John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Pinning The Extremist Label

Posted on June 12, 2009
The left-wing started it first.

They tried to blame Bill O’Reilly for the actions of the idiot who killed Joseph Tiller.

Then they tried to pin the crazy man who shot and killed a security guard at the Holocaust Museum on conservative talk radio hosts, like Rush Limbaugh.

Rush fired back, pointing out that many forms of virulent anti-semitism comes from the left.

President Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, helpfully blamed the “Jews” for keeping Mr. Obama away from the good Reverend.

Nice talk from a man of the cloth, eh?

The fact of the matter is that both the left and the right have their fair share of extremists, and we shouldn’t be shocked when it manifests itself from time to time.

For those who have only a limited knowledge of history, it is useful to remember that both Communism and Nazism targeted Jews, gypsies and other groups of people they found distasteful. Both Communist regimes and Fascist regimes slaughtered millions of innocent people, all in the name of a cause greater than democracy and humanity.

Democracy is the best antidote for extremism.

Just as democracy ultimately prevailed over both the Nazis and the Communists, it will ultimately beat the marginalized extremists who turn to violence and hate in order to carry out their agenda.

But the left doesn’t do itself any favors when it tries to pin extremist behavior on people like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly.

That is exactly what Eugene Robinson and Paul Krugman tried to do almost immediately after the shooting at the Holocaust Museum. Robinson today implied that right-wing radio hosts may have stoked up James von Brunn and encouraged him to his murderous act: “What we don't know is whether all the blast-furnace rhetoric coming from the right is giving validation and encouragement to some confused, angry man or woman with a rifle or a truck full of fertilizer -- the next "lone wolf," preparing to howl.”

What Robinson neglects to say is that there are no greater supporters of Israel than Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Glen Beck, and they have never uttered anything close to an anti-semitic remark.

Of course, if you want to find anti-semitism, you don’t have to go far in the African-American community. Have you ever heard the rants of Louis Farrakhan, who, lest we forget, strongly supported and endorsed President Obama? Vile, rotten, bitter, nasty comments.

And don’t forget it was that lion of the left, Jesse Jackson, who called New York, “hymie-town”.

Paul Krugman said this: “Today, as in the early years of the Clinton administration but to an even greater extent, right-wing extremism is being systematically fed by the conservative media and political establishment.”

That is complete and total non-sense. Having deep concerns about the government taking over private business, imposing huge taxes and piling up huge debts is not extremism. It is as American as apple pie.

Both Krugman and Robinson are quick to pull out the extremism charge when it is the right wing, but they are as equally quick to keep quiet when the extremists come in the form of Jeremiah Wright, environmental crazies who target home-owners, PETA extremists who harass property-owners or anarchists who protest against the IMF.

This is not time to gain political advantage by shutting up critics of the Obama Administration or by pinning the blame over who has more extremists in their corner. Now is the time to condemn all extremists, no matter where they are on the ideological scale.

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