Geroge Neumayr is also thinking about civility. He notes the different approach that liberals take to civility and respect for government when it comes to the tea partiers compared to tenured radicals who made their chops protesting against government plus the rhetoric thundering from Jeremiah Wright's pulpit that Obama didn't seem to mind for twenty years.
No one is more authoritarian than a successful left-wing revolutionary: he rises to power by extolling dissent, then stays in power by suppressing it.
Were the Tea Partiers rabid left-wing professors instead of patriotic Americans, they would receive tenure and places of honor at high-brow luncheons. Were they veterans of UC Berkeley's Free Speech Movement, they would serve as nostalgic subjects for a Time retrospective. Were Tea Partiers "demonizing" the American government in the deepest sense -- teaching the young to view the Founding Fathers with patronizing contempt and the documents they wrote as reactionary relics to be replaced by a "living Constitution" -- they would have jobs in the Obama administration.
George Will pays tribute to the man he rightly terms "the nation's most interesting governor," Chris Christie. The teachers union is attacking him full throttle for the shocking request that they actually pay something to contribute to their own health care policies. They claim that he's damaging "the children" if they have to pay a mere 1.5% towards their own health insurance. Balderdash!
Perhaps those teachers who are so very concerned about "the children" might think twice of posting on Facebook, where kids and the public can view their posts, their rantings against the governor.
In Facebook messages visible to the world — not to mention their students — the teachers have called Christie fat, compared him to a genocidal dictator and wished he was dead. The postings are often riddled with bad grammar and misspellings.Charming, just charming.
Perhaps the inability of the teachers unions to think that their members should share in the sacrifices that the rest of New Jersey citizens have been making in these tough times explains why voters went to the polls this week and rejected in record numbers a majority of the school budgets that were on the ballot there. Christie had asked voters to reject school budgets in districts where teachers had not agreed to a pay freeze. And voters did reject 59% of those budgets. Voters are indeed waking up to what the public employees unions have done to their state.
Dana Milbank has a lot of fun with Joe Biden's lackluster delivery of a speech touting the nation's supposed economic recovery.
James Taranto has a lot of fun with EJ Dionne's huffing an puffing about the tea parties being the "populism of the privileged." As Taranto writes,
What exactly does Dionne mean by "privileged"? It seems unlikely that the group he describes includes many who have inherited wealth or special legal advantages. Rather, they are, by and large, people who have worked hard to get ahead. Dionne resents them as "privileged" because they are successful.Where else, but on the left, would middle-class voters be dismissed and told that their opinions were worthless?
Further, if we shouldn't take the tea-party movement seriously because it consists of "the privileged," how seriously should we take E.J. Dionne? We don't know how much the Washington Post pays him, but our educated guess is that it's considerably more than the median tea partygoer makes.
Even more to the point, think of what the tea-party people have done to draw Dionne's disdain: exercise their right to free speech. Think about the enormous privilege Dionne enjoys in that regard. His position at the Washington Post gives him an enormous megaphone, a far greater degree of political influence than most individuals, including tea-party activists, can ever hope to enjoy. For Dionne to sneer at them for being "privileged" shows an enormous lack of self-awareness and class.