But once again I had to delete this man I've known since Catholic grammar school. When we were kids I thought he was a little smarter than the other kids we went to school with (the kids in my own neighborhood went to the public school around the corner and were much less snarky) because he was a reader of history, or seemed to be, like me.
But in many of his remarks on this blog it is clear he has become intolerant of any perspective that isn't in line with his rightwing ideology. And the only histories he cites are those that adhere to the same rightwing ideology. And as is often the case with rightwingers (of which he seems to be such a perfect example, one of the reasons I allowed him to comment on this blog more than anyone else) he is incredibly self-deluded. He thinks if he and those he supports and cites call Obama a "socialist" or "fascist" or "communist" etc. and claims our democratically elected president is out to destroy our country, that's not lying or distorting or calling names.
He has been leaving comments that call me even nastier names and then claim all I (and commenters on this blog who agree with me in any way) do is call names! And in his latest deleted comments he's been claiming I'm just as bad as the assassin who killed that nine-year-old child in Arizona!
He says that "rather then engage in political philosophical discussions"—by which he seems from the evidence to think means accepting his and the right's mostly false premises as valid—I call names and spew hate.
He has this common rightwing conception that calling the rightwing of our political spectrum "rightwing" is calling names, and pointing out lies and distortions used to attack "liberals" and leftwingers is hating.
But this is another common rightwing tactic. As I wrote in several posts over the last few years, when I was a boy there were people who believed the world was flat, but they didn't get time on TV (and there was no Internet) to defend that perspective and to insist that anyone who challenged it was not just wrong but if they continued to say the world wasn't flat they deserved to be labeled traitors out to destroy the country and treated accordingly!
In my lifetime, a lifetime of involvement in politics, I can think of no liberal Democratic politician who claimed their democratically elected opponents deserved to be thought of as illegitimate. Not even Al Gore who legitimately won the popular vote and might have won the electoral vote had the state rights of Florida been recognized by the rightwing faction of the Supreme Court which otherwise had a record of always defending states rights.
And I certainly can think of no Democratic politician who has used the terms "lock and load" when motivating crowds to resist laws and lawmakers legitimately elected or suggest if Democratic politicians who are democratically elected to represent the voters pass a law a rightwing Republican doesn't like, then it's okay to say it's time to employ "second amendment rights" and take up arms to overthrow the legitimately elected government.
To deny that the most angry and violent rhetoric is not mainly coming from the rightwing media and politicians is to deny reality. To hurl invectives at me on this blog because I point out the hypocrisy of the right and its influence on the way mainstream media frames stories is childish. Even my youngest child has remarked when watching the news with me how the Republicans act "like big babies if they don't get their way" as he put it.
If Obama and the Democratic Congress had been able to actually enact laws the way they felt they were elected to and didn't have to continually bow to the threat of filibusters and "holds" by the minority over the past two years, we would not just have healthcare reform, as we do, but a simpler and better healthcare reform bill, and the same for financial reform etc.
Have Democrats used procedural gimmicks to thwart Republican majorities when they have been in control, as in the first six years of the Bush/Cheney administration? A little, but mostly Democrats, especially the liberals—but even many of the centrists and "Blue Dogs"—seem able to accept election results much more gracefully and reasonably, with that humanist spirit and perspective that is at the base of liberalism.
That just isn't the case with most Republicans, and certainly not for the most rightwing of that party, which has an undue influence as we've seen over these past many years.
The way our democracy used to work, with the exception of the Civil War, which many on the right seem to be nostalgic for (see Texas and Virginia and South Carolina, et. al.), one party would win an election and run the government the way they thought it should be run until another party won and then it was their turn.
But ever since Reagan, when the rightwing took over the Republican party, that party has treated any elected Democrat as illegitimate and even our democracy as illegitimate, in the sense that they deny the right of the government, which is run by people elected by us, to do their job the way they have been elected to do it.
To have a reasonable discussion of the differences in the two main parties idea of how elected officials should govern, what kinds of programs would best serve the common good etc. is exactly what we should be doing. But it is almost impossible to do that when the right frames all arguments as you either support their argument or you deserve to be called traitors and accused of deliberately destroying the country etc.
I have to talk down liberal friends almost every day from either overwhelming rage or deep despair at the ways in which the right has managed to distort the argument from differing points of view to "real America" versus Kenyan socialism and all the other specious arguments based on rightwing framing that doesn't allow for fact-based debate.
I'm writing this after driving a distance and needing to get some sleep so it may not be as articulate as I would like, but I wanted to get on record a response to the latest mean spirited name calling that my once old friend had been sending my way via his comments (and he's out West so he may get some more on while I'm asleep that I will probably delete tomorrow when I see them) only because they represent so accurately (and even parrot, as usual) the rightwing media stars and their followers, and cannot be allowed to go unanswered.