Frank Rich, The New York Times’ commissar of political correctness, is blasting conservatives for creating what he alleges to be a climate of anti-Obama hatred which encourages violence.
In one of his typical rambling jeremiads yesterday, Rich tried to connect the murder of partial-birth abortionist George Tiller, the homicide at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, FOX talk show host Bill O’Reilly calling Tiller a “baby killer,” “homicide-saturated vituperation … epidemic among mini-Limbaughs,” criticism of Obama’s obeisance to Islam, the description of the president’s economic policies as fascism, and the paranoia and hatred that supposedly permeates the conservative blogosphere.
The Times’ call for civility in our national dialogue comes a tad late.
During the Bush years, I don’t recall Rich or anyone else at the paper objecting when W was called a warmonger, a stooge of corporate interests, a mass murderer, a moron manipulated by Dick Cheney, or an incipient dictator.
Rich argues that calling Tiller a “baby-killer” is incitement (how would you describe someone who kills a child while it’s being born?), but apparently believes the anti-Semitic rhetoric which permeates the Muslim world (including calls for genocide) had nothing to do with a neo-Nazi’s attack on the Holocaust museum or the plot by four prison converts to Islam to blow up New York City synagogues.
Perhaps Rich and The Times would be good enough to give us a list of acceptable criticism of Obama. If describing his economic policies as “fascism” is hateful, are we allowed to call them “socialistic,” “collectivistic” or “fiscal strychnine”?
If we can’t describe the president as soft on terrorism, can we at least point out the absurdity of his telling us that America is no longer a Christian nation and that Islam is famous for its tolerance?
Whenever The New York Times starts screeching about the dangers of right-wing rhetoric, you can be sure that speech is finding a receptive audience. Absurd accusations of “your words lead to murder” (applied to only one side in the debate) are an attempt to stifle free speech by intimidation.