At the end of every year for the past eight years, Jeff Jacoby does a story on liberal hate-speech. Here's the 12/30/01 story.
Smears, slanders from the left
By Jeff Jacoby, 12/30/2001
'' POLITICAL discussion over the last decade has increasingly degenerated into name-calling,'' Brian Anderson wrote in the Manhattan Institute's City Journal earlier this year. ''The insults most often come from the left: `racist,' `homophobe,' `sexist.' ... It has become a habit of left-liberal political argument to ... redefine mainstream conservative arguments as extremism and bigotry. Close-minded and uncivil, this tendency betrays what's liberal in liberalism.''
For eight years now, I have been rounding up examples of liberal hate speech - the gross and vicious slanders of conservatives uttered all too often by mainstream liberals. And it seems to me that as bad as these vitriolic slurs are, even worse is the failure of responsible voices on the left to condemn them.
Where were the responsible liberals in 2001, for example, when Democratic partisans were comparing John Ashcroft to the KKK and his nomination to a lynching party?
Representative William Clay of Missouri, recalling George W. Bush's talk of outreach to black Americans, said that picking Ashcroft resembled ''the way Ku Klux Klan members worked to improve race relations: They, too, reached out to blacks with nooses and burning crosses.'' Steve Benson, a syndicated editorial cartoonist, depicted Ashcroft wearing white robes and enthusiastically brandishing a noose as Bush tells him, ''Easy, John - I said your confirmation should be a cinch - a cinch.''
The chairman of the NAACP reached for a more contemporary smear. Twice Julian Bond declared that Bush had dredged Ashcroft ''from the Taliban wing of American politics.'' That was ugly enough in July, when the Taliban were merely the fanatics who tortured dissidents, crushed human rights, and repressed women so savagely that thousands died from lack of medical care. By December, when Bond repeated his libel, the Taliban were at war with the United States. Yet Bond still saw nothing wrong with his revolting comparison. Neither did America's liberal elite.
Actually, one liberal - USA Today's DeWayne Wickham - did call Bond's words ''overblown.'' I would have taken that as faintly critical, except that he began by chortling over Bond's ability ''to jerk the GOP's chain'' and went on to defend his Republican-bashing. Far from condemning liberal hate speech, Wickham himself traffics in it. In August, he wrote about the uproar over conservative activist David Horowitz's ad opposing reparations for slavery. The column opened with a vile calumny, calling Horowitz ''a man whose views on race relations track closer to those of David Duke than Martin Luther King.''