The evidence mounts that liberalism is dead.
The liberal wizards, working their wonders at The New York Times and its clearinghouses in the major networks, cannot even dupe the American people with an absurd conspiracy theory anymore. In Dallas back in 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald, a pious communist awash in the Marxist-Leninist bilge, shot President John F. Kennedy. In no time, the liberals had the nation focused on the "dangerous right-wing atmosphere" supposedly pervading Dallas. Soon all the talk was of "the paranoid style" of American politics. Oswald was almost forgotten. Doubtless, today there are fervent liberals living in haunts in Massachusetts and in Berkeley, Calif., who believe in their heart of hearts that the president was felled by Texas Republicans.
This time around, an obvious lunatic shoots 19 people in Tucson, Ariz., killing six (one of whom was a Republican judge) and wounding 13 (one of whom is a Democratic congresswoman), and the liberals try again. With artifice and craft, they try to focus the nation's attention on the "heated rhetoric" of the right. Sarah Palin is trotted out. The tea partyers are cited. The venerable Times editorializes, "It is legitimate to hold Republicans and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger (remember the Times' cosseting of the Angry Left back in 2008?) that has produced the vast majority of these threats, setting the nation on edge." Today, however, the average American has had enough of this liberal garbage spiel, and so in a CBS poll, nearly 6 in 10 Americans deny that the "country's heated rhetoric" had anything to do with the shooting. Liberalism has come to the end of the line. It is a bore.
Yet what kind of person directs our attention to the meaningless madness of a lunatic and tries to lecture us on the random concreteness of nouns appearing in the chaos of the poor wretch's attempts at thought. The man police say was the gunman, Jared Loughner, mentions "Mein Kampf." He mutters something about the gold standard. And my favorite: He advocated proper grammar, or perhaps he abominated proper grammar. He was not very clear. At least there was something about grammar. Hear! Hear!
Loughner is obviously a schizophrenic. I am no psychiatrist, but I would bet he is a paranoid schizophrenic. That is the most dangerous kind of schizophrenic. What he says might matter to his psychiatrist, but it has little significance to the outside world. Yet apparently, it mattered greatly to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman. This week, he wrote in the Times: "Where's that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let's not make a false pretense of balance: it's coming, overwhelmingly, from the right." And he continued, "It's hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents" to violence. Now, Krugman has been a columnist for the Times for a long enough time, covering a sufficient variety of political events, for us to deduce that he is a political nitwit. Other Nobel laureates have been nitwits, for instance, Bertrand Russell. There are a lot of political nitwits in this world. Perhaps the Times could give Krugman a cooking column. He would be its Nobel Prize-winning cooking columnist.
Of course, examples of Democrats speaking loosely about violence toward Republicans have now been piling up in blithe contradiction to this nitwit's asseveration. The inimitable James Taranto of The Wall Street Journal cites Sen. John Kerry joshing with Bill Maher about how he "could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird (George W. Bush) with one stone." Taranto adds that in 1988, Kerry joked about the Secret Service's being under orders "to shoot Quayle" if George H.W. Bush were killed. And he quotes then-Rep. Paul Kanjorski as saying in October (as Jeffrey Lord first reported in The American Spectator), "That (Rick) Scott down there that's running for governor of Florida. Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him." Kanjorski alleged that Scott's transgression was stealing "billions of dollars from the United States government." He was defeated in 2010. Scott was elected. Yet Kanjorski resurrected marvelously. On the op-ed page of the Times, he appeared Tuesday counseling on the proper response to the Tucson shooting.
As I say, liberalism is dead. This hitherto unthinkable effort to blame the unhinged act of a lunatic on the language of the right without respect to the often more inflammatory language of the left is a cry from the grave. Rigor mortis has set in, comrades, and even your president suffers. On the campaign trail in 2008, Barack Obama said, "If (Republicans) bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun."
I am eager to read what Krugman does with broccoli.
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is the founder and editor-in-chief of The American Spectator and an adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute. His new book is "After the Hangover: The Conservatives' Road to Recovery." To find out more about R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.