Beyond the Pale


After the State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, Virginia Democratic congressman Jim Moran of Virginia taped an interview with the Arab network Alhurra.  Video of his performance has begun slithering around YouTube, and turned up on Fox News this morning.  It’s not pretty.

Describing the Republican landslide in the 2010 midterm elections, Moran said, “It happened for the same reason the Civil War happened in the United States.  Southern states, particularly the slave-holding states, didn’t want to see a President who was opposed to slavery.  In this case, a lot of people in this country, it’s my belief, don’t want to be governed by an African-American, particularly one who is inclusive, who is liberal, who wants to spend money on everyone and who wants to reach out to include everyone in our society.  And that’s a basic philosophical clash.”

Anyone who still harbors confusion about what a “climate of hate” looks like need look no further than Jim Moran’s noxious comments. 

This isn’t a new meme.  Democrats have been trying to clumsily insert race into the Tea Party narrative since the early days of the Obama Administration.  Members of the Congressional Black Caucus falsely claimed they were hammered with racist epithets at a Tea Party rally, only to back down when Internet entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart offered a cash bounty for any recording of the alleged verbal assaults.  The NAACP and Southern Poverty Law Center have done yeoman work for the Democrats, filing outrageous slanders against the Tea Party in a desperate attempt to keep this ugly narrative alive.

Of course, lazy Democrats playing the race card to silence dissent predates the Tea Party, but it comes out of the deck with renewed vigor when The First Black President is in hot water.  Nothing could be more poisonous and totalitarian than the assertion that there is no way to dissent from this President honestly, for intellectual reasons. 

Liberty is an act of faith in your fellow man.  Nothing rots it away faster than the insistence that a large portion of the populace has moved completely beyond the pale, their opinions unworthy of even a dollop of faith, because they’re motivated entirely by a brutish hatred that violates the social contract at a basic level.

The Democrats’ midterm loss is just like the prelude to the Civil War?  Over half a million Americans died in the Civil War.  A member of Congress should be able to pass a basic civics test, especially when they’re spouting off in front of a reporter from a foreign news organization.  I’m sure Moran’s YouTube video will do wonders for America’s reputation in the Arab world.

Besides, even if one is inclined to take Moran’s offensive rhetoric seriously, opinion polls have consistently – I think even universally – given Barack Obama higher personal approval numbers than his policies get.  If people only opposed him because they were racists, wouldn’t it be the other way around?

The controversial interview begins with the superannuated Moran getting a bit flirty with the attractive Alhurra reporter.  It’s a pity she didn’t interrupt his tirade to turn up the charm and ask him exactly where he gets the “money he wants to spend on everyone.”  It’s always fun to watch a puny little mind short-circuit completely.