Thursday, October 02, 2008

hello, chickens. like your roost?

Speak correctly, or build a big bunker --

Poor conservative Kathleen Parker. She's shocked - absolutely shocked - that today's political discourse has devolved so much. Oh, the invective hurled at her for suggesting Palin isn't fit for the Republican ticket. Goodness! The insults. The ire! The death threats!

Such extreme partisanship has a crippling effect on government, which may be desirable at times, but not now. More important in the long term is the less-tangible effect of stifling free speech. My mail paints an ugly picture and a bleak future if we do not soon correct ourselves.

The picture is this: Anyone who dares express an opinion that runs counter to the party line will be silenced. That doesn't sound American to me, but Stalin would approve. Readers have every right to reject my opinion. But when we decide that a person is a traitor and should die for having an opinion different than one's own, then we cross into territory that puts all freedoms at risk. (I hear you, Dixie Chicks.)

I'm sorry folks said her parents should have aborted her, but the disingenuity here is a little hard to swallow.

Where has Ms. Parker been for the past 8 years? Where was she last month, during the GOP convention, and Amy Goodman was pitched in jail for covering it? Where was she to decry the national trashing of our political discourse when non-Republicans were called appeasers, traitors, terrorist collaborators and folks on the Hill were forced to eat those silly Freedom Fries; where was she when folks who objected to the unconstitutional reach of the Patriot Act, who correctly thought the run up to the Iraq war was full of bullshit, who said Guantanamo was a blight to our democratic legacy were called un-American; where has she been as American Muslims continute to suffer racial profiling, terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and have had their loyalties called into question because of their religion or heritage; where was she for the last two elections when two pretty smart presidential candidates lost their races because her party accused them of being soft on defense while backing a mediocre guy whose sole act of mental agility was cooking up ways to get out of military service; and where has she been for the last 18 months as her party, and its lapdog punditocracy, made a point of racially Othering the Obamas and saying some pretty racist shit in the process?

And, yes, where has Kathleen Parker been for the last 20 years as her party got all comfy in its bed next to the Christian Right, who have no problem wearing the robes of a Pharisee?

Spare me the concern, Ms. Parker. Spare me your disappointment at how the nation's political discourse has become vile, limited, intellectually bankrupt and savage. Your party built this roost and I'd say it's about time you saw exactly what your chickens look like.

[cross-posted at Screed]

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