The outgoing House Majority Leader attempted to walk back from a mean-spirited insult he leveled against Tea Party protesters:
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said today that he regretted calling tea party protests “un-American” but compared the angry rhetoric of some Republican leaders who goad them on to the fiery rantings of a controversial Depression-era priest sympathetic to the Nazis.
“That was not a good phrase, not a good use of language. It was not correct,” the Maryland Democrat said of an op-ed column he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote in USA Today last summer. The article was a response to protesters who disrupted town hall meetings on their party’s health care reform proposals, hanging members of Congress in effigy and railing against “death panels.”
Hoyer told reporters that while “there are some activities that are not consistent with civil engagement,” he said he regretted having read the column too quickly before approving it.
Wonder if the Democrat ever said that there were some anti-Bush activities in the early 2000s that were not consistent with civil engagement”. Note anything missing from Hoyer’s remarks?
Well, here’s the caption to the picture going with the article quoted above, “House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is apologizing for a column he co-wrote is which he said, ‘Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American.'” See anything wrong with that caption?
The editors at AOL inserted a word that Mr. Hoyer did not use. The Maryland Democrat did not apologize.
And even as he “regretted” his remark, he went on to compare Republican rhetoric to Father Coughlin which showed how clueless he is about American history, Republican ideas or both. That mean-spirited Catholic preacher who rose to prominence in the 1930s was, as Jonah Goldberg has repeatedly pointed out, was a “man of the left“: he inveighed against laissez-faire economics, “’international bankers’ and similar ilk.” (So, who of late has been inveighing against Wall Street?)
And unlike Coughlin, nowhere in the rhetoric of any prominent Republicans or Tea Party activists is there even a tinge of anti-Semitism or any attempt to scapegoat a minority group.
In the process of “regretting” a past comment accusing his ideological adversaries of being un-American, the second ranking House Democrat steps in it even further, continuing to malign those with view different from his own, misrepresent those views an reveal a limited understanding of American history.
I think the web-page editors should have picked a better title.