Steve Pearlstein, Political Terrorist

| | Comments (0)

Some of you may have read the other day Steve Pearlstein's idiotic assault on people who disagree with him as "terrorists."

He started off just fine, saying, in effect, it is wrong to lie and misrepresent the health care program. I can't disagree with that. Lies are bad. But then he insanely says, "... there is no credible way to look at what has been proposed by the president or any congressional committee and conclude that these will result in a government takeover of the health-care system. That is a flat-out lie whose only purpose is to scare the public and stop political conversation."

Tell me, how is it a lie to call a "takeover" a system where the government would force all individual health insurance plans into an exchange that would dictate profits and prices and benefits and services and doctor networks and more?

Sounds like a takeover to me. You can disagree with the characterization, but calling it a "terrorist" "lie"? If he had focused on actual lies, that would be one thing, but this is mere political disagreement, by any logical standard. (I could pick apart much of the rest of his column, but he's not worth my time.)

This morning he was on Morning Joe and he said something even dumber, though. He said that what separates political discourse from political terrorism is that the former tries to improve a bill, while the latter tries to kill the bill.

So now we are "terrorists" if we think a bill is so terrible it should be killed, rather than improved.

Seriously? Yep, seriously.

Note for the record that all the tactics Pearlstein identified were used by patriotic writers like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine. I am sure this isn't the first time they were called terrorists (Franklin's son, also a journalist, was jailed -- and died there -- due to the enforcement of the Sedition Act), but I find the characterization more than a bit irrational.

I feel like Susan Powter here. How is it that Pearlstein is engaging in rhetoric that proponents of anti-sedition laws would be comfortable with? Granted, he is not endorsing laws to keep people quiet, but he is villifying them just as much.

Pearlstein said he is loathe to "question the motives of people with whom I don't agree," but that in this case he would do so. Allow me to return the favor: Pearlstein is so much in the tank for the Democrats and Obama that he will do and say anything to undermine the people who oppose the health care plan, in order to avoid having to respond to their actual arguments.

When the Democrats said years ago that dissent was patriotic, I agreed with them. I never once attacked anyone for dissenting. I disagreed with some of their dissent, I thought some of them were jerks, I argued with many of them. But I did not say or imply, "you should not dissent," "you should go along with the program," "it is wrong for you to try to kill bills you dislike," or anything else of the sort. On the contrary, I explicitly stated the opposite, and even criticized Republicans for saying they should keep quiet.

And how am I repaid for standing up for the Democrats' right to dissent? I am now called a terrorist for engaging in the same sort of dissent they engaged in under Bush.

That, friends, is true "political terrorism."

Leave a comment

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by pudge published on August 12, 2009 10:29 AM.

Obama and Wild Misrepresentations was the previous entry in this site.

LCE069 Tale O The Twister is the next entry in this site.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.