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Ed Driscoll

The Right as ‘The Other’

January 4th, 2014 - 5:15 pm

Melissa Harris-Perry Weeps to Keep Her Job,” Rick Moran notes at the PJ Tatler:

I think what’s going on at MSNBC is the same thing that’s going on at many liberal blogs and in the liberal commentariat, not to mention in liberal salons and liberal coffee klatches all over the country. Harris-Perry, Baldwin, Bashir, Schultz, and Hayes are not doing anything differently in front of the camera than they do when in casual conversation among themselves and their liberal friends. The wildly exaggerated caricatures of conservatives they routinely use to describe their political opponents — ascribing evil intent to every action, every utterance — is part of liberal culture. It’s a laziness of thought and mind that has become second nature to them. And, secure in their arrogant belief of moral superiority, they fail to see their own racism, their own bigotry, their own hateful, hurtful attitudes unless someone steps out and throws it in their face.

It makes you think, what are they apologizing for? They’re not sorry. This is how they talk. This is what they think.

Indeed. “To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil,” Charles Krauthammer wrote over a decade ago. And viewing someone of a differing ideology as being evil is a very different stance than viewing him as simply uninformed or otherwise somehow misguided.  In the past, serious epistemic closure has occured when cultures view related or competing ideologies, religions or races as the Other, who must be shunned at all costs, lest its citizens become contaminated by such “heresies” as Jewish Science, Bourgeois Pseudoscience, Acting Too White, and now as seen at MSNBC, humanizing eeeeeeevil Republicans, and even their relatives.

To add onto Rick’s comments above, it’s not just the gang at MSNBC or the Kos Kids; such ideas seep into fictional entertainment as well. At Acculturated, Anthony Dent explores “Why Conservatives Should Cheer On HBO’s Girls.” Personally, I’ll take a pass on that, at least for now — I don’t think I’ve even made it through an entire episode of HBO’s earlier Sex and the City — but this paragraph jumped out at me:

At every turn, Girls satirizes liberal stereotypes or ultimately finds liberal values wanting. In part a response to criticism that Girls was too “white,” Dunham introduced Sandy—Hannah’s African-American boyfriend played by Donald Glover—whose diversity proved short-lived not because of his race, but because he was a Republican, something she simply couldn’t tolerate.

Which sounds very much like last Sunday’s panel on MSNBC led by Harris-Perry, who dumped on Mitt Romney’s adopted African-American grandson, solely because his grandfather had an R after his name, something no one at NBC can apparently tolerate. Also writing at Acculturated, Mark Judge ponders MHP and “Comedy After the Cultural Revolution”:

Before the cultural revolution of the 1960s, too much American humor was first wave humor, and a lot of it wasn’t funny. It was often racist, gay-bashing or misogynistic. These were the jokes about lazy blacks, limp-wristed homosexuals, or ditzy, big-busted women. These jokes were never meant to be a disarming prelude to a deeper friendship and intimacy; they were meant to degrade and humiliate. It was Archie Bunker smiling about male fairies with purses and black women with big backsides.

And now, today, it is the left who have become the masters of first-wave humor. I was not as offended as much by what Harris-Perry said as by the knowledge that her liberal orthodoxy, the orthodoxy whose catechism holds that all Republicans are ignorant racists, will never allow her to actually get past the joke to humanize Mitt Romney. She, like too many of her academic and journalistic peers, will never break bread with the Romney family. To do so runs the danger of humanizing them, of discovering that they are individuals, of finding common things to laugh about. And in the echo chamber of MSNBC, that just won’t be tolerated.

And how. At the conclusion of his post on Harris-Perry’s apology today, Rick Moran added, “It won’t be long before another MSNBC host steps over the line of decency. Perhaps it’s too much to demand fairness from the network. But perhaps we can ask for a little honesty from transgressors who aren’t really sorry about trashing their opponents as much as they are about getting caught at it.”

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Top Rated Comments   
I have close family in Europe. For that reason I keep a close eye on the "Islam problem" there. Right now the left is walking a fine line, appeasing both Muslims and everything that the Homosexuals want. But someday they are going to have to decide, one or the other. You can't appease both.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Uh weren't the Republicans the ones fighting for the Civil Rights of minorities, when Democraps were happy to ally themselves with Jim Crow Democraps of the South. When ever I see or hear one of the Harris-Perrys, the first thing I think of is those house Negroes, who were happy to sell out the field hands for a few crumbs from the "master's" table
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
EXCEPT that if you listen carefully or read the transcript of her "apology," you will find she NEVER apologies for thinking/saying/implying that Romney or Republicans are racist, or that the low number of blacks in families or at party conventions are prima facie proof of it.

INSTEAD, she apologizes for 1) her "poor judgment" 2) "crossing the line by bringing family into politics" and 3) failing to "fully celebrate diversity in all its shades" (or words to those approximate effect).

Melissa Harris-Perry didn't apologize to Romney or Republicans for calling him a racist because she doesn't regret that. She regrets offending her own liberal audience and committing the technical error of mentioning Romney's family in mocking him - not because it was wrong, but because it got in the way of the smear itself.

That is no apology, my friends.

And the final arbiter will be her future conduct. Will she forever eschew saying or implying that Romney or Republicans are racists? I doubt she can go a week without it. And a sincere apology is accompanied by changed behavior. If it is not, then it was just an attempt at seeking cover, that's all.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (94)
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You would have a hard time supporting the idea that conservatives do NOT think that lefties are evil from the pages of PJM. Many people in BOTH camps think that the other side is evil.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yep. The sort of crazed rhetoric we've been hearing from the far left since Gore lost has metastasized and gone mainstream.

I was working on a contract in Sacramento six-seven years ago, and every day I'd go out for lunch and see a few more little stickers put up on phone poles, on the sides of buildings... little black stickers about the side of a 3x5 card with white sanserif letters. REPUBLICANS HATE THEMSELVES, they said. REPUBLICANS ARE DISGUSTING. REPUBLICANS HATE LIFE. Republicans are this, Republicans are that. Someone kept coming around the downtown area and putting them up the entire eighteen months I was there.

I was still a dyed-in-the-wool Clinton Democrat at that point -- I was looking forward to Sir Rudy vs Hillary in 2008, I recall, because I liked both of them and considered it a novelty to have *two* good candidates to vote for -- and even then it made me a bit queasy. Who the hell *is* this person? Why are they doing this? What kind of sociopath with a political grudge spends time doing this? Who paid to print all those stickers....? And what can they possibly hope to accomplish?

Now we know, of course. They were desensitizing the general public and looking for more of their own kind. They are just now hitting critical mass. There are an awful lot of postmodern Brownshirts out there who want a conservative Kristallnacht. And they will happily give the government the power to carry it out. Elections have consequences! Winner take all! You're not a minority -- you're obstructionist! You're not the people on the other side of the aisle, the ones we can poke fun at and argue with -- you're EVIL! You Rethuglican Teafaggers have held up progress in our wonderful country long ENOUGH...!

You hear this every day. You hear it on the sidewalk from passing strangers; you see it in the comments section of respectable newspapers. As far as the 20-somethings are concerned, this level of vitriol is normal. This is the way the game is played; and oh it feels so wonderful to be submerged in righteous hatred....

They have been well drilled. This has been done on purpose. This culture shift has been organized, orchestrated, and well funded. And we are in deep trouble.

I don't care how anti-gun you are -- get a shotgun. Now. And a box of hulls. Right now. You too, Roger. Bad things are coming.
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32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
To be fair, I'm inclined to see Ms Harris-Perry, or Al Sharpton, or even Obama himself, as an "other." Not by skin color but by a meanness that I don't want to understand. And I find it leaks onto other liberals somewhat: I view Mickey Kaus' work or WR Meade's work through a prism of doubt. I withdraw a bit at the idea of humanizing even those two gentlemen or Camilla Paglia because they remain loyal to people who seem to despise me.
It's a personal failing of my own and I suspect I'm in good company in having this failing.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"how does this leftwing Mobius Loop become unstuck, lest a similar collapse occur in America?"

Perhaps a collapse is what is needed.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Before the cultural revolution of the 1960s, too much American humor was first wave humor, and a lot of it wasn’t funny. It was often racist, gay-bashing or misogynistic."

Oh puuuuleeze. You can watch old movies for hours and hours and hours and not find anything racist etc so I don't know where he gets off making that assumption. The 'problem' with what she said was not so much the content itself as the fact that the joke revealed the inside of her head and what is inside her head is creepy and weird. People who are really into hatred are weird and when inner feeling like that come out in a non-filtered way its disturbing for normal people to see.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
This so-called apology by the teary-eyed Melissa Harris Perry reminded me of Hillary Clinton getting teary-eyed right before the New Hampshire primary. It is apparently a tool of liberal women to use crocodile tears to manipulate people to see them as victims, or as vulnerable damsels who need to be rescued.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you're able to successfully de-humanize anybody to the right of say... Chairman Mao... it's that much easier to get support from the masses when you start saying "Hey, we have to kill them!"

They'll just keep moving the Overton Window...
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Hey, heh...Ho, ho....Western Civ has got to go!

"When people say they want to kill you, believe them." - unknown Jewish Holocaust survivor
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
How do you know the collapse hasn't already happened?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
We're still alive.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
When demagog liberals rant about conservatives being evil and the cause of everything wrong in the world, it sounds similar to the style of rhetoric going around Germany in the 1930's. All you have to do is substitute Conservative or Republican for the term Jew (in the 1930's) and it's all too similar to not be a concern. I don't think liberals were quite this deranged 20 or 30 years ago.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
They were.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, they were.

But now it is obvious they no longer believe there is a downside to showing what they truly are in the public sphere.

Which points to an even more disturbing development in the culture of those who are NOT part of the Liberal Insanity Movement of the late- 20th and early-21st centuries.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Republican=Rich
Republican=Stupid
Therefore, Rich = Stupid
Me, Not Rich
Therefore, Me = Democrat
Therefore, Me = Genius!
In real life I'm on the libertarian side of the Republican party. So their math doesn't work.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
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