Monday, August 10, 2009
"Dissent Is Patriotic!"
I used to see lots of bumper stickers like that (and other stuff) that, back when George W. Bush was President -- along with "Question Authority" and similar sentiments. I don't see too many of them these days.
Could it be that dissent is, somehow, no longer patriotic? Glenn Reynolds suggests this, comparing the increasingly vocal "town meeting" attendees (who oppose ObamaCare, and are publicly derided) to the massive protests during the Bush years (who opposed Bush, and were publicly applauded). So does John Leo, who notes that hardly a day went by when Bush, or a member of his Cabinet, wasn't compared to the Nazis... which makes Speaker of the House Pelosi, with her recent comments ("they’re carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on health care"), sound foolish, at best. (As Michelle Malkin notes, President Obama's critics are tame indeed compared to those of his predecessor.)
And Mark Steyn wades into the fray with his usual helping of snarkiness, noting the White House's request that "fishy"-sounding criticisms of Obama's Health Care plans be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Remember the brouhaha when President Bush's Patriot Act gave the government the right to look at your library records? How would people have responded if he'd asked Americans to forward him suspicious e-mails?)
As Prof. Reynolds notes: "Civility is fine, but those who demand it should show it". And now Administration officials are accusing Tea Party demonstrators and Town Hall attendees of thuggishness and violence... when so far, if anything, they've been the targets of violence.
All in all, it looks as though Democrats -- who grew increasingly shrill when they were not in power -- do not take kindly to even a mild version of the tactics they used. (No doubt they won't like these either.)
In the meantime, I'll have to see what suspicious-looking e-mails I can send to the White House. (There's a Nigerian money-making opportunity I'm wondering about, for example.)
After all, I want to do my patriotic duty, don't I?