The Assassination Tango

Dan Riehl points out something that I’m sorry I missed on Friday, when I explored Media Matters’ seeing Lee Harvey Oswald lurking just under the surface of every Tea Party. Dan writes:


During the Bush administration the Left defended an assassination movie as art. Now, yet once again they’re using the horrible concept in an attempt to silence critics. These are the same people who accused Bush of using scare tactics to achieve political ends regarding the war on terror. Political assassination is not a joke, nor is a threat with which to play politics. But recent history suggests they have no qualms at all with doing it. Don’t look for major media to pick up on their hypocrisy, or repugnant tactic. If anything, the media will only feed into it.

And that’s on top of the imagery that was all-too-visible at leftwing protests prior to November of 2008. And on leftwing news shows. (And it wasn’t just aimed at Bush, of course.) And from Hollywood.

As Victor Davis Hanson recently wrote:

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.

So What?

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 speaking of which, in addition to everything VDH described above, the left’s current case of amnesia is built on top of an earlier case of self-induced memory loss beginning about six years ago when they distanced themselves from their statements of the 1990s:

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