Calling it “a sad moment for liberalism, for the Democratic Party, and, really, for the whole country“, Charles Lane (no conservative he) takes the Democratic, public employee union and their allies to task for their angry antics in Madison, Wisconsin:
Yet today in Wisconsin, anger and vilification are once again the order of the day — and the incivility emanates from the progressive end of the spectrum, including, no doubt, many of the same people who blamed right-wing vitriol for creating a climate of violence in Arizona. Union-backed demonstrators, furious at Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plans for reining in public-sector unions, equate him with Hosni Mubarak and Adolf Hitler, in disgusting mimickry of some Tea Party members’ inflammatory linkage between Obama and the evil dictators of history. (See Photo no. 10 in this gallery) or Photo 13 in this gallery .
Meanwhile, progressive voices in the media fanned the flames,spreading misinformation and outright falsehoods with a zest that would make Glenn Beck blush: Gov. Walker wants to crush unions with the National Guard; he manufactured a budget crisis to justify his attack on unions; he proposed cutting union workers’ pay 20 percent. Neutral sources have debunked it all, but as far as I know only Ezra Klein among these tribunes of truth has seen fit to correct the record. . . .
This is hypocrisy on an epic scale. I can’t think of a more overwhelming refutation of the claim that incivility is the unique province of the American right
Read the whole thing.
Now, to be sure, I quibble with the accuracy of his descriptions of the Tea Party, but that grassroots movement never obstructed any legislative process — or children’s education — as these protesters are doing. That said, his jaundiced view of the Tea Party helps establish his bona fides as a man of the left (indeed, on the whole, Lane embodies the sensible center-left), making his critique all the more telling.