In City Journal, Andrew Klavan charts “The Hateful Left:”
To be sure, there is a lot of heated rhetoric in American politics, as ever. For instance, last spring, three Democratic congressmen cruelly slandered Tea Party members by accusing them of spitting on them and calling them racial slurs—a charge that was reported as true by the Times even after it was thoroughly debunked by videotapes of the event. Film director Rob Reiner compared the Tea Party to the Nazis on Bill Maher’s HBO show last October. And in May, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg infamously blamed an Islamist attempt to bomb Times Square on “someone who didn’t like health care or something.” Indeed, the Left’s hysterical response to all who disagree with it—that they are racist or sexist or “phobic” or somehow reminiscent of Hitler—has become so predictable that satirists, from the libertarian Greg Gutfeld to the liberal Jon Stewart, have made fun of it in routines.
But never mind that, because the Left’s sudden talk about incendiary political rhetoric in the wake of the Arizona shooting isn’t really about political rhetoric at all. It’s about the real-world failure of leftist policies everywhere—the bankrupting of nations and states by greedy unions and unfundable social programs, the destruction of inner cities by identity politics, and the appeasement of Muslim extremists in the face of worldwide jihad, not to mention the frequently fatal effects of delirious environmentalism. Europe is in debt and on fire. American citizens are in political revolt. Even the most left-wing president ever is making desperate overtures to his right.
But all that might be tolerable to leftists if they weren’t starting to lose control of the one weapon in which they have the most faith: the narrative. The narrative is what leftists believe in instead of the truth. If they can blame George W. Bush for the economic crisis, if they can make Sarah Palin out to be an idiot, if they can call the Tea Party racist until you think it must be true, they might yet retain power in spite of the international disgrace of their ideas. And though they still mostly dominate the narrative on the three broadcast networks, most cable stations, most newspapers, and much of Hollywood, nonetheless Fox News, talk radio, the Internet, and the Wall Street Journal have begun to respond in ways they can’t ignore.
That’s the hateful rhetoric they’re talking about: conservatives interrupting the stream of leftist invective in order to dismantle their arguments with the facts. As for leftists’ reaction to the Arizona shooting, call it Narrative Hysteria: a frantic attempt to capitalize on calamity by casting their opponents, not merely as racist or sexist or Islamophobic this time, but as somehow responsible for an act of madness and evil. Shame on them.
Or as Dana Loesch writes, “Think again, left. Do you really want to throw aside concern for the victims so you can fail at scoring political points? Do you, mainstream media, want to aid and abet this sad trick for political relevancy of an ideology voters historically rejected on November 2nd? Is it worth the last vestiges of your credibility?”
Related: “I was unaware that America was at ‘the brink.'”