Ed Driscoll

Civility and Its Discontents

Mark Hemingway has some thoughts this week’s Washington Post’s hit piece from the left:

I was at gas station yesterday and saw the Washington Post had a big front-page story — “In Today’s Viral World, Who Keeps a Civil Tongue?” Not a bad idea for a story in theory, but given that the article was accompanied by photos of, among others, Father Coughlin* and Glenn Beck — my immediate thought was, “What do you want to bet that story is wildly unbalanced and unfair to conservatives?” Well, it turns out you can judge a newspaper by its cover.

*Father Coughlin is always invoked as a bogeyman by the Left when discussing political discourse — and somehow they always forget to mention he was a socialist attacking Roosevelt from the left. The Post does at least mention that Coughlin was a one-time Roosevelt supporter, but neglects to mention what Coughlin’s vitriolic rants were really about. With the way the story is written, it’s hard to tell whether the Post is directly suggesting or sloppily eliding that Coughlin’s rhetoric is similar to today’s Tea Party sentiment. The Post notes that the New Deal was “perceived as invasive federal power” because Roosevelt had “closed the banks in an effort to pry the country out of the Depression and established the sweeping safety net of the New Deal,” and then lumps Coughlin in with that particular brand of anti-FDR sentiment. The reality is that Coughlin began opposing Roosvelt because he thought he was being pupeteered by capitalistic Jewish bankers. And I seriously doubt that a guy who said “We maintain the principle that there can be no lasting prosperity if free competition exists in industry,” had a problem with federal intervention. But you know this already because you’ve read Liberal Fascism, right?

Yes — fortunately, the left hasn’t, which makes their repeatedly bringing up the same old shopworn cliches from the past so ironic.

Speaking of which, the Anchoress brings some equally shopworn, but more recent leftwing cliches up to date to see how they’re playing in 2009.