Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Clear and Present Danger

Thers (eschatonblog.com) posts today a video of a demonstrator wrestled to the ground by Rand Paul supporters in Kentucky, a foot on her head. Recall last week's handcuffing and detention of a reporter by Joe Miller's private security detail, some of whom are active servicemen. We're talking about crimes (assault and battery) and torts (false imprisonment) here. Not trivial, these, in any context. In campaigns and political demonstrations, appalling.

The right, ever more obviously, divides virtuous Self from worthless Other, and treats the Other as if entirely dehumanized, in ways it'd never employ on or accept for its own. Southern white racists, European imperialists, Kristallnacht come to mind as similar; none flatter them. And, too, they loudly proclaim their moral superiority over, and right to ignore, interpretations of laws, some of long standing, if they differ from their own, and reject any notion that they are accountable for it. They applaud the astounding judicial activism of the Roberts Court. They use every means available to restrict the franchise, delegitimizng its exercise by millions of people as an evil Democratic conspiracy. They defend O'Donnell's rejection of the constitutional basis for separation of church and state. They say that McVeigh shouldn't have bombed the Murrah Building, the government's too big. Doctors shouldn't be assassinated as they eat breakfast with their families, but abortion is murder. Planes shouldn't be crashed into an IRS building, but taxation is theft and tyranny. ATF agents shouldn't be killed, but you'll have to pry my gun from my cold dead fingers.

It's an increasingly appalling list, and it grows with time. This isn't merely selfishness. This is deeply subversive. They claim to be demanding a return to American values, while assaulting, across the board, one core value after another of the country: democracy, the rule of law, equal protection, religious freedom, all of it.

None of this is negotiable. They must be fought.

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