Right Wing Civility

Saturday, August 06, 2005 at 04:42 PM

The political right, despite the fact that it undeniably holds sway at the moment, continues to play the deniability game in which unofficial spokespeople rant and rave to rouse the rabble, while the "official" political right elected officials generally disclaim all responsibility for this rabble-rousing, and even bemoan the lack of civility in modern politics. This allows them to attack Howard Dean, for example, and his comment about hating Republicans and what they stand for. All without repudiating what their rabble rousers said, of course.

The net result? A degree of intolerance, belligerence, self-righteousness, xenophobia and ridicule unseen in this country since the 1930s and Father Coughlin. This sampling of comments from some of the leading lights of the right, all bedrock supporters of the current administration may help explain Dean's comment:

--Rush Limbaugh's Iraqi prisoner torture comments include: "the reaction to the stupid torture is an example of the feminization of this country." (May 5, 2004).

--Ann Coulter, speaking on the 11-30-04, FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes said that Canadians "better hope the United States doesn't roll over one night and crush them. They are lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent."

--Tucker Carlson, on 11-30-04 stated on CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports: "Without the U.S., Canada is essentially Honduras, but colder and much less interesting."

--Jerry Falwell, speaking on the 9-13-01 700 Club (Pat Robertson's cable show), blamed the 9-11 terrorist attacks on "the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and lesbians"

--Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform is the author of the famous quote "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub." He's also quoted as saying:
a. "We will hunt [these liberal groups] down one by one and extinguish their funding sources."
b. "We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals--and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship." quoted in John Aloysius Farrell, "Rancor becomes top D.C. export: GOP leads charge in ideological war," in the Denver Post, May 26, 2003, available at (

--Jerome Corsi, co-author of Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, in comments posted on FreeRepublic.com's online forums (using the moniker "jrlc") has frequently insulted Muslims, Jews, Catholics, gays, feminists, etc., including the astounding statement "Isn't the Democratic Party the official SODOMIZER PROTECTION ASSOCIATION of AMERICA -- oh, I forgot, it was just an accident that Clintoon's first act in office was to promote "gays in the military." RAGHEADS are Boy-Bumpers as clearly as they are Women-Haters -- it all goes together"

--Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation (in a book by John Soloma titled "Ominous Politics: the New Conservative Labyrinth," (1984; Hill and Wang, New York) said "We are different from previous generations of conservatives. We are no longer working to preserve the status quo. We are radicals, working to overturn the present power structure of this country."

-- Eric Heubeck (essentially a protégé of Weyrich) said in "The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement," 2001 (Free Congress Foundation): " Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive. We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them. We will endeavor to knock our opponents off-balance and unsettle them at every opportunity. All of our constructive energies will be dedicated to the creation of our own institutions."
A copy of this appears online at

-- Michael Ledeen, of the American Enterprise Institute, in his book "The War Against the Terror Masters" says "Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. ... [W]e must destroy them to advance our historic mission."
He has made similar comments online, such as at http://www.nationalreview.com/contributors/ledeen092001.shtml.

Ledeen has also said "We can lead by the force of high moral example ... [but] fear is much more reliable, and lasts longer." in an online article for National Review--