Liberal radio host Thom Hartmann is busy at work on two crucial elements of the left-wing agenda -- criminalizing differences of opinion and perpetuating the myth that our politics have never been more polarized.
Hartmann received help in this endeavor from his weekly guest, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Bolshevik of Vermont, who frequently appears Fridays on Hartmann's program for the preciously named segment "Brunch with Bernie." (Audio after the jump)
Here is how their conversation went (audio) --
HARTMANN: I had Newt Gingrich on the program earlier in the year and I said, did you really sit in on a meeting with, you know, Pete Sessions and Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan and Eric Canter and, you know, a bunch of senators, 14 of them altogether, in the Caucus Room restaurant for four hours, and did Pete Sessions actually say you were going to become the Taliban insurgency and did Kevin McCarthy actually say we're going to fight the president on every bill, no matter what? And, and I expected him to say, well, maybe we overstretched. Instead he said, yes! You know, we're the opposition! That's what the opposition does. He was bragging about it.
SANDERS: Well here's the point. You know, that's what, in a democratic society the opposition does have a role to critique and offer better ideas. That's called democracy. But these guys have taken their level of obstructionism to a horrendously dangerous place and the likes of which we have not seen in the modern history of this country.
HARTMANN: I agree. I think if this happened during the founding era there would be a (chuckles), John Adams would have put these guys in jail under the Alien and Sedition Acts! Anyhow, I said that, not you.
Adams woulda thrown 'em in jail! Indefinitely! The way it oughta be!
Yet another example of how the totalitarian within lurks close to the surface of nearly any liberal.
I kept waiting for Hartmann to add -- "... and Adams would most certainly not be justified in doing this" -- but alas, it never came. I've also waited for Hartmann to cite a single example of anything done by congressional Republicans that would warrant imprisonment, beyond refusing to roll over for Dear Leader.
Reminds me of that great scene in "Dr. Strangelove" -- "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the war room!" Liberals to Republicans -- Members of the opposition party, stop opposing!
Contrary to liberal caterwauling about GOP "obstructionism" -- how dare they don't agree with us on everything! -- you'd have to go way, way back, deep to the early years of the 21st century during the second Bush administration, to find the nation's politics as polarized as they are now.
Before then, you'd have to go way, way back to the '90s as a thoroughly polarized nation witnessed only the second presidential impeachment in its history and Clinton's acquittal in the Senate on party lines.
Before that, it was during the '80s when liberals deluded themselves that Ronald Reagan was the greatest threat to world peace and the Evil Empire its greatest hope. left wingers these days love to claim that Reagan was not conservative enough for today's GOP, but they hated him in the 1980s and with a passion. I should know, I was one of them.
A decade earlier and Americans lived through rampant inflation, fistfights in gas lines, Vietnam falling to the communists and Skylab threatening to plunge only God knew where, plus the only resignation of a president in our history. Anyone old enough to remember liberals and conservatives arguing over Nixon recalls a time when our politics had never been more polarized.
... Except for a decade earlier in the 1960s, through riots, assassinations, surging crime, campus disorder, rampant drug abuse and cities in flames, a century after the Civil War and the nation edging toward another. That was polarizing. What we see today is a cafeteria food fight by comparison.
Funny how in the course of a decade liberals have converted dissent from the purest of all virtues to the worst of all thoughtcrime.