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Civility Kills

 

Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder Still Blocking the Truth | BreitbartP.J. O’Rourke’s 2004 tongue-in-cheek titled book Peace Kills lampooned American foreign policy saying “imperialism has never been so funny.” He took the reader globetrotting while pointing out what happens when America tries to have a war “without hurting anybody” (Kosovo). Visiting Egypt in the aftermath of 9/11 he said: “There is a question that less sophisticated Americans ask (and more sophisticated Americans would like to): Why are the people in the Middle East so crazy?” We laugh because it’s true. Fourteen years later, America’s war isn’t so much in far-flung regions with people calling us imperialists, but more so with our neighbors, coworkers, family, and friends. America is at war with itself.

For as long as I can remember I have followed politics and culture. For those who watch/listen to Whiskey Politics and wonder when I started interviewing, I picked up the microphone at the age of 10. After my strict cockney Father barked “Lights!” (the British version of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman’s “Light Out!”), I would count 30 Mississippi before reaching under my bed, fumbling around until finding my radio/cassette recorder, hitting play and record, and do my version of Cavett or Carson.

I had the best guests in my darkened bedroom, often moderating debates with Jimmy Carter and Anwar Sadat or Ayatollah Khomeini. Jeff Lynne would talk about ELO but an angry John Lennon kept butting in saying Lynne was stealing his sound. Ponch and Jon from CHiPs debated the best and worst parts of LA to patrol. The constant for me, I always played it down the middle. The straight man (boy) who kept the guest from going too far off-subject. Even as a preteen I valued civility. It’s something I have maintained in most areas of my life. But 40 years later, I am now second-guessing whether civility is our best approach.

The SCOTUS debacle wasn’t the first hint of us breaking at the seams. Our country’s political divide has always been there, but we usually saw the partisan vitriol stemming from the activists and special interests, not the politicians. Granted there are many historical examples when politicians threw mud, but they were outliers. The mainstream party would smack the offender, the media would question our undignified politics and then we would all go back to watching “Cheers” together.

This feels different.

November 8, 2016, was a pivot. We have grown men and women, activists, and politicians at the highest levels of power acting out with the ferocity of a screaming child so unhinged they can’t help but hyperventilate. Normal parents have the ability to put that child into a timeout and let them tire themselves into rational thinking. But our country no longer has normal parents on the Left. The leaders, who are supposed to be the adults in the room, are now promoting this behavior, which has led to violence.

Hillary Clinton is being celebrated (by 90 percent of the media) for instructing her flying monkeys to let the hate flow through you. “Democrats cannot be civil with Republicans,” she said (unless Republicans bow down to Democrats).

Eric (the only Attorney General to ever be held in contempt by Congress) Holder said, “Michelle [Obama] always says, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. No. When they go low, we kick them.”

This comes on the heels of a few weeks that were not just damaging for the players on stage (namely Justice Kavanaugh and Dr. Blasey Ford) but for our union. The Democrats decided to triple-down on obliterating Kavanaugh by utilizing vile and disgusting gutter politics, the likes most of us have never seen. Uncorroborated attacks on an accomplished family man would at least had the civil liberties advocates come out in droves screaming “due process!” but even the ACLU joined the sharia law-like mosh-pit and wanted to stone the accused.

Now let’s play a game:

Let’s say a Trump Bro sprayed bullets toward Democrat congressional reps at a softball game and a leading Democratic Congressman came within an inch of being killed.

Let’s say a Democrat Senator was physically attacked outside his home by a neighbor causing several serious injuries.

Let’s say Obama’s cabinet members and leading Democrat politicians were being shouted out of restaurants.

Let’s say the Democrat Senate leader was followed and shouted down at airports.

Let’s say an MSNBC morning news anchor was stalked and followed and shouted at by two men through New York City’s Starbucks and his subway ride home.

Let’s say Obama’s family members and officials faced constant death threats, enraged emails, and protestors screaming outside their private residences.

The game is simple: How would the media and Democrats (irm) respond to this?

Two years after the election that shocked the world, Hillary Clinton, her supporters and much of the media still refuse to accept the results. Michael Goodwin’s October 6 New York Post opinion piece suggested something that should, should chill both sides:

Instead, we face something more akin to the combustible climate that historian Christopher Clark described as the origins of World War I. In his book, “The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914,” Clark illustrates how none of the great powers wanted war, but all felt free to escalate the buildup in the certainty that the other side would back down.

As the Left’s leaders actively encourage fighting, how does the Right best respond? Of course, civility would be preferred.

However, when a rabid dog is attacking, do we calmly sit down to have a polite and dignified conversation as its frothy mouth is biting our neck?

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There are 70 comments.

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  1. Member

    This feels different.

    It certainly does. In my lifetime, I cannot even picture senators in a confirmation hearing mentioning farting. I can’t even imagine half of the contemptible things so many Democrats have said and done in the last two years. As to your rabid dog analogy, what I’d like to answer is “We shoot him.” But of course, Republicans don’t do things like that. We just lie down and get steamrolled. At least that’s what we did before Trump.

    And now, since Trump, I still don’t think we shoot the rabid dog, not literally. But I don’t think we let him bite us anymore.

    • #1
    • October 10, 2018 at 4:24 pm
    • 20 likes
  2. Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    This feels different.

    It certainly does. In my lifetime, I cannot even picture senators in a confirmation hearing mentioning farting. I can’t even imagine half of the contemptible things so many Democrats have said and done in the last two years. As to your rabid dog analogy, what I’d like to answer is “We shoot him.” But of course, Republicans don’t do things like that. We just lie down and get steamrolled. At least that’s what we did before Trump.

    And now, since Trump, I still don’t think we shoot the rabid dog, not literally. But I don’t think we let him bite us anymore.

    We kick him in the nad’s until he sues for peace .

    What will they say and do if there is a red wave in Nov.

    • #2
    • October 10, 2018 at 4:34 pm
    • 6 likes
  3. Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Republicans don’t do things like that. We just lie down and get steamrolled. At least that’s what we did before Trump.

    Yup and there were many on GOPe who decried the fight. Some of them have come around, but the President showing ‘he fights’ changed everything. 

    • #3
    • October 10, 2018 at 4:43 pm
    • 11 likes
  4. Member

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    This feels different.

    It certainly does. In my lifetime, I cannot even picture senators in a confirmation hearing mentioning farting. I can’t even imagine half of the contemptible things so many Democrats have said and done in the last two years. As to your rabid dog analogy, what I’d like to answer is “We shoot him.” But of course, Republicans don’t do things like that. We just lie down and get steamrolled. At least that’s what we did before Trump.

    And now, since Trump, I still don’t think we shoot the rabid dog, not literally. But I don’t think we let him bite us anymore.

    We kick him in the nad’s until he sues for peace .

    What will they say and do if there is a red wave in Nov.

    Pray brother pray.

    • #4
    • October 10, 2018 at 4:45 pm
    • 7 likes
  5. Contributor
    Dave Sussman Post author

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    What will they say and do if there is a red wave in Nov.

    The schadenfreude will be epic. 

    • #5
    • October 10, 2018 at 4:51 pm
    • 14 likes
  6. Member

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    What will they say and do if there is a red wave in Nov.

    The schadenfreude will be epic.

    I can’t wait for all the crying Democrat videos!

    • #6
    • October 10, 2018 at 4:57 pm
    • 10 likes
  7. Contributor

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    But of course, Republicans don’t do things like that. We just lie down and get steamrolled. At least that’s what we did before Trump.

    What fascinates me is the utter conviction among Democrats that the statement above is the opposite of the truth – why, the Republicans are low-down, vicious, conniving, dirty-pool-playing swine who’ll stop at nothing. 

    • #7
    • October 10, 2018 at 5:35 pm
    • 14 likes
  8. Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    But of course, Republicans don’t do things like that. We just lie down and get steamrolled. At least that’s what we did before Trump.

    What fascinates me is the utter conviction among Democrats that the statement above is the opposite of the truth – why, the Republicans are low-down, vicious, conniving, dirty-pool-playing swine who’ll stop at nothing.

    I agree. They engage in some major projecting. The lack of self-awareness is mind-blowing. Actually, the party bosses know exactly what they’re saying. It’s the rank-and-file liberals who really do not see themselves.

    • #8
    • October 10, 2018 at 5:37 pm
    • 11 likes
  9. Member

    Dave Sussman: The game is simple: How would the media and Democrats (irm) respond to this?

    You can’t compare imaginary Republican atrocities with real Democrat ones. Apples and oranges. I call Godwin on this.

    • #9
    • October 10, 2018 at 5:39 pm
    • 4 likes
  10. Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    What will they say and do if there is a red wave in Nov.

    The schadenfreude will be epic.

    I can’t wait for all the crying Democrat videos!

    • #10
    • October 10, 2018 at 5:56 pm
    • 13 likes
  11. Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    But of course, Republicans don’t do things like that. We just lie down and get steamrolled. At least that’s what we did before Trump.

    What fascinates me is the utter conviction among Democrats that the statement above is the opposite of the truth – why, the Republicans are low-down, vicious, conniving, dirty-pool-playing swine who’ll stop at nothing.

    Just further proof that progressivism is a mental illness.

    • #11
    • October 10, 2018 at 6:10 pm
    • 6 likes
  12. Thatcher

    All my life the Left has stomped its feet, protested, screamed, yelled and called us names. The GOP has reliably been civil, compromised and caved in. So the Deplorables are tired of it and brought in their own grandstanding, uncivil, uncompromising, dirty, street fighter that when knocked down always gets back up swinging. Guess what? Like a small child, when told no the Left threw a tantrum. So they went low. So low that even the NeverTrump had to see it from their normal prone position of their collective head stuck in the sand. Well it looks like the street fighter held, and in the scuffle the GOP discovered their shriveled up gonads and ovaries still had a bit of hormones in them yet. Unbelievably and against all expectations the GOP held the line with a few entering the fray. Heck even the NeverTrump were impressed.

    My hat is off to them. The street fighter, the GOP, and to Kavanaugh who took worst of the beat down and will carry the scars. I did not expect them to fight to win. They keep it up and they might just be a party worth joining.

    Now this battle was won, it is time to win a war.

    • #12
    • October 10, 2018 at 6:53 pm
    • 25 likes
  13. Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    All my life the Left has stomped its feet, protested, screamed, yelled and called us names. The GOP has reliably been civil, compromised and caved in. So the Deplorables are tired of it and brought in their own grandstanding, uncivil, uncompromising, dirty, street fighter that when knocked down always gets back up swinging. Guess what? Like a small child, when told no the Left threw a tantrum. So they went low. So low that even the NeverTrump had to see it from their normal prone position of their collective head stuck in the sand. Well it looks like the street fighter held, and in the scuffle the GOP discovered their shriveled up gonads and ovaries still had a bit of hormones in them yet. Unbelievably and against all expectations the GOP held the line with a few entering the fray. Heck even the NeverTrump were impressed.

    My hat is off to them. The street fighter, the GOP, and to Kavanaugh who took worst of the beat down and will carry the scars. I did not expect them to fight to win. They keep it up and they might just be a party worth joining.

    Now this battle was won, it is time to win a war.

    Well said.

    • #13
    • October 10, 2018 at 6:54 pm
    • 10 likes
  14. Coolidge
    TBA

    I have a tendency to put up with things until I snap.

    It is probably quite common. I hope not so common that when we do respond it’s not over the top. 

     

    • #14
    • October 10, 2018 at 8:09 pm
    • 8 likes
  15. Member

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Republicans don’t do things like that. We just lie down and get steamrolled. At least that’s what we did before Trump.

    Yup and there were many on GOPe who decried the fight. Some of them have come around, but the President showing ‘he fights’ changed everything.

    I know it’s petty, but the idea that “he fights” was used as a sneer still rankles. There’s a lot of ground between rolling over and literal violence. So far I think President Trump is on the right track. Welcome to the right track Senator Graham! Thanks for your yeoman’s effort Rep. Nunes! 

    Where’s everyone else? Being united against a common enemy (yes, enemy) goes some way, but I for one am developing a long memory. Trump’s kicking ass, but I’m taking names.

    • #15
    • October 10, 2018 at 8:42 pm
    • 13 likes
  16. Member

    So, in the wake of the judicial confirmation circus where Brett Kavanaugh was accused – with ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE – of attempted rape, spiking punch with Quaaludes so high school girls could be gang raped, exposing himself at a college party, and throwing ice in a bar, let’s recap what just transpired in the last 48 hours:

    • Hillary Clinton tacitly supports more incivility and mob tactics;
    • Porn star attorney Michael Avenatti challenged the President’s son to a fight;
    • the mayor of Portland, Oregon allowed Antifa thugs to take control of city streets and harass, threaten and physically attack senior citizens;
    • former Attorney General Eric Holder and possible presidential candidate, who was held in contempt of Congress encouraged Democrats to kick Republicans when they went low;
    • and a grade school teacher attempted to publicly shame a Trump cabinet member for his behavior as an 8-year-old boy.

    One must assume that since Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, or Barack Obama – the presumed leaders of the Democratic Party — are unwilling to condemn any of this that they are either cowering in fear themselves from the radicals in their own party and on the Left generally — or like Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Holder, Senator Booker, Congresswoman Waters, that they want to see more mob confrontations, assaults, harassment, the smearing and shaming of children — and possibly riots in the streets.

    A match is being lit and it’s up to leaders in the Democratic Party and those running news outlets to blow it out and condemn all of this. I don’t want to put into words what will happen if children, senior citizens, and law-abiding Americans being to get hurt – more than they already have at the hands of Antifa thugs…suffice to say, to Democrats and those in the media – you do not want to go there. If you sincerely do want to go there, may God help you and protect you.

    • #16
    • October 10, 2018 at 8:59 pm
    • 18 likes
  17. Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    But of course, Republicans don’t do things like that. We just lie down and get steamrolled. At least that’s what we did before Trump.

    What fascinates me is the utter conviction among Democrats that the statement above is the opposite of the truth – why, the Republicans are low-down, vicious, conniving, dirty-pool-playing swine who’ll stop at nothing.

    Even putting Justices of Republican persuasion on the Supreme Court! The very instrument used to impose the Progressive Agenda in contravention of Congress and the Constitution! 

    How low can we go?

     

    • #17
    • October 11, 2018 at 2:24 am
    • 7 likes
  18. Thatcher

    This is a nice contrast to Jonah Goldbergs piece yesterday that spent the bulk of it decrying Trump for bringing about incivility and condemning those of us who like the fact ‘he fights’, before eventually saying something about the Democrats in the concluding paragraph.

    For someone who claims he is longer a Nevertrumper he sure still writes like one.

    • #18
    • October 11, 2018 at 5:15 am
    • 14 likes
  19. Contributor

    Great piece, Dave. What strikes me is that we finally “won” with Kavanaugh–not by screaming, fistfights, and lies, but through resilience, determination and speaking the truth. There’s something we can learn from that.

    • #19
    • October 11, 2018 at 6:09 am
    • 16 likes
  20. Lincoln

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Republicans don’t do things like that. We just lie down and get steamrolled. At least that’s what we did before Trump.

    Yup and there were many on GOPe who decried the fight. Some of them have come around, but the President showing ‘he fights’ changed everything.

    It’s also the realization that the opposition doesn’t care if you didn’t support Trump in 2016. If you hold conservative beliefs, you will be destroyed. The only question is whether or not it’s a permanent change.

    Kavanaugh would have been a Romney or Jeb pick for the Supreme Court, and that’s what’s brought them around to Trump. But after 9/11, some people moved permanently away from the left, and others just until their fears from the attack faded into memory. I doubt the memories of the Kavanaugh confirmation are going to fade by Election Day 2018. But they could be 2020, and since Trump isn’t going to change who he’s been in the public spotlight since 1977, those who obsess about civility liked are going to see and hear dozens of things over the next 25 months that will potentially push them away from the president again — though those who were pushing civility pre-Kavanaugh, as a reason to vote Democratic on Nov. 6 have been conspicuously silent about the goings on over the past four weeks (i.e. — now that the Cubs are out of the playoffs, it would be nice to hear from George Will on the issue).

    • #20
    • October 11, 2018 at 6:32 am
    • 4 likes
  21. Member

    The Democrat party has raised mob psychology to new and generalized strategy, that’s all they have, other than, of course, the ultimate purpose to hold and exercise power.

     How did the sheriff deal with a lynch mob? He threatened to severely harm the leader first, and others second. It always worked in the movies.

    There is a tea pot view of politics in American civil discussion, that is, we must let the kettle blow off steam then it will be under less pressure and one can deal with it. We can co-opt them. The problem is it’s biology not physics. Any encouragement feeds the beast, it’s fertilizer, nutrition, appeasement it doesn’t work. They must be systematically removed from positions of power, their leaders have to suffer losses. The left will never go away, special interests will never go away, all institutions eventually corrupt; even in the private sector, but they get replaced and we move on.

    • #21
    • October 11, 2018 at 6:43 am
    • 5 likes
  22. Member

    Dave Sussman: As the Left’s leaders actively encourage fighting, how does the Right best respond? Of course, civility would be preferred.

    Effectiveness should be the criterion. Sometimes that will involve being civil… and there will be times when a considered, measured, response will be ineffectual. And you won’t always know ahead of time.

    • #22
    • October 11, 2018 at 6:51 am
    • 7 likes
  23. Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    And now, since Trump, I still don’t think we shoot the rabid dog, not literally. But I don’t think we let him bite us anymore.

    The rabid dogs in the media are… rabid when someone refuses to be bitten, let alone responds more vigorously.

    • #23
    • October 11, 2018 at 6:55 am
    • 2 likes
  24. Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    But of course, Republicans don’t do things like that. We just lie down and get steamrolled. At least that’s what we did before Trump.

    What fascinates me is the utter conviction among Democrats that the statement above is the opposite of the truth – why, the Republicans are low-down, vicious, conniving, dirty-pool-playing swine who’ll stop at nothing.

    I agree. They engage in some major projecting. The lack of self-awareness is mind-blowing. Actually, the party bosses know exactly what they’re saying. It’s the rank-and-file liberals who really do not see themselves.

    Yes, but well behaved women seldom make history.

    • #24
    • October 11, 2018 at 7:20 am
    • 2 likes
  25. Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Great piece, Dave. What strikes me is that we finally “won” with Kavanaugh–not by screaming, fistfights, and lies, but through resilience, determination and speaking the truth. There’s something we can learn from that.

    We “won” because Trump backed Kavanagh during the new days of rage. The manner in which he did so was not always civil.

    • #25
    • October 11, 2018 at 7:22 am
    • 6 likes
  26. Coolidge
    TBA

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Great piece, Dave. What strikes me is that we finally “won” with Kavanaugh–not by screaming, fistfights, and lies, but through resilience, determination and speaking the truth. There’s something we can learn from that.

    We “won” because Trump backed Kavanagh during the new days of rage. The manner in which he did so was not always civil.

    We won the nomination war, but the left’s narrative still stands. 

    • #26
    • October 11, 2018 at 7:24 am
    • 4 likes
  27. Member

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    Effectiveness should be the criterion. Sometimes that will involve being civil… and there will be times when a considered, measured, response will be ineffectual.

    Well, I think we have to be careful using utility as the justification for our response. That’s how the Left gets to “by any means necessary.”

    The advantage we have when we attack (even when Trump does it) is the truth. Bill Clinton really did rape Juanita Broaddrick and leave his DNA on Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress. Ted Kennedy really did abandon Mary Jo Kopechne to drown/suffocate after driving her off a bridge and then wore a neck brace in public appearances to garner sympathy for himself. Hillary Clinton really did knowingly violate all the protections devised for state secrets and the lives of American operatives by using a private server as Secretary of State (anyone else would be in prison accused of treason). Socialism really did result in death and devastation for hundreds of millions of people in the 20th century and ongoing today. 

    So, yes, I want our side to be combative when necessary, but I want us to retain our high regard for the truth, for evidentiary standards, for due process, for sovereignty of the people, and for separation of powers. The Left values none of those things.

    • #27
    • October 11, 2018 at 7:25 am
    • 11 likes
  28. Member

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    But of course, Republicans don’t do things like that. We just lie down and get steamrolled. At least that’s what we did before Trump.

    What fascinates me is the utter conviction among Democrats that the statement above is the opposite of the truth – why, the Republicans are low-down, vicious, conniving, dirty-pool-playing swine who’ll stop at nothing.

    Yabbut it’s all about the First Amendment

    In case you forgot, here’s the free speech the Mayor was talking about:

    • #28
    • October 11, 2018 at 7:26 am
    • 3 likes
  29. Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Great piece, Dave. What strikes me is that we finally “won” with Kavanaugh–not by screaming, fistfights, and lies, but through resilience, determination and speaking the truth. There’s something we can learn from that.

    We “won” because Trump backed Kavanagh during the new days of rage. The manner in which he did so was not always civil.

    We won the nomination war, but the left’s narrative still stands.

    Correct. The ratchet tightens “win” or “lose” because of the two generation Long March into the institutions.

    • #29
    • October 11, 2018 at 7:31 am
    • 4 likes
  30. Member

    Let’s be clear one must always speak softly but use the stick all the time. We must remind ourselves constantly that the left doesn’t believe what it says, it’s always PR. The only people who believe them are their sheep who get their views by osmosis. So we must take the microphone away from them and always, no exceptions, softly and politely, as we cut them to pieces, point out when they’re lying, which is when they open their mouths. When our politicians go on the talk shows they have to have their views sharpened to a fine deadly point instead of practicing how to be defensive. If they can’t do that we should keep them away from microphones as well.

    • #30
    • October 11, 2018 at 7:32 am
    • 8 likes
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