Saturday, March 15, 2003

Idiotically Correct


Yet the very same pious humourlessness, the very same shouting down of any opposing view, the very same presumptions of power, the very same claims to a higher purpose, the very same misappropriation of the suffering of strangers, that dogged the very worst of what we came to know as the ‘politically correct’ is now the breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snack of the neocons and pseudolibertarians, the Attack Runts and the designated mourners.

Whether it's the "patriotic correctness" (criticizing the president is unpatriotic!), the new "humanitarian correctness" (we're liberating the Iraqi people!), the sudden newfound sensitivity to anti-semitsm*, or whatever, the willingness of the Right to go on the attack whenever someone makes a slight verbal slip far surpasses even the most ridiculous caricatures of what "political correctness" ever was. Remember, the most extreme examples of PCness were limited to a few college campuses over a relatively short time span - it wasn't propogated and enforced by the media powers of the day.

*Regarding anti-semitism - For the most part I have no trouble with the heightened sensitivity to anti-semitism. Any additional awareness of bigotry is a good thing in my book. I do not like how it's being wielded as a crude political club by a lot of people who, for the first time, have discovered bigotry. I find the gleeful hunts for anti-semitism which walk side by side by utter indifference to bigotry towards African-Americans, Muslim-Americans, gays, and lesbians, make the motives of many making the charges rather obvious. What Jim Moran said was horrible, and I'm glad he was given his punishment - quickly, I might add. But, it didn't even rise to the level of a Howard Coble Moment, or a Sue Myrick Moment, let alone a Saxby Chambliss Moment, or Trent Lott moment. Coble still has his leadership position. I never saw the wide condemnations from the party of Sue Myrick's comments. Saxby Chambliss became senator by attacking the patriotism of a one-limbed Vet. Don Nickles was never "punished" for his opposition to the appointment of James Hormel as ambassador, and his bigoted comments during that episode. In fact, if people cared 1/10 about anti-gay bigotry as they did about anti-semitism, half the Republican members of Congress would be out on their asses.

In addition, the Right's concern for anti-Semitism is indeed newfound. One only has to go back to their embrace - and defenses of - Pat Robertson's anti-Semitic "New World Order" conspiracies. The Christian Coalition was welcomed into the fold by conservatives and neo-conservatives alike after its publication.

Greater awareness of bigotry - any bigotry - is fine by me. But extremely selective attention paid to certain forms of bigotry by the Right these days shows they're willing to exploit these issues an incredibly cynical fashion for political gain. One expects this, I suppose, from politicians - but for the bloggers and pundits who aid them, you should be ashamed.