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A form of left-wing hatred:
assigning collective guilt to their political enemies

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:08 am - November 23, 2011.
Filed under: Liberals,Misrepresenting the Right

Bryan Preston looks at film critic Frank Rich’s column in New York magazine, quipping that it “should get him ridiculed and fired; no one who is so irresponsible with the hard facts of life has any place in the commentariat.” “The title,” Preston observes, “gives Rich’s game away. It’s ‘What Killed JFK?’ not ‘Who Killed JFK?’ as it should be.”*

Yeah, better to blame a right-wing bogeyman than look at the actual facts of the case and the background of the shooter. No wonder all too many on the left buy into the conspiracy theories. Lee Harvey Oswald was not a villain taken from liberal central casting. He, Preston reminds us, “was not a mainstream Dallas man. He would not have been a Tea Partier. Lee Harvey Oswald was a communist.”

So, liberals had to find someone else to blame:

They blamed Dallas for Kennedy’s death then, and [liberal talking heads] blame Sarah Palin and conservatives for the senseless shooting in Tucson this year. The facts of the story change, but the smear stays the same. Frank Rich blames “hate” for both, but the only hate on display is his own. It blinds him to the fact that Oswald was a man very much of the left, and that the Tucson shooter had no discernible ideology at all. But men of the left such as Rich prefer to assign collective guilt on their political enemies. Without pushing that collective guilt on others, their own lives have no meaning. They cannot convince themselves of their own superiority without an inferior other to hate. And collective guilt is a useful tool to intimidate.

Interesting how so many on the left so eager to accuse conservatives of harbor such (often intense) hatred themselves for conservatives. And their hatred is not based on things conservatives have done, but on things certain liberals like Mr. Rich (and those who blamed conservatives for the Tucson shooting) project onto them, as if conservatives in general must necessarily be guilty for the actions of one lone individual (often not even a conservative, see, e.g., the Tucson shooter or Lee Harvey Oswald).

Preston’s column really merits your time and further thought.

*(Seems to show how smart they are, some folks have to find the “root causes” of every crime while downplaying the actual criminal who committed said crime.)

ADDENDUM (which causes me to put this post into the “Random Thoughts” category): Maybe it’s just my bleary mind after much travel, little sleep, but it does seem there’s a correlation between the collective guilt folks like Frank Rich assign to conservatives and the insistence by some on the left (e.g., President Obama) to blame Republicans for not apologizing for the boorish behavior of others. Maybe it’s just that they want to be able to blame conservatives for something. Or that they “need” to.

NB:  Changed the title back to something I had originally contemplated (and as per comment #5 intended to use).  I did not mean to suggest that all liberals share Frank Rich’s bizarre form of prejudice, but many do.   Most do not, but it seems that a very high proportion of those who do are in the chattering classes.



  1. Well, Frank Rich, what killed Kennedy was a bullet fired from a rifle by Lee Harvey Oswald. Who killed Kennedy is the guy I just named, Lee Harvey Oswald.

    If, Frank Rich, you are not satisfied with that, perhaps you are really meaning: What caused Lee Harvey Oswald to undertake the planning, carry out the plan and to pull the trigger?

    However, Frank Rich, if you are still trying to locate the embedded force of evil in society that caused Lee Harvey Oswald, perhaps you might ponder the following little brazen psycho-drama:

    It was, Frank Rich, all Lyndon Baines Johnson’s doing. Kennedy loathed Johnson and abused him. But Kennedy needed Johnson to win Texas in 1960 and he went to Dallas in 1963 with Johnson to help shore up the vote in the coming election. Who had the most to gain from the assassination, Oswald or Johnson?

    Now, Frank Rich, all you have to do is string together an Oliver Stone type conclusion supported by twisted innuendo and you have Kennedy killed by internecine war in the Democrat party.

    How about that, Frank Rich, for your template?

    Any simple fool can play this game.

    Comment by Heliotrope — November 23, 2011 @ 8:46 am - November 23, 2011

  2. There are tons of conspiracy theories out there (communist Castro, the mafia, LBJ himself immediately come to mind). Frank Rich shouldn’t be weighed any greater. By singling him out, you’re guilty of the very thing he’s doing. The actions of ONE person (i.e. Rich) can’t be emblematic for a party if there isn’t a pattern in said actions within that party. This is like someone on the left meeting a Tea Party member who doesn’t support marriage equality and making a big to do about it (when, in fact, there are plenty of Tea Party members who support marriage equality). Show me the multitude of other left-wing conspiracy theories who are blaming JFK’s assassination on the right. Links or they don’t exist.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — November 23, 2011 @ 10:07 am - November 23, 2011

  3. Oh.

    Frank Rich writes for the New York Times. That is supposedly a top post from which to posit thoughts and ideas. Supposedly, editors read the works submitted and separate the germs of an idea from the ideas full of germs.

    Perhaps Frank Rich is having a little trouble communicating with the voices he hears from inside his head and he went off a half-cocked. There is still an editor between him and having momentary idiocy appear in permanent ink under the banner of The New York Times.

    But, perhaps, the “newspaper of record” has slipped so far that it has to compete with MSNBC, Nancy Pelosi’s blatherings about conscience, Joe Biden’s love affair with Jon Corzine and the great search for the platform which informs the Occupy crowd.

    Had Frank Rich kept his silly idea to himself, we would not be commenting here.

    Out of curiosity, is it OK to question other Frank Rich prognostications based on this half-wit offering concerning the Kennedy mystique?

    When conservatives in general and Republicans in particular must be continually marginalized by the likes of Frank Rich on the left, do people on the left ever tire of the repetitious caterwauling or are they so tone deaf that it is just music to their ears?

    Comment by Heliotrope — November 23, 2011 @ 10:32 am - November 23, 2011

  4. Like many on the Left, Frank Rich tries to rewrite the past without a hint of irony or humor; all he has is a slow-burn of hatred burning for the Republicans & Conservatives. Rich fell off the cliff & right into a tar baby. The Left will reward Frank for his delusions when he should be fired.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — November 23, 2011 @ 10:40 am - November 23, 2011

  5. Cinesnatch, Heliotrope helped make my point when he observed that we wouldn’t be commenting here had Frenk Rich kept his ideas to himself.

    I also should apologize. I changed the title last night before bed to “A from of left-wing hatred,” but had had two drafts of this point open in separate windows and inadvertently saved the older one. I had meant to go with “A” form of left-wing hatred to indicate that not all liberals share Frank Rich’s bizarre form of anti-conservative prejudice, a prejudice shared by those who rushed to fault conservatives in general and the Tea Party in particular for creating the climate of violence (or whatever) that caused the Tucson shooter to attack Congressman Giffords and her party.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — November 23, 2011 @ 10:55 am - November 23, 2011

  6. I understand. I just don’t think Frank Rich is a mouthpiece for anyone but himself.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — November 23, 2011 @ 11:06 am - November 23, 2011

  7. Yes, but bear in mind that the NYT publishes his column and the chorus of folks blaming conservatives for the Tucson shooting shows that others on the left have a mind-set similar to his own.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — November 23, 2011 @ 11:21 am - November 23, 2011

  8. It’s a bit disingenuous to assert that one of the top columnists at one of the left’s top mouthpieces speaks only for himself; particular when Dan has demonstrated that Rich’s blaming the right as a whole for the actions of fringe individuals (who, in the case of LHO and Jared Loughner weren’t even part of the right) is a consistent pattern on the left. Sarah Palin and the Tea Parties were blamed for Gabby Giffords shooting. Rush Limbaugh and talk radio were blamed for the Oklahoma City Bombings. Texas conservatives are blamed for JFK’s assassination.

    Once is an event. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is a pattern. And this has happened much more often than three times.

    Comment by V the K — November 23, 2011 @ 11:46 am - November 23, 2011

  9. Perhaps Frank Rich… went off a half-cocked. There is still an editor between him and having momentary idiocy appear in permanent ink

    Exactly. Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd periodically write things as noxious. The NYT publishes lots of anti-conservative smears… with relish on the side. When the NYT editorial board thinks a thing secretly (knowing they can’t get away with saying it) or at least relishes it being spread around (though knowing it’s false), one of their many ‘independent’ left-wing columnists will pop up to say it… editorial standards be damned.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 23, 2011 @ 11:53 am - November 23, 2011

  10. Furthermore, we should all remember that Cinesnatch completely supported the theory that Sarah Palin was responsible for the Tucson shootings, given his endorsement and support of Levi and Serenity’s statements to that effect as, quote, “the only voice of reason”.

    Even here, notice that Cinesnatch is completely unable to admit that what Rich wrote was wrong. Instead, he bleats and whines and spins that conservatives are “just as guilty”.

    Again, moral relativism. Cinesnatch doesn’t think that what Rich wrote was wrong because it’s anti-conservative and anti-Republican. However, if Republicans behave the same way, they’re awful people.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 23, 2011 @ 1:18 pm - November 23, 2011

  11. Let’s point out what a lying hypocrite Cinesnatch is.

    Cinesnatch bleats this to try to save himself:

    The actions of ONE person (i.e. Rich) can’t be emblematic for a party if there isn’t a pattern in said actions within that party. This is like someone on the left meeting a Tea Party member who doesn’t support marriage equality and making a big to do about it (when, in fact, there are plenty of Tea Party members who support marriage equality)

    Nancy Pelosi claimed that all Tea Partiers were Nazis based on her allegedly seeing one swastika.

    Call her out, Cinesnatch, and say that she’s an irresponsible and hatemongering liar, just like you’re trying to do to Dan. In fact, wouldn’t you state that someone who is so hateful and tells lies about such people should resign, especially since she has decried hate and lies in politics?

    What will be demonstrated VERY quickly is how much of a hypocrite you are. It’s not difficult to corner and humiliate a moral relativist like you because your Obama Party gives so many examples.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 23, 2011 @ 1:24 pm - November 23, 2011

  12. ND30 >> I will not do anything you request of me until you apologize for calling me a child molester. Plain and simple.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — November 23, 2011 @ 8:20 pm - November 23, 2011

  13. Of course you won’t, Snatchy. That was my point; you make excuse after excuse after excuse, blame anyone but yourself, and scream and whine that anyone who holds you accountable is themselves “guilty”. The whole idea is to nail you to the wall with your hypocrisy and show time and time again how you and your fellow Obamabots try to impose on conservatives standards to which you would never under any circumstances hold yourself.

    What it really is is cowardice and hypocrisy. You don’t give a damn about namecalling or slander or anything of the sort if it’s your fellow Obama Party members doing it. You even excuse gays and lesbians who molest and rape and enable molesting and raping children by claiming it’s the children’s parents’ fault for not being more “supporting”.

    Man up and show you have some principles, boy. Or sit here and bleat and spin and demonstrate how there’s nothing an Obamabot can do that you won’t excuse.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 23, 2011 @ 9:57 pm - November 23, 2011

  14. You’re guilty of slander, ND30. As in, YOU called ME a child-molester, among other names. Through our exchanges, you believe our disagreements justify libel. I’ve argued my points to the best of my abilities. I’ll whole-heartedly admit that I’m not the best at debating. Sometimes, I stuff my foot in my mouth. Sometimes, I bite off more than I can chew. Sometimes, I piss people off on here because they find me disagreeable. But, I never wage unfounded personal attacks, as my reasons for being here have nothing to do with singling commenters out.

    I’m sorry the anonymity of the internet allows you to regard me as less than a human being. I hear you’re a nice, sweet guy in real life from someone I trust. It’s hard for me to imagine, but I’ll try. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Take care.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — November 23, 2011 @ 10:41 pm - November 23, 2011

  15. ND30 >> I will not do anything you request of me until you apologize for calling me a child molester.

    And I, ND30 will not do anything you request of me until you apologize for calling me a cab. Anybody else would have just given me a ride to the airport.

    Comment by V the K — November 24, 2011 @ 12:56 am - November 24, 2011

  16. You’re guilty of slander,…you believe our disagreements justify libel.

    Which is it? Is it on or t’other?

    Comment by TGC — November 24, 2011 @ 2:53 am - November 24, 2011

  17. ——————————————————————————–

    Peter Parker: Spider-Man wasn’t trying to attack the city, he was trying to save it. That’s slander.
    J. Jonah Jameson: It is not. I resent that. Slander is spoken. In print, it’s libel.

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 24, 2011 @ 11:13 am - November 24, 2011

  18. The entertaining part of all of Snatchy’s screaming is that, when you consider what Snatchy and his fellow gays and lesbians like Evan Hurst, Wayne Besen, Rob Tisinai, and others fully support and endorse saying about people, all of this whining is just another prime example of their hypocrisy.

    And this was precious:

    I’m sorry the anonymity of the internet allows you to regard me as less than a human being.

    Again, when you consider how Snatchy’s fellow gay and lesbian Obama supporters have told me they hope I have HIV and that I kill myself – not to mention the Obama-supporting national leaders of the gay and lesbian community state on national TV that they wish death on all Republicans and conservatives – all of this whining about dehumanizing others is a second prime example of their hypocrisy.

    You’d think that if Snatchy were so concerned about libeling, slandering, and dehumanizing others, he could at least start with his own party, his own community leaders, and his own fellow Obama worshipers.

    But of course, that will never happen, because stopping slander, libel, and dehumanization is not the point; indeed, as we’ve seen just in this thread, Snatchy is all about supporting slander, libel, and dehumanization if his fellow gays and lesbians and Obama supporters are doing it. It’s about using a transparent and hypocritical excuse to shut conservatives up by invoking principles of civilized behavior that Snatchy and his fellow LGBT Obamabots have zero intention of following themselves.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 25, 2011 @ 1:39 am - November 25, 2011

  19. Keeping the hate alive: Mark Kelly says Sarah Palin owes Gabby Giffords an apology.

    Comment by V the K — November 25, 2011 @ 1:33 pm - November 25, 2011

  20. I read the link in V the K’s comment @ #19 and then followed the links there, as well.

    Piers Morgan and Mark Kelly are engaging in pure sleaze. The issue is the Palin map that “targets” congresspersons to be defeated by placing a bullseye target over their district location. One candidate thus targeted was Giffords. As fate would have it, Giffords was shot by a lunatic and now Morgan and Kelly find cause for Palin to apologize to Giffords because: a) there is not a scintilla of evidence connecting the ad to the assassination attempt; b) Palin has often encouraged violence against those she opposes and did a victory dance when Giffords was shot; c) Democrats are pure of heart and Republicans are venal; d) Palin is a quitter and too dumb to be President; e) whatever.

    Comment by Heliotrope — November 25, 2011 @ 3:36 pm - November 25, 2011

  21. What galls me is Kelly says Sarah Palin isn’t responsible for the shooting, but he says she should apologize anyway. WTF for, then?

    Comment by V the K — November 25, 2011 @ 4:22 pm - November 25, 2011

  22. Precisely. Kelly is demanding that Palin apologize for not jumping on television immediately to take responsibility for not taking responsibility when she had the obligation to take responsibility for something she had no responsibility in ……

    Don’t you see? This is not about politics, it is about politics. It can not be forgotten, because it clearly has nothing to do with politics or taking responsibility. Are you so dense that you can not understand that it is not only the right thing to do, it is obligatory. Might even be a hate crime. Who knows?

    Comment by Heliotrope — November 25, 2011 @ 4:34 pm - November 25, 2011

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