Monday, October 16, 2006

On Friday the 13th, all the crazy people come out to play

On Friday, Glenn Greenwald and Alicublog posted takedowns of the latest Wall Street Journal column by Peggy Noonan, that partisan hack and former GOP operative who has managed to pass herself off as a font of wisdom. Noonan cherry picks four recent incidents of dubious import and uses them to "prove" her thesis, such as it is, that the left is as a whole lacks grace and civility and is actively crushing dissent with its powerful control of none of the three branches of government. (The right, of course, is full of grace and love. Unless you are gay or foreign or poor.) While such a sad excuse for an argument can be dismissed with two simple words, Greenwald marshalls plenty of examples while Alicublog's tone is a tad more mocking. Now before you say "Tut, tut, you're just proving her point about civility, stiffling dissent, yadda, yadda, yadda...", if this were a sane public discourse, a third grade argument like Noonan's would be universally mocked and treated with the derision it deserves. It is not an example of grace and civility, it is a thin veneer of imitation civility smeared over an attack of the basest kind, so her fellow ideological travelers can feel good about the contempt they shower upon everyone else and congratulate themselves on how much better they are than those people. "See, Peggy Noonan just proved it. Liberals are scum."

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