Another Example of Liberal Tolerance

One of my readers and frequent comment contributors recently noted the myth behind so-called liberal tolerance. My knee jerk reaction to this is to disagree. I do tend to think of liberals as more tolerant and accepting than conservatives. Then, every once in a while I am reminded of the error in my thinking.

I was watching MSNBC’s “Up with Steve Kornacki” (hosted today by Washington Posts’ Jonathan Capehart) and the discussion turned to the anniversary of George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the murder of Trayvon Martin. One of Jonathan’s guests, MSNBC personality Joy Reid observed that the prosecutors in the case lacked passion and that contributed to the acquittal. I confess I’m not a huge fan of Miss Reid in the first place, having seen her twists facts in the past to suit her point. After watching her bemoan the prosecution in this case, the following Twitter exchange ensued:

Before all of Joy’s fans descend upon me, let me make clear my first tweet to her. In our criminal justice system the burden of proof is on the prosecution, not the defense. The prosecutors needed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman did not shoot Trayvon in self defense. Whether we like it or not, Trayvon’s likelihood to be violent — the likelihood that he could beat Zimmerman to within an inch of his life — is entirely relevant. Whether we like it or not, Trayvon was no choir boy. His attorney’s comparison of him to Medgar Evers made me want to vomit. From his Twitter handle “No_Limit_Nigga” on down, Trayvon was clearly embracing the thug culture. Quite honestly, the prosecution had to walk on egg shells to portray him as a wonderful boy who would never beat the crap out of someone. The fact that they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Zimmerman had nothing to fear was entirely logical. Trayvon turned out to be one of the worst standard bearers for racial profiling imaginable. The fact that the last person on Earth who should have been carrying a gun was wackjob cop-wanna-be George Zimmerman, was sadly beside the point.

So, let’s look at Joy’s response to my tweet. First, the irony of what she said was thick as London fog. I didn’t KNOW Trayvon so I had no right to speak. I stereotyped him. Now unless Joy has been reading my blog on a regular basis (which I highly doubt), she does not KNOW me and yet she stereotyped me as a “stereotyping” (hint, racist) “jerk”.  The fact is, both Joy Reid and I know more about Trayvon Martin than Joy Reid knows about me. Yet she was quick to stereotype me while ignoring some unpleasant truths about Trayvon.

Joy stayed true to her dismissive “be gone” and ignored my two follow up Tweets. I wasn’t surprised. To answer my first response, she would have had to admit that she is a hypocrite who finds Trayvon an ignorant thug but can’t admit it publicly. Or she would have had to join the throngs of blacks who toss their self respect out the window, defending the indefensible. On that score, all I can do is recommend to Miss Reid some Bill Cosby videos about proper standards of behavior that know no racial boundaries, and violations of this behavior that deserve no excuses.

On a much more serious philosophical level, Joy Reid proved the point of my conservative comment contributor. The minute she saw an opinion that differed from her own, she went on the attack with just as nasty a tone as any “intolerant” conservative. Now I will readily admit that Twitter is hardly the ideal place for an intelligent exchange. I will also admit my Tweet was slightly provocative. Yet I honestly think I might have gotten a more intelligent response from the likes of Sean Hannity. First, her reply was outright stupid. Did she KNOW Trayvon? I don’t think she did. 99% of the folks weighing in on the Zimmerman case did not KNOW any of the participants. Then she follows up by doing to me the very thing she was accusing me of doing to Trayvon. How she could hit “reply” on that Tweet, without seeing her total lack of self-awareness, is dumbfounding.

A few years ago I made the mistake of visiting a liberal blog and suggesting that some women actually wound up pregnant because they CHOSE to have unprotected sex. I made the wild assertion that women could and should in certain situations take responsibility for their (sexual) choices and not make excuses. What bothered me was a person on the blog who said she “found herself pregnant”. It was as though she woke up one morning, got a positive pregnancy test result and said “how did that happen?” It was as though she tripped and fell upon an ejaculating penis. It bothered the hell out of me. So, I objected. The response was vicious attacks by the ladies who frequent the blog and a successful attempt to out my true identity by one of the readers there. I was stunned. While I am not a “Daily Kos liberal”, I am most certainly an “MSNBC liberal” and here I was being torn to shreds by folks whose basic ideology I thought I shared.

The intervening years made me forget how vicious the left could be. My exchange with Joy Reid brought it all back again. The truth folks is that an ideologue of any stripe is likely to be intolerant because no ideology can square completely with reality. Conservative ideology ignores the truth of honest-to-goodness victims who need help. Liberal ideology ignores the truth of folks not making sufficient effort at caring for themselves.  Not only do both ends of the political spectrum refuse to tolerate each other, they don’t tolerate moderates within their own tribe.

Well I’ve got news for you Joy Reid. Your wish that I “be gone” will not come true. I will continue to write pieces (and tweet Tweets) that mostly piss off conservatives and if I damn well want to, I’ll write stuff that pisses off blind followers of liberal ideology who enable minorities and women to dodge responsibility for their own actions.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Election 2012: Three Open Letters

On the occasion of Barack Obama’s reelection to the presidency of the United States, I would like to write an open letter to three different folks.

Dear Disappointed Romney Supporter,

If you are the average Romney supporter who honestly thought he was the better candidate, voted for him, and is disappointed that he lost, this letter is not directed at you. If you are the unusual Romney supporter who thinks his loss signals the coming of the Apocalypse, the end of civilization as we know it, and a head-first dive into an abyss of socialism, then I’m talking to you. Unfortunately you have fed yourself a steady diet of Fox News, The Blaze, Daily Caller and for dessert, a good helping of World Net Daily. These fringe outposts on the information highway have led you to distrust mainstream media. And that my friends is the major difference between the ultra-liberal MSNBC and the heretofore mentioned outlets. MSNBC doesn’t stray too far off the trail set by the main stream media (ABC, CBS, NBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post). There is a reason why mainstream media is mainstream. They cover real news, with real sources. They have standards such that they don’t show exposĂ© videos designed to bring down organizations (e.g. ACORN). They’re patient. They are willing to wait until a story fleshes out sufficiently with vetted sources before covering it (e.g. Benghazi). Is the mainstream media perfect? Of course not. Are they immune to bias? Without doubt, they are not. But if you need evidence that your fringe news sources are warped and are warping your mind, look at the behavior at Fox News on election night.

Putting The Faux in Fox News

When the vote counters  at Fox News called Ohio for Obama, one of Fox’s analysts went batcrap crazy. Karl Rove begged his network, live and on the air, to reconsider their call. Never in the history of television has an on-air correspondent disagreed with his own network’s election night call. Why would Rove be so adamant? He had skin in the game, that’s why. Lots of skin … skin of the green variety. Via Crossroads GPS, his super-pac, Karl had dropped a ton of money into putting an end to Barack Obama’s political career. Yet the so-called fair and balanced network turns to him for analysis. Flashback four years ago when MSNBC discovered that on-air talent Keith Olbermann had contributed to a political campaign. All hell broke loose. Not on Fox though. No problem on Fox. And so, on election night we got to see Karl basically say “Hey! I’ve got big money riding on this! You can’t give Obama Ohio and the election!” All this while the celebration in Chicago is broadcast on split screen. It was a pathetic display. But Karl represents you. the disappointed Romney voter who lives in an alternate reality.

You are despondent and I understand why. Thanks to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, you live in a world where up is down and right is always right and left is always wrong. You’ve been brainwashed and Tuesday night you got water-boarded by reality. It was torture. But you’re alive my friends. You got through it. Now just accept that you’ve been lied to, and move on.

Dear Republican Party,

The most important “teaching moment” for you should be not that your candidate Mitt Romney lost but that you failed to take over the Senate, a goal that was completely realistic. We can look at three seats that were within reach and see easily why you lost them. Your candidates in Indiana and Missouri said really stupid stuff about rape. Your candidate in Massachusetts attacked his opponent’s self-professed heritage thinking that heritage could be disproven just by “looking at her”. These examples of pure foolishness were  a trap door that the left could easily exploit. The rape comments were not simply dumb, they showed a disrespect for women not seen on the campaign trail in 25 years. They focused like a laser beam on your new meme that rape is not rape, this notion that lots of women fake it. Hell, when it comes to abortion your Vice Presidential candidate suggested that the health of the mother exception was wide enough to drive a truck through. Then you expect women to vote for you. The silliness over Warren’s ethnic background shined a light on your resentment of equal opportunity programs and the idea that traditionally oppressed minorities should be proactively recruited. Sure you griped that you felt Warren took advantage of these programs but let’s be honest. You don’t like the programs in the first place and that’s what a lot of minorities heard behind your Fauxahontas outrage.

Here is some free advice to my Republican friends. First, accept Roe v. Wade as probably the best compromise solution we will ever have on the issue of abortion. Accept it and move on. Second, accept the fact that some folks want a life-long partnership (including sex) with folks of their own gender. Gay folks aren’t going away. Republicans. you LIKE marriage. You think it is stabilizing. So let your gay brothers and sisters get the same benefits from the institution that you enjoy. You’re not gong to win this anti-gay battle. Two states, not by judicial decree, but by popular vote, legalized gay marriage. The tide is not only turning … it has turned. Accept it and move on.  Third and finally, did you notice the first two bits of advice used the word “accept”? Yeah … be more accepting. Widen your tent. If you learned anything from this election it should be that you can’t win on the white male vote anymore. Hispanics supported Obama to the tune of 71%. Could that have anything to do with all the talk of self-deportation? There are just too many “other” types of people out there and if you go out of your way to insult and alienate them, you will stop winning elections.

Dear Mr. President,

Our elections are a funny thing. From the electoral college perspective, most folks would say you won by a landslide with more than 300 electoral votes. But let’s be honest here. Only about 2 million votes separated you from Mitt Romney, about 2% or so of the electorate. You won just over half the States. This was no Ronald Reagan 49 state smack-down. There are a bus load of people for all sorts of reasons who did not want you to have a second term. Your response should not be “to hell with them”. So, please, tackle jobs and the deficit and be hands on about it. This business of throwing semi-formed ideas at a polarized Congress and expecting progress is not going to work. You have invited the legislative leaders to the White House next week. That’s a good start. Don’t stop there. Stay in the game. I know you don’t have the leverage of an LBJ who had years of relationships to draw on but that’s no excuse. You’ve got to forge relationships. I see that some pundits have already voiced my idea (yes I thought of it first!) that you appoint Mitt Romney to your new Secretary of Business position. Damn man, talk about team of rivals! We all know what you meant by Secretary of Business. It wasn’t some new bureaucracy as Mitt suggested on the campaign trail. It’s meant to consolidate several organizations like HUD and SBA under one accountable leader. Put Mitt in charge of it and let him be the businessman he’s proven he can be. A much better use of his talents than POTUS.

You don’t have another term at stake here, Mr. President. You have your legacy. It’s a much bigger game this time.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

Hannity Plays the Race Card

Before he died, Andrew Breitbart told the audience at CPAC that he had videos of Barack Obama that would blow the lid off his reputation. Obama, said Breitbart, would finally be vetted in a way that he wasn’t in 2008. Like a true loyal conservative, Sean Hannity played one of these videos on his show Wednesday night with commentary from two “reporters” from breitbart.com.

The video seems harmless enough. Obama, then a Harvard Law student, is seen introducing (and paying tribute to) Derrick Bell, a professor concerned, dare I say obsessed with faculty diversity.  So at first glance, nothing to see here, move along.

Now, conservatives are the first to cry foul when liberals play that “race card”. In fact, even the suggestion that racism exists prompts a charge of racism from conservatives. So the last thing you would expect is for Sean Hannity to go there. What is the problem with Obama asking his fellow students to open their hearts and minds to Derrick Bell? Bell is a proponent of Critical Race Theory (CRT) which states, among other things, that whites will only help blacks achieve equality when it is in their self-interest. I’m no expert on CRT but supposedly the self-interest slant is particularly applied to Jews. Hence there are some who label CRT antisemitic. On a more humorous note, Bell also authored a science fiction story in which white people sell blacks to space aliens in order to eliminate the deficit. Sounds to me like a mixture of Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich ideology. But I digress.

Using the old guilt by association tactic, Hannity is telling you that Obama hates white people. We’ve been down this road before with Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Only this time, with the economy in a mess and international tensions running high you would think that conservatives would focus their attack on Obama via economics and foreign affairs. But those subjects are oh so dry and boring to the average voter. Isn’t it much sexier to play the race card and tell everyone that Obama hates white people?

Supposedly there are more videos to come. Hannity is already stoking the conspiracy theorists because the video published by BuzzFeed didn’t include Obama hugging Bell. Oh yes, after those words of praise, that hug is the cherry on the sundae! When Obama was a young man, he hugged a radical. Our nation is in grave danger! Hannity also showed video of Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree saying that Obama’s tenuous connection with Bell was kept on the down low during the 2008 election season. Good heavens, more evidence that this white hating radical was implanted in the White House under the bogus cover of hope and change.

Hopefully, people will see through this race-baiting by Hannity. At this point, there is no evidence that Obama was a proponent of Critical Race Theory. All we know is that Obama was supporting Bell’s protest for faculty diversity at Harvard. When you’re not confident enough to go after the President on what matters in 2012, you reach back to 1990 and try to scare people.

My conservative friends, you can update your list of race hustlers now. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and … Sean Hannity.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance