Thursday, April 21, 2011

Progressive Standards of Civility - both of them

[by Mr.Hengist]

Last night I was mulling over something VPOTUS Biden said regarding the current budget dispute: "The Republicans this time are totally, and I don't mean this in a pejorative sense, are out of the closet." It's an interesting use of that phrase. Biden did of course mean this in the pejorative; they are "out of the closet" in terms of their public plans for the Federal budget, and pejorative in the sense that Biden thinks they intend to do wrong and wishes to debate against their nefarious plans. Nevertheless, what struck me was that he would use that turn of phrase at all - and that Liberals have let it slide. Progressives see themselves as gay rights advocates and the defenders of gay dignity, so how is it that one of their own can use this turn of phrase in this way - referring to Republicans revealing their true and (supposedly) harmful intent? If he had said, "the monster's out from under the bed" it would have been a different matter, but "out of the closet" is strictly associated with homosexuals revealing their orientation, and it's considered a good thing. Using it to describe what Liberals consider to be evil Republican goals is oddly inappropriate.

What, I wondered, would be the Progressive response if Republicans had used this "out of the closet" phrase in a similar way but aimed at Democrats? If, say, VPOTUS Cheney had remarked that we now see the Democrats "totally out of the closet" in regards to their intent to dramatically cut DOD funding? I imagined the response would be swift and strongly condemning. As luck would have it, today we are treated to a real-life example - and even better, it's not just used by Republicans but it's also aimed at Republicans.

A college Republican group called upon conservatives in the student body to "come out of the closet." University of Iowa professor Ellen Lewin's response, in an email back to the students: "F--- you, Republicans."

Vulgar and uncivil, certainly, and weren't Liberals decrying the "incivility" of the Right only a few of months ago after the Giffords shooting (by a non-right-wing madman, no less)? In a NYTimes blogpost just last week the Nobel laureate NYTimes columnist Dr. Paul Krugman's mask drops, falls to the floor, and explodes (to lift a phrase from Steven Hayward at Power Line) when he informed us that "Civility is the Last Refuge of Scoundrels." This would be the same Paul Krugman who joined the Right-bashing party by blaming the Right for the Giffords shooting (see here, and here). Note well the double-standards to which Liberals hold themselves vs. their political opposition; they demand civility from the Right as they continue to fling poo at them.

Call it another example of The Pretext of Principles. If it weren't for situational principles, what principles would they have left? This one: What we do is good, what they do is bad - always, even when it's the same thing.

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