Joel Pollak at Breitbart.com writes, Liberal Intolerance: You Believe What?:
I was at a dinner recently where I happened to be seated at a table with new acquaintances of the liberal political persuasion.
We went around the table introducing ourselves. As I said that I work for a “conservative website,” a man at the far end of the table made his displeasure known by booing. He wasn’t kidding.
These were professional, accomplished, senior members of the community. They had never met a conservative before. Their first reaction was hostile. No one chided the man who booed, or apologized on his behalf for his rudeness, or laughed to break the tension.
Instead, I began to face questions: you really support what Boehner is doing?
Yes, I replied. He’s doing the right thing by standing up to the president. Gasps.
Look, I said, trying to be diplomatic. I understand how Democrats see this. Democrats believe that these extremists have taken over the Republican Party, and they don’t like government much anyway, and–
“They can’t stand the fact that a black man is in the White House!” someone interjected.
That’s not true, I said. Oh, yes it is, they said….
The conversation was cut short by the sound of a glass tapping at the next table, for a toast. We never did come back to the question of whether I was a racist who could not stand a black man as president.
I doubt these folks thought of themselves as mean people. But I am certain many other conservatives have had similar interactions among liberals in elite, polite society. Worldly as they are, they have no clue.
Law Professor Stephen Bainbridge writes in response to Pollak:
Been there. Done that. I’ve never seen conservatives–other than TV talking heads on the boob tube– be as rude to liberals as some liberals are to us. Ever.
We’ve all encountered that.
Usually, it’s in a situation where the insult is just tossed into the flow of a conversation — almost always in a group setting where the perp feels emboldened — and then the conversation moves in other directions. The rude barb just becomes part of the landscape.
We’ve gone too long allowing a perjorative landscape.
It’s why the most Senior Democrats feel free to call us the worst possible names and taunt us in a demeaning manner. They receive no pushback from our Senior politicians for the venom spewing from their mouths. We’ve become The Grand Old Punching Bag Party.
Compare the rude, vicious terms from Obama and his spokespeople, and Senior Democrats such as Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Nancy Pelosi and others, with the gentlemanly behavior of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.
There is plenty of push back and name-calling on both sides at lower levels and on the blogosphere, but it’s qualitatively different when it comes from The White House and the Democratic Party House and Senate leadership.
When the leadership of the Republican Party does not push back against the leadership of the Democratic Party for the name-calling and taunts, it’s an invitation to more attacks, and it sets a national tone.
We’ve become punching bags. At dinner and at the highest political levels.
Social psychologists and police officers tend to agree that if a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken. This is as true in nice neighborhoods as in rundown ones. Window-breaking does not necessarily occur on a large scale because some areas are inhabited by determined window-breakers whereas others are populated by window-lovers; rather, one unrepaired broken window is a signal that no one cares, and so breaking more windows costs nothing.
My resolution for this 6th year of Legal Insurrection is to confront liberal intolerance on the spot. No more broken windows at dinners. Senior Republican politicians should do the same, in Congress.DONATE
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