Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Obama Shrinks America"

Kathryn Jean Lopez is quoting Bill Kristol this morning on the President's response to the proposed ground zero mosque.

For Obama, 9/11 was a “deeply traumatic event for our country.” Traumatic events invite characteristic reactions and over-reactions–fearfulness, anger, even hysteria. That’s how Obama understands the source of objections to the Ground Zero mosque. It’s all emotional. The arguments don’t have to be taken seriously. The criticisms of the mosque are the emotional reactions of a traumatized people...Obama (like Bloomberg) doesn’t feel he even has to engage the arguments against the mosque–because he regards his fellow citizens as emotionally traumatized victims, not citizens who might have a reasonable point of view.

Kristol's absolutely right, of course, as far as he goes. But he could go much further. Obama's approach to this is the very archetype of the Liberal "Progressive" response to every concern of American citizens with which the left differs.

Gun control? We don't have to respond to their arguments, because they're just "bitter, clinging to God and guns..."

Abortion? We don't have to respond to their arguments, because they're just misogynists.

Affirmative Action? We don't have respond to their arguments, because they're just racists.

Gay Marriage? We don't have to respond to their arguments, because they're just bigots.

Illegal immigration? We don't have to respond to their arguments, because they're just racist bigots.

Deficit spending? We don't have to respond to their arguments, because they're just greedy and heartless.

(And, oh yes, the President is black and they're racists and bigots.)

Health care reform? We don't have to respond to their arguments because they're just greedy and heartless racist bigots.

Taxes? We don't have to respond to their arguments because "taxes" is a racial code word and they're just greedy and heartless racists.

If your political opponent is a racist or a bigot or a misogynist, you don't need to explain yourself - his point of view is worthless by default, so you don't have listen to it, never mind address it. Nearly every "argument" from nearly every Democratic politician is a linear descendant of Teddy Kennedy's inane, insane, but unfortunately effective Robert Bork statement.

It's easy to understand the appeal, of course. If all of your arguments are ad hominems, well, you always win! And, of course, winning the ad hominem argument automatically makes you the better person, and relieves you of actually having to construct logical and intellectual arguments. As Andrew Klavan put it, the liberal argument reduces to "shut up." And if the interface between you and the American people - the media - agrees with you, well, you never, ever get called on it.

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