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Eugene Robinson's Rhetoric is Over the Top

Believe me, I would prefer not to dignify the ravings of Eugene Robinson by commenting on them. But today's article is a special kind of poison that cannot be safely ignored.

Not all overheated political rhetoric is alike. Delusional right-wing crazy talk -- the kind of ranting we've heard recently from washed-up rock star Ted Nugent and Tea Party-backed Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) -- is a special kind of poison that cannot be safely ignored.

Let me be clear: I'm saying that the extreme language we hear from the far right is qualitatively different from the extreme language we hear from the far left -- and far more damaging to the ties that bind us as a nation. Tut-tutting that both sides should tone it down is meaningless. For all intents and purposes, one side is the problem.

Believe me, I would prefer not to dignify the ravings of Nugent or West by commenting on them.

As a rule, I believe nothing Eugene Robinson says, but his absurdities today reveal a particularly delusional pathology. The rants of Nugent (referring to the Obama administration as "coyotes in your living room") and West (referring to members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus as communists) do not hold a candle to the daily incendiary language of the left.

Here's a bit from yesterday's Forbes Magazine:

We know who the active denialists are - not the people who buy the lies, mind you, but the people who create the lies. Let's start keeping track of them now, and when the famines come, let's make them pay. Let's let their houses burn. Let's swap their safe land for submerged islands. Let's force them to bear the cost of rising food prices.

They broke the climate. Why should the rest of us have to pay for it?


That didn't take long to find.

The very suggestion that the most vitriolic rhetoric comes from the right is absurd. This same assertion was made after the Arizona shootings and was equally fallacious. I'll happily compare the rhetoric of the Tea Party to the Occupy Wall Street thugs - or, for that matter, any conservative group (pro-life, NRA, religious) to any liberal group (labor unions, environmentalists, secularists).

Unlike Robinson, I'm not arguing the conservatives are better human beings. I'm not even arguing that a bit of toxic rhetoric is all that bad. I'm only observing that, by way of comparison with the right, the rhetoric of the left is far more vitriolic, violent and ... poisonous.
Categories > Progressivism

Discussions - 1 Comment

How does Forbes Magazine qualify as being of the left?

That isn't incendiary language, it is just consumer reports capitalism. A large part of trademark value is accumulated consumer good will.

So you want to make Forbes of the left because the argument structure shares something in common with Eugene Robinson's?

i.e. the compatibility of Ted Nugent's brand with the brand image of Romney or the Republican party?

You call this "left", I call this "trademark"(on the political/ commercial boundary), some folks also call this "authenticity".

i.e. Romney lacks conservative authenticity because he isn't as rhetorically hard charging as Nugent.

Also interesting in terms of consumer confusion. Robinson is pretty pissed when you undermine the brand image and distinctions that lie at the heart of the progressive caucus, by calling them Communist.

Robinson is basically saying that if West cannot differentiate between communism and the progressive caucus he lacks the requisite sophistication necessary to be a congressman.

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