Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Now Karl Rove Is Panicking
It's Richard Cohen. No one knows how this happened, but suddenly the man shape-shifted into a liberal form and demanded that the Democrats start acting liberal again:
Because I came of age in the McCarthy era, I have always thought of the Democratic Party as more protective of free speech and unpopular thought than the Republican Party. The GOP was the party of Joe McCarthy, William Jenner and other witch-hunters. Now, though, it is the Democrats who use the pieties of race, ethnicity and gender to stifle debate and smother thought, pretty much what anti-intellectual intellectuals did to Larry Summers, the president of Harvard University, when he had the effrontery to ask some unorthodox questions about gender and mathematical aptitude. He was quickly instructed on how to think.Oh. My. Lord. Is this the second coming of liberals in the Democratic party? If so, Karl Rove better be shaking in his boots.
...These spitball press releases, these demeaning zingers, only tend to highlight the GOP argument that the Democrats are out of ideas. If so, I have one to offer them: Think
I can't believe that someone writing for the Washington Post actually noticed the discrepancy between defending Ward Churchill's right to say whatever he wanted and demanding that Larry Summers be fired. I can't believe that Cohen had the guts and integrity to defend Bennett and observe that the Democratic leadership owed Bennett an apology:
Prominent Democrats -- Harry Reid in the Senate, John Conyers and Rahm Emanuel in the House and, of course, Pelosi -- jumped all over him. Conyers wanted Bennett suspended from his radio show. Emanuel said Bennett's comments "reflect a spirit of hate and division." Pelosi said Bennett was out of the mainstream, and Reid simply asked for an apology.I'm awed and charmed. Finally, a liberal who actually believes in free speech again.
Actually, it is Reid and the others who should apologize to Bennett. They were condemning and attempting to silence a public intellectual for a reference to a theory.
Media: And Senator Boxer, what do you think we should do about illegal immigration?
Boxer: Bush is a racist and lied about WMD.
Real, intellectually hefty debate means that good ideas will actually get considered, and it will force the Republicans to hone their own arguments. The reason universities produce such wacky ideas every week is because there is no real debate going on there. The same can and will happen in a government that has no serious opposition.
I agree that the biggest thing Karl Rove has to fear is the Democratic Party giving up adolescent politics and growing up.
You can't have a real debate in a university. Larry Summers tried it, and look what happened to him. Leftist, violent rants are applauded, but you can't have an actual debate.
We're like a society in an intellectual corset.
Howard - I don't know much about Bennett, except that he gambles. As for the argument, he was retailing someone else's.
People don't like the words he used, but as far as I'm concerned he's the only one who's being honest. Forget that "village for the children" stuff, now it's "whack the poor, we can't afford 'em."
Links to this post: