Kennedy’s Illness, and the Left’s

THE MEDIA KEEP REMINDING US OF THE ISSUES THAT DIVIDE us as a nation: Iraq, different approaches about reviving the economy, socialized medicine, the role of mankind in global warming, gay marriage, social issues, and many others. As Ted Kennedy’s recently diagnosed brain tumor demonstrated, Right and Left are also divided based on whether they display basic human decency when misfortunes befall a member of the other side. The American people seem to be fundamentally cleft about how they treat news of an opponent’s impending death in a conservative manner – with prayer – or a leftist one – with champagne and hate mail.

The Right Way to Greet Death

Immediately upon learning of the diagnosis, Kathryn Lopez posted a blog on National Review Online headlined “Oh No,” adding, “Our prayers obviously…” The May 19 edition of National Review Online carried an article entitled, “Praying for Senator Kennedy.” As of early yesterday morning, the post on Little Green Footballs announcing his illness had 1,036 comments. Here are a few representative samples:

  • “Well I wish him the best. If a cure is not possible, then as many quality months with his family as are possible.”
  • “I disagree with Senator Kennedy’s politics, but he is a fellow American and a fellow human being so I sincerely pray for his recovery and wish his family well.”
  • “Prayers for the Ted and Kennedy family. Much strength and peace for them in the coming days.”

The Soros-funded Media Matters, try as it might to find evil right-wingers celebrating, found only a clip from Michael Savage. The average conservative, however much he disagreed with Ted Kennedy, wished him well.

Not “Rest In Peace”: “Rot In Hell”

This could be contrasted to the hatred the Left has vented toward so many of those who opposed its agenda. One could begin with its reaction to the death of Kennedy – the Rev. Dr. D. James Kennedy. The late minister of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church was one of the least political of all national Christian spokesmen, but when he passed away last September, the DailyKos announced: “Another Hate Merchant Meets His Maker.” “This won’t be a long diary, but another of the first wave of Mega-church hate peddlers has died,” the diarist stated. “He and Jerry [Falwell] and Ron [Reagan] should have plenty to talk about for enternity, [sic.] comparing notes and anecdotes. I won’t even get into where, since I’m basically a Humanist.” Naturally, the Left had similar thoughts about the death of Jerry Falwell almost exactly one year ago. Amanda Marcotte, a former employee of the John Edwards presidential campaign, immediately blogged: “The gates of hell swing open and Satan welcomes his beloved son. Jerry Falwell’s dead. Guess god [sic] — notice the small ‘g’ — liked the ACLU better after all.” Ms. Marcotte was far from alone.

Hating More Than “Religious Right Pharisees”

The humanists didn’t show much humanity at the passing of Charlton Heston last month, either. The loving Left at Democratic Underground wrote such epitaphs as:

  • If “liberal” means giving every mean-spirited bastard in the world a break solely on the account that they are a fellow homo sapien?… feeling any sense of loss that some sorry piece of shithumanity such as C Heston has checked out? Then sign me out. I am glad that he is no longer breathing the same air that you and I share. Just tell me the address to where I need to mail my “Liberal” card.
  • Can’t say I feel sorry for Charlton Heston. From all I heard he was as rightwing as they come.
  • So glad to hear some good news for a change. – I hope that spreader of misery spends all his glory days around the eternal flames of hell with ol’ Raygun talkin’ ’bout how they really fucked this country – oh they probably won’t even remember, lol. How about we quit glorifying someone just because they had the good sense to DIE.
  • NOW will somebody pry his cold, dead hands from that frickin’ penis substitute?
  • he had it coming. – I had no empathy for the aging Nazis, either.

One did not have to actually do anything offensive to the Left to incur its wrath. After 9/11, NFL star Pat Tillman gave up his salary to defend the United States in Afghanistan – the War on Terror that leftists claim to support. He was killed there. Learning this, the Urbana, Illinois, chapter of Indymedia wrote, “Pat Tillman is gone good riddance.” The Portland Indymedia site ran the headline, “Dumb Jock Killed in Afghanistan.”

Ted Rall: The Worst of the Worst

The execrable cartoonist Ted Rall has made a career of slurring the dead. Shortly after Reagan’s death, Rall told a reporter Reagan was in Hell “turning crispy brown right about now.” Rall called Pat Tillman an “idiot.” He also berated the victims of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre and their families as Nazis, and portrayed the grieving wives left behind after 9/11 as money-grubbing media hounds in his cartoon “Terror Widows.”

We, the Living

Leftists are not always content to wait for the targets of their hatred to die. Often, they wish – and occasionally, pray – for it when conservatives take ill. (Undoubtedly, one of the few times leftists glance heavenward.) When Dick Cheney’s heart began acting up in November 2006, Huffington Post columnist Tony Hendra offered “A Thanksgiving Prayer for Dick Cheney’s Heart – and a Few Other Favorite Things.” The blasphemous entry begins:

I give thanks O Lord for Dick Cheney’s Heart, that brave organ which has done its darn-tootin’ best on four separate occasions to do what we can only dream about. O Lord, give Dick Cheney’s Heart, Our Sacred Secret Weapon, the strength to try one more time! For greater love hath no heart than that it lay down its life to rid the planet of its Number One Human Tumor.

Cheney had to have his heart electrically shocked to correct an abnormal rhythm days later.

Fun and Giggles About a Dying Pope

The New York Press published a cover story in March 2005 entitled, “The 52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of the Pope,” which included such knee-slappers as, “In his last days, the Pope was in tremendous pain”; “Beetles eating Pope’s dead brains”; and “Pope pisses himself just before the end; gets all over nurse.”

An Avalanche of Hatred for Snow

Left-wingers are aware of their limitless ill-will for others and have sometimes attempted to cover for themselves. When former White House Spokesman Tony Snow revealed the return of his cancer in last March, one DailyKoster announced the Left’s clean hands and put the shoe on the other foot:

I know I don’t have to tell you all this, but for the occassional [sic.] troller – We at Dailykos do not swim in the Rush Limbaugh pool of scum.  We do not wish ill-health on our political opponents or their families.  We at Dailykos give our whole-hearted best wishes and prayers to Tony Snow and his family.

His fellow bloggers quickly proved him a liar. The same day, another diarist argued that since Snow had opposed medical marijuana and euthanasia, his cancer was:

not just coincidental. IRONIC. And, frankly, maybe just a little Karmic. Because Tony Snow didn’t just wish suffering on terminally ill patients, he promoted policy positions that ACTUALLY CAUSED SUFFERING for those patients. Big difference.

A year later, after another downturn, the DK klan wrote: “Fuck Tony Snow. Not to wish ill of his cancer or anything, but perhaps it is Karma.”  And again, “Tony Snow is a cancer upon our culture.” And yet more:

  • He deserves whatever is in his future.  Karma indicates that where he is going is not good.
  • Perhaps as he dies he will consider the 4000 plus of our soldiers who have died needlessly in Iraq for a policy that he supported…Tony Snow is scum.  It pains me and makes me feel a little guilty to say that about another being…I won’t say human being…but he embodies evil as do those neocons he has supported.

Others, who could not gin up the courage to publicly wish him dead, declared their ambivalence. Another Kos diary entry asked, “Should I Care That Tony Snow Has Cancer?”

“John Hinckley Jr. – Where Are You Now That We Need You?”

…And often the Left cannot wait even for conservatives to get ill before wishing them pain, suffering, and death.

NPR’s Nina Totenberg, who covers politics at taxpayer expense, wished Jesse Helms would contract AIDS and publicly hoped Gen. Jerry Boykin “is not long for this world.” Columnist Julianne Malveaux publicly cast a pox on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, saying, “I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter, and he dies early, like many black men do, of heart disease.” Air America’s Randi Rhodes has repeatedly “joked” about doing in President Bush. A foreign leftist even produced the film “Death of a President” to bring this vision to life.

In October 2004, UK Guardian columnist Charlie Brooker asked, “John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. – where are you now that we need you?” While protesting the War on Terror, some leftists carried signs proclaiming, “Bush is the disease. Death is the cure.”

Anonymous Anti-American Bloodlust

As the Pat Tillman episode demonstrated, the Left need not have any personal knowledge whatever of its subjects to wish them dead. U.S. soldiers – in leftist cant an “occupational force” waging an “illegal, immoral, and unjust war” – deserve to die for their role in oppressing the world’s poor. Columbia University anthropology professor Nicholas DeGenova openly pined for “a million Mogadishus.” And before and during the war, self-proclaimed peaceniks carried signs spouting such loving slogans as “We Support Our Troops, When They Shoot their Officers.”

Why They Hate

Few know the inner psychology of the Left like FrontPage Magazine’s (now former – BJ) contributors – and they have given away the secrets of the inner temple. Former NOW activist Tammy Bruce reminisced in her book The Death of Right and Wrong about a friend who, upon seeing Nancy Reagan’s heartbroken interview about her husband’s deteriorating mental state, called Tammy:

cheering. “Woo hoo! It looks like we might be opening up that champagne sooner than later! I hope you were watching the Dragon Lady on ‘60 Minutes’ tonight. I suppose with Alzheimer’s, he’s not suffering anymore, but it sure looks like she is! There is a God after all.”

I had never thought of my friend as an indecent person, just as I never thought of myself as one. But he really hates those two people and wishes them awful things. He believes he’s in the right and they’re wrong. He also believes that the questions that divide them are moral issues about life and death. The difference, however, is that I think it’s safe to say neither Nancy nor Ronald Reagan ever had a bottle of champagne in the fridge waiting for a gay man or a feminist to die. The Reagans, I’ll bet, don’t hoot and holler at someone else’s pain.

Mrs. Reagan’s humanity illustrated by counterpoint the soullessness of the Left.

A Secular Demonology

Tammy’s last sentence points at the Left’s true problem: a defective cosmology. In his autobiography Radical Son, David Horowitz reproduces a letter he wrote to a one-time comrade, who took his political change-of-heart as a personal betrayal:

How could it be otherwise for people like us, for whom politics (despite our claim to be social realists) was less a matter of practical decisions than moral choices? We were partisans of a cause that confirmed our humanity, even as it denied humanity to those who opposed us. (Emphasis added.)

Although Tammy Bruce showed the Left to be soulless, in their eyes they alone possess the gift of humanity. Leftists lack the religious grounding to recognize everyone as a divine soul and a tradition that teaches them to “hate the sin but love the sinner.” The faith of the Left is a political faith, not a religious one, their politics The Politics of Bad Faith, their God The God that Failed. As they share a secular religion, they promote a secular demonology: those who fight for The Cause are not “on the side of the angels” – they are the angels. For all their charges that President Bush is a Manichean, it is they who stand at the Battle of Armageddon and fight for the Lord. Those who stand in their way are not good people misled; they are Beelzebub in gray suits. “Progressives” can no more offer quarter to such people in death than in life. Their opponents’ deaths are not a tragic diminishment of humanity; the bell only tolls to signal the end of a round. Their opponents’ deaths simply clear the battlefield of hostile infantrymen. This goes beyond a divide of “Red States” and “Blue States” but literally divides the soul from the spirit, human from inhuman or sub-human, cherub from gargoyle. Their fighting faith estranges them from that full portion of humanity (and it is not inconsequential) which does not share it as surely as Islam separates the righteous from the Dar al-Harb.

Ted Kennedy, for all his misguided beliefs and actions, will soon pass from one side of this mortal divide to another. As he goes, the prayers of those of goodwill go with him.

?This article originally appeared as the lead story on Thursday, May 22, 2008, on FrontPage Magazine.