Sunday, April 11, 2010

Same shoe, other foot

Here, presented without preamble, is some of what Rep. Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, said during an interview last week:

"The Tea Party people are kind of, without robes and hoods, they have really shown a very hardcore angry side of America that is against any type of diversity. And we saw opposition to African Americans, hostility toward gays, hostility to anybody who wasn't just, you know, a clone of George Wallace's fan club. And I'm afraid they've taken over the Republican Party."

"I think [the GOP is] afraid of it. When I saw John McCain stand behind Sarah Palin, he looked more like a captured soldier in North Vietnam than he did a United States Senator. It was very sad, and I tell you, his wife, Cindy, she was about ready to just drop dead. I mean, Sarah Palin dressed like Elvis in the comeback event in Hawaii."

See, extremism and red-meat rhetoric can come from the Left as well as the Right.

Cohen observes what I observe. He colorfully (and quite correctly) points out the presence of a hostile lunatic fringe within the anti-Obama crowd. He's dead-on about McCain bowing to Elvis and the Republican Party's fear of a backward, mindless minority.

When he demeans a Navy pilot's captivity or draws parallels between the Tea Party and the Ku Klux Klan or George Wallace, however, he shows himself to be just as irrational as right-wingers who cry "Socialism!" every time a hat hits the ground.

Steve Cohen is nothing more than an ignorant ideologue of a different stripe.

The rumpled Right probably should dismiss his comments as idiotic and leave it at that -- but no, they're indignant as hell, calling it "hate speech."

Hate speech? This from a political movement that tolerates caricatures of the 44th president as Adolf Hitler or a monkey?


Oh, I see how it is -- it's free speech when I say it, but it's hate speech when it comes from my political adversary.

As if we needed any more evidence that partisans and ideologues will be the death of the Revolution, there it is.