Open season on conservatives

Jonah Goldberg points out how the left is stringing together two disconnected acts, the killing of abortionist George Tiller and the Holocaust museum shooting, to paint conservatives in dangerous light. Here's the link.The crux of the argument should be no surprise to anyone who reads the mainstream media -- namely, that angry right-wingers are taking their guns and going hunting for women, minorities, disabled people and anyone else who stands for "truth, justice and the (progressive) American way". Such broad, general linkages are in themselves offensive, of course -- but that doesn't get in the way of what Goldberg rightly calls "the whole point of these exercises (which) is to paint the Right as an undifferentiated blob of evil."

An equally interesting aspect of Goldberg's argument is the link he sees to a particularly virulent strain of anti-Semitism on the left. The left seems to think that U.S. foreign policy is in the clutches of the Jews -- a grip that liberal commentators link clearly to Bush-style neoconservatism:

After all, for years, mainstream liberalism and other outposts of paranoid Bush hatred have portrayed neoconservatives - usually code for conservative Jews and other supporters of Israel - as an alien, pernicious cabal. "They have penetrated the culture at nearly every level from the halls of academia to the halls of the Pentagon," observed the New York Times. "They've accumulated the wherewithal financially [and] professionally to broadcast what they think over the airwaves to the masses or over cocktails to those at the highest levels of government."

NBC's Chris Matthews routinely used the word "neocon" as if it was code for "traitor." He asked one guest whether White House neocons are "loyal to the Kristol neoconservative movement, or to the president." Von Brunn may have wondered the same thing, which is why he reportedly had the offices of Bill Kristol's Weekly Standard on his hit list.

Unhinged Bush-hater Andrew Sullivan insists that "The closer you examine it, the clearer it is that neoconservatism, in large part, is simply about enabling the most irredentist elements in Israel and sustaining a permanent war against anyone or any country who disagrees with the Israeli right." Leading liberal intellectual Michael Lind warned about the alarming fact that "the foreign policy of the world's only global power is being made by a small clique" of neoconservative plotters.

Even with Bush out of the picture, some see the problem emerging again. Just this week, Jeremiah Wright, the president's longtime mentor and pastor, whined that "Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me."

It is easy to see why I and others see Obama as a less-than-stalwart friend of Israel. The sentiment Goldberg outlines -- a view that has been echoed by prominent academics John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in their book "The Israeli Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" seems consistent with Obama's recent pressure on Israel to roll-back West Bank settlements and pursue a "two state" solution with the Palestinians -- not to mention his desire to engage in high-level diplomacy with the greatest existential threat to Israel -- the Islamic Republic of Iran His recent speech in Cairo to the "Muslim world" also carried a theme that was critical of Israel's efforts at self-defense -- a message that wasn't lost on the Israelis. Taken together, it is clear that the Obama administration sees the stalwart support of Israel -- a bedrock of U.S. Foreign Policy since the state of Israel was formed in 1947 -- as a something that is consistent with Bush Administration Middle East policy that it is trying to distance itself from.

At the root of all this, of course, is an effort to de-legitimize conservatism by linking it to radical movements that the left can easily define as "evil". It allows commentators in the mainstream media to demonize conservatives as being on the fringe, and thus makes it acceptable to make disparaging remarks against them. When Carrie Prejean, the former Miss California, had the guts to give her opinion on gay marriage, the left wing media pounced, calling her all kinds of names in a bevy of personal attacks. Such is also the case with Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and others. If you can successfully paint those who hold conservative views as worthy of scorn, it is open season. Is this is the post-partisan, hope-filled change that Obama has promised?

Donald Douglas, who I have linked to frequently, has an important take on this -- and it is worth reading. He calls it nothing short of a "civil war" -- traditional values versus a "postmodernism" that has moral relativism as its foundation:

As regular readers well know, it's my personal belief that radical left-wing ideology is the greatest threat to the country today. Leftist radicalism and demonology is manifested not just in the corrosive political discourse of the online fever swamps, but on television with the likes of David Letterman and Keith Olbermann. Most importantly, radical postmodernism has reached the apex of power, with President Barack Obama's post-structural presidency. In general, the present danger from the left isn't the potential for violence or rebellion, it's the slow erosion of right and wrong in politics, and the steady weakening of America's exceptionalism and moral resolve in the face of domestic and international crises. The United States will be just another nation, if the leftists have their way. Excellence will be prohibited. Everyone will be "equal." No foreign nations will threaten us, and in time the U.S. will go the way of all other great hegemonic powers.

This is perfectly said -- and a wake up call to those who see the United States as a good and decent country where the tradition of hard work, individual liberty and political and religious freedom make it the envy of the world. Those values are under attack now from all quarters, and we ignore it at our peril.