June 23, 2005

Extremists and Their Hallucinations

Sometimes I wonder if the more people think about politics and work in politics for a living the more likely they are to become deranged about politics.

Look at Karl Rove’s latest outburst.

Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.
I know several people who responded to 9/11 exactly as Rove described and continue reacting to the Terror War this way even today. But let’s not forget that regime-change in Afghanistan polled at 90 percent support levels at the time. Assuming every single person who opposed that war is on the left (which is probably close to the truth) somewhere in the ballpark of 80 percent of those who voted for Al Gore or Ralph Nader supported the violent overthrow of the Taliban.

The 10 percent who didn’t support it do not count as “the liberals.” They are the loudmouth activistas, Hollywood celebrities, campus intellectuals who live in unreality bubbles, and reactionary far-leftists. There was, however, so much wailing and gnashing of teeth from that ten percent that I can hardly blame conservatives for forgetting about the silent majority of hawkish Democrats at the time.

Rove painted with too broad a brush. But that’s not really the issue here. Conservatives who are defending Rove’s statements are ignoring what else he said:

Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.
So there it is. Liberals deliberately hope to put our troops in greater danger, according to Rove. In other words, Liberals=Traitors.

Anyone who has liberal friends and family members ought to know exactly how rotten and despicable and indefensible that statement is.

Al Jazeera did pick up Dick Durbin’s commentary, which only makes anti-American propaganda in the Middle East seem all the more plausible. That does (at least theoretically) put our troops and even civilians in greater danger. The Middle Eastern variety of anti-Americanism is a violent political force that topples skyscrapers and kills thousands. That’s one reason Dick Durbin deserved the shellacking he got.

But feeding anti-American pathologies was not Dick Durbin’s intention. He intended to get more humane treatment for prisoners at Gitmo – an honorable objective I happen to sympathize with. That couldn’t be any more obvious than it is.

"Conservatives are fascists." "Liberals are traitors." "America is the new Nazi Germany." What the hell is the matter with some people? If even one of those political hallucinations really were true, if liberals really were traitors, if conservatives really were fascists, the United States would explode in a convulsion of civil war.

UPDATE: John Cole (yes, he's a conservative) isn't impressed either.

My party no longer is merely content selling our bullshit. We are now starting to believe it. I'd say Mr. Rove has an apology to issue.
SECOND UPDATE: Wagner James Au adds in the comments:
It's true that Moveon.org, Michael Moore, et. al. are a fetid film on the soul of FDR's party, but Karl Rove must be the absolute worse person in the world to make that point. It's like watching a leper challenge a hemophiliac to full contact karate.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at June 23, 2005 6:28 PM
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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