last year, but Ace flashes back, to remind us of the ill-wishes to President Bush from her own Website in the early days of the liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein:
Traitorous? Really? To quote this for the hundredth time, here is Gary Kamiya, writing in Joan Walsh’s Salon webzine, soon after the fall of Baghdad:
I have a confession: I have at times, as the war has unfolded, secretly wished for things to go wrong. Wished for the Iraqis to be more nationalistic, to resist longer. Wished for the Arab world to rise up in rage. Wished for all the things we feared would happen. I’m not alone: A number of serious, intelligent, morally sensitive people who oppose the war have told me they have had identical feelings.Some of this is merely the result of pettiness–ignoble resentment, partisan hackdom, the desire to be proved right and to prove the likes of Rumsfeld wrong, irritation with the sanitizing, myth-making American media. That part of it I feel guilty about, and disavow. But some of it is something trickier: It’s a kind of moral bet-hedging, based on a pessimism not easy to discount, in which one’s head and one’s heart are at odds.
Many antiwar commentators have argued that once the war started, even those who oppose it must now wish for the quickest, least-bloody victory followed by the maximum possible liberation of the Iraqi people. But there is one argument against this: What if you are convinced that an easy victory will ultimately result in a larger moral negative–four more years of Bush, for example, with attendant disastrous policies, or the betrayal of the Palestinians to eternal occupation, or more imperialist meddling in the Middle East or elsewhere?
Wishing for things to go wrong is the logical corollary of the postulate that the better things go for Bush, the worse they will go for America and the rest of the world.
So, if I have this right, wishing for greater numbers of US war dead is “patriotic,” and criticizing Obama for screwing up everything he does — something that already has a bodycount associated with it — is “traitorous.”
Somewhat astonishingly, the original post by Kamiya is still online, for those curious to see it firsthand.
As Victor Davis Hanson wrote in September:
The Left is now furious that, as the new establishment, the rules of discourse are not more polite. But from 2002-8, they (Who are “they”? Try everyone from Al Gore to John Glen to Robert Byrd to Sen. Durbin), employed every Nazi/brown shirt slur they could conjure up. NPR’s folksy old Garrison Keiler was indistinguishable from mean-spirited Michael Moore in that regard.
The New York Times gave a discount for a disgusting “General Betray Us” ad. The Democratic Party head Howard Dean flatly said he “hated” Republicans. Hilary Clinton all but called Gen. Petraeus a liar in a congressional hearing. The New Republic ran an essay on hating George Bush (not opposing, not disliking, but “hating” the President). Alfred Knopf published a novel about killing Bush. A Guardian op-ed dreamed of Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth coming back to kill Bush. And on and on.
No one objected. A Dan Rather said nothing—but tried to pass off forged documents to alter the election. A Bill Moyers piled on. There was no voice of “Now, wait a minute, this is going too far.” Did the Left assume that they were going to be perpetually bomb-tossers, forever on the outside of Karl Rove’s ballyhooed three-decades of Republican supremacy to come?
What Comes Around, Goes…
And then something strange and quite unexpected happened. The Democrats nominated a charismatic African-American, won the presidency, after obtaining large majorities in Congress, and suddenly became the Establishment, demanding respect for the Commander in Chief in direct proportion to their efforts to deny respect to his predecessor. Then just as suddenly two tropes appeared after January 20th of this year:
One—cannot we all get along? We deplore this resort to barbarism and crudity.
Two—if you dare sound off like we just did, then you are now a racist.
As VDH adds, not so fast: “The problem is that the public is not really stupid and has a long memory. It hates hypocrisy as much as it does crudity.”
And it has quite a lengthy memory.
(Bumped to top.)