I'm OK, You're Evil
The ConWeb not only despises Gore, but despises anyone who doesn't despise Gore.
By Terry Krepel
One thing you can always count on from the ConWeb: If you disagree with their views, it's your fault, not theirs. They are right, and you are not only wrong, but there is a flaw in your being that causes you to be wrong.
And so it is with the ConWeb commentary on our never-ending election. The view of the ConWeb is not only that Al Gore is evil, but there is something wrong with anyone who would vote for him.
As noted previously on ConWebWatch, they have rehearsed for this by denigrating the people who said they had problems understanding the ballot in some Florida counties; the word "stupid" came up frequently.
When the ConWeb criticizes Gore's actions in the Florida recount battle, it's rarely with reason. Their talk is filled with conservative code words like "liberal" and "judicial activism" designed to arouse the faithful and little actual recitation of facts (which ConWebWatch also noted recently).
One example of this is a Nov. 23 CNSNews.com commentary by Alan Caruba, likening Gore to a Nazi for daring to be persistent in pursing his legal course.
"The Nazi rise to power in Germany, historian (Ian) Kershaw notes, was predicated on their "disdain and detestation for a parliamentary system generally perceived to have failed miserably" resulting in a "willingness to entrust monopoly control over the state to a leader claiming a unique sense of mission..." Caruba writes. "Al Gore has, time and again, expressed his sense of mission. ... The Democratic Party is becoming a National Socialist Party."
Forsaking all ambiguity, a Nov. 21 NewsMax commentary by Paul Craig Roberts is actually titled "The Democrat Nazi Party." But once he gets his name-calling out of his system -- "The court’s only reason for its overreach is to help Al Gore steal the election. If the U.S. media actually constituted a media instead of the Propaganda Ministry of the Democratic Party, the Florida court would not dare to be so brazen" -- he actually proposes a Nazi-like solution for one perceived problem: "Once Bush assumes the office to which he has been elected, Republicans must turn their attention to dismantling the Democratic Party’s Propaganda Ministry that masquerades as a news media. The most obvious solution is nationalization."
This type of ConWeb rhetoric has expanded to tarring Gore supporters with the same brush they tar Gore. WorldNetDaily's Jon Dougherty trashed them in a Nov. 9 commentary: "The problem is this. Though a generally honest guy (Bush) ran a campaign based on reducing the real (not imagined) burdens Washington places on real, working Americans, only 49 percent voting chose him. Forty-nine percent. That means over half of us have no idea of the limitless benefits smaller, cheaper, and less intrusive government could mean in our lives. No idea."
Walter Williams takes it a step further in a Dec. 6 WorldNetDaily commentary: "... if the election were to be decided by who won the greatest number of the nation's 3,142 counties, Bush would have bested Gore by at least 2,500 counties. ... The Bush counties are: more conservative and respectful of traditional values, pro-life and more religious, and they have less social pathology such as high crime, illegitimacy and deviancy. Counties won by Gore tend to be just the opposite. By no means do Americans who voted for Bush enthusiastically and unequivocally support the values expressed in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, but they are not nearly as parasitic, interventionist and contemptuous of the principles of liberty as Gore supporters."
(Democratic consultant Paul Begala responded to a similar statement by Mike Barnicle on MSNBC this way: "But if you look closely at that map [showing states won by George W. Bush in red] you see a more complex picture. You see the state where James Byrd was lyncheddragged behind a pickup truck until his body came apartit's red. You see the state where Matthew Shepard was crucified on a split-rail fence for the crime of being gayit's red. You see the state where right-wing extremists blew up a federal office building and murdered scores of federal employeesit's red. ..." The Daily Howler reports that conservative columnist Michael Kelly spent a column bashing Begala's statements -- not to mention bashing Begala himself as "a Clinton-Gore operative who is both a lawyer and a political thug, and who is not a journalist but who plays one on television" -- without bothering to put them in context by mentioning Barnicle's original comment.)
Peggy Noonan goes the same trash-the-rabble route in trying to explain away Hillary Clinton's double-digit victory in the New York Senate race in a Nov. 10 Wall Street Journal article: "The biggest lesson for conservatives on Mrs. Clinton: We know who she is and long ago made our decisions about her. But our understanding of Mrs. Clinton is not shared by moderates and liberals. They do not share our aversion, or, sharing it to some degree, have made their bargains with it and have put it aside for other reasons and calculations." Translation: Since Hillary Clinton is so self-evidently evil,the people who elected her must either stupid or sellouts.
Before the election, Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation wrote a commentary begging "stupid voters" to stay home. (One has to wonder who the intended audience was, since theoretically stupid people can't operate computers.) It's clear from the tone of the article that Weyrich's definition of "stupid" is "anything not supported by conservatives." It's also clear that the whole of the ConWeb feels the same way.