Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Cognitive dissonance

Sigh. Heavy, Al Gore-kinda sigh.

It seems Rick Moran has some cognitive problems, beyond even his continuing difficulty in spelling the name of someone he devotes an entire post to attacking. To wit:

-- He doesn't seem to get that we're tweaking Malkin for her constant, and sometimes instantaneous, leaping aboard the vaguest news account as evidence of a domestic jihadist terror conspiracy, not one of which has panned out. There's also a point lurking here regarding her entire "Unhinged" thesis. Well, subtlety has never been a Moran strong suit, but then, there was nothing particularly subtle about this point. (And of course, we're still waiting ....)

-- He can't seem to distinguish between the hateful harpies who are leading lights of the right and the ordinary conservatives who may or may not listen to them. Which is, of course, the entire distinction I made in urging restraint. But refusing to apply a broad brush doesn't render everyone blameless.

-- He doesn't get that calling these haters to account for the acts that spring from their rhetoric -- if by nothing else than openly expressing our moral outrage, and publicly shaming the entities who give them a megaphone -- is hardly an attack on their audience. Unless, of course, the audience agrees with them.

-- Moran also wants to believe that there's no connection -- none whatsoever -- between prominent conservatives who spew hateful rhetoric urging or suggesting violent actions against, and ultimately the elimination of, their political opponents, and kooks who then go out and act out this eliminationism by mailing death threats against the very targets these people constantly demonize.

Sort of the right-wing version Happy Fuzzy Wuzzy Bunny World.

And yes, I am one of those people who think that talk radio had a role in bringing about the Oklahoma City bombing and that Rush Limbaugh et. al. doth protested too much. It's true that they had no direct connection to the attack, but you had to be blind not to see that there was a straight-line path connecting the venom that people like Limbaugh spewed, on a constant basis, against government officials and federal law enforcement, and the burned-out shell of the Murrah Building.

In case I wasn't clear enough before: There are always degrees of culpability when it comes to the consequences of hateful speech. Some of them are simply moral and not legal. But it seems that on the right, one is supposed to be excused from moral culpability. Not sure why.

Gavin has more.

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