Magazine article The Spectator

The American Left Goes Nuts

Magazine article The Spectator

The American Left Goes Nuts

Article excerpt

I THINK I speak for most right-wing bastards when I say that we take a quiet pride in being reviled as patently insane. In recent years, Bill Clinton has blamed congressional Republicans for the Oklahoma bombing and Jesse Jackson has fingered Newt as the root cause of a wave of black church burnings (a completely fictional wave, as it turned out). When a young gay man was beaten up and hung out to die on a fence in Wyoming, this crime was laid at the feet of the Republican Senate leader Trent Lott, even though the two bar-room bozos who did it have never heard of Senator Lott. (I wish I could say the same.) When an abortionist in Buffalo was murdered by a sniper, the religious Right were responsible because of their campaign of 'hate' - i.e., a quaint attachment to what every major religion on the planet regards as the sanctity of human life.

You could make a more compelling case that Al Gore inspired the Unabomber's murder campaign given that, to judge from the extensively annotated copy of Al's book on environmentalism found in the eco-terrorist's Montana cabin, he's the only guy who's managed to get past page seven without falling asleep. But no one would dream of accusing Al of fomenting hate because he's so obviously reasonable and Republicans, with their vast army of gun kooks and religious wackoes, are so obviously nuts.

But, sad to say, the strains of defending Bill Clinton are taking their toll of America's Left. In the Nineties, Democrat success has been predicated on a winning formula of sounding conservative but house-trained, Republican but sedated. But, having stolen the Right's policies, Democrats are now stealing the Right's eye-rolling, foaming-at-the-mouth, flippedtheir-lid, out-of-their-tree, loonier-thanthou demeanour. There are still odd pockets of calm among Clinton defenders; for example, Time's Margaret Carlson sympathetically suggested the other day that `we all have a little Clinton in us'. Er, that sounds like wishful thinking on your part, Margaret. But these days the tone is more typically set by the likes of Hollywood hunk Alec Baldwin appearing on NBC television. Invited to share his thoughts on the impeachment debate, the great thinker and rumoured Democratic congressional candidate unburdened himself: `If we were in other countries, we would all right now, all of us together, go down to Washington and we would stone Henry Hyde to death.' Warming to his theme, he continued, And we would go to their homes and we'd kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families.'

The Capitol Police in Washington have launched an inquiry to see whether Baldwin's remarks constitute a death threat. I have some sympathy for the excitable fellow. I was gratuitously abusive of him and his wife, Kim Basinger, in The Wall Street Journal last year and he responded rather drolly. It seems barely credible that a chap should let himself get so worked up over Bill Clinton. But, like the President, Democrats now wander about permanently aroused. John Conyers, the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, regularly denounces the impeachment process as 'a right-wing coup d'etat'. When he's really working the crowd, he adds that it's also 'a crime against the United States and the people' perpetrated by `clinical psychopathic' Republicans.

Russell Baker, gentleman columnist of the New York Times, despises the GOP as desperate `to cleanse the Republic of a President they portray as abominable and loathsome, and quite possibly Satanic'. But just where, as a matter of interest, are they doing all this 'portraying'? During the House 'debate', the clinical psychopaths mostly contented themselves with more-insorrow-than-in-anger recitations of their constitutional duty, dressed up with the odd quotation from the Federalist Papers. In between, the Democrats rose again and again to reiterate and amplify the Conyers line: it was a `coup d'etat' by `right-wing Christian Coalition extremists', said one Congresswoman; `constitutional assassination' by 'provocateurs', said another, who would, added a colleague, have `blood on their hands'. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.