I am sure - or at least I suppose - the Chris Liebenthal is a decent enough guy in real life. Loves his family. Is kind to his friends. Doesn't kick puppies.
What is it, then, in politics that prompts this kind of inhumane nastiness. If the point is that Sarah Palin, in asking a normal human question, "why us" is supposed to have demonstrated that she is unaware that her child's birth was "caused" by her age, his comment is both a stretch and, in and of itself, reflects ignorance. Although the likelihood of a Down's child increases dramatically with age, it is still the case that less than 3% of live births at the maternal age of 44 are of babies with Downs.* She might, in a moment of anxiety about what will follow, wonder why it had to be her and her husband who drew the short straw.
And, of course, he misses the point of the story which is her husband's response. There is, he said, no reason that it could not be us and, in the end, we need to accept that. And that's what they did. The point is not that they cannot accept the consequences of what Liebenthal calls their "irresponsible actions (which, as far as I can tell, was marital intimacy), but that they should - and did - do precisely that.
But, beyond that, what is it about political disagreement that causes people to assume they have license to treat others with disrespect and hatred? Would Chris Liebenthal say that to a woman - any woman - that he knows? Tell her she is stupid because has a normal reaction to a difficult cirtcumstance? I doubt it and, if I am wrong, he ought to get out of the social work business.
I can anticipate the excuses. Sarah Palin supports policies that Chris Lieberthal thinks are bad so he can say whatever he wants about her. Certainly reasonable people can not disagree about whatever Chris Liebenthal happens to think is right.
"There are conservatives who do it too." I'm sure there are, but I don't (at least I try hard not to) and I don't see much of it among the writers and bloggers that I read. But the fact that some conservatives treat liberals in the same way that Chris Liebenthal thinks he can treat Sarah Palin only underscores my question. It takes an enormous amount of intellectual arrogance to think that those you disagree with are idiots or immoral. It poisons the public debate and ... more than that ...
... it's boring.
*His suggestion that a Down's child could be the result of the youthful marijauna use that Sarah Palin is meritless. Yeah, marijuana - particularly if used during pregancy (but I doubt that even the Governor of Alaska was getting baked in the state house) - is associated with some birth defects, but that doesn't "explain" what happened or even make it likely. If it did, my whole generation would be raising Downs kids.