The way we humans function: Have the Paris attacks changed the shape of the White House campaign?
We have no way of knowing. Last Saturday, it was painful to watch Candidate Clinton walking the line this way:
DICKERSON (11/14/15): Secretary Clinton, you mentioned radical jihadists. Marco Rubio, also running for president, said...the attack in Paris showed that we are at war with radical Islam. Do you agree with that characterization, "radical Islam?"Oof! However you judge the political wisdom of those competing phrases, 99 percent of all American voters are going to notice when Candidate Clinton dodges a question that way.
CLINTON: I don't think we're at war with Islam. I don't think we're at war with all Muslims. I think we're at war with jihadists who have—
DICKERSON: Just to interrupt. He didn't say all Muslims. He just said radical Islam.
Oof! In Saturday's Democratic debate, moderator John Dickerson asked Clinton if she's opposed to use of the phrase "radical Islam." Candidate Clinton started answering as if she'd been asked something else.
Quite correctly, Dickerson interrupted and asked his question again. In our view, 99 percent of all voters will notice that kind of dodge, especially at a time like this. To many voters, it will seem to signal that they're getting conned or duped in some way.
Perhaps the fear caused by the Paris attacks will blow over. If not, the politics may be bad for Dems, in part because of the depressing ground Kevin Drum has trod once again.
On Tuesday, Drum suggested that liberals should tone down the mockery and the insults when voters express fear concerning Syrian refugees. Incomparably, we linked to his post and agreed.
On Wednesday, Drum returned to the topic. He provided a sampling of the reactions his good sound advice had provoked:
Reactions to Kevin Drum's good sound adviceDrum said he wasn't cherry-picking. You'd have to be clueless to doubt him.
Mockery is a reasonable response to the ridiculous.
"Low information voters" = bad citizens.
It's the equivalent of the Japanese internment hysteria, it deserves ridicule.
"Syrian terrorists" may be an existential threat, but gun waving rednecks are more likely to shoot me. Mock them? Gimme a break.
This @kdrum article is exactly why people don't like mealy-mouthed Liberals. This is a moral issue, not a compromised tactic.
Same objections against Vietnamese, Jews, Irish... same ol' catering to nativism, again & again. No more, thank you.
If voters are too racist stupid or sheeple to support progressives Dems Sanders that's their fault not ours
Oh, their fears are understandable all right. Xenophobia is widely understood. So is naked racism and Islamophobia.
@kdrum wants us to treat these concerns as if they are good faith security concerns, not racism.
Many "ordinary" voters are racists & know-nothings who do not want to be educated *or* calmed. Listen to callers on talk radio.
Let's remember that it's politicians we are mocking.
These are typical types of reaction from modern pseudo-liberals. If you've ever read comment threads at sites like Salon, you already know that.
Such comments raise a basic question about the way we humans function. Simply put, many humans don't believe that disagreements can occur in good faith.
Our liberal tribe is crawling with people who see the world that way. To these self-impressed folk, an issue like this is a moral issue. And we liberals are on the right side!
That means that people who disagree are on the wrong side of a moral issue. That means that they are simply bad people. It means they're morally Other.
At this point, we typically get out our bombs. Plainly, such people are racists! (As you can see from Drum's list, we deploy our N-bombs and X-bombs too.)
You might have thought that thinking like this disappeared as part of the Enlightenment. If you thought that, you were wrong. Our liberal tribe is full of people who love to loathe The Others while in the process of killing the pig. They live in a province of prehistory, and they're proud to announce it.
Those comments come from God's little acre, the place our tribe has always liked to ridicule. Truthfully, it makes little sense to try to reason with the people who make them.
They're right on the merits and morally good. Everyone else is not.
At times of fear and dislocation, these attitudes can be very destructive to liberal/progressive political interests. Our own Dimmesdales will push ahead with their attitude anyhoo.
This attitude has been widely observed since we humans first crawled from the mud. In fairness, it really has to be said:
"If voters are too racist or stupid, it's their fault, not ours!"