Clearing the Fog
in the
War of Words


  logomachy--1. A dispute about words. 2. A dispute carried on in words only; a battle of words.
logomachon--1. One who argues about words. 2. A word warrior.



The unbearable credulity of the enlightened mind

Did you know John Kerry said this, as he attended Ronald Reagan’s interment in California?
This moment in Simi Valley is a moment of truth. Not just for my campaign, but for the future of my party as well. For some of us, this may be our only chance to confirm the demise of the man who is solely responsible for turning the American people away from liberal philosophy.

As Democrats, we need to put small differences aside and be certain that this man is truly gone. Next, we must reclaim our country from the churchgoers, the middle America folks, and the uneducated conservative masses.
Actually, Kerry didn’t say that. It’s an e-mail rumor.

A friend forwarded this comment from someone who had received the spurious quotation [verbatim]:
This is the whole issue that I have with Bush supporters. They, just like Bush, have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Do you really think that a potential U.S. presidential candidate would say something this stupid?.
Does anybody bother to check out the facts before they propigate this bullshit. Nope, Just like Bush they don't care to find out what is truth and what is crap
I replied to my friend.

I wouldn't believe for a second that Kerry said this. However, if your friend is honest, not ruled by ire at people with the nerve to disagree with him, and not just looking for any stick with which to beat a dirty dog (is this "problem" really the only thing, the major thing, he has against Bush), he must acknowledge that if Kerry were to say that, a great cheer would erupt from his supporters.

To suppose that Kerry in a moment of unwonted candor did admit to the hostility that powers his campaign is no worse than the boasting that Kerry's supporters--and often even Kerry and his campaign—do of what they believe about the rest of America:
  • Ashcroft the new Göbbels
  • the Patriot Act’s ending of traditional liberties
  • that evangelical Christians support Bush because they want a cataclysm in the Middle East as a necessary step toward the rapture
  • Bush stole the election
  • a million blacks were disenfranchised in 2000
  • plans to restart the draft
  • that Bush invaded Iraq either because he had to show up his daddy, or to fix his daddy's mistake, or to revenge his daddy, or to enrich Halliburton.
What is preached by the mullahs is echoed by the faithful. In an everyday conversation, a woman tells of a Homeland Security reminder to report suspicious activity. “What am I supposed to do?” she sneers, “Call the police that there’s a little old lady leaving the Superfresh with a suspicious bulge under her coat?” Her friend nods sympathetically and likens the current security régime in America—if it can be dignified as a régime—to the USSR under Stalin. Sometimes sarcasm and invincible ignorance are one and the same. [ed. In Stalin’s Russia, her friend would have reported her for not reporting the possible shoplifter.]

This has nothing to do with reality. It is a fantasy. Democrats are not so much the party of the people as the party of peasant superstitions. Their preferred mode of politics is to demonize their opponents and look for reasons afterward. At least the folks who believe the e-mail about Kerry are in line with reality; they may be credulous, but they aren’t delusional.

The Democratic Party is the welcoming home of people who completely agree with the sentiments put in Kerry's mouth. Prominent figures in the Party or among its supporters have said exactly those things. You can hear them almost every week on Bill Moyer's NOW show on PBS. The NY Times a couple of years ago described the religious right as poorly educated, unsophisticated, and easily led Of course, the closer you get to the activist rank and file, the greater are the volume, virulence, and open rancor. Moveon.org is full of it. Liberals think their fellow citizens need to have it explained that “Hate Is Not a Family Value”. The chants at Democratic and progressive demonstrations and rallies are things like "Keep your rosaries out of my ovaries".

Democrats and liberals preen themselves on being the smart party and, like your friend, routinely declare that Republicans/conservatives are stupid and ignorant. Case: the Duke dean who said the professoriate is dominated by leftists because conservatives are "the stupid party". Another case: last Sunday I drove past a gaggle of Kerryites campaigning at an intersection. One of the signs was "Smart people vote for Kerry". [ed. I posted a few days ago on this conceit the leftist brilliance.]

My point is two-fold. Democrats really do believe and say those things that were put in Kerry’s mouth, and the left is consumed with its own, much nastier and less excusable, delusions. Take the article of Democratic faith: Bush lied about WMD in Iraq. Leave aside the evidence and take just your correspondent’s point about plausibility. Can the left really believe that Bush would sacrifice a 90% approval rating in order to support a lie by pursuing a controversial course of action that would inevitably expose the lie? If he were lying to get at Saddam, wouldn’t he have called for everything except an invasion? (It worked for Clinton, and Kerry slammed him for it.)

For implausibility, dissing Reagan at his grave ain’t in it.


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