The clowns on the Right put on a little modern kabuki theater. People resign, fainting spells ensue and gotcha’s are tallied. All over more edited video tape that would make the Politburo’s Ministry of Propaganda proud, Did NPR Exec. Really Call Tea Partiers Racist? And if he did, when did telling the truth become scandalous. That’s right being truthful has always been given short shift.
In reality, the unedited video shows Schiller was attributing that sentiment to two Republicans who he spoke with (the portion O’Keefe omitted is bolded):
SCHILLER: I won’t break a confidence, but a person who was an ambassador — so a very highly placed Republican — another person who was one of the top donors to the Republican Party, they both told me they voted for Obama, which they never believed they could ever do in their lives. That they could ever vote for a Democrat, ever. And they did, because they believe that the current Republican Party is not really the Republican Party. It’s been hijacked by this group that is
“AMIR MALIK”: The radical, racist, Islamophobic, Tea Party people?
SCHILLER: Exactly. And not just Islamophobic but really xenophobic.
That’s pretty damning.
It is very difficult to tell the extreme Right from the extreme Left. One of the traits that keeps America’s Right in the proto-fascist column is their rabid fetish for eliminationism. I can’t say I’m even a fan of NPR. Their opinion/commentary tends to be either right of center or of the meaningless milquetoast Beltway Village variety. More here – NPR Scandal Reversal: The Raw Footage Shows Something Else
Liberalism, at its core, is not so much a doctrine as a disposition, a habit of mind, and it’s compounded of two principal elements: An abhorrence of cruelty and a sense of the provisional nature of human knowledge. These two currents run through Montaigne’s own sensibility, and to see how distinctive it was, it helps to recall the times. Sarah Bakewell, who’s particularly good at situating Montaigne in his period and place, offers a clear summary of the religious strife that raged during his life, including the infamous Massacre of St. Bartholomew, when thousands (or perhaps tens of thousands—no one knows exactly how many) were massacred in Paris and the provinces.
So Montaigne was urging toleration at a time when you could be burned at the stake for an error in theology. “It’s putting one’s conjectures at a rather high price, to burn a man alive for them,” he wryly observed, taking aim, in a single shot, at overconfidence and at cruelty, which he termed the “ultimate of the vices.”
I don’t know that Montaigne was the first liberal or that even most of his philosophical ideas were original. He was a Renaissance figure and as such was rediscovering the classic Greek philosophers ( those besides Aristotle) who influenced much of his world view. The essay is first rate other than that omission. The author also suggests that Montaigne’s style would have been made him a good blogger.
If current events were a physicists experiment we would learn that the wealthiest 2% are easily put upon, of weak constitutions and can bear no sacrifice, but the working poor cannot be burdened enough. They are in fact America’s pack animals, able to handle any load, Michigan’s GOP Gov. Slashes Corporate Tax Rate by 86 Percent, Hikes Taxes for Working Poor