I have been told - by people whose judgment I respect - that left wing bloggers - or at least certain ones - should be dead to me. But, guys, I am an educator and I jest cain't quit you.
Local lawyer and blogger Mike Plaisted is rather lathered up over my refusal to accept the idea that conservatives promote "hate" and are responsible for - or at least contribute to - murder.
It's quite rare to find so many misstatements in one place. Let's see if Mike can take instruction.
He [this means me]even goes so far as to say that the Nazis in Germany had more in common with the left than the right.
No. I said that it is an anachronistic fool's game to connect Nazis or fascists to current political movements in the United States. I do think that fascism was a form of socialism, but that doesn't mean that there is much use in calling it left or right as we use those terms in this country in this century.
The guy who killed legal abortion provider Dr. George Tiller has lurked in the shadows of the right-wing’s favorite anti-woman emotional wedge issue – the right of women to make up their own minds about what happens inside their own bodies – for years.
Women are no more likely to be pro-choice than men and there are certainly people on the left who are pro-life - although not many since the Democratic Party has pretty much chased them away.
The guy who shot up the Holocaust Museum is an old-school right-wing lunatic in the white supremacist/John Birch Society mode, howling at the moon about the control of the world by the Jews and interracial dating, proudly exercising his Second Amendment rights to wreak havoc in a public place (talk about open-carry!).
He is also a self avowed socialist whose alternative target was apparently the offices of The Weekly Standard. I have no idea what he thinks about the Second Amendment. Given his apparent admiration for Nazi Germany, the odds are not much. If you don't think that anti-semitism can be found on the left, go to an ANSWER rally, listen to WMCS or to Jermiah Wright and hundreds like him.
And, for those who might not swallow that load of bullshit, they made the "point" that the left has its own extremists, resulting in – well, no one who has caused death with the bright light of world peace, universal health care, choice, etc. in their hearts, but, you know, they made us feel bad. Or something.
Mike is apparently not a student of human history. Movements from the left have often been quite bloody in their pursuit of paradise on earth. Domestically, Mike has apparently never heard of the Weather Underground, Black Panthers, SLA, ELF, etc. All of these, incidentally, were organized political associations and not lone nuts. (Of course the most infamous lone nut of our times was a communist who killed the President.) I would not blame the anti-war movement and its often overheated rhetoric (in which Mike indulges just about everytime he logs on) for the murder of a military recruiter but, were I to follow Mike's standards for intellectual responsibility, argument and civility in discourse, I don't see why I wouldn't.
he defends circus clown Glen Beck
No, I said that picking out some foolish statements by a second tier entertainer doesn't prove much.
He also says it was no big deal "calling" an abortion provider a "baby killer" (he’s talking about Bill O’Reilly) – apparently, you can be a professor at Marquette without knowing the difference between an unborn fetus and a "baby". Actually, now that I think of it, such delusion might be a job requirement.
There is no such job requirement, although the Church with which we are associated does believe that abortion is a grave moral wrong and that "baby killing" is not an inaccurate way to describe - in particular - the type of abortions that Tiller performed - elective abortions in the third trimester and to the point of birth. You can apparently, it seems, graduate from the University of Wisconsin Law School without appreciating the distinction between condemning a reprehensible practice and calling for murder.
White supremacy is not a ‘right wing’ view [sez who? It certainly always has been.]
Once again, Mike is a poor student of history. Back when we had white supremacists in mainstream politics, they were often on the left. William Jennings Bryan, Theodore Bilbo, Margaret Sanger, J. William Fulbright, the younger Robert Byrd and so on. Opposition to affirmative action or support for a more modest welfare state aren't racist.
Al Gore taking the nation to school on climate change (oh, Rick, you're not really a climate change denier, are you?) supposedly "could...prompt violence on the part of environmental radicals", he says in a comment. To Esenberg, information is not only power -- it's hate.
Actually, what I said was that if you buy into this notion that people who cause extreme and exaggerated statements are responsible for nuts who use those statements as an excuse to let their inner freak flags fly, you could just as easily blame Al Gore as Bill O'Reilly. I believe that we have seen - although not recently - an increase in global temperature and that the hypothesis that this can be related to greenhouse gas emissions has scientific merit. I also think that Al Gore's claims regarding the issue are exaggerated and his movie is full of false claims. Part of the argument against people like O'Reilly is that they exaggerate their points and express them in a hyperbolic way. That's Al Gore, too. Personally, I would not blame either one of them for the actions of lunatics.
Did Howard Dean say at some point that the Democrat/Republican contest was one between "good and evil", as Esenberg claims in a comment? So what if he did? Did he craft a whole show around the idea and drive it for years, as Sean Hannity does everyday to make the same point about how evil Democrats are?
He did. He also said he hated Republicans and a number of other things. He did not craft a whole show on the idea. He only ran the Democratic Party. If you are looking for people on the left who have crafted shows, books and movies on demonizing their political opponents, you need to look to Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, Keith Olberman, Michael Moore, etc.
People like Beck and O’Reilly (and Limbaugh and Hannity and Sykes and Belling, etc.) don’t argue issues; they demonize opponents. Obama isn’t just wrong, he’s evil. ... This is the black-and-white fantasy world these people create for themselves and their emotional, fearful, imaginary target demographic: the angry-white-male who feels he is being emasculated and made powerless by other races, immigrants, feminists, gays, Democrats and anyone else who seem to be dancing happily in the streets while they sink further into their Lazy-Boy in High Life-enhanced depression.
Coming from a guy whose blog is largely given over to adjective label vituperation, I think we may have a bit of displacement going on here. Judging from his blog, Mike is about the angriest white man in Milwaukee. This post alone consists of claims that people he disagrees with are nuts, engaged in lunacy and have a "twisted penchant for unnecessary death. They are "hateful," "irrational," " beer-soaked depressives, etc. Worse, they are murders "who know if they spew enough poison in the air, a few of the more unbalanced in their audience will go off the reservation and act on the logical consequences of their hateful words and campaigns. This is the way they want it. " (Emphasis mine.)
Really, Mike, can we a little self awareness here?