I remember when liberals were pushing civility in public discourse. I made the tag "civility bullshit" for this topic right away, because I knew it was bullshit, and this morning it seems that everywhere I look on the web, I'm seeing inflammatory rhetoric from liberals. Here are 3 things I happened to see first thing today:
1. "Right-wing nutjobs’ last stand: The debt limit endgame arrives/As the debt limit deadline approaches, conservatives are trotting out the real nonsense. The fantasy is almost over." That's a headline at Salon for an article by Brian Beutler. Apparently, at Salon, they think news analysis is just fine when it calls leaders in the political party they disapprove of "right-wing nutjobs." Does Beutler deserve that presentation? I don't know. Maybe Salon is just fighting for clicks in this crazy world.
2. And here's President Obama, the man who lectured us about civil discourse after the Tucson massacre, talking about the shutdown/debt ceiling problem, and he's using crime as a metaphor: "Think about it this way... The American people do not get to demand a ransom for doing their jobs." Why should we think about it that way? We're supposed to see the Republicans as kidnapping... I don't know... somebody. The Republicans are elected members of Congress, which makes the decisions about spending. They're having a hell of a time getting through this decision, but what makes it crime-like? The comments at that link, which goes to the NYT, pick up the President's cue. One comment — a NYT pick, highly rated by readers — begins: "President Obama is right. He should not be forced to negotiate with a rope around his neck." Suddenly, the metaphor is lynching.
3. "Will the Supreme Court Allow the Richest Donors to Corrupt American Politics Even More?" That's a front-page teaser at Slate leading to "Poor Little Rich Guys/The Supreme Court clamors to protect the right of Richie Rich, Scrooge McDuck, and the Koch brothers to further corrupt American politics." The article is by Dahlia Lithwick, who's been describing Supreme Court oral arguments for years. She's reporting on yesterday's argument in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, which is a challenge to the limit on how much a person can donate to various candidates. It's not about how much you can give to any single candidate, just the ceiling on total contributions, when you're spreading money around to many candidates. (The limit is $48,600 every 2 years.) Richie Rich? Scrooge McDuck? Will Slate allow the stupidest bullshit to erode American minds even more?
You know who's also rich? In addition to those characters from comic books that Baby Boomers read when they were children? The owners of the Washington Post and the New York Times. How about a law that puts a ceiling on how much they are allowed to spend putting out their political speech? Poor little rich guys. Boo hoo. Who cares? Fuck them, she said, sarcastically.