After Vice President Biden compard the Tea Party to "terrorists," and various members of the Left has used similarly strong language. In light of Lefty calls for "civility" in our discourse, many conservatives are having fun pointing out the hypocrisy of the Left. Pete Wehner, for example, has a little fun:
I don't know about you, but it's not quite clear to me how accusing one's (law-abiding) fellow citizens of being terrorists and part of the "Hezbollah faction of the GOP" helps us to heal and sharpens our instincts for empathy. In fact, I'd go so far as to say those words are meant to wound. You might even conclude from what liberals are saying the Tea Party Movement is comprised of people who aren't simply wrong but who don't love their country.
Moe Lane suggests that "liberals are in deep, deep denial about their own incivility issues," pointing, in particular to a New York Times column complaining about the recent debt deal:
"Never negotiate with terrorists. It only encourages them." He adds: "Much of the country has watched in horror as the Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people." These "intransigent" spending cutters were indifferent to "blowing up the country" in pursuit of their goals.
I would suggest that what we really have here is a teachable moment. Liberals may be in denial, but that's nothing new. The Left is in deep denial about human nature. Contention, in most cases, is not a problem; it is a sign of a healty polity. When we are arguing about serious things, we inevitably will use heated language. A friend of mine likes to joke that Americans don't need sensitivity training. On the contrary, he says, we need "insensitivity training." We need to accept that life can be difficult, that tempers can flare, and that sometimes we use heated rhetoric.
Civility has its place, but so do polemics. The issue isn't Lefty hypocrisy; it is Lefty utopianism.
I remember vividly how liberals once defended "wide open, robust debate," which is to say, shouting and screaming, as what the First Amendment was intended to protect. That served the purpose of rationalizing uncivil speech for them and their pet causes. "Freedom of speech for me, but not for thee. If you disagree with me, you're hateful." Their narrow understanding of free speech is unchanged, meaning they can scream and shout all they like, and they do.
They are about gaining and maintaining power, pure and simple. Everything else is a means to that end.