Against More Taxes? You May Be a Terrorist!

He sounded more like a pastor than a politician that night in Tucson.  Here was a man with compassion and dignity who wanted just one thing – to bring Americans together.  Barack Obama was at his eloquent best that night in January when he delivered a moving tribute at a memorial for the victims of the Arizona massacre.

He talked about how “our discourse has become so sharply polarized,” about how “we are far too eager to lay blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who happen to think differently than we do.”  He said, “It’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.”

Who could disagree with that?  Well, it turns out that the president’s most reliable (and fawning) supporters – liberal commentators — either forgot what the president said, or didn’t buy into it in the first place.

Today, these media pundits are doing what they so often do when they disagree with the other side.  They’re vilifying their opponents, opponents whom they see as enemies.  And they’re doing it, again as they so often do, while convincing themselves that they are the stewards of civility in our culture, and that their commentary is the essence of serious and intelligent public discourse.

There’s nothing new, of course, about liberal vulgarity.  Bush was a Nazi, Cheney was a war criminal, the tea party is comprised of racists, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh inspired the Tucson lunatic to shoot up the place.  Howard Dean once said, “I hate Republicans and everything they stand for.”  Can’t get much clearer than that, can you?

Now, it’s the current debate between Democrats and Republicans over raising the debt ceiling that has ratcheted up the rhetoric – while important, hardly a “sexy” topic that should generate the angry attacks it has.

Let’s begin with Mr. “I Feel a Thrill Running Up My Leg When President Obama Speaks” — Chris Matthews.  Twice, in less than 24 hours, Mathews said on MSNBC that Republicans who oppose raising the debt ceiling are “terrorists.”  He referred to the GOP as the “Wahhabis of American government,” a reference to the sect of Islam often tied to intolerance and hate.

How civil is that?

Also on MSNBC, Tina Brown, the editor-in-chef of Newsweek and the Daily Beast, called Republicans in Congress “suicide bombers” for not “accommodating” the president in his call for more taxes.

When Rosie O’Donnell said Rudy Giuliani looked like a “Pez dispenser” that was merely obnoxious and insulting.  But comparing Republicans to suicide bombers – fanatics who slaughter innocent people — simply because they oppose tax increases?  That crosses the line from childish taunts in the playground right into the heart of hate speech territory.

Then there’s Richard Cohen, the Washington Post columnist who once said that  Newt Gingrich “should be hanged” for “hypocrisy.”  Now he’s describing the Republican party as a “cult” and says the GOP presidential candidates comprise “a virtual political Jonestown.”

As Peter Wehner, the thoughtful political analysts and prolific blogger put it: “It’s hard to know whether these pundits understand how stupid and childish their rants are, or whether they’re so blinded by their ideology they don’t understand it’s not really appropriate to refer to people with whom you disagree on taxes as Wahhabis, suicide bombers and members of a death cult.”

Six months ago in Tucson, President Obama said that, “Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let’s use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together.”

Six months later in Washington, the same president said that, “The debt ceiling should not be something that is used as a gun against the heads of the American people to extract tax breaks for corporate jet owners or oil and gas companies that are making billions of dollars because the price of gasoline has gone up so high.”

A gun to the head?  Yes, we know, it’s only a figure of speech, but an unfortunate one, since a gun to the head is what inspired President Obama to speak out so eloquently in the first place about restoring civility, and decency, to our national conversation.  A pastor wouldn’t talk that way.  A politician would.

Bernie's Next Column.

Enter your email and find out first.

  • David

    Hey Bernie,

    I think it’s important to look at what exactly is going on here. Never before have I ever seen the debt limit used in this way with prior presidents. It doesn’t make sense to me for Republicans to play Russian roulette with American lives. This new breed of Republican is so ideological in their thinking that their brain has no room for common sense. For some reason they believe that if they hold to their principles that somehow after the aftermath they will be heroes.

    The truth is the politics are in Obama’s favor because he’s the executive branch. If a debt limit is not reached Obama gets to decide what gets paid, (i.e. Treasury Dept.). He will make sure his voters are taken care of first and foremost. Sure he probably will do everything he can to make sure the government doesn’t go default which would most likely lead to a crashing dollar, that means skyrocketing imports and a major collapse of the economy. Also he will probably do his best to pay the seniors (social security) and take credit for the fact that he did what he could for them, after all they vote. After that he has to protect the nation so the department of justice will most likely get their money. Now once said and done, he may not have much left. Since a huge piece of the pie already goes to the military and that was already approved. So if the government has no money left we start to question who gets left out. Few Examples…

    Dept of Agriculture: Food Safety, Animal Regulation, Financial Assistance to Farmers. If there aren’t any people to stamp food safe than most likely farmers will not be able to bring money in to their families as well as bring food to our families.

    Dept of Education: Pell Grants, Student Loans, Education Grants for businesses, etc…
    This could lead to young adults not being able to attend college.

    Dept of Commerce: Trademarks, Patents, SBA (Small Business Administration), etc…

    So just taking 3 departments we are already probably affecting everyone in this country including the wealthy. A lot of business complications and being already in a fragile environment is begging for more problems.

    So why after all the love for this country and its people do we place all Americans into this jeopardy? I will say as someone that votes for both sides, the Republican’s playing with my future and my child’s future are losing my vote for the future if they don’t get past their thick skulls and keep the government running.

    If you want to cut things down to size during budget negotiations that is fine. If you think the government is bloated and believe that there is too much spending, that is fine. But to say we aren’t going to raise the debt ceiling (which is MONEY ALREADY SPENT), is ludicrous.

  • DOOM161

    Bernie, You know better than anyone that democrats don’t use hate speech. Just ask them; not a single one will say that he’s ever used hate speech. Or incivility for that matter.

    When democrats urge civility, they mean republican civility. And this is the democrats’ definition of civility: “shut up and do what we say.”

  • Scott

    Anyone who still actually believes that Obama is different kind of politician, the kind who can build bridges and mend relationships, must be sequestered in their parent’s basement without electricity. Obama is one of the most polarizing, divisive and partisan presidents that I’ve seen in my lifetime. That’s not to say that he’s also two-faced when it comes to speaking about civility. He should’ve in fact worded his comments in Arizona to say that we must be civil towards liberals and democrats but when it comes to Conservatives and Republicans, it’s game on. Disgusting.

  • chance

    I don’t want to throw a wrench in the gears here but, I thought Social Security was a trust fund used for Social Security. So I think if SS checks don’t go out the US gov. will breach a contract with anyone presently geting SS.

    A class action against The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is in order. Obama is such a fool and complete incompetent moron. Impeachment proceedings must start now. If the republicans allow this to play out they are stupid enough to lose it. Obama is not a leader, he’s a controller.

    • Nancye

      I used to think that Obama was stupid. Now I think he knows exactly what he’s doing, which is to destroy this country, and drive it off a cliff, like Jimma Cahter almost did. And if he’s not stopped that is what will happen.

    • Ron Kean

      I just heard that it’s impossible to put protocols in place to stop social security from proceeding as usual.

      If I were to stoop so low as to call the president a name, would ‘child’ be all that bad?

      • Bruce A.

        There are protocols in place to pay congress in the event of shutdowns. This is to prevent any bribery etc. As for social security I know for a fact it flunks the governments own rules as a qualified pension plan. Stopping social security was a fear of my grandparents, that’s one of the reasons they voted Democratic. The Dempcrats have been fearmongers for years with social security, of course that was only if you voted republican.

  • Nancye

    Is it just me or has anyone else ever noticed this? I can spot a liberal a mile away, especially liberal women. They all look like they just ate a dill pickle. Liberal guests on Fox News make it so obvious.

  • Terry Walbert

    Chris Matthews’ rants might be explained by what happened to him recently. Chris went to an Obama event and the Secret Service pulled him aside, thinking he had a gun in his pocket. But it turned out that he was just glad to see the President.

  • EddieD_Boston

    I used to think liberals were fools. Now I think they’re a-holes. Smug a-holes. Seriously, do you need any more proof that liberalism is a mental disorder. Don’t laugh. Mathews and Tina Brown are deadly serious about republicans being on the same plain as murderers. Amazing.

  • joe from louisiana

    Wil,The real mystery is why Democrats are allowed to pretend they are friends of the middle class. They hate the gun-toting, bible reading middle and working class. If the ruling elitist left wants credibility then quit living like royalty and opining how we need to all sacrifice. I don’t know if Marie Antoinette actually said “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” but I could see some dems say it today. I can respect libs like Claude Pepper or Tip O’Neill but that species is extinct.

  • Tim Ned

    Once upon a time in America the dream was to work hard and achieve success. Somewhere along the line that’s been changed to work less and demand success. And the lame stream media is behind the new dream 100 percent.

  • robin in fl

    as far as the likes of chris mathews ..does anyone even care what that rude man has to say anymore?..never have I seen someone interrupt guests as much as he does if they have an opinion different then him..add his interruptions to repeating the question again and again all the while getting louder and louder …he shows his lack of all civility and manners everytime he opens his mouth basically.

    rosie o’donnell making fun of anyone’s looks is yes,just plain silly.and her opinion is always going to be so way out there,because that is how she get’s her attention ‘fix’ to try and stay relevant ,which she is really not

    liberals are very good at name calling when they have nothing else to stand it using the lame ‘tea bagger’ thing they threw out there for so long or any other name they can grab on to when they want to be the school yard bully and show how much smarter they can only laugh and shake their head when they do that,because they will NEVER see what they are actually doing because they think they know so much more and are just so much more cleaver and of course way cooler…yea..sure they are.

  • Kathie Ampela

    What happened to those calls for civility in political discourse…that was sooo 6 months ago! Insults and violent rhetoric are justified so long as they are for a good cause..don’t you get it? Do a web search for any prominent conservative, (politician or commentator), and you will find at least a half dozen vulgar, obscenity ridden, smear websites. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” – Saul Alinsky. Who’s college thesis was on Saul Alinsky-Hillary Clinton. Do you think it’s an accident we see a rise in this kind of nasty, smear mongering over the past 15 years? It’s part of the Big Media Democratic machine it’s their M.O. When the Democratic party finally implodes is when you may see a return to (somewhat) more civilized political discourse. “Civility costs nothing, and buys everything.” – Mary Wortley Montagu.

  • joe from louisiana

    I do appreciate reading your articles but you won’t get the majority of leftists in this country to see how hypocritical they are, all the while calling conservatives the same. Their panties were twisted over “death panels” a term they used more than anyone. Yet because some common sensical conservatives think it is time to get spending under control they are “pushing Grandma off the cliff”. They are character assassins and like children can’t stand the same tactics turned back on them. If we had executive leadership the approach would be to cut spending to 2006 levels and wait a year to see if a tax increase is necessary. That would require living up to the rhetoric. Why would that happen when the media refuses to hold them to their own supposed standards?

  • Nancye

    Bernie – Re your article:

    Michael Savage, the talk show host, said several years ago that liberalism is a mental disease. I believe him.

    • Bruce A.

      Maybe it’s a crime against sanity.

  • Nancye

    To Barb who said:

    Will Social Security recipients vote for Obama again?


    I receive Social Security, and I didn’t vote for Obama, nor would I ever. Don’t try to guess what the other person thinks, feels, or how they vote, on your own feelings.

  • BARB

    This should be of concern to any who depend on Social Security:

    Obama Considers Cutting Social Security Full Payment
    Thursday, July 7, 2011 11:37 PM

    President Barack Obama and lawmakers are considering cutting Social Security and increasing revenue by changing the way the government measures inflation.

    Four senior congressional aides said lawmakers are discussing using an alternative yardstick to gauge inflation, known as the “chained consumer price index,” to determine annual cost-of-living adjustments for millions of Americans.

    The idea may rile both Democrats and Republicans, because it could mean paring Social Security by $112 billion over 10 years, raising taxes by $60 billion and cutting pension and veterans’ disability payments by $24 billion, according to estimates by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation.

    Advocates say the change is needed because the government’s current measure of inflation overstates how quickly prices rise.

    “There hasn’t been any economist anywhere that says we shouldn’t do that,” said Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican who was one of the so-called Gang of Six lawmakers that tried to develop a long-term debt plan. “We need a CPI that truly reflects what’s happening in the economy, not what’s good for the politicians.”

    The idea, which was discussed both as part of a series of debt talks led by Vice President Joe Biden and by the Gang of Six, resurfaced yesterday during a meeting between Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and House Democrats, according to a congressional aide. Democrats pressed Geithner on the issue and he didn’t rule it out, according to the aide.
    Meeting Today

    Obama met today with congressional leaders as they push to hash out a deficit-reduction plan that would ease passage of a debt-limit increase by an Aug. 2 deadline. Obama called the meeting “constructive” and “frank,” though he said they remain “far apart on a wide range of issues.”

    The president said aides would work through the weekend and lawmakers would reconvene on July 10 so “the parties will at least know where each other’s bottom lines are and will hopefully be in a position to then start engaging in the hard bargaining that’s necessary.”

    Representative Xavier Becerra, speaking on C-Span today, said the chained index proposal may be an Obama negotiating tactic. “He has tried many ways to get our Republican colleagues to come to some middle ground and hasn’t succeeded,” said Becerra, a California Democrat who opposes benefit cuts. “I suspect he’s saying, ‘Look I’ll put everything on the table, let’s see what sticks.’”
    ‘Zero Appetite’

    Representative Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat, said “there is a zero appetite in the Democratic caucus for looking at entitlement programs unless there is substantial revenue on the table.”

    White House spokesman Jay Carney downplayed the significance of any changes in Social Security, saying in a statement: “The president has always said that while Social Security is not a major driver of the deficit, we do need to strengthen the program.” He said Obama wants to work with both parties to do that “in a balanced way that preserves the promise of the program and doesn’t slash benefits.”

    Social Security and other government benefits along with much of the tax code are automatically adjusted for inflation so Americans don’t fall behind as prices rise. Yet economists say the government’s inflation measure exaggerates how quickly prices increase, which means it’s paying too much for annual cost-of-living gains while collecting too little tax revenue.
    Cutting Benefits

    Democrats such as Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois say the alternative index, which she called the “chainsaw CPI,” would mean cuts in Social Security benefits. Over 10 years, using the alternative index would reduce projected Social Security spending by 1.2 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

    Schakowsky said the current inflation measure already understates the cost-of-living increases facing seniors because they spend more on medical care than the average American.

    “Seniors get the double whammy — higher health-care costs and deeper benefit cuts,” she said.

    Even Democrats like Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who’s often voted with Republicans, rejected the idea. “At some point we have to look at Social Security, but that’s not part of this process,” he said today.

    A. Barry Rand, head of the AARP, the advocacy group for the elderly, said: “Reducing the COLA by even a small amount is a harmful cut for many retirees.”
    Stealth Tax Increase

    Grover Norquist, head of the anti-tax Americans for Tax Reform, called the idea “effort number 27” to dress up a tax increase in the guise of good government.

    “This is one of those things invented by people who are trying to raise taxes and pretend they’re not,” he said. “If you change the law to get more money, that’s a tax increase — doesn’t matter how you do it or what you call it.”


    Will Social Security recipients vote for Obama again?

    • Joe

      Just to second what’s been said earlier in response to you: I’m on Social Security Disability, and I’d vote for Abraham Lincoln before I’d vote for Obama…and he’s been *dead* since 1865! He’d still make a better president than this inept, anti-American oaf. And no, I didnt’t vote for him last time, either – and yes, I was on Social Security then, too.

  • Wil Burns

    “He sounded more like a pastor than a politician that night in Tucson.” To you Bernie, only you. A unbiased commentator wouldn’t report that way. But, a Fox News commentator would!

    • Ron Kean

      A couple of conservatives will call liberals idiots but that’s about the extent. We all know about Ed Schultz, Bill Maher and the others on the left who take it to the extreme. This can’t be denied.

    • Joe

      Umm….Wil? First, it’s *an* unbiased….. English not your first language, Wil? Second, by their nature “commentators” are SUPPOSED to be biased. The problem with the hypocriticial, increasingly unstable left is that their so-called “REPORTERS” are severely biased – and reporters aren’t commentators; they’re not supposed to be biased. See the difference, do ya, Wil? It’s not really all that complicated.

      • Wil Burns

        Thank you Joe. BTW, do you proofread all posts, or just mine? Also, did you notice Bernie only mentioned liberal commentators; I wonder if he ever watches Hannity or listens to what Rush Limbaugh spews, every day. How about Bill O’Reilly’s pinhead remarks! That is my point, it’s not really all that complicated.

        • Ron Kean

          Maher just called Bachmann and Palin MILFs. I don’t think ‘pinhead’ or ‘idiot’ compares. Do you really?

  • Brendan Horn

    I think the liberal media is very consistent on these issues. In their eyes, Obama is a wonderful perfect genius who only wants to do what is right and good. Anyone who opposes him is evil in their eyes. They often dislike Republicans more than terrorists because Republicans dare to criticize the perfect Obama who is wonderful and good and only wants to help the sick and the poor. They often actually are empathetic towards terrorists who criticize America because they believe a lot of the negative things about America that the terrorists believe. They do not usually believe in the violence of the terrorists but they believe that the terrorists claims are legitimate and that America is the source of the world’s problems. I think the media would only be more negative in coverage of terrorists if these terrorists were specifically critical of Obama. The liberal media does not tolerate criticism of Obama. They can tolerate hatred of Republicans, or of America, but they cannot tolerate criticism of their perfect Obama.

  • Bob Hadley

    You’re liberal? You probably think the rich are no good, greedy and heartless!

    You’re liberal and favor affirmative action programs? Then you’re on a white liberal guilt trip!

    You’re critical of Michelle Bachman and/or Sara Palin? You not only hate them, you hate them because they’re conservative women!

    Are you liberal and cringe at racial jokes? Then you’re just trying to show everyone that you’re a good white person!

    Sooo, I guess if your not white, then you’re NOT a liberal!

  • Lily

    When you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS And that is exactly what the liberal pundits are doing. Since they have no hard facts for the brilliant plans they want to put in place they resort to name calling. Not just any school-yard bully names but names decidedly intended to incite strong feelings at the least and even action at the worst. If the Palin ad with a bulls eye incited the Phoenix shooting than I promise you those words will stir up the crowds. Remember what happened to Glenn Beck and his family when they went to watch a movie in the park? Think it won’t happen again? Think it won’t get worse? Just remember Krystalnacht was the culmination of propaganda.

    • Wil Burns

      Lily, The mystery is why working class Americans join the Republican/Corpoation cabal in their attempts to destroy the American working class!

      • EddieD_Boston

        You mean the people that provide jobs? The constituency of the democrats are people who don’t work. Gimme American. The Section 8 queens of Rikki Lake Nation.

        If you don’t know what Section 8 queens are it’s probably why you’re a liberal.