Friday, August 29, 2014

The Silence of the Lambs

I'll be going to dinner with some liberal friends tonight.  And every time I do that I think of the things I'd like to ask them, but am too polite to do.

Can liberals really stand by in silence as the President of the United States arbitrarily writes the law, on Obamacare, on immigration, without benefit of Congress?  Would not liberals be tearing up the carpet if a Republican president were doing anything remotely similar?  Do liberals not understand how their silence enrages conservatives who think of, or hope for an America where both sides of the political divide recognize the need to make their own representatives obey the law and respect the constitution?

Can liberals really sit back in silence when partisan Democratic prosecutors in Wisconsin conduct a years-long investigation into the relations between conservative political committees and Governor Scott Walker in the hope of finding something, anything with which to hang on him?  Do liberals think that this could never happen to them?

And what about the criminal indictment of Governor Perry in Texas for threatening to veto an appropriation for a public integrity office in Austin?  Well, OK, a number of liberal commentators actually have objected to this.

Look I get what is going on here.  Your ordinary rank-and-file liberal has never heard about these matters.  They are just not the sort of thing that gets liberal commentators all riled up; they are not the kind of thing that publicity-seeking liberal activists are interested in.

So if a rank-and-file liberal hears about any of these issues they just shrug and forget about it. Hey, it's not their ox getting gored.

But you can be sure that once we get a Republican president in 2017 with a Republican Congress my liberal friends will be once again sensitive to the slightest appearance of impropriety and corruption, and their concern will by amplified by a hundred journalists and a thousand "activist" organizations.

OK, OK. It's what I call the Incoming Missile Syndrome.  Everyone responds and leaps for cover when the incoming missiles start raining in on their firebase.  But when you are sending mortar rounds out to some enemy trench half a mile away, who cares?  They had it coming.

There are, of course, maxims that deal with this sort of thing.  "Let sleeping dogs lie." "Do as you would be done by."  The point is that if you poke your political opponents you may find too late that you have provoked them into a political rage that will end up hurting your side more than it disables the other side.

Or maybe not.  They say that the attacks on the Koch Brothers are bearing fruit.  Would-be conservative contributors are said to be skittish because they don't want to attract attention to themselves.

But I suppose the ruling class has always tried to intimidate the opposition.  Nothing changes unless there are people who can look back after the revolution and declare how they "boldly did outdare / The dangers of the time."

But I'd still like it if my liberal friends actually had a single independent thought in their NYT/NPR prompted minds.

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