May 15, 2007

Little Love For the Departed: A Roundup of Liberal Reaction to Jerry Falwell's Passing

I'm not a fan of Jerry Falwell, who died today shortly after being found unconscious in his office at Liberty University at the age of 73. That said, I am quite disgusted with the pathological hatred displayed by liberal bloggers in their reactions to his death.


Jerry Falwell collapsed in his office this morning, and he’s in the hospital, and he’s “gravely unresponsive.”

At a time like this, people deserve sympathy and good wishes ... except for Falwell, who is an evil sonofabitch.

John Edward's former campaign blogger Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon:

The gates of hell swing open and Satan welcomes his beloved son

No word yet on whether or not that position is shared by John and Elizabeth Edwards campaign, or how Edward's staff will spin this into a fundraising opportunity.

Tapped goes for a "twofer" slam:

I'm waiting for Pat Robertson to find a way to blame his rival's death on either feminists or witchcraft.

Daily Kos:

The hagiography to cover up a history of hate and bigotry has officially begun.

A litany of hate at the Democratic Underground.

The "Blog of the Moderate Left" is surprisingly immoderate:

I wish I believed in Hell, so I could imagine Falwell enduring the eternal torment he wished on so many.

Technorati is tracking far more venom than I even want to contemplate, and as always, Allahpundit and Newsbuckit have running updates to capture the full flavor of the Democratic hatefest.

Perhaps I'm just blind by my own biases, but I don't recall similar widespread, triumphant glee and gloating from conservatives the last time a prominent liberal activist or politician died.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 15, 2007 02:27 PM

Molly Ivans ring a bell?

Posted by: Angryflower at May 15, 2007 02:48 PM

And then other Conservatives came and smacked those haters around, like when Elizabeth Edwards was found to have cancer. We police our own wacko's. Can you say the same, Tom? Cause it says something about the left side of the Internet that when something like this happens, the second thing to go through many Conservatives minds (after offering prayers and condolences to the family and friends) is to head to our favorite lefty spot and watch the hate.

I had the same thought on fundraising, Bob. My bet is on 2 days.

Posted by: William Teach at May 15, 2007 03:04 PM

Rachel Corrie?

What exactly did she think was going to happen when she stood infront of a bulldozer (that was plowing under tunnels used for weapons smuggling)?

Posted by: headhunt23 at May 15, 2007 03:10 PM

angry, do you have specific examples of such hate from prominent conservative bloggers?

The sad fact of the matter is that liberals have far more compassion (or at least spouted far less venom) over the deaths of Yassir Arafat and Saddam Hussein than they did Falwell.

Of course, you didn't really see them as your enemy as you did Falwell, so perhaps that has something to do with it.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at May 15, 2007 03:10 PM

President Bush's Statement on the Passing of Molly Ivins

Molly Ivins was a Texas original. She was loved by her readers and by her many friends, particularly in Central Texas. I respected her convictions, her passionate belief in the power of words, and her ability to turn a phrase. She fought her illness with that same passion. Her quick wit and commitment to her beliefs will be missed. Laura and I send our condolences to Molly Ivins' family and friends.

Yeah, Angryflower, that's pretty hateful stuff.

Posted by: Magoo at May 15, 2007 03:12 PM

Molly Ivans ring a bell?

Molly I-v-i-n-s, and yeah, it does.

Posted by: Ric James at May 15, 2007 03:19 PM

RE headhunt23's Rachel Corrie comment:

He was responding to a post by an angry liberal named "Tom" who violated site posting guidelines in his post, while attempting to provide some moral equivilence with the death of terrorist sympathizer Rachel Corrie.

The fact of the matter is that Rachel Corrie belonged to group called the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a front group for Palestinian terrorists. Corrie was killed attempting to protect weapons smuggling tunnels. You can see some of her fellow ISMers posing with weapons and a member of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade here.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at May 15, 2007 03:25 PM

Molly Ivans ring a bell?

Not anymore.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at May 15, 2007 03:31 PM

I don't speak for other leftists. I can't defend how others might feel about Falwell's passing. But I can speak for myself.

This man declared war on me because I am an agnostic, a liberal, a First Amendment absolutist, a believer in equal protection under the law and a believer in a Constitutional right to privacy. That I'm also a veteran, a good father and a loyal husband meant nothing to Falwell.

This is what he said about 9/11:

"I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"

This is what he said about the ACLU, the people who defended Oliver North and Rush Limbaugh:

“The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews.”

This is what he said about those of us who do not believe as he believed:

“If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being.”

I don't rejoice in this man's death and I find it sad that we're so polarized that others would find it a cause for celebration, but that polarization is partly the fruit of Falwell's life.

If I were more religously inclined I might say that that it's Falwell's karma coming back on him.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at May 15, 2007 04:09 PM
polarization is partly the fruit of Falwell's life.

Indeed. This is, after all, the man that blamed Americans for 9/11 and relished the thought of gay men dying of AIDS.

You want to talk pathological, let's start with Falwell.

Posted by: jpe at May 15, 2007 04:23 PM

I detest everything Jimmy Carter did as President and since.

He is a disgrace to this country, and about the only good he has done is Habitat For Humanity.

It would be very easy to go on and on, yet, suffice to say, when he passes, I will mourn a fellow human being, since it is not him I hate, but his policies. It seems that the Left cannot separate the policies from the person, due to their decades long campaign known as the "politics of personal destruction."

Posted by: William Teach at May 15, 2007 04:38 PM

Jerry Falwell was a polarizing force. I shall not miss him, nor shall I eulogize him. I think the best thing a liberal can do is remain silent. Let him sink into the shadow of history and be forgotten.

Posted by: stewart sternberg at May 15, 2007 04:46 PM

Non-hypothetical question, Stewart: how much will the liberals freak out if the Conservatives accord the same treatement to Carter or Clinton?

Posted by: William Teach at May 15, 2007 04:53 PM

Stewart is right. When you really think about it, Falwell was basically an extremist preacher. Why so many news organizations went to him as their go-to man on right-wing politics is not something I've figured out. From the CNN website it appears his death is getting almost attention as Gerald Ford's got.

Posted by: Teghmuson at May 15, 2007 05:07 PM

I think that from the liberal perspective, Falwell's post-9/11 comments sort of draw this sort of fire. He was also known to have said that God sent hurricanes to punish gays in Florida and partiers in New Orleans (though he stopped that line of argument when God sent one to Virginia Beach). No word on why God wanted to punish all the other people in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas who had their homes and businesses destroyed.

It is, of course, still bad form to speak ill of the dead, whatever one might have thought of them while alive. What goes around, after all, comes around.

At the fringes, stupid people say stupid things, and being right is no excuse for being rude. As I used to tell my ex when she angrily called me names: "Just because it's true doesn't mean you have to say it."

But I'm not so sure it is easy to see that conservatives police their own wackos. I don't have time to look for specific examples right now, but from the liberal perspective calling us "unhinged" and "godless" and "traitor" is deeply insulting, if not hateful. I have seen some of this on this very blog, in fact, directed at me. Just look at the blog post titles on this page right now: "liberal hysteria," "surrendercrats," "nutroots." Is this the sort of rhetoric conservatives blame on liberals?

Really, all you have to do is listen to Rush Limbaugh for an hour, and you will hear him insult democratic politicians and activists over and over (and it's getting worse lately--his little musical satire pieces must be pretty funny to some, but they are deeply insulting and hateful if you think about it from the perspective of the targets. If I were John Edwards, I would go to his studio and teach him a lesson. He is really, in the end, only a bully). Better yet, browse around Newsmax of Town Hall for a while. It turns the corner from insult and satire to hate pretty quickly there.

Sticks and stones, and all that. But liberals have no monopoly on this sort of stuff, and it is not clear if anyone is policing it. Someone is buying Ann Coulter's books--but Ward Churchill hasn't sold a book lately.

Posted by: R. Stanton Scott at May 15, 2007 05:19 PM

The liberals’ hate-filled comments on many, many blogs are disgusting and have really angered me. This proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that the “tolerance” liberals claim to have a monopoly on is a clearcut sham and their “love” is a perversion and delusion they have. They only love and have tolerance for themselves and their own kind. They practice an evil form of prejudice wrapped in the skin of hypocrisy. And for that they condemn themselves and their kind. I pity them.

Posted by: Carl at May 15, 2007 05:28 PM


I wonder who it is you're talking about. I'm a liberal and I know many. To a person they are good, kind, and generous people who have families and love this country. I also know many conservatives and I'd say they're the same.

So who is it you're talking about? It's easy to attack "them" and say "they" are like this or that. It's far different when you realize you're talking about your neighbors, people you would call on in an emergency, or people you would, I hope, reach out to help if they needed it.

The liberals, just in my immediate circle of people I'm honored to call friends and family, are soldiers, intelligence officers, retired military, police, a minister, and a retired foreign service officer that George HW Bush and Colin Powell called a hero of the first Gulf War.

They are all what you would call a liberal. Are these the people you're talking about? Because if they are, I have to say you honestly don't know them.

Like I said, it's easy to talk aboput "them."

You want to get angry at people who post ugly things, go ahead, but I just went on Free Republic and found a few posters there who wished Molly Ivins off by calling her a bitch. The majority of commenters were respectful, and I admired that, but I'm not about to rail against conservatives for the cruel comments of a few.

I suggest you stop labeling people and start getting out more. You need to widen your circle of friends.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at May 15, 2007 05:45 PM

Carl, saying that intolerance of intolerance is somehow anathema to tolerance quite simply does not make much sense. Falwell said a lot of hateful things in his life. I wonder if he got a chance to debate St. Peter at the pearly gates as to whether God really is pro-segregation.

Also, CY, I do not know if this is the sort of character you want to be claiming for conservatism.

Posted by: Shochu John at May 15, 2007 05:48 PM

Well said David!

Posted by: Teghmuson at May 15, 2007 05:48 PM

"Of course, you didn't really see them as your enemy as you did Falwell, so perhaps that has something to do with it."

What on earth did I say for you to make that judgment about me in particular?

Absolutely nothing.

Take your generalizations and shove them up your ass.

Carl, everything you've written there can be applied to the "other side". What a waste of space.

That's the whole point. Nobody gives a rats ass about Jerry Falwell. This is just more gas on the partisan fire, and the *very first thing* the blogs on the right did was look up the left blogs. Which I guarantee you the reverse would be true if a prominent lefty died.

It's silly nobody can see past this, and in the meantime nothing meaningful is accomplished and everyone just hates each other a little more.


Posted by: Angryflower at May 15, 2007 05:51 PM

"...due to their decades long campaign known as the 'politics of personal destruction.'"

Mr. Teach, you have got to be kidding me. Liberals are rank amateurs at the politics of personal destruction when compared to the Sagrettis, Atwaters and Roves of the GOP.

Who was it who made the Purple Heart a joke by putting it on a band-aid? You may not like John Kerry's politics, but by God, the man put himself in harm's way for this country and all the GOP could do was ask if he'd bled enough? As a veteran, I was disgusted.

And Max Cleland? Putting his picture up next to Bin Laden's after he left three limbs in Vietnam?

What about Paul O'Neil, a good Republican, or Richard Clarke, General Zinni, General Shinseki, General Batiste, the list goes on and on, all good solid Americans who served honorably, only to have their character questioned because they had the audacity to criticize George Bush.

And let's look at what the Bush campaign did to one of their own, John McCain, in the 2000 primaries. They implied that he'd fathered a black baby and that he was crazy from his time as a POW. This was a fellow Republican who happened to run against Bush.

And whether you like her or not, because her husband wrote a piece in the NY Times critical of the president, these people outted a CIA agent. I don't want to hear any hair-splitting about whether she was covert or not. The fact is, she worked for the CIA on nuclear non-proliferation, and her outting endangered the lives of countless people. I know people who work at Langley, on the right and the left, and they don't take kindly to this type of reckless behavior.

Politics of personal destruction? Rich Bond, when he was head of the GOP, said that people like me weren't real Americans, just as Jerry Falwell blamed people like me for 9/11.

The landscape is littered with the people who have been attacked and vilified by Republican operatives. We liberals are playing sandlot ball in this game.

Physician, heal thyself.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at May 15, 2007 06:06 PM

David, all you managed to do was throw it at the wall, yet, you have neither defended Democrats and their person smear campaigns, nor distanced yourself from the hate filled venom at liberal sites.

Posted by: William Teach at May 15, 2007 06:09 PM

Mr. Teach,

I gave you specific examples of the politics of personal destruction. You have only made bland accusations. I can't defend accusations without specifics and if you read my post further up, you'll see that I have no truck with venom from either side.

You'll find I can be quite even-handed in my wrath, but you have to give me the chance.

I can't respond to blather.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at May 15, 2007 06:13 PM

Mr. Terrenoire: Man, I wish I had said that. Very well said, every word.

Posted by: R. Stanton Scott at May 15, 2007 06:49 PM

Thank you, Mr. Scott.

All I'm trying to do is get people to think before they call their neighbor a villain, and to get beyond these labels of left and right, liberal and conservative.

You want to talk policy, I'm your man, but pirate wannabes like Mr. Teach thrive on unchallenged generalities.

Arr, me thinks he may be fightin' shadows to the larboard whilst his men and fine-bosomed wenches be sneaking his gold away by the lee.

That's all the pirate talk this ground-pounder can muster. Maybe Mr. Teach can give us a lesson or two in the nautical palaver.


Posted by: David Terrenoire at May 15, 2007 07:08 PM

He made fun of my purple color and purse so God smoted his funky butt! About time Lord!

Bottom Line- Falwell was Christian Taliban. For all of those he turned on... there were many others he helped tune out.

Posted by: Tinkie Winkie Tele-Tubie at May 15, 2007 07:16 PM

Can ANYONE be AT ALL surprised by the sheer amount of leftist hatred and venom-spewing on these blogs today?
Sadly, it has become routine and expected on these blogs. This easily rivals anything I've ever seen put forth by the most prominent hate groups in this country.

And to the guy comparing the celebration and mocking of a fellow American's death to the highly-laughable so-called "outing" of Valerie Plame.....LOL!!! --You can't be serious. (The sad thing is- you most likely are).

Posted by: Charley Stanton at May 15, 2007 07:20 PM


I'm that guy. And the comment was made in response to the politics of personal destruction, not specifically to Falwell's death or the blog response to it.

However, if you want to talk about Plame's outting, I'm you huckleberrey.

If you think so little of the people who work at Langley that you think this incident was "laughable", then I'd love to introduce you to some people who would disagree.

There's a code in the intel community, and whether what Armitage did was legal or not, it was wrong. You don't talk about these things, even if everyone in town knows the score.

I went into the mountains of Bolivia to retrieve secret crypto gear even though that same gear had already been captured by the Koreans on the Pueblo. Why did we go? Because, eventhough the communists had the gear, it was still classified and therefore, we had to get it before the rebels did.

There is a code, Charley. Revealing Plame's name violated that code. It was wrong and it hurt our antiiterror efforts and it put an unknown number of people in danger.

You might find that "laughable" but I can assure you, there are a lot of people who do not.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at May 15, 2007 07:48 PM

Sorry. I should have said, we, as in the United States, went into the mountains of Bolivia. I don't know anyone who was actually on that op.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at May 15, 2007 07:55 PM

David Terrenoire wrote in his laundry list of conservative "personal destruction," the following:

"And Max Cleland? Putting his picture next to Bin Laden's after he left three limbs in Vietnam?"

I am happy you mentioned this, because I want to confront you and everyone who repeats this DAMNED LIE.

Here is the link to the Saxby Chambliss ad you are lying about.

Watch it.

Now, the next time you say Max Cleland's picture was "put next to Bin Laden's," you will know you are a damned liar. And so will everybody else.

Posted by: L.N. Smithee at May 15, 2007 07:57 PM

Oh my, not exactly next to Cleland's, but within seconds of it.

Yeah, that's a real catch you made there, L.N.

I guess you got me.

When you want to talk about the substance of that smear, let me know, but if all you want to do is talk about edits, I have better things to do.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at May 15, 2007 08:02 PM


Let's take a look at that ad you're defending. The ad shows pictures of Bin Laden and other bad guys, then shows Cleland's picture abnd says Cleland voted against the Homeland Security bill 11 time. What it doesn't tell you is that Cleland voted against the bill because Bush wanted to strip away civil service protections for employees. And, of course, it doesn't tell us that Cleland supported the creation of a Department of Homeland Security when Bush was against it.

Cleland originally co-sponsored the bill and eventually supported it, but as the bill moved through Congress, he cast a number of votes against it in hopes of getting a better bill. And one of the GOP's ads had Cleland's face morph into Saddam Hussein's while suggesting that Cleland didn't care about the security of the American people. Both Hagel and McCain came out against the ad.

Remember, this was a guy who won a Silver Star while his opponent, Saxby Chamblis, got a deferment for a bad knee.

That's the substance of this ad you're defending L.N. But if you think my mistake about an edit is more important than the substance, then you keep hanging onto that.

But to me, if that's all you've got, I think it's pathetic.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at May 15, 2007 08:31 PM

Well, you've revealed yourself to be quite the weasel, haven't you, David? You have better things to do than correct your dirty partisan smears?

I put the truth in your face, and you still can't see the light. At NO moment in that 30 second spot do Cleland's photo and Bin Laden's appear at the same time, as has been suggested ad nauseum by Teresa Heinz Kerry (who said it was the moment she decided to switch parties) and other Demo party hacks for the last four years. Now you're suggesting it doesn't make a difference whether it was Cleland's photo NEXT TO bin Laden's, or if it shown within seconds of his. Have you considered that the difference was significant enough that the Kerrys, Terry McAuliffe, and other Donkey Partiers couldn't tell the truth about the spot? Do you honestly think that when trying to rally the uninformed about reasons to distrust the Republicans, "next to" and "within seconds of" have the same impact?

This is reminiscent of the New York Times putting on its front page an allegation that the RNC was trying to slip a subliminal message in a 2000 ad by having the word "RATS" flash on the screen faster than the eye could see. What did the complainers think "RATS" was about, anyway? "Oh no, the Democrats are rats! I must exterminate them with my vote!"

And then there's the recent ridiculous accusations of stoking Southern white racism by having a blonde white bimbo winking at Harold Ford, Jr., like they would have been just fine with the lighthearted attack ad if the bimbo had been black. Your ilk work overtime to find an angle that makes conservative campaigning evil by nature of being conservative. The sad thing is, that nonsense works on the ill-informed. Witness Al Sharpton's minions, blind to their leader's record of bigotry and bloodguilt.

It's amazing to read and listen to characters like you, who think that you're more intelligent than the general populace who would be fooled by Rovian mind tricks. I personally don't think Rove is a evil genius because I don't think he's a genius at all. But since so many people are willing to believe he is, maybe I'm wrong.

You had better check your other items on that list, Dave. You haven't done your homework. You're just a DNC parrot. Look down at your paper beneath your perch. If it's not the NY Times, you might learn something.

Posted by: L.N. Smithee at May 15, 2007 08:39 PM

but from the liberal perspective calling us "unhinged" and "godless" and "traitor" is deeply insulting

There's a lot of people who call themselves liberals who do unhinged, godless, and traitorous things. Like the mountains of hostility coming out today, the glee they take in killing babies, negotiating with the leaders of enemy nations behind the back of the U.S. government...

What's insulting is complaining about people who call this behavior out instead of complaining about the behavior.

Posted by: Heather at May 15, 2007 08:55 PM


Now that the almighty mountain climber has degenerated this conversation into a Plame "outing"....
I wonder if there's a code in the intel community that you don't send an agent's husband- who lacks ANY intelligence background- on a sensitive mission, without a confidentiality agreement, at the suggestion of someone walking by the office.

If the CIA had really wanted her identity to be kept secret, it would simply not allow her husband to write an op-ed filled with proven lies in the NY Times.

Laughable?? yes. LOL!!

Posted by: Charley Stanton at May 15, 2007 08:58 PM


Let's see, you've called me a liar, a damned liar, a weasel, and a DNC parrot.

I, on the other hand, have limited by responses to your argument about the edit. I still contend that, while correct, you're missing the larger picture.

But considering this was a thread about the politics of personal attacks, I think you've proven my point.

Thank you.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at May 15, 2007 09:00 PM


You honestly don't know what you're talking about. I suggest you do a simple Google search on Wilson's background as it applies to Niger.

Really, it's not that hard.

Then look up why George HW Bush called the man a hero.

Thanks. This has been fun.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at May 15, 2007 09:06 PM

LN: David Terrenoire is indeed more intelligent than the general populace. And you cannot deny that the man can write circles around anyone else here. So what? Doesn't make me feel small.

Pick the nits if you will, but the truth is that the ads you mention are masterpieces of marketing that deliver an insulting message to a target demographic very effectively, even as they permit people like you to stand on the thin reed of technical fact to argue that they are simply innocent advertisements developed by innocent consultants who would never attack anyone's character.

And it is telling that in a discussion thread about liberal hatred you cannot respond to Mr. Terrenoire's comments without calling him names and implying that there is something wrong with being intelligent. You sound like a petulant child whose best friend just pointed out that his new invention doesn't work: "You're not so smart! Weasel!"

Saying so may earn me a rebuke from CY for incivility. Would not be the first time. But some of you folks can't even complain about liberal hatred without displaying--conservative hatred! Those of you who fit these shoes--and you sadly may not even know who you are--should shut up about the kettle until you've scrubbed the bottom of the pot.

Mr. Terrenoire: Please pardon the atrociously mixed metaphor.

Posted by: R. Stanton Scott at May 15, 2007 09:14 PM

The Right corrals and controls it's own wackos and kooks. The Left not only embraces theirs, but celebrates their bitterness and hatred. A stark contrast and one we have been covering as well on Conclub. Marcotte and her hounds at Pandagon went out of their way to embarrass themselves today. It was a sight to see and experience. What planet do those people live on anyway?

Posted by: The Infidel Sage at May 16, 2007 12:39 AM

David Terrenoire wrote:

But if you think my mistake about an edit is more important than the substance, then you keep hanging onto that.

But to me, if that's all you've got, I think it's pathetic.

About your "substance"...funny, it's almost verbatim what is published in the leftist millionaire-funded SourceWatch wikipage on Max Cleland under the category "Political Slanderings." A good deal of the post I originally responded to has that familiar SourceWatch ring about it, too.

Don't act like this is a small matter about the proper positioning of the picture of Osama; the long and the short of this DNC/Kerry talking point was the notion that Saxby Chambliss associated Cleland with Bin Laden, somehow implying this would have the impact of making Georgians with feeble synapses believe the two were in cahoots.

But this time, you parrot SourceWatch's insistence that an anti-Cleland attack ad morphed his face into Saddam Hussein's rather than simply placing it next to Osama Bin Laden's. Funny how a Google search shows many believe that it was Osama's face that was morphed from Cleland's. While I presented to you and everyone reading the actual Chambliss commercial putting the lie to the "next to Bin Laden" schtuff, try as I might (and as you did not), I couldn't find a single link to video of that vicious smear that SourceWatch describes.

I don't think such a commercial ever existed. You are welcome to try and find it. In fact, I dare you, confident that if it was for real, Teresa's billions would have been able to track it down in 2004, when they really needed it. I'll consider your version of Cleland's voting record right after you show me that ad.

While you are on your search, you may want to stop by and get National Review columnist Rich Lowry's take on the Cleland Controversy. His account has in its favor an accurate description of the Chambliss ad.

Now, to R. Stanton Scott, who wrote:

You sound like a petulant child whose best friend just pointed out that his new invention doesn't work: "You're not so smart! Weasel!"...some of you folks can't even complain about liberal hatred without displaying--conservative hatred!

I don't hate Mr. Terrenoire or even you, Mr. Scott. I vehemently disagree with you both. Mr. Terrenoire hit one of my hot buttons: The big fat "Republicans questioned Max Cleland's patriotism" lie. I wrote that I don't believe Karl Rove is a genius, and part of the reason I don't is because the idiot just let lies like that propagate in the media without smacking them down with great I just did.

I don't hate anybody on the other end of the political spectrum for what they think. As distasteful as I find Elizabeth Edwards, I would never wish for cancer to take her life, as many leftists did Tony Snow and Laura Ingraham (to her credit, Mrs. Edwards called out Democratic Underground posters who were cheering breast cancer to victory over Ingraham). I didn't like Molly Ivins, but took no joy in her demise. She never did anything to me but make me angry a few times, as did many other liberal pundits. Why should I be happy she's dead? It's not HER EXISTENCE I oppose, it's her beliefs.

I feel sorry for people who can't get along with people who aren't just like them. I am a social conservative living in San Francisco. If there's hating going on, it's toward me, not from me. My experience is that I think some people are wrong. The "wrong" people think I'm evil personified.

When it comes to discussing issues such as the future of this nation, I make no promises to be delicate. But being less than civil or even rude when discussing political or social issues is not hatred. If you can't see the difference between calling someone a weasel when they are being a weasel and rejoicing at the death of someone with whom you disagree, you can't be helped.

Posted by: L.N. Smithee at May 16, 2007 02:18 AM

For the record, David's smears about how Bush/Rove/etc. smeared McCain during the 2000 elections are also completely bogus.

Personally, I think people making up completely fictitious "smears" and attributing them to others is a pretty serious smear in and of itself. David isn't giving examples of conservative hate of liberals, he's just engaging in more liberal hate of conservatives, backed up by pure lies.

As you'll note in the article, McCain based his "those push-poll phone calls smeared me" based on the testimony of a single 14 year old boy.


Posted by: Qwinn at May 16, 2007 05:38 AM

LN: It is easy enough to claim that you do not hate those who disagree with you politically. I can no more read your mind than you can read those of the folks at Pandagon. But your less than delicate rhetoric sure looks like hatred to me. If it walks like a duck...

You either want to debate the issues of the day with those who disagree with you or you don't. A common tactic for those who do not have the facts on their side is a resort to ad hominem attacks--when the facts fail, just call the guy a weasel. Especially if you have the facts on your side, name-calling only makes you look...hateful.

Another common debating tactic is to stand on very technically factual arguments that while correct in a narrow sense ignore larger moral and ethical truths. So don't act like the intent of the Saxby Chambliss ads were not to impugn the patriotism of Max Cleland. However technically correct you may be about the morphing of images or who was shown next to whom, the meaning was clear--along with text critical of Cleland for not supporting a Homeland Security Department (itself very misleading--he called for such a department before Bush did, and voted against the Bush version over labor issues) the ad shows images of Bin Laden and Hussein. This sort of association needn't be direct to be effective, and you know it.

If you honestly believe that this advertisement was not intended to convince Georgians that Max Cleland was less patriotic than Saxby Chambliss, you cannot be helped.

Posted by: R. Stanton Scott at May 16, 2007 06:10 AM

OK, it's the cold light of morning and where are we?

According to Qwinn and Mr. Smithee, I'm engaging in liberal hatred of conservatives. I guess you're both entitled to that opinion.

And Mr. Smithee, I did indeed take much of the Cleland post from SourceWatch. I should have attributed, but it was late and this is a blog, not a dissertation, but I will be more careful in the future.

You think I'm engaging in hatred and lies. I think, based on what I believe, that I'm holding people to proper behavior.

For instance, I believe, and the CIA agrees with me, that at best Armitage and others leaked classified information for political cover. I've read a lot, watched the testimony and talked with people in the agency and that's my conclusion based on the best information I can gather. You and Charley disagree. I don't see how you can condone such an assault on our intelligence community, but you seem to be comfortable with your position.

I'll read the National Review article sometime today, because what I think I know about the South Carolina primaries could be urban myth. But I don't hold the NR in high regard lately. I read it when the old man was in charge but since his daughter's taken over I find the magazine has a sense of smug entitlement best personified in Jonah Goldberg. But I will read it.

The Cleland example. If I storyboarded that spot, the pictures would indeed be next to each other, but you're right, I didn't remember the spot exactly as it aired. Human memory is funny that way. But even though you were technically right, Mr. Smithee, it still leaves us with a spot whose intention was not to inform, but to mislead. You may find that acceptable in today's hardball politics. I do not. And I tend to give decorated veterans a break, but apparently that's just me.

As I said, I come from this not as a Democrat, which is why I found your charge of being a DNC parrot laughable, but as a man who been places and done things and has formed a pretty hard code of ethical behavior. For instance, no matter how much I thought you were wrong, or misguided, or blinded by partisan ideology, I would never call you a damned liar or a weasel. I don't know you and I wouldn't presume to judge your basic honesty.

You, however, are quite comfortable with that. If that's your style, well, good luck. It's not the way I would go, but that's OK too.

In the end I go back to where I was when I started commenting on this thread yesterday. We as Americans are so divided that we're quick to attack our neighbors, friends and families and attribute the worst motives to their behavior, just because their politics are not ours. Part of this divisiveness comes from the efforts of men like Jerry Falwell, so when less thoughtful people rejoice in his passing, although I find that sad, I also find it unsurprising.

Now, I've wasted far too much time and energy here. I wish you all good luck and good health.

And don't believe everything you read.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at May 16, 2007 07:47 AM

A few thoughts spring to mind:

1. Falwell was hateful, so it's not surprising that some people hate him.

2. He's dead and gone now, so the venting of someone's hatred is not going to affect him one way or the other.

3. In order to find these examples of liberal "venom," you mainly have to go to the liberal web sites looking for them. If it bothers you so much, don't go.

Posted by: Doc Washboard at May 16, 2007 08:31 AM

There are loony toons on all sides. But the "they" and "them" are the tinfoil hatted leftist loons for whom the truth is nonexistent. Yes, there are many good "classical" liberals, but they don't hold the power of the pulpit (pardon my pun) like the HuffPo, DailyKos, MyDD, DU etc. commentators, nay, even the actual posters. Please, someone lead me to a site similar and I'll eat my words (neo-nazi sites are offlimit...they're real loons).

Posted by: Sue at May 16, 2007 10:14 AM

Well...Doc - thanks for bringing us back to Falwell.

Let me start by stating that I am a Christian, but I did not support the ideas of Falwell, which I consider to be "extreme Christianity" (as jihadists are examples of "extreme Islam"). Not all Christians believe as he did. He has passed, he will be eulogized, end of story.

On to the rest of this. I tend to hang out and post at sites like this simply because the moderators try to control the rhetoric being used. They try to promote tolerance of opposing viewpoints, and that is good. They also have rules about posts that are just plain hatred.

We all have seen those types of posts on the left and right sides of the spectrum. However, I would contend that KOS, HuffPo, FDL, TruthOut, and Larry Johnson's place (name escapes me now), and DU - being the biggest political sites out there - do not control the content of their more radical posters. Hence we tend to see more of those types of posts at those sites. Please understand that I have seen "hate" posts at conservative sites too - but they tend to be somewhat small sites with few readers so you just don't see as much.

Even though I frequently disagree with Lex, David T., R. Stanton, for the most part the discussions here are actual debates rather than just diatribes. It is a lot more fun and enlightening to participate in a site where that occurs than it is to go to a "hate-filled" site.

Posted by: Specter at May 16, 2007 10:21 AM

I wasn't a fan of Falwell, but I didn't hate him, though he might have had some bitter words about me, had he known me. I'm not a fan of the leaders of Al Qaeda, either, and I may hate them. I may even be glad they are dead. But I will not declare that they are damned, nor hope they are; I will pray that they may somehow be reconciled with God, since eternity is more than just a very long time.

And in this I think you'll find some of the difference between the far left and the right and center. If what lies outside this life is nothing, then no viturperation may be spared for the dead (as opposed to their deeds). But if we and our deeds have value beyond the limits of this life, then damning the dead (as opposed to their deeds) is at least impious and perhaps an offense as great as all that person's wanton errors put together.

If you want the more civilized behavior, consider this: the ancient Greeks stopped battles to recover their dead, and not until the 19th century did the West think this unusual.

Posted by: NJCm at May 16, 2007 01:49 PM

Falwell spoke ill of people who died of AIDS. I have no sympathy for this man.

Posted by: dmarek at May 16, 2007 05:02 PM

Like I said dmarek - the man was an extremist.

Posted by: Specter at May 16, 2007 05:33 PM

Larry Flint showed a lot more class regarding Falwell's demise than many of left.

I believe there's a deep lesson there.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at May 16, 2007 08:16 PM

"He's dead and gone now, so the venting of someone's hatred is not going to affect him one way or the other."

Well, that's sort of the point.

You aren't harming the man you hate, you're harming his grieving friends and relatives. Some of them may have hated some of the things he did, but will still be hurt by your words. Those who agreed with him may be too emotionally vulnerable to respond appropriately.

So the haters are

1) making cowardly attacks on a dead man

2) harming innocents

3) kicking enemies while they're down

4) spouting "fighting words" when their targets are especially vulnerable to being provoked.

This is unethical (points 1, 2, 3) and dangerous to society (points 2 and 4).

And when you say "he spoke hate about people like me, so I will do the same about him" -- you are validating his actions. When you say "some right-wingers speak hate, so we will too" -- you are validating their actions.

Maybe people can post their favorite examples of right-wingers and left-wingers holding their own sides to account, or showing dignity and respect to a fallen political foe. I found the link from Ric James to Hoodathunk to be an inspiring read.

You-all on the left -- hold up some heroes for us to look at! Show us your better side.

Posted by: Sam at May 17, 2007 06:03 AM

What can you say, Sam, take it as a lesson. If you want people to mourn your passing, try to be a good person. If you think this is bad, did you catch when Leopoldo Galtieri died a few years back? Check it out:

If you're an ass in life, people are going to dance on your grave. It's just the way things are.

Posted by: Shochu John at May 17, 2007 09:56 AM