Kevin at Rant Me a River on a recent piece by Anna Quindlen:
Rant Me A River: Mortal Kombat, The Real Deal
So, Anna, you more highly intelligent being, weaned on “stickball, bocce, poker and chess”: you think a “change in tone” of the debate by Kerry and Bush is going to change the civil war that’s boiling? Dream on.
Though I agree with his take, he’s more generous with Quindlen than I am. The fact is that Quindlen is being completely intellectually dishonest. The very first thing George W. Bush offered was a “New Tone.” He invited Ted Kennedy to the White House and practically let him write the No Child Left Behind Act while conservatives were still calling for school choice. He tripped over himself to be kind to Democrats. He hugged Tom Daschle and said “thanks friend,” a moment that Daschle proudly includes in his desperate campaign ads as he faces losing reelection for opposing a President so popular in his home state.
If she were intellectually honest she would also admit that all the personal hatred is on one side. I don’t know any mainstream Republican who ever said they hated Bill Clinton. The Democrats have built their entire campaign on hating George W. Bush and “hate” is the word used by a significant number of them. I commented on this back in January at LiveJournal, when I read someone who ‘really, really hate[d] George W. Bush.” (It was a responde to that post that sent me into the more overtly political blogosphere in a serious way. Unfortunately, in looking at liberal blogs and even editorializing from liberal “journalists,” I’ve found more of this visceral, unreasoning hatred in places that should know better.)
I don’t hate John Kerry, I just think he’s the wrong Senator in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don’t hate John Edwards, I just don’t live in his lily-white, rich, liberal America.
Quindlen is simply disingenuous. The hate speech is all coming from one side. The other side has bent over backwards to avoid it. As Kerry lied about his own record and lied about George W. Bush at the first Presidential debate, Bush simply shook his head and then went on to discuss issues. The closest Kerry’s opponents come to what she’s talking about is questioning the conduct in Vietnam and after he returned home of a candidate who has made his Vietnam service the only issue in the campaign. Yet even the Swift Boat Veterans have never said, at least as a gruop, that they “hate” John Kerry. They’ve said he’s unfit for command. Guess what, I know lots of people who aren’t fit to be Commander in Chief who I not only don’t hate, but I love, myself foremost among them.
Anna, I don’t hate you, but I have to shake my head and wish that you and yours would raise the level of political discourse by not lying.