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Young Geoffrey

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Night of the living fascists [Jan. 10th, 2011|09:06 pm]
Young Geoffrey
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The suicidal twilight of the American 'left'

Some thoughts on Keith Olbermann's mea culpa and impotence as policy

"And if those of us considered to be on the left do not re-dedicate ourselves to our vigilance, to eliminate all our own suggestions of violence, however inadvertent they might have been, however mild they might have been, then we too deserve the repudiation of the more sober and peaceful of our politicians, and our viewers, and our networks.

"Here, once, in a clumsy metaphor, I made such an unintended statement about the presidential candidacy of then-senator Clinton. It sounded as if it was a call to physical violence. It was wrong then, it is even more wrong tonight. I apologize for it again and I urge politicians and commentators and citizens of every political conviction to use my comment as a means to recognize the insidiousness of violent imagery ..." — Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann responded to Saturday's shooting of American Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords (and close to 20 others) with a passionate call from arms, a nine-minute plea to "both sides" of the American political discourse to pull back from the rhetoric of violence, as if it is mere imagery that has bred the climate of fear that has seen the American people shed their civil liberties as willingly as they shed their shoes and dignities at their airports.

Olbermann's was a noble and humane call for a return to mutual respect, with an equally noble mea culpa for his own excesses. (The video is at right.)

Noble and humane, Olbermann's call was also blind and utterly wrong-headed.

Really, it is hard to know what is more pathetic: that Olbermann so earnestly calls for reason from the unreasonable or that he lumps his own misdemeanours in with the high crimes of his enemies.

"Tragically, and like most of his fellow-travellers on the so-called left wing of mainstream American politics — Olbermann just doesn't get it. He won't or can't see the truth of what it is that he is up against." Click to read my full article at Edifice Rex Online.

This entry was originally posted at http://ed-rex.dreamwidth.org/211844.html. Comment there using OpenID, or here as per normal.

[User Picture]From: mijopo
2011-01-11 12:59 pm (UTC)
Yes, the "left is just as bad as the right" schtick is getting awfully tiresome. Give me a break, guys, Rush Limbaugh youse ain't.
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From: dewline
2011-01-11 02:00 pm (UTC)
True enough. Self-criticism is one thing, but there's sensible limits even to that.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2011-01-12 05:25 pm (UTC)

Time and place

I guess it's pretty obvious I agree. The time for constructive self-criticism is not when thugs are breaking in your head with jagged rocks.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2011-01-12 05:27 pm (UTC)

Habit and denial?

As I think I said in my piece, I think part of the urge comes from denial about the nature of enemy, but another part may just be the unthinking reflexive habit of our simplified journalism for which there are always (and only) exactly two complementary sides to a story. Ergo, if one side is engaged in extreme rhetoric, the other must be as well.
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[User Picture]From: steelcaver
2011-01-11 06:11 pm (UTC)

Faced with armed insurgents who have merely to start shooting, and he responds with apologies and calls for reason.

This is why no one takes the USA seriously any more. The crazies have gotten to set the agenda and the reasonable people aren't showing any backbone. I'm not going to miss that country when it collapses.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2011-01-12 05:38 pm (UTC)

But I think you will

Miss that country when it collapses, I mean.

First, we live not very far from it. What happens there, for good or ill, affects us. A collapse there will hurt a lot of us here in very real ways.

Second, despite all its problems, I admire its (stated) ideals and would rather it was a force for good in the world than for evil.

And third, a lot of my favourite artists and bloggers are Yanks, y'know?
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2011-01-12 05:39 pm (UTC)

Thank you

I guess the subject-line says it all, but merci.
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