August 21, 2005

"like robbers leaving a bank with a hostage"

Noemie Emery has a great article in the Weekly Standard, on how the Dems are using grief as a political weapon...

...Then Wellstone's friend and campaign treasurer took the stage to address by name Wellstone's Republican friends in the House and the Senate and beg them to "honor" the fallen man by helping Mondale win the race: "We can redeem the sacrifice of his life, if you help us win this election," he said.

In translation, this is the unspoken theme of grief-centered politics:
We are suffering, so you owe it to us to give us what we ask for. This is the claim of Cindy Sheehan and the Jersey Girls, and it carries with it an implied accusation: If you don't do what we ask you, you don't care that our loved one is dead. But no one had ever heard it stated so baldly or bluntly as at the Wellstone service, and the bluntness repelled...

...Political cut and thrust does not go well with the etiquette of bereavement, which tends to short-circuit all argument, which of course is the point. It inhibits argument, makes response awkward, and sometimes can stop it completely, putting an opponent in the position of Norm Coleman before the Wellstone Memorial fracas, in which Democrats were free to seek votes based on sentiment, while anything Coleman tried to say about Wellstone's replacement was called an insult to the dead. People who put mourners up front on policy issues are like robbers leaving a bank with a hostage between themselves and police fire. To do this on purpose, to drive an agenda, is beneath all contempt...

Leftists can't defend their position with facts and logic, so they try to get into a place where they can say, "If you criticize us, you are a heartless brute." We've really been getting it with Sheehan, with all sorts of conservative bloggers pussyfooting around and writing: "of course we must sympathize with her pain, her grief, her loss, blah blah blah. BUT we must interject a tiny word of criticism..." Pfui. I blow a kiss to Andrea, who isn't buying that load of manure.

Honest people, if they are going to debate in the public arena, don't hide behind emotional blackmail, or wear grief or loss as if they confer some special legitimacy. They want their ideas to stand on their merits. And if the lefties who are wearing Cindy like a badge were honest, they would send sob-sister off to the Oprah show, and debate with logic and facts. Also, honest people, if they find themselves in a position where they can't be criticized (perhaps because they are bereaved) don't criticize others. It's like hitting someone who can't hit back. It's cowardly and despicable.

Doug TenNapel put it more simply: Cindy is like the wife who cries to win an argument...and while that works in the privacy of my home, it doesn't in a national debate for our collective security.

Posted by John Weidner at August 21, 2005 1:34 AM
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