Kos Diarist Has Little Crush on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
I know I’m a Jewish lesbian and he’d probably have me killed. But still, the guy speaks some blunt truths about the Bush Administration that make me swoon…
She thinks he’s “cuddly” and compares him favorably with Kermit the Frog.
Charles Johnson attributes these views to “new mainstream voice of the Democratic Party,” since they’re at Daily Kos. AllahPundit joins in, calling it “communique from the new center of the Democratic Party.” Not to be outdone, Gateway Pundit proclaims, “The leading democratic blog has a crush on Ahmadinejad! Maybe it’s his Holocaust denying?… Or, maybe it’s just that he wants Israel wiped off the map?”
In fairness, even Kohn acknowledges that Ahmadinejad is a bad guy:
I want to be very clear. There are certainly many things about Ahmadinejad that I abhor — locking up dissidents, executing of gay folks, denying the fact of the Holocaust, potentially adding another dangerous nuclear power to the world and, in general, stifling democracy. Even still, I can’t help but be turned on by his frank rhetoric calling out the horrors of the Bush Administration and, for that matter, generations of US foreign policy preceding.
Kohn’s willingness to overlook a man’s evil because he Speaks Truth to Power is silly, bizarre, wacky, and all manner of other adjectives, clean and otherwise, that come to mind. I’m not sure, though, that it means much other than that Kohn is a rather immature thinker. Is this, as Don Surber suggests, an example of Bush Derangement Syndrome at its finest? Or, as Bruce McQuain argues, moral equivalence at its worst? No doubt.
Representative of the views of Markos Moulitsas, much less the Democratic Party? Uh . . . no. Does anyone really think this is what people like Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or even Teddy Kennedy and Dennis Kucinich really believe?
Now, DiscerningTexan makes a fair point, which recalls the old adage, You lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas:
You will recall of course that all the Democrat candidates paraded like pilgrims to Mecca to the Kos Convention in Chicago earlier this year; and you are aware that the Kossaks are on the front lines of Democrat Party activism and fund raising.
So, especially you centrists out there: the next time you are in the polling place, keep in mind that the Democrats on your ballots–the same ones trying to portray themselves as “moderates” or “centrists”–have been taking huge sums from these nutcases (not to mention criminal “bundlers” like Norman Hsu and other sources eminating from Communist China…). And even nutjobs do not part with their money for nothing; they expect a little ROI. And men like George Soros have been pouring millions into organizations like MoveOn.
There’s a lot of this sort of nonsense at Kos, Democratic Underground, and other essentially unmoderated netroots forums. Then again, there’s quite a bit at places like Free Republic and elsewhere on the right. Red State is more careful about this sort of thing than Kos, but I’m sure one could find some objectionable nonsense there without too awfully much trouble.
Regardless, DT goes too far when he argues:
It is a fact that today’s Democrat Party has become almost exclusively beholden to people who use smear tactics to slime outstanding Americans like Petraeus, and who openly display their affection for mass murderers who have been openly killing US soldiers, executing political dissidents, and mutilating, oppressing, and even killing their own wives and daughters. During the Vietnam War, it was only fringe radicals like Jane Fonda, the Black Panthers, and the Weathermen who used this kind of rhetoric. Today that exception has become the rule for Democrats. No wonder their rhetoric in the last several years has been so full of hate and venom, and so short on ideas that capture the imagination of the voting public.
I agree that the level of discourse has sunk in recent years, as the language and means of expression have gotten more course. Arguably, owing to demographic and cultural issues, there’s more of that on the Left than the Right. Still, the GOP is beholden to its more radical elements, too. Those are the people most likely to be engaged early in the process, to volunteer their time, and to give money.
Kohn’s way of thinking (and much of the reaction to it) represents the real danger of the permanent campaign mode in which American politics has seemingly been mired the last decade or so. We spend far too much time in Us vs. Them mode, emphasizing our not unimportant differences and too little recalling our much more important and numerous commonalities. No mainstream figure in American politics is comparable to Ahmadinejad and it’s not only asinine but destructive to believe otherwise.
Thankfully, as Ed Morrissey notes, those who do constitute “a minute percentage.” But a far larger percentage are but a couple steps away in their thinking, constantly throwing around words like “treason” and “betrayal” when discussing perfectly legitimate actors in our political system that happen to strongly hold different views about what’s best for the country.
UPDATE: An Andrew Sullivan e-mailer sees no end in sight of this polarized atmosphere:
There seems to be an assumption that politicians are divided, but Americans wish to be more united. The problem is: we are the divisions. There is no “us” (citizens) and “them” (national politicians). The pols reflect our divisions.
Sadly, that’s probably right.