The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Joe Klein blames Rabid Lefty Blog Vitriol on the Right?
In response, Klein unloaded on the Lefty blogs. Rick Moran chronicles the awakening of Joe Klein to the Left's dark side; for example this from one of Klein's most recent essays:
But the smart stuff is being drowned out by a fierce, bullying, often witless tone of intolerance that has overtaken the left-wing sector of the blogosphere. Anyone who doesn’t move in lockstep with the most extreme voices is savaged and ridiculed—especially people like me who often agree with the liberal position but sometimes disagree and are therefore considered traitorously unreliable.Of course Klein is not himself free of a bit of "moonbattery"; Moran discusses Klein's assertion that the reason for the hate in the Lefty blogosphere has its genesis with Rush Limbaugh--an almost paranoid take, and clearly one who is not aware of what Limbaugh actually does and says on a day to day basis. Moran starts by quoting an American Spectator piece which discusses CBS's disgraceful treatment of Goldwater in the 1964 election cycle:
Moran dissects Klein's historical myopia inherent in Klein's (and the left's intellectually-dishonest Limbaugh-phobia):For Goldwater, the first modern conservative to win a presidential nomination, the unending torrent of abuse verged on the apoplectic. CBS News solemnly reported the week of his nomination that Goldwater’s first act after the convention would be to travel to Germany for a visit to “Berchtesgaden, once Hitler’s stamping ground.” And what will the conservative Goldwater do once there? “There are signs,” CBS reporter Daniel Schorr said ominously, “that the American and German right wings are joining up…” Got that? Barry Goldwater, said CBS in so many words, was really a Nazi. With a presidential nomination in hand, he was literally heading to Hitler’s home to get the international Nazi movement rolling. The story, from the trip to Germany to the visit to Hitler’s estate was, of course, false from beginning to end.Equally hysterical was a liberal magazine that published a 64-page “psychological study” of the candidate which began: “Do you think Barry Goldwater is psychologically fit to serve as President of the United States?” You guessed it—after claiming to poll over 12,000 psychiatrists across the country, the answer was no. New York Times columnist C.L. Sulzberger answered the question this way: “The possibility exists that, should he (Goldwater) enter the White House, there might not be a day after tomorrow.” In case voters didn’t get the message, Democratic strategist and LBJ aide Bill Moyers designed the so-called “daisy commercial” that saw a child counting the petals of a flower disappear in the mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion.
The Nixonian interlude allowed the left to fully vent their hatred at one conservative who most people think deserved everything he got. But the emergence of Reagan on the national scene gave liberals the screaming meemies. Reagan himself remarked that he discovered once he crossed the Mississippi River, he grew horns and a tail. And the viciously personal and outrageous comments made by his political opponents during his terms in office were unmatched until the Clinton years. Ted Kennedy accused President Reagan of deliberately fostering policies that would starve old people and children. Representative Charles Rangel called him a racist. The vitriolic hate directed against Reagan was met with a shrug, a wink, and usually a devastating put down that always contained a little humor. Hardly the stuff of a right wing attack dog.
For Klein to blame the left’s historic, hate-filled rhetoric on the recent phenomena of talk radio and specifically Limbaugh’s broadly drawn (and at times, over the top) satire is fantastically ridiculous. The world did not begin in the 1990’s with the right’s reaction to the deliberate Clintonian strategy of personally destroying your opponent with outrageous smears and lies. It’s just that the left has now perfected the technique and uses the world of blogs to vastly amplify the tactic so that the target feels beseiged. Witness the most recent kerfluffle over a post at Six Meat Buffet that skewered recently deceased blogger Steve Gilliard.Moran scores some really good points here--both in his glimpse of Klein's rude awakning, and in his historical criticism of Klein's excuse for the rabid left. Read it all--an interesting journey.