Our current season of protest, demonstrated by the Tea Parties and the recent health care protests at numerous town meetings around the country, provides an opportunity to observe the leadership of the Democrat majority spinning themselves in circles.
In the waning years of the Bush administration, the nearly constant refrain from Democrats, Moveon.org, and other liberal groups to explain their opposition to anything President Bush attempted was: “dissent is the truest form of patriotism.” The inference was, of course, that in opposing everything the administration attempted, they were actually exhibiting “patriotic” behavior.
We are now in a new era where the political tables have turned. In this new era, we find a White House who has made a request that supporters of President Obama “turn in” the names of people who are opposing his healthcare takeover. We also have an editorial by Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer accusing the opponents of the Obama plan as being “un-American.” From the liberal-friendly pundits, there are accusations that those dissenting from the Obama plan must be “racists” and “motivated by cultural and racial fear.” Somehow dissent no longer appears to be the “truest form of patriotism.”
So what explains their reversal? Why are the President and Congressional leaders, who rose to their current office on an “opposition” platform, so infuriated by opposition? It appears that dissent isn’t such a good thing after all.
The suggestion that “dissent is the truest form of patriotism” is, of course, a rather silly notion when proposed as a general rule. It is like suggesting that dissent for the sake of dissent is the only justification needed in order to disagree. When we review the Democrat/liberal opposition to the Bush administration, it often appears that their dissent was just that: dissent for the sake of dissent. In reality, it was often dissent, veiled as “patriotism”, hiding an unhinged and exaggerated hatred. Under the Democrat model, comparison of Bush to Hitler was patriotic dissent but opposition to a government takeover of healthcare is “un-American.”
So now that the Democrats have gained the majority, they argue that opposition really isn’t such a great thing. So as much of their opposition to Bush was based upon unreasonableness, perhaps they can only assume that opponents of the Obama plans must be motivated as they were. They seem to suggest that dissent is good when they are leading the opposition, but opposing voices to them are intolerable.