This is the only conclusion I can come to after reading the ridiculous column Mr. Davis wrote for the Wall Street Journal. His basic thesis – that liberals are also capable of “McCarthyism.” He came to this conclusion after campaigning for Jo Lieberman in the Connecticut Senate primary.
I came to believe that we liberals couldn’t possibly be so intolerant and hateful, because our ideology was famous for ACLU-type commitments to free speech, dissent and, especially, tolerance for those who differed with us. And in recent years–with the deadly combination of sanctimony and vitriol displayed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Michael Savage–I held on to the view that the left was inherently more tolerant and less hateful than the right.
Now, in the closing days of the Lieberman primary campaign, I have reluctantly concluded that I was wrong. The far right does not have a monopoly on bigotry and hatred and sanctimony. Here are just a few examples (there are many, many more anyone with a search engine can find) of the type of thing the liberal blog sites have been posting about Joe Lieberman:
• “Ned Lamont and his supporters need to [g]et real busy. Ned needs to beat Lieberman to a pulp in the debate and define what it means to be an AMerican who is NOT beholden to the Israeli Lobby” (by “rim,” posted on Huffington Post, July 6, 2006).
• “Joe’s on the Senate floor now and he’s growing a beard. He has about a weeks growth on his face. . . . I hope he dyes his beard Blood red. It would be so appropriate” (by “ctkeith,” posted on Daily Kos, July 11 and 12, 2005).
• On “Lieberman vs. Murtha”: “as everybody knows, jews ONLY care about the welfare of other jews; thanks ever so much for reminding everyone of this most salient fact, so that we might better ignore all that jewish propaganda [by Lieberman] about participating in the civil rights movement of the 60s and so on” (by “tomjones,” posted on Daily Kos, Dec. 7, 2005).
• “Good men, Daniel Webster and Faust would attest, sell their souls to the Devil. Is selling your soul to a god any worse? Leiberman cannot escape the religious bond he represents. Hell, his wife’s name is Haggadah or Muffeletta or Diaspora or something you eat at Passover” (by “gerrylong,” posted on the Huffington Post, July 8, 2006).
• “Joe Lieberman is a racist and a religious bigot” (by “greenskeeper,” posted on Daily Kos, Dec. 7, 2005).
And these are some of the nicer examples.
This might be the dumbest argument I’ve ever seen from a well-known pundit. He’s comparing the vitriol we regularly hear from prominent right-wing idiots like Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and Ann Coulter to the stupid and offensive comments of . . . . ANONYMOUS POSTS on liberal blogs. Is he joking? Can he be this stupid? Limbaugh, Savage and Coulter have millions of supporters and defenders on the right. Who is out there promoting or defending these hateful statements from anonymous posters? The answer = nobody!
He has the nerve to call this “Liberal McCarthyism?”
The only point Lanny has proven with his silly column is that there are jerks on the Internet who like posting crude and hateful comments on blogs. The same type of comments can be found on liberal blogs and conservative blogs. Sites like DailyKos.com regulary have flame wars where readers trade insults through the posts. They are not serious political commentators – just people looking for a good fight online.
His failure to highlight hateful speech from any prominent bloggers or commentators on the left in this column demonstrates that the left has been very respectful in most of the commentary involving this race – despite their burning desire to get rid of Lieberman.