I suppose the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker is considered one of those mainstream-media-friendly “sensible” conservatives – the kind that doesn’t reflexively fall back on all of that “Constitution” and “Founding Fathers” stuff like many of the hate-peddlers that populate the right.
She isn’t scary like the throngs of sign-carrying tea-partiers who keep the shivering libs constantly having to unravel the knots in their collective panties.
She’s like David Frumm with big blue pearls – almost cuddly.
She poses no real threat.
She is one of those “reasonable” center-right voices that the mainstream media news outfits can summon when needed so they can say, “Of course we’re balanced. Of course we present both sides. We had Kathleen Parker talking with Bob Schieffer just the other day.”
Parker, indeed, may be one of those folks you’d love to split a knish with, but she doesn’t speak for conservatives or conservatism.
She is one of those tepid, non-wave-making, clever wordsmiths who believes it is a grave mistake for the Republican Party to espouse tried and true conservative principals. Such a strategy, according to her right-light way of thinking, would be alienating to too many. All of that ‘Declaration of Independence” stuff, and the whole thing with the guns and the Second Amendment, and always bringing up the Constitution and the Framers, and that God mumbo-jumbo … it’s just too much. To the Kathleen Parkers of the world, a shift toward the center is the way to draw the masses into the big tent of a mushier and more pliable GOP – as John McCain successfully proved in November, 2008.
Speaking with Bob Schieffer on CBS’s Face The Nation on Sunday, the following exchange took place:
SCHIEFFER: And you write this morning about some of the rhetoric that’s coming out from the right side, especially from the tea party, and you point out that you think it may be dangerous.
PARKER: Well, I think we have to be cautious. I’m not saying that the tea partiers are bad people or dangerous, but I think that the zeitgeist now – with all this heated rhetoric, and some of these words that are pretty loaded: “reload,” “targeting,” all that sort of thing – you know, there’s a danger there. I just think we have to be very vigilant. I do think there’s a lot of anger and it could become something else.
SCHIEFFER: I saw some of this really nasty rhetoric that shows up on the internet, where you don’t know who said it. There really is no accountability – the internet being the only place, the only vehicle that will deliver news that has no editor.
PARKER: It’s sort of like terrorism. You know, we don’t know where to aim our bombs, and we can’t go after a country because there’s no one place to focus on it, and it’s the same thing with the internet. You don’t know who to go after.
(see the video, direct from Newsbusters.org here)
Where to begin?
First of all, it might help if Parker stopped sounding like a typical, off-the-rack, inconsistent, speak-before-you-think liberal. (Unless, of course, she secretly is one).
Talking about the tea partiers, she told Bob Schieffer “there’s a danger there.” Yet, she insisted she was not calling tea partiers dangerous.
Tea-partiers who, in her mind, pose a potential threat would have to be, by definition, “dangerous.” She cannot have it both ways. One cannot say that the tea partiers are not dangerous and then, in the next sentence, say that there is a danger there. It’s like voting for something before voting against it. It nothing but mushy-in-the-middle RINO-like double-speak. If, indeed, the tea parties could evolve into “something else,” as Parker believes, then the participants must be dangerous.
Second, Americans are angry. They should be. They see the freest, most accommodating nation the world has ever known – the beacon of liberty for the entire world – being transformed into a Marxist-flavored nanny-state. They see those things that have made the United States the greatest country ever to grace God’s green earth being beat down by big-government-loving leftists who spit on the free market and have contempt for rugged individualism.
What’s not to be angry about?
But being angry doesn’t mean violence is the inevitable next step, does it? What indications are there that the kind of “danger” Parker fears lurks ahead?
Has Parker actually been to any of these rallies? Has she seen the people who attend these events? Has she noticed how well-behaved and civil these gatherings have been? Has she taken note of the lack of violence and ugliness at these tea parties?
The tea parties, in fact, have been peaceful gatherings in the true spirit of the First Amendment. The tea-partiers even clean up after themselves – something that Inaugural Day attendees didn’t bother doing when The One was anointed fifteen months ago.
Have the tea parties, in any way, shape or form resembled the anti-war demonstrations of the Bush years? Have there been arrests and violence connected to the tea-parties akin to, say, the “Bush=Hitler” protests that we saw during the “W” era? Where are the books written by tea partiers that depict the assassination of Barack Obama? What conservative think tanks or organizations have sent out memos wishing for the death of a Democrat governor, as was done with New Jersey’s Republican Governor Christie by that state’s liberal teacher’s union? What conservative groups have had members chain themselves to the fence of the White House, as did some “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” protestors recently? What Republican presidents have had comedians wish for the death of liberal commentators at official functions?
Third, does Parker really want to say that posting nasty rhetoric on the internet is somehow similar to perpetrating a terrorist act? Is that the best a so-called conservative columnist can come up with who wishes to appease her mainstream media overlords? Is that what it takes to keep those invitations to the most important cocktail parties in Washington coming? Using the word “terrorist” and “tea partier” in the same stream of thought?
I’m curious …
Did Bob Schieffer ever question Frank Rich or Paul Krugman on “nasty rhetoric” when the internet was rife with “Die Rush Limbaugh” posts after Rush was taken to the hospital several weeks ago? Did the “I hope Dick Cheney gets cancer” blog entries, or the “Put Bush out of this nation’s misery” posts somehow elude the ever-vigilant Bob Schieffer? Were the swastikas too small on the protest signs for Schieffer and Crew to notice as the anti-war left succumbed to their Bush Derangemnt Syndrome?
To be fair, I don’t think anyone would disagree that anonimity is a powerful badge of courage in the cyber world. A large percentage of what we all see and read on the web simply would not be out there if a name and town were attached to everything that was written. And that goes for commentary on both sides of the aisle.
That being said, Parker’s language is disconcerting.
In agreeing with Bob Schieffer, she said it was difficult to know who is behind the anti-Obama rhetoric because “you don’t know who to go after.”
Now that sounds dangerous.
H/T to the great Weasel Zippers blog.