BDS and Beyond

I recently picked up a copy of Misunderestimated (Bill Sammon, 2004), an excellent book so far, and one that I would recommend to anyone interested in hearing unfiltered truth about President Bush and his administration. The first chapter in this book is called “Rise of the Bush Haters,” and talks about the devolution from simple political discourse to the hate-filled rants, violence and liberal vitriol that Rush Limbaugh comically calls BDS — Bush Derangement Syndrome.

The opening scene is one of GWB staring in bewilderment at the hate-filled mob in Portland, OR, as they carried signs reflecting complete misapprehension of history and hurled rocks, vegetables and insults at police and the President’s motorcade — all in the name of peace. These warriors for peace would go on to bully and intimidate Bush supporters and bystanders who happened to be staying in the same hotel. They would also attack police cars, push the police line — injuring at least one cop in the process — and then cry “peaceful protest” as the officers responded with pepper spray and mace.

From Portland to the rest of the nation, this virus of hatred and spite would spread like wildfire among the ranks of netroots and liberal elite alike.

Buck Fush signs and others at protest

I’ve been watching this curious development for a few years now, but it wasn’t until my children turned three that I really began to understand it. When my children want something, in general, they first ask politely. If I say no, they start to become belligerent. When I say no again, they become more so. If not nipped in the bud, this behavior will quickly develop into name-calling, throwing things — and ultimately result in them being sent to bed. Behavior very similar to what took place in Portland in 2002 and has been going on ever since.

So what happened? Is it all about Bush? The vitriolic protests against Sarah Palin and other conservatives suggest that no, this is not really much about Bush at all. This is about a group of people who believe themselves to be better and smarter than the average person, and their failure to understand why the rest of the world doesn’t seem to grasp their genius and just obey them. It’s about a level of frustration that Bush got elected to a second term — and that a Democrat, namely Barack Obama, could possibly be so close to losing this election. This frustration has smoldered until it has turned to anger — and from anger to pure and total contempt.

But it goes still deeper, I think. When these liberal elites get frustrated, they go off-script. Obama himself is a good model for liberal psychology in this way. When Obama gets flabbergasted or angry, he goes off-script and accidentally says what he really means. That’s where comments like the now-infamous “bitter clinger” remark come from. When you frustrate a liberal beyond his ability to cope, you meet the real man. And that man is not a pleasant one to behold.

So, knowing this, how then does the Conservative respond? This new brand of liberal, like children, act and react based purely on emotion and feeling. As puerile as as it may seem to us, what we’re observing when we see these violent and noisy protests is essentially a mass temper-tantrum. Is there a right way to deal with this nonsense?

My fellow independent thinker and RedState poster NightTwister was good enough to offer me some parenting advice. Advice that, given the parallel behavior from the moveon.org crowd, we may all do well to heed:

Best solution is to tell them once. If they become belligerent, ignore it. They’ll still escelate, but when they see that it’s not getting a response, they’ll quit doing it. If they throw themselves on the floor, just walk over them, paying no attention at all.

Good advice indeed.

streu-(cross-posted at SIT)