We had quite a show of civility in politics this week when union activists destroyed a tent manned by pro-Right to Work demonstrators in Lansing, Michigan. They also destroyed a hot-dog cart and yelled racial epithets at its African-American proprietor, and repeatedly battered my friend Steven Crowder, whom I’ll interview later this afternoon. The same American media that rushed to draw connections between the massacre in Tucson and Sarah Palin two years ago could hardly be bothered to report on the violence perpetrated by union activists, let alone condemn it or link it to the liberal politicians and Democrats funded by union donations.
Rich Lowry blasts the media response in a Politico column, wondering why actual union thuggery gets dismissed while Tea Party events get scrutinized for supposedly latent violent tendencies:
It was an ugly spectacle in Lansing the other day. A Republican lawmaker predicted blood on the streets. Profanity-spewing Chamber of Commerce goons went after union demonstrators. Anarcho-capitalists tried to push their way into a state building protected by the police.
The events chagrined editorialists around the country and Sunday show producers scrambled to book the most excruciatingly thoughtful guests they could find to hold forth at length about the importance of civility in politics.
Of course, none of these things actually happened. The inflammatory rhetoric and small-time thuggery in Michigan were all the work of the left in response to a new right-to-work law and will surely pass all but unnoticed by the people who consider it their calling to tsk-tsk about “the tone” of political debate.
Civility is one of the most absurdly abused of our political values. It is always centrally important to our functioning as a democracy — right up until the time someone proposes crossing the unions. Then, it goes from “can’t we all get along?” to “nothing to see here.” Then, out come the Hitler signs, the accusations of dictatorship, the huge inflatable rats, the sit-ins, the threats and even the fists, and all anyone can think to say is, “Isn’t it a shame someone had to go and get the unions angry?” ….
These aren’t tactics favored by the right, and if they were it would be an ongoing national scandal. It was considered a danger to the republic at the inception of the tea party when constituents asked sharp questions of the late Sen. Arlen Specter and booed at a town-hall meeting. An industry was devoted to evaluating the threat to the country represented by Glenn Beck’s words. And when Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot by an obviously deranged young man, liberal commentators rushed to blame cross hairs put on a congressional map by Sarah Palin.
The same standards will never be applied to the unions.
Or to the Left in general, at least not by the media industry as it exists today.
Michael Ramirez puts his Pulitzer Prize-winning talent into encapsulating the entire union temper tantrum into a single panel — and also brilliantly notes the future of unionism in its current form with the car model:
Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history. Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here. And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.