Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Guess the quote

Via Americablog, this compliments the most recent post I've written at Unclaimed Territory. Here's a sample quote [Blogger's Note - please note the disclaimer at the "this" link regarding the quotes]

"We must study this vile [liberal] technique of emptying garbage pails full of the vilest slanders and defamations from hundreds and hundreds of sources at once, suddenly and as if by magic, on the clean garments of honorable men, if we are fully to appreciate the entire menace represented by these scoundrels of the press."

Hint: It wasn't Ann Coulter.

Also, Taner Edis at the Secular Outpost writes about the disturbing nature of the "slanderous" rhetoric of the Religious Right becoming more prevalent. This is extremely pertinent to the point I was making at U.T., as Coulter's new book is essentially recycled material from the Religious Right.

Update: Since I just accused Ann Coulter of being guilty of bigotry against "liberals" I don't want to act like a bigot, myself. In Taner's post, he lumps conservative Christians in with right-wing Christians (which I take to be the Religious Right) which is unfair. There most certainly are conservative Christians who do not live in a parallel insular reality, deny evolution and global warming, and believe that Iraq was responsible for 9/11 (which is itself a misbelief that is not unique to the Religous Right). He should have been more explicit in drawing the distinction between the Religious Right and conservative Christianity, and probably should have written "There are right-wing Christians who live in a world where global warming is a myth promoted by pagan environmentalists, where Iraq was responsible for 9/11, and where evolution is a mere materialist pseudoscience" rather than the more categorical statement that he made, so as to focus his point at those who actually hold those beliefs.

This is not me picking on Taner. The criticism is at much directed at myself as it is him, because I read that post and glanced over the overgeneralizations without noticing them, but Alonzo Fyfe got me to take another look at it.


Alan said...

I got 12 of the Hitler-Coulter quotes right, but mostly because of differences in how a person in the 1930's would write compared to today.

I also just left a comment over at your post on UT. It seems I was a little late. I have re-produced it here:


Some of the conservative responses to HG's post are instructive.

For instance they don't consider the analogies to Racial or anti-Semitic hate speech valid, because in fact Coulter is not directing her hate to Black people or Jews. In other words, conservatives don't believe that hateful speech in of itself is wrong if it is in fact directed at targets that are deserving of the speech. You see this in their general revulsion to PC -- in that (to use HG's words) it is OK to call a spade a spade.

They consider it a liberal "bleeding-heart" flaw to be afraid to criticize something that merits criticism.

Therefore, when Liberals complain about the type of speech that Coulter uses, or worse, compares it Racist speech, the Conservative mind set sees it as invoking PC. That is why you are seeing comments like "since when can Liberals not be made fun of (or criticized).

I understand that HG is simply pointing out similarities in how labels are applied to de-humanize a group and to render actual debate of their ideas as irrelevant. But the Conservatives (and I can see their perspective too) only see that Liberals are trying to hide behind a shield of PC. Even worse, many may believe (incorrectly) that they are now also being accused of being Racists when, of course, they are not being Racist/Anti-Semitic -- they are only being "Liberal-ists".

I think this is instructive, because it demonstrates that criticizing Coulter and her ilk for being "hateful" is not an effective tactic and, in fact, probably only serves to reinforce Conservative opinions about "cry baby" overly PC Liberals. (The letter example in HG's post is effectively criticizing Liberal PC-ness)

The only thing that we (people who find Coulter distasteful) should focus on is her lies. By de-bunking her caricature of what a Liberal is, you effectively pull the rug out from under her "jokes".

Consider the letter again. This letter works only because Conservatives assume the detainee in question is actually a Terrorist. If we assume that the detainee is one of the many innocent people rounded up (the true concern of the Liberal character in the letter), then the whole letter does not work as satire.

Same with Coulter. Simply (well, not so simply, but somehow) demonstrate that most of her assertions are false and the rest will take care of itself.
Don't let the Coulters of the world define the word "Liberal". Somehow the liberals must re-define who and what they are and what they really stand for.

Unfortunately, the media works to our disadvantage here. The people getting the most press -- Cindy Sheehan comes to mind -- simply reinforce the Right's view of the Left. And it cuts both ways. I will wager that most Conservatives and Republicans are not reflected by the Malkins and Coulters. We should remember that as well, lest Liberals and Independents start believing that all Conservatives are evil wing nuts.

Alan said...

One quick note:

In blogger there is a way to format your comments section so that both the date and the time show up after a person leaves a comment.

I had Massimo do this as well on his blog and I think it helps to know when (especially if one visits days later) a comment was left.

You should consider doing it on your blog as well as running it by Glenn Greenwald. My 2 cents.

Keep up the good work.

Hume's Ghost said...

I'll see what I can do about the comment formatting. Every time I try to do something to the format it leads to frustration.

Hume's Ghost said...

"I will wager that most Conservatives and Republicans are not reflected by the Malkins and Coulters."

That's a point I was trying to get at - denouncing Coulter and co. isn't about being partisan, it's about denouncing someone who is a hate-monger.

I tried to make my criticism specific to Coulter and the other "liberal"-hate pundits.

This is also why the conservative Christian organization I linked to denounced Coulter. They can't stand how Coulter portends to speak for them, and they want no part of her definition of "conservatism."

Hume's Ghost said...

Oh, and you're exactly right about the "cry baby" thing. I got accused of exactly that over at Right Wing Nut House, where the comparison was dismissed as absurd, as equating demonizing to "laughing at someone's political belief"

Hume's Ghost said...

Here's the link.