Monday, January 17, 2011

P.J. O'Rourke takes on theTimes

In a essay in The Weekly Standard conservative humorist and commentator P.J. O'Rourke takes on the New York Times' hysterical coverage of the Tucson shootings by deranged madman Jared Loughner.

O'Rourke specualtes that the willingness of the Times to publish over-the-top screeds placing the blame for the actions of an insane man with no ties whatsoever to any part of the conservative movement might be a sign that liberalism might be dying or perhaps even already dead:

A reaction so disproportionate and immaterial to a news story by a news organization is indicative of trouble in the body politic​—​trouble almost as severe as that which the Times claims the Giffords shooting indicates. I worry that in the tremors and hysteria of the Times we’re seeing the sad end of liberalism.

O'Rourke goes on to make this observation:

Its passing is to be mourned, perhaps most by true conservatives. -Civilization owes a debt to liberal politics. From the Reform Act and the religious emancipation fight of the British Whigs to the American civil rights movement, liberals have in fact held positions on political high ground (though not during Clinton’s exploitation of the Oklahoma City bombing). Liberals have seen government as a force for good, and sometimes it can be. World War II comes to mind. While conservatives have delighted in the free market, liberals have been there to remind us that all freedoms, including market freedoms, entail responsibilities. At the very least it can be said that we conservatives would not be so upright in our ideals if we hadn’t been pushing against liberals.
O'Rourke is correct, however that day has passed.  Rick Moran has this observation to make about Mr. O'Rourke's comments in a piece on American Thinker:
The kind of classical liberalism that birthed the labor movement, gave impetus to civil rights, and tried to soften the hard edges of capitalism is dead. It died in the protest movement of the late 1960's when those hostile to the American experiment supplanted liberals like Humphrey and Jackson, replacing them with Barney Frank and Dennis Kucinich types. Bred for combat with the right and completely unaware - or unconcerned - about the effects of their radical policies, the New Left has driven us over a cliff.
This is true.  It was once possible to be a liberal and a patriot.  No more.  Can anyone imagine a Democrat holding national elective office saying what FDR said after Pearl Harbor?  Joe Lieberman would hold sentiments like that but he was forced out of the Democrat party for exactly that reason.

"No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God."
I have one disagreement with Mr. Moran.  I think that the left knows exactly what the outcome of their policies will be.  I think that is the point with them.  They want power concentrated in the hands of a central government which will be firmly under their control.  That is their goal and that is the true intent of their policies.