If liberals want to convince Americans they’re sober and sensible, they seem to be going about it the wrong way.
We know some of them have already written off “civility” as a tool of “white privilege.” Ben Bowles pointed out earlier today that former U.S. representative (and now MSNBC analyst) Donna Edwards wants Democrats to “throw down.” She’d like to see the left wing playing by “street rules” and subjecting moderate GOP lawmakers to harassment.
The results of a recent online poll suggest, rather depressingly, that nearly half of Democrats say it was fair to kick Sarah Sanders out of a restaurant. Our LU editorial question: Would the poll get the same results if the question were about Maxine Waters instead of Sanders? That really is the measure of “street rules” versus principles, after all: whether they apply to everybody.
We could go on. But let’s get to our featured heroic proclamation, from Michael Moore. Moore was with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show Thursday night talking up his new documentary Fahrenheit 11/9 (get it?).
Moore warming up:
After playing a clip from the film in which he tries to infiltrate Mar-a-Lago, Colbert asked him if he was “civil” to the people there. “I was as civil as any Eagle Scout Catholic altar boy could be when confronted with the devil,” Moore answered.
Colbert wondered what kind of “endgame” Moore has in mind, since he presumably doesn’t want “violence or any sort of really revolutionary confrontation.” Does Moore have any hope for political change?
Moore, who said he cries every single day when he watches the news, says he has to hold on to some shred of hope. But at the same time he wonders, “When are people going to get off the couch and rise up?”
“Sadly, Trump is not going to leave,” he said. “He plans to be re-elected, he loves the term ‘president for life.’ The only way that we’re going to stop this is eventually we’re all going to have to put our bodies on the line. You’re going to have to be willing to do this.” Moore then turned to the audience and asked them what they would do if “they snatched your child from you.” Because “that’s how we all have to start responding.”
Admittedly, we’re starting to wonder just a little skeptically about all the daily tears reported by liberals. But maybe that’s not so hard to believe, coming from people who claim to think the Trump administration is about to snatch our children from us.
Moore doesn’t seem to have clarified what he means by people putting their bodies on the line. Perhaps it just sounds cool.
The liberals’ senior statespersons are also weighing in. Hillary Clinton, for one, has had it with being civil. Speaking to a Guardian reporter in the UK, on a campus of Swansea University (where the law school has been named after her), Clinton responded vigorously to a question about civility.
Lately, however, Democrats have been provoked to condemn the president with a passion some on the left warn is becoming “uncivil”. I’m curious to know what Clinton thinks of this.
“Oh, give me a break,” she erupts, eyes widening into indignation. “Give me a break! What is more uncivil and cruel than taking children away? It should be met with resolve and strength. And if some of that comes across as a little uncivil, well, children’s lives are at stake; their futures are at stake. That is that ridiculous concept of bothsideism.” She adopts a mockingly prim voice. “‘Well, you know, somebody made an insulting, profane remark about President Trump, and he separated 2,300 children from their families, that’s both sides, and we should stop being uncivil – oh and, by the way, he should stop separating children.’ Give me a break, really,” she growls, rolling her eyes.
So it’s settled: civility is overrated, or at least overemphasized. Even former President Obama has joined in the discussion, although in his own unique way. Like Michael Moore, he wants people to get off their couches (where liberals seem to imagine the people spend a lot of their time). Speaking at a fundraiser in Beverly Hills:
Obama warned of a country and world on the brink … but said they’d flub their chance to change that if they kept pining for a magical savior.
“Do not wait for the perfect message, don’t wait to feel a tingle in your spine because you’re expecting politicians to be so inspiring and poetic and moving that somehow, ‘OK, I’ll get off my couch after all and go spend the 15-20 minutes it takes for me to vote,’” Obama said in his first public comments in months, which only a few reporters and no cameras were allowed in for. “Because that’s part of what happened in the last election. I heard that too much.”
Tingles … was Obama thinking of the reactions to himself, perhaps? Politico’s author, Edward-Isaac Dovere, seemed to think so.
[Obama] almost accepted some of the blame for the state of the party, though he framed it less as the DNC atrophying from years of benign neglect while he was in the White House and being saddled with his reelection campaign debt and more as people making the mistake of falling too much in love with him.
“I’ll be honest with you, if I have a regret during my presidency, it is that people were so focused on me and the battles we were having, particularly after we lost the House, that folks stopped paying attention up and down the ballot,” Obama said.
Obama’s faux deflection of the imputed longing for him by the party came after DNC Chairman Tony Perez introduced him as follows:
Perez … called Obama out onto the stage by saying, “Let’s give it up for the real president of the United States”…
But, as noted by Dovere, Perez also “downplayed what he called ‘political venture capitalists — they want to find the next Barack Obama’.”
The bottom line, from Obama to Democratic Party insiders: “You are right to be concerned.” Which has an ominous ring to it.
The liberals are kind of all over the place, in fact. Which may be why actor John Cusack’s “coup, by any means necessary” solution seems to be resonating at the moment.