When a few unruly McCain-Palin supporters show their anger at campaign rallies, it`s national news.
It`s an epidemic of "Weimar-like rage" and "violent escalation of rhetoric," according to New York Times columnist Frank Rich. It`s the "re-emergence of the far right as a power in American politics," according to Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne. It`s a mass movement of GOP crowds "gripped by insane rage," according to newly minted Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman.
Too bad they don`t give out global awards for the Blindest Eyes in Punditocracy. We`ve just hit a trifecta.
Are a few activists on the right getting out of hand? Probably. Between massive ACORN voter fraud, Bill Ayers` and Jeremiah Wright`s unrepentant hatred of America, and John McCain`s inability to nail Barack Obama on his longtime alliances with all of the above, conservatives have plenty to shout about these days.
BBut a couple of random catcallers do not a mob make. And there`s an overflowing abundance of electoral rage on the left that won`t make it onto your newspaper`s front page.
Last month on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, a small, brave contingent of McCain supporters marched through the streets with campaign signs. They were met by a menacing horde of New Yorkers who displayed their disapproval with a barrage of jeers and vulgar gestures. ("The number of middle fingers in the `progressive crowd` is directly proportional to the number of Ph.D. degrees in the 10-block radius," one of the witnesses wryly observed.) A YouTube video of the confrontation now has nearly half a million views (www.youtube.com and search "Pro-McCain March in Manhattan").
But don`t expect to find it on the nightly news. It doesn`t fit the Angry Right narrative.
Neither does the near-riotous reaction of Obama supporters to a McCain-Palin sign in Democrat-dominated Prince George`s County, Md. Buried in a back local section, The Washington Post reported this week that "pandemonium" broke loose when an unsuspecting businessman erected a "Country First. McCain/Palin." message on the marquee at his Colony South Hotel & Conference Center.
"Operators of neighborhood e-mail group lists cried foul to their memberships. The NAACP logged calls. Community leaders demanded boycotts of the hotel, a common venue for Democratic events," the little-noticed article reported. A black professor called the sign "a stink bomb in the middle of the living room" of Obama land. The poor hotel manager, Alan Vahabzadeh, surrendered. "I didn`t even realize it was going to be like this."[ Candidate Banners Can Leave Clients, Businesses Bruised, By Avis Thomas-Lester, Washington Post, October 12, 2008]
Can`t blame him for missing the fiery hint from Portland, Ore.—where two deranged vandals were arrested after throwing a Molotov cocktail at a McCain yard sign in the middle of the night.
Nope, that didn`t make it into the columns of Rich, Dionne or Krugman. Doesn`t fit the Angry Right narrative.
Speaking of "violent escalation of rhetoric" you never hear about:
And no one blinks. Not a peep from the Obamedia.
But when Palin simply spotlights Obama`s longtime relationship with Weather Underground terrorist Bill "We Didn`t Do Enough" Ayers?
"Inciting violence," frets NBC reporter Ron Allen.
"Concerned … for Sen. Obama`s safety," agonizes ABC reporter Terry Moran.
"Beyond the pale," cries Obama campaign manager David Plouffe. As if the no-holds-barred Obama campaign has ever had a rhetorical pale to stake.
All the world`s a Kabuki stage for the selectively outraged over rage.
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Michelle Malkin [email her] is author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores. Click here for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click here for Michelle Malkin`s website. Michelle Malkin`s latest book is "Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild."