In Psychology They Call This Projecting

Apparently the editorial board at Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal decided that today was a good day enter into bizarro world and flip the argument about dangerous anti-liberal rhetoric on it’s head.

As we have noted, the New York Times’s response to last weekend’s murders in Tucson was to instigate a witch hunt against Republican politicians and “particularly” against members of the independent (nonliberal) media.This appealed to what one might call the Manichaean wing of American liberalism: those who mistake political disagreement for enmity, who are so strongly prejudiced against conservatives as to regard them, in some sense, as less than fully human.

This is so ridiculous I am not even sure where to begin.

While I would not doubt that there are people on the left who regard conservatives with disdain I for one have not seen any prominent liberal’s in either the media, politics or the blogosphere who would consider conservatives “less than human.” Unfortunately, the same can not be said for our friends on the right. As I eluded to in a post the other day, as a blogger I have been subject to the threats of many on the right whose words make it clear that they indeed deem liberals as “less than human.”

Most of these threats are so disgusting that I am hesitant to post them here but suffice to say, I get enough of them that I have a folder in my gmail called “hate mail” where I save these juicy bits. A perfect example of a typical mesage that comes my way from right-wingers is this dandy that arrived in my inbox during the 2004 Presidential election cycle:

Every time I’m reminded of the vermin that coexists amongst us, I purchase more ammunition…….It’s much easier to bury the left this time of year when the ground is soft and easy to dig.

Can you feel the love? Now focus on the language.

Vermin. A term successfully used by Nazi’s to describe the Jews during their systematic campaign to dehumanize them in order to make their extinction more palatable to the German population. Certainly not a term one would use to describe their opposition. It is highly unlikely that you would hear an NFL coach for example use the term vermin to describe his opposition. I would venture to say that it is extremely unlikely that you would hear a military officer, whose job it is to ensure that his troops are prepared to kill the enemy at the drop of a hat, use the term vermin to describe his adversary. Yet this language is common in the hate mail that I receive.

Why do you think that these people feel emboldened to talk so brashly about killing their vermin opponents? I can tell you this, it is not because they read in the New York Times that they are less than human. So where do they get this idea? Well, let me point you to some quotes (yet again, courtesy of William Rivers Pitt):

“I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus – living fossils – so we will never forget what these people stood for.”

Rush Limbaugh, Denver Post, 12-29-95

“Get rid of the guy. Impeach him, censure him, assassinate him.”

Rep. James Hansen (R-UT), talking about President Clinton

“We’re going to keep building the party until we’re hunting Democrats with dogs.”

Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), Mother Jones, 08-95

“My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building.”

Ann Coulter, New York Observer, 08-26-02

“We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors.”

Ann Coulter, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, 02-26-02

So please Mr. Taranto, do the world a favor and lose your persecution fantasy because you sit firmly among the persecutors.

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