Travis Rowley: Who’s Extreme?
Friday, July 29, 2011
All throughout the current debt-limit debate Democrats have been insisting that the “radical” and “extreme” Tea Party base of the Republican Party is being unreasonable with their opposition to tax increases as part of a solution to the nation’s debt crisis.
First off, this is how out of touch the modern Democrat Party is. You can’t even oppose tax hikes without having Democrats think of you as an “extremist.”
More important to the moment, however, is the fact that the constant handling of these phrases represents the Left’s most common political strategy. In two and a half years, never once have Democrats articulated precisely what makes the Tea Party so “extreme.”
This shouldn’t surprise anyone, though. The modus operandi of the Democrat Party has always been to tarnish the reputation of their opponents, rather than debate their ideas. And within this center-right democracy, the Democrats’ decrepit subculture of thuggery, political correctness, and character assassination has done wonders for their progressive agenda.
When political newcomer Rory Smith (R) decided to drop out of the 2010 gubernatorial race former RI Democrat Party Chairman William Lynch jumped at the opportunity to convince Rhode Islanders that it was because Smith was revolted by the “ultra right-wing ideologues” who dominated the RIGOP and who were “grossly out of touch with the average voters of this state.” Lynch was calling attention to the fact that Smith was socially moderate, finding the moment ripe to further the myth that Republicanism represents some sort of ideological extremism. Interestingly, nobody from the press found it curious that gay marriage was only still illegal in Rhode Island because so many Democrats were standing against it. There were simply too many “ultra right-wing ideologues” within Mr. Lynch’s party.
A rare conservative and honest Democrat, Rep. Jon Brien (D-Woonsocket) recently mocked his own colleagues for the rhetoric they incessantly hurl at their political counterparts. On A Lively Experiment, Brien explained how the National Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee contacted Ocean State Democrats in order to urge them to reject the recent Voter ID bill. According to Brien, they didn’t want to “pass this legislation because you will mess up [the Democratic] paradigm. The paradigm is…the Republicans, those nasty people, are trying to bring us all the way back to the Jim Crow laws.” Brien further described how the Democrats planned on convincing people that Republicans are racist and “nasty” with their manipulation of the Voter ID issue: “[Democrats are] saying that the Republicans are trying to suppress votes in the states. If you guys [pass the bill], you’ve messed up our argument. So please don’t do it.”
One wonders just how pathetically insignificant the Democrat Party would be without their shallow ethics, and without the media’s willingness to give them all the cover they need.
The Democrats’ Propaganda Prowess
In order to observe the Left’s effectiveness in these operations, one only has to notice the fact that there are few successful conservatives remaining as credible public spokesmen. If you ask the average politically-detached American what he thinks of George W. Bush, he will repeat the media’s mantra – the 43rd President of the United States is a moron. The former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin? Even dumber than Bush. Glenn Beck? A nutcase. Rush Limbaugh? A bigot. Talk Radio? Hate speech. Fox News? A biased news organization. The Tea Party? Racist political astroturf.
Barack Obama? “The smartest guy ever to become President,” who sends “thrills” down people’s legs.
Imagine a public debate between a conservative and a liberal before an audience made up of a cross-section of the American population. The liberal, naturally outmatched, asks the conservative to disclose where he attained his information. “Fox News,” the conservative may respond, just before being laughed off stage. Yet, with the situation reversed, the liberal could safely respond, “I saw it on the news” or “I read it in the newspaper” or “My professor said so.” Yet, the conservative could never retain his credibility by admitting that he attained some of his information from Rush Limbaugh.
Despite their overwhelming success with news junkies, the resounding reputation conservatives suffer among those Americans who only have the time to pay half-attention is most often a negative one. The large majority of the nationwide media simply remains under progressive control, offering Democrats an advantage in all upcoming quarrels. All of the Right’s trusted sources – even the label “Republican” itself – will be discredited beforehand with their passage through the media haze.
The unflattering premise that Democrats believe they have established regarding the Tea Party – well before the current debt-limit debate ensued – is what enabled Senator Harry Reid (D) to deliver this gem last week: “Unfortunately the Republicans who used to run Congress, the two Republican caucuses, are being driven by a radical right-wing that is so in-tune with the Tea Party…We should not let these extremists dictate the outcome of this debate for the direction of our country. The time for ideological extremism should end.”
Of course, Harry Reid has never explained why anyone should consider the Tea Party such an extreme movement. And he never will.
We’ll just have to assume it’s because they don’t believe in raising taxes.
Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans and a consultant for the Barry Hinckley Campaign for US Senate.
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