The Moral Equivalent Of Boor

On Monday afternoon, Representative Gabrielle Giffords walked back onto the House floor and cast her first vote since Jared Lee Loughner tried to kill her.

If I wrote film scripts, I might simply transcribe this week’s events in Washington. Actually, if I wrote film scripts, I’d be drinking champagne on the French Riviera with Cameron Diaz (because she seems really nice). Mere days after I penned the column The Oslo Discord, comic serendipity served the Democrats with a come-to-Jesus moment.

While the appalling “conservatives = terrorists” rhetoric reached hysterical volumes, something important happened. I am decidedly not referring to the ridiculous budgetary “deal” struck by the suits in Washington, by the way. Granted, the “deal” is important, in the sense that political histrionics followed by a gross dereliction of duty are important. But the serendipitous event to which I refer took place Monday afternoon on the floor of the House of Representatives. Amid the cacophony of virtually every liberal in the country trying to smear his or her opponents with the fecal falsehood of terrorism charges, there was a smile: Representative Gabby Giffords walked back onto the House floor and cast her first vote since Jared Lee Loughner tried to kill her.

You’ll recall the Democrats blamed conservatives for that. When it turned out that Loughner had nothing to do with conservatism, not only did the Democrats and their media accomplices drop coverage of him, they dropped their coverage of Giffords, as well. After all, she was no longer useful as a prop for their freak show. They’re still trying to work with the Anders Breivik-conservative simile, but it’s fading quickly. It’s tough to sell semi-literate teachers’ union victims — and members — on anything involving a mass murderer whose name they can’t pronounce, from a country they’ve never heard of, across an ocean they can’t locate on a map of… the Atlantic Ocean.

Against this backdrop, I ventured into that digital Tower of Babel, Facebook, and posted a link to a story recounting Democratic mouthpiece Chris Matthews’ latest stream of venom. As I perused the attempt by Matthews to claim conservatives are the moral equivalent of terrorists, I realized he was concluding a discussion of Giffords’ return. Even the two sock puppets he’d invited on set to watch him spew invective seemed uncomfortable.

Giffords made a miraculous recovery and retook her place among her colleagues in a remarkably short span, and Matthews celebrated her return by resurrecting the rhetoric of conservatives = terrorists. It’s almost as if he didn’t read last Thursday’s column (horrors!).

Meanwhile, a liberal acquaintance of mine reacted to the link with a torrent of tripe as virulent as a Jeremiah Wright “sermon.” Within a few lines, I had been accused by proxy of being a “terrorist,” a “thug” and — this one never gets old — a “teabagger.” The discussion turned academic as quickly as any attempt to convince a hardened liberal to remove his or her cranium from his or her rectum ever does. But it gave me a chance to engage in the sort of reflection most liberals seem incapable of conducting.

And I have a question for them: What the hell is wrong with you people? Gabby Giffords is back on the House floor. Our spendthrift Congress just worked out a “deal” to essentially play hot potato with the Nation’s financial security. Absolutely none of the economic problems we collectively face has been addressed in any substantive way, and it appears neither hope nor change will be heading our way anytime soon. And the Democrats, from Vice President Joe Biden all the way down to my wayward associate, are still trying to draw a parallel between people who disagree with their politics and people who fly planes into buildings.

Democrats, have you no shame? Do you even wince before you lump a fellow citizen into the same category as Ayman al-Zawahiri for the great crime of political disagreement? Is that really an appropriate equivalency? President Jimmy Carter infamously referred to the 1970s energy “crisis” as “the moral equivalent of war.” His remarks were met with the same derision as virtually everything else the losing admiral from the Battle of the Chattahoochee Bunny said or did. We don’t need a moral equivalent of war; we have actual war. Likewise, we don’t need a moral equivalency of terrorism; we have actual terrorists. It disturbs me that the Democrats can’t tell the difference.

If anyone needs a moral equivalent, here’s one: The financial scheme crafted in Washington this week is the moral equivalent of combating drunk driving by raising the legal blood alcohol level. And the supporters of this bill are the moral equivalents of Ted Kennedy.

–Ben Crystal

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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