Civility, Ours and Theirs

It is quite remarkable that the Democratic Party now–belatedly, to say the least–wants to make an issue out of civility. Mark Steyn quotes Lloyd Marcus:

The Left published a cartoon depicting former black Secretary of State Condolezza Rice as an Aunt Jemima; another depicted Rice as a huge-lipped parrot for her Massa Bush. Neither were considered racist by their creators or publishers, or even widely condemned on the Left.
In opposition to black Republican Michael Steele’s campaign torun for U.S. Senate, a liberal blogger published a doctored photo of Steele in black face and big red lips made to look like a minstrel. The caption read, “Simple Sambo wants to move to the big house“. Not one Democrat denounced these racist portrayals of black conservatives.

That’s correct. I can’t recall a single instance when any prominent Democrat has criticized the most vicious, irrational expression of racism or sexism, as long as that racism or sexism benefited the Democratic Party. And we haven’t even gotten to Sarah Palin! Mark adds:

Nobody minds liberal commentators expressing the hope that Clarence Thomas “will die early from heart disease like many black men”, etc. Contemporary identity-group politics are prototype one-party states: If you’re a black Republican Secretary of State, you’re not really black. If you’re a female Republican vice-presidential nominee, you’re not really a woman. What’s racist and sexist here is the notion that, if you’re black or female, your politics is determined by your group membership.
But, if we’re talking about letting the left “set the rules”, Mr Marcus’ column reminded me of a larger point: Don’t take your opponents at face value; listen to what they’re really saying. What does the frenzy unleashed on Sarah Palin last fall tell us? What does Newsweek’s “Mad Man” cover on Glenn Beck mean? Why have “civility” drones like Joe Klein so eagerly adopted Anderson Cooper’s scrotal “teabagging” slur and characterized as “racists” and “terrorists” what are (certainly by comparison with the anti-G20 crowd) the best behaved and tidiest street agitators in modern history?
They’re telling you who they really fear. Whom the media gods would destroy they first make into “mad men”. Liz Cheney should be due for the treatment any day now.

And, of course, the radio show jokes, t-shirts, “art” works and movies about the desirability of the assassination of President Bush are another variation on this theme. In my opinion, every single member of the Democratic Party should hang his or her head in shame and take a vow of silence and repentance. It will be at least a generation before any Democrat can mention the word “civility” without being the most craven hypocrite imaginable.

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