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December 22, 2008

Dissent is Patriotic, As Long As You Don’t Try It Against Democrats


Any American who has paid even shallow attention to the news this millennium has witnessed top Democrats spending much of the Bush presidency propagating the myth that Republicans have been in the business of labeling anti-war Democrats as “unpatriotic.” Of course, many of these Americans also realize that no such labels were ever actually used by President Bush or other high-level Republicans against the Democrats.


(It was, of course, Democratic Senator Bob Graham who labeled Bush’s policies as “anti-patriotic at the core.”)


Regardless, due to a relentless propaganda campaign by the left and its friends in the media, the myth that Republicans dismiss any dissent as “unpatriotic” took hold as reality – and the left countered the straw-man argument by insisting that dissent is very much the definition of patriotism. “Fine,” some of the rest of us thought. “Maybe they care so much about the right of Americans to disagree with others that they are willing to defend that right from even imaginary threats.”


But then Democratic leaders became the powerful majority. And several weeks before their single-party rule even begins, they have already begun to exhibit precisely the same behavior about which they have for so long been expressing faux-outrage. Except that this time, the behavior is real.


After the recent failure of the auto/UAW bailout bill in the U.S. Senate, top Democrats and their political allies unleashed a barrage of severe attacks against the principled, economically versed opponents of the bailout.


After a group of mostly Republican senators successfully halted a colossal misallocation and waste of taxpayer money, Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm – the same governor who has dragged her state into the anti-competitive, economically disastrous mess it is today – declared: “It is unacceptable for this un-American, frankly, behavior of these U.S. senators to cause this country to go from a recession into a depression.” (Emphasis mine.)


Michigan Democratic U.S. Rep. John Dingell explained: “Let’s be clear about what happened in the Senate: Senators from states where the international automakers do considerable business unpatriotically blocked (the bill).” (Emphasis mine.)


It is not to be missed, of course, that Dingell has taken in close to a million dollars from the auto industry, that his wife used to be a lobbyist for General Motors and went on to become one of its senior executives, that he has GM stock worth up to $350,000, and that he has options worth up to $1 million. But it is good to see that these personal interests apparently are not factors for him, as he reassures us that he is instead focused on the “patriotic” benefits of the bailout.

And the chorus would not be complete without United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger, who proclaimed the following about the senators who refused to waste taxpayer money on the costs that the UAW has forced on itself: “They thought perhaps they could have a twofer here maybe: Pierce the heart of organized labor while representing the foreign brands.” (Emphasis mine.)

So, Mr. Gettelfinger, these senators are not only unpatriotic, but also traitors acting on behalf of “foreigners?”

Top Democrats and their key allies have decided not to waste time, going straight to the tactic of demonizing the opposition with the most venomous rhetoric available. And these attacks still only concern an economic issue. One can only wonder what will happen in the event of national security disagreements, and, even more distressingly, when Democrats actually commence their single-party rule in January.


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did briefly try an alternative route following the failure of the bailout bill by announcing: “I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow. It’s not going to be a pleasant sight.” Of course the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were all up the next day, proving Reid as wrong as he was on the Iraq War he conclusively declared as “lost.”


But otherwise, Democratic leaders did not even try to address the principled arguments of the bailout bill’s opponents, and instead bypassed a debate on facts and policy to go straight to the old game of North versus South, and to the same type of vitriolic attacks they claimed to abhor only months ago. The minority must be careful – it turns out that dissent is only patriotic when it is the Democrats’.

© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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