Monday, October 23, 2006

Neener Neener

I ran across this in a blog entry by somebody named Tammy Bruce:“
It certainly seems that women with an opinion (particularly myself, Peggy Noonan and The Anchoress) slightly irk the amusing and very opinionated Vanity Fair contributor. I thought today's so-called liberals loved and embraced the idea of dissent. Silly me.”
Perhaps I’m being naïve in doing so, but I’ll assume that Ms. Bruce is being sincere and not disingenuous in writing that penultimate sentence. If so, this is among the latest, though by no means the only or most egregious, example of particularly weak and tiresome wingnut gimmick.

This, apparently, is how things work in Bruce’s mind:
Liberals claim to approve of and value dissent.
I wrote something liberals disagree with.
Liberals actually came out and said they disagree with me.
Therefore liberals are hypocrites who don’t really approve of dissent.

How, in the minds of such simpletons, did approval of the right to dissent become equated with the requirement to agree with, or at the least remain mute on any disagreement with, the content of the dissent? Where, in James Wolcott’s piece referred to by Ms. Bruce, or in any of the other situations where this “argument” is trotted out, does anybody say “I disagree with you so you have no right to express an opinion?” I’m sure it’s quite frequent that people referring to Bruce and her ilk question, as I do, why anybody would pay attention to someone so vacuous, but suggesting somebody is not worthy of reading or that her opinion is not worthy of serious consideration is not the same as suggesting she has no right to express her opinion.

How is it that this simple sentiment, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it,” is too complex for them to grasp. And, as it apparently is, why is attention even paid to people such as Bruce.
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