Thursday, April 22, 2004

Conservative Insanity If you ever find yourself forgetting just how mendacious and arrogant conservative columnists can be, stop by sometime. There you will find an almost endless stream of vitriol aimed at anyone who doesn't have an orgasm every time the President opens his mouth.

Take this contribution from Dennis Prager, who fancies himself an intelligent-man's Rush Limbaugh. In a column littered with gross stereotypes and absurd generalizations, Prager uncorks this:

I love learning and revere the title of "professor," but with few exceptions, universities, too, merit contempt. The vast majority of professors who take positions on social issues are moral fools. They teach millions of students that America and Israel are villains and that the enemies of those decent societies are merely misunderstood victims who are often justified in their hatred. And they loathe the American Judeo-Christian value system that has made the United States the world's land of opportunity and beacon of liberty.

Vast majority? Is that based on anything beyond Prager's own desire that it be true? The American Judeo-Christian value system? I shudder to think what that's supposed to mean. Of course, to people like Prager, viewing America as anything other than on a mission from God to rid the world of evil is tantamount to thinking America is a villain.

I suspect you could count on one hand the number of professors who actually take the extreme views Prager attributes to them. And to the extent that there are professors who believe such things, they are almost exclusively in the humanities, not in the sciences.

And then there is certified lunatic Ann Coulter, who wrote this in a column bashing Republican senator Arlen Specter:

When Reagan was president, he threatened to appoint justices who would not discover nonexistent "penumbras," which mysteriously read like a People for the American Way press release, and to return these issues to voters. The uneducated bumpkin Reagan's radical notion was that judges don't write laws, they interpret them.

Liberals exploded in righteous anger – an emotion they've never mustered toward Islamic terrorists, I note. Still, all their theatrics would have been for naught and we would already have our democracy back – but for Arlen Specter.

Yeah. Righteous anger is the exclusive domain of right-wingers. Conservatives have been very successful at painting opposition to the war in Iraq (or opposition to anything else the president chooses to do) as being motivated by a fondness for terrorists. For them, righteous anger is nothing more than a debating point. Everyone was outraged by 9/11, and everyone continues to be outraged about the routine acts of terrorism that take place around the world. The difference is that liberals think that righteous anger needs to be channelled into paths likely to end in success, and not into justifications for a war its proponents were eager to launch for other reasons.


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