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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Limits of Civil Speech, Part 5 of ??

Chefjef weighs in on the civil discourse conversation in his responses to a couple of posts.

The first is a response to the second post in the thread. He writes:

The third paragraph of your response was beautiful and simple. And I agree with it completely; i may even claim it as my own later (just kidding).

My question, though, is what about an obscure (and unattractive) Lt. Governor conducting predictiable (and probably self-defeating, in the long run) political posturing lead you to utliize the same appraoch you take in helping the U.S. Air Force prepare for war in enlightening your blog audience on the small piece of news that was her attention whoring? My point - in my previous comment - was that you are too bright and too disciplined to let an unknown dumbass, who was pandering to a small, specific and dwindling-in-influence constituency make you loose your cool so badly in print.


I didn't think my comments were so over-the-top, but then, treason is a pet peeve of mine, so I guess I'm not the best judge. Besides, "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." Or, to quote the fearless Red Leader's more succinct summary, "anything worth doing is worth overdoing."

I reiterate: "She crossed a line...when she condemned the war to a family grieving over the loss of a warrior. This was not the act of a politician, but of an activist." I grant her typically-political attention-whoring, but there was more going on here...

Chefjef's second response, to this post,

Hey, I just caught this sentence:

"That, however, is what public discourse has come down to in this country and--yes, Chefjef--it's mostly the left that's guilty of dragging it there in recent years."

Negative my Monkster. Republican congressman and conservative commentators like Limbaugh, Coultier, Liddy and good old Marine Corps Lt. Col. what's-his-name started it in the mid-nineties. Of course, minority parties have been making much ado about nothing, in very inflammatory terms, since the Hamilton-Jefferson "conflicts" of the founding years. But in terms of the "modern" incivility among activists, commentators and Beltway dwellers that shapes much of today's political debate and "media speak," you can thank the the Clinton-haters who went mildly insane with loathing in the mid-nineties.


It depends on how you define "recent years" (and what the meaning of "is" is). I grant you the Repubs' ungluedness during the Clinton Era, and I grant that this helped cheapen the current terms of public discourse. I meant, however, that in the last five years, the left has been the main practitioner of over-the-top rhetoric, and has gone places no rightwingnut ever dared go: Fragging officers? Declaring open sympathy for terrorists? Accusing our own soldiers of committing genocide? July 4th as "Flag Burning Day?"
....And that's just what two minute's worth of googling uncovered. While you're at it, why not check out this little article on Students Against War?

Don't give these guys a pass, any more than you give Limbaugh, or Buchanan, or others of their ilk a pass.


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