No escaping predictable liberal accusations in wake of shootings
by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Thursday, January 13, 2011

I read somewhere that "everything's a matter for debate except politics, religion and toothache." Was it instructions for behavior at a social event? Almost sounds as if it's meant to be funny.

Anyhow, I've ignored the rule, and have spent my life discussing all three, including engaging in arguments about whether fluoridation prevents tooth decay or is a communist plot.

However, I recalled the phrase on Monday when a mild toothache removed me temporarily from contentious political debate. There I was, reclining comfortably in a sunny corner of Dr. Monaldo's office off Highland Avenue in Salem, and he was asking me: "Do you want some laughing gas?"

Yes, I'll take laughing gas, Novocaine, whatever ya got. And soon I was drifting happily in my own little world while this compassionate dentist removed an infected cyst or something from under a bottom tooth.

My collection of wonderful doctors, dental professionals and a chiropractor is one reason I stay in Massachusetts despite the recent follies of the electorate.

For one lovely hour I was completely removed not only from toothache, but from television and talk radio, where the tragic shooting of a congresswoman and other innocent bystanders in Arizona had been transformed into an incredibly absurd discussion about angry political discourse.

Liberal commentators and politicians were gleefully jumping on what they saw as an excuse to attack their opponents for free speech, free assembly, gun ownership, and resistance to the national debt. "My side" was, understandably, fighting back against what George Will later called "the McCarthyism of the left devoid of intellectual content, unsupported by data ... a tactic for avoiding engagement with ideas."

For the rest of the day I mostly tuned in just to the news, enough to learn more about those who were murdered by a lunatic and get an update on the wounded. Also read my local paper, where I found Congressman John Tierney blaming "talk radio, shock radio and television talk shows that spew 'venom' into the political debate."

Admittedly I then looked at the online comments, knowing I'd find intelligent responses to the congressman's venom, which was apparently left over from his recent vicious campaign assaults on his Republican opponent.

Unfortunately the McCarthyites of the left were commenting too, so I withdrew from the debate, taking my Vicodin, antibiotics, ice pack, mashed potatoes, and a Kyle Mills novel and 104.9 FM background music with me into the void. It was a wonderful, peaceful afternoon.

Then made the mistake of turning on NECN at 8 for Jim Braude's comments, which followed the ongoing pattern "devoid of intellectual content and unsupported by data." Turned off TV until it was time for "Hawaii 5-0." Checked news at 11 for update on injured Arizona congresswoman's condition and weather report. Wished someone would also update us on the other wounded victims.

When I awoke the next morning, I didn't immediately turn on WRKO, as I have every weekday morning since Todd Feinberg returned. Wondered what it would be like to stay removed from political discussion, like so many people, until the next election. I could tune in around the middle of October 2012, to see who's running for president, Congress, and state representatives, not that it would matter; easier to vote just one party or the other, without thinking about it. Have to vote though, even if I haven't paid attention; it's my civic duty.

While I recover, I'm not leaving home, therefore not running into people who want to talk politics. Darn phone keeps ringing though: A reporter needs comment on property taxes in central Massachusetts; someone wants me to speak at a political forum in February. Can't! I don't know anything! Not paying attention anymore!

Uh-oh, I think the Vicodin is wearing off. Have to switch to Advil so I can stay awake. Awake. Oh, no, not awake again!

They're all there waiting for my conscious attention: The fools that I can't suffer gladly, who scarf up the venom spewed by the politicians and socialists who are losing the intellectual-content debates; the hypocrites who attack Sarah Palin's "target the Democrats" election chart without mentioning previous Democratic "target states" election charts, or the movie about the assassination of then-President George W. Bush; the voters who don't pay attention, don't think for themselves, just regurgitate the talking points they are fed by professional manipulators; the nave enablers of the power-hungry elite.

However, they're not free to do whatever damage they want to my country without a response.

There's Fox News, showing both Palin and the Democratic Leadership Council's target charts side by side; it reports, you decide. There's talk radio: Todd, I'm sorry I missed the Tuesday show! Tuning in tomorrow, to you, Laura, Charley, and Howie on 'RKO, and listening to Michael Graham at WTKK as well, while reading his new book about the tea party, "That's No Angry Mob, That's My Mom."

To all the other Americans who pay attention, who respond to news stories and columns with intelligent comment and data, who worked for decent candidates: Despite my brief flirtation with escape, I'd rather stay in the political arena with patriotic people like you.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her column appears weekly in the Salem News and other Eagle Tribune newspapers; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette.

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