Monday, April 18, 2005


Joe Engel thinks the term is now used in a way that is totally out of touch with what the term used to mean in the days of JFK, Truman and others. Some excerpts:

* Rooting against the United States and for "insurgents" who delight in slaughtering innocents is many things (stupid, for one, also sad, evil, and short-sighted), but it is assuredly not liberal.
* Decrying the American "religious right" for advocating a "culture of life" while simultaneously praising the neck-slicing Islamofascists is many things (start with pathetic), but it is not liberal.
* Calling 3,000 workers who died when the buildings fell "little Eichmanns" is many things (vile, as well as repulsive and morally repugnant), but it is not liberal.
* Marching against war every time the United States is involved--in fact only when the United States is involved--regardless of the war's purpose, is many things (reactionary for sure), but it is not liberal.
* Crying that you're being persecuted for exercising your right of free speech, when what happened was that other people less famous than you reacted to your ill-considered and offensive comments by exercising their own First Amendment rights, is many things (solipsistic comes to mind), but it is not liberal.
* Pretending that the abuses committed by Americans at Abu Ghraib prison were on a par with the wholesale torture, rape, and murder committed there over decades is many things (overwrought, unenlightened, an insult to intelligence), but it is not liberal.
* Depicting Condoleezza Rice in editorial cartoons as a big-lipped mammy who speaks Ebonics to her massa is many things (offensive, sickening), but it is not liberal.
* Marching if you're gay in support of "Palestine"--from which gay Palestinians try to escape to Israel before they're tortured and murdered for their sexual orientation--is many things (nuts, as well as hilariously ill-informed), but it is far from liberal.
* Equating Israeli self-defense measures against bombers who hide among civilians to the murders committed by the bombers who intentionally target civilians is many things (foolish, and probably anti-Semitic), but it is not liberal.
* Believing that ethnicity determines identity--and accusing anyone of being "a disgrace to his race" because his views fall outside what's considered orthodoxy--is many things (primarily racist), but it is definitely not liberal.
* Shouting down speakers in the name of free speech is many things (fascistic, tyrannical, churlish), but it is not liberal.
* Excusing Kofi Annan and the United Nations for the worst palm-greasing scandal in history--one that lengthened the reign of a tyrant and led to the deaths of countless thousands--is many things (inexcusable, also shameful), but it is not liberal.


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