Time for a holiday from hate?

By John Frary | Dec 23, 2009

The Washington Post columnist, Church of Obama deacon and faithful servant of the Democratic Party E.J. Dionne has let the wildcat out of the bag in a column entitled "Do Democrats Need Stimulus Of Bush Rage?" (Dec. 16).

Mr. Dionne recognizes George W. Bush as a kind of inverted John the Baptist to the liberal Savior Barack Obama. He admits that the Bush presidency was "...a tonic for Democrats and led to a blossoming of political creativity on the center-left not seen since the 1930s. No tactic, no program, no leader ever did more to catalyze the party than the rage Bush inspired."

He does not attempt to distinguish this "rage" from hate. He cannot. Rage arises from hatred. This is no great insight. We have all been witness to eight years of violent vilification directed against "W" as an improbable combination of Mortimer Snerd, Niccolo Machiavelli and Professor Moriarty — Sherlock Holmes' "Napoleon of Crime." Letters to the editor, newspaper columns, articles in leftist journals, TV shows, films, Hollywood deep-thinkers, Democratic politicians, theatrical performances, cartoons all piled on the hate day after day. No accusation was too bizarre or improbable not to find an outlet somewhere.

Now the man has shuffled off to Texas and is little heard of, leaving only Dick Cheney behind to draw diminished fire.

I'm not interested in defending Bush or analyzing the policies and personal qualities that liberals found so stimulating. What's interesting is Dionne's clear admission that the Democrats benefited from the hatred that Bush evoked and now suffer from its rapidly diminishing energy.

Those of moderate temperament are uncomfortable with political rage, but the fact is, always has been, always will be, that fear, hate, loathing and contempt are the major sources of political energy. I apologize for reporting the obvious. I know it's distressing, but I didn't make the rule.

You see, I've subscribed to almost all the left-lurching journals of opinion over the years and have contributed money to a number of conservative organizations. This has put me on mailing lists from both ends of the spectrum, both political parties. Every letter soliciting contributions I've ever gotten featured some bogeyman.

Teddy Kennedy answered the purposes of the Right for many years. Nancy Pelosi works well as a bogeywoman nowadays. Nixon, Jesse Helms and News Gingrich were prominent as Leftist bogeymen before Bush. Sarah Palin appears to be a contender at present, but this is speculative.

On the one hand, no one at either end of the political spectrum in my memory has stimulated such an outpouring of loathing in such a short time. Google her name in conjunction with any obscenity or term of derision and you will get hundreds of thousands of hits.

On the other hand, one reads form time to time of liberals who admit to finding her a likable person with objectionable ideas. You can't be likable and serve as an effective bogeywoman. We can only wait and see how this plays out.

In the meantime Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the lesser titans of Hate Media must serve as Dionne's political "tonics." Beck has come to the fore of late. Time magazine describes him as: "Leading the lunatic fringe." Vanity Fair as: "A half-informed blowhard." Roseanne Barr as: "A vampire... a death lover." Whoopi Goldberg as: "A lying sack of dog mess." Keith Olbermann, his mouth frothing and eyeballs rotating, assures us that: "Only in his wildest dreams could an actual suicide bomber hope to do as much damage to this country."

Keith: now there's a guy who really, really hates hate.

Professor John Frary of Farmington is a former congressional candidate and retired history professor, a board member of Maine Taxpayers United and an associate editor of the International Military Encyclopedia. and can be reached at: jfrary8070@aol.com.

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