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Daily Howler: Grassley's a part of Establishment Washington. Colbert King won't say his name
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JUST WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT! Grassley’s a part of Establishment Washington. Colbert King won’t say his name: // link // print // previous // next //

Just what we were talking about: Colbert King’s column in this morning’s Washington Post is what we’ve been talking about.

King seems to have arrived on the planet at some point in 2008. His blinkered perspective forces liberals to argue a very narrow—and highly inaccurate—brief.

King fails to name the very big players who are driving our politics into the ditch—who have done this for the past several decades. Instead, he starts with a couple of low-level nuts—the kind of deeply unfortunate people who have always been with us:

KING (9/12/09): On Aug. 16, pastor Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Ariz., told his congregation that he prays for the death of President Obama. In a sermon titled "Why I Hate Barack Obama," Anderson preached. "I'm not going to pray for his good, I'm going to pray he dies and goes to hell.”

Anderson is not the only man of the cloth to wish widowhood upon Michelle Obama. In June, the Rev. Wiley Drake of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., said he was praying for the president's death.

Anderson, however, was explicit in his wish. "I'd like him to die of natural causes. I don't want him to be a martyr; we don't need another holiday. I'd like to see him die, like Ted Kennedy, of brain cancer."

I pray God will not answer their petitions. While I'm at it, I'm going to send up one for the men and women of the Secret Service who endeavor to protect the nation's 44th president and his family.

Anderson and Drake are deeply unfortunate players in our national life. But as he continued, King began to make us think he has just arrived on the planet. He introduced a theme many liberals love—a theme which blinds us to our nation’s recent history. King has a stake in this theme, of course, based on his conduct in the last decade—when he really was alive on this planet, pimping rap about Clinton and Gore:

KING (continuing directly): There's something loose in the land, an ugliness and hatred directed toward Barack Obama, the nation's first African American president, that takes the breath away. The thread of resentment is woven through conservative commentary, right-wing radio and cable TV shows, all the way to Capitol Hill.

King goes on to discuss two recent murderers—examples intended to reinforce the suggestion that the irrational hatred aimed at Obama exists because he is black. George Sodini shot up a room full of white women, as King explicitly notes—but his disturbed conduct somehow supports King’s case too.

Is the “ugliness and hatred directed toward Obama” caused by racial hatred? Presumably, some of it is. But as he continues, King finally enters la-la land, saying this: “the depth of the hostility is extraordinary.”

That statement might seem true, of course—if you arrived on the planet last year.

But similar hostility was aimed at the last Democratic president—and the claims made against that president were just as lunatic as the claims against Obama, if not slightly more so. In the case of Obama, King names a pair of no-name pastors. In the case of Clinton, one of our most famous pastors was aggressively pimping serial murder charges—and being accepted by Colbert King’s cohort as an honored Sunday morning news talker.

By the summer of Clinton’s second year in office, two active attempts were made on his life. One guy even flew a small plane into the White House, apparently trying to kill him. Colbert King doesn’t seem to remember. Might we suggest why that is?

You see, King is part of a media “elite” which enabled—or encouraged—the lunatic claims against Clinton, then Gore. Perhaps for that reason, people like King have airbrushed that decade—and they express their vast surprise when the same thing is done to Obama. Meanwhile, King name-calls two minor crackpot pastors—and forgets to name the powerful players who are vastly more responsible for the lunatic claims against Obama.

King is brave when it comes to naming no-names. Where are the names of the powerful players who have really been driving this lunacy?

Somehow, when it comes to such names, people like King seem to get light-headed. They may feel their knees start to buckle.

There have always been local lunatics like Anderson and Drake in our politics. But the movement went national in the 1980s, when Rush Limbaugh moved to New York. King has criticized Limbaugh a few times—in the last year, that is. But Limbaugh drove the lunatic hatred against the last Democratic president (Hillary Clinton helped kill Vince Foster!)—and King never mentioned his name, not once, during that whole brainless era. (Nexis archives.)

King openly criticized Jerry Falwell—after the 9/11 attacks, that is. But Falwell’s name never appeared in his column during the 1990s, when he pimped those murder claims all around. Somehow, King failed to notice that ugliness. Or perhaps he was too scared to speak.

Like the bulk of his weak, weak-minded cohort, King failed to act in the 1990s. This morning, he seems to have forgotten that the decade happened at all.

Might we make a long story short? King and his cohort bought all the crap against the last Democratic president. Some of them actively encouraged the hatred; some of them simply enabled it. But by October 2000, King could barely bring himself to say a word in favor of Candidate Gore. To recall the pained column in which King made himself say that Gore would probably be somewhat better than Bush, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/26/09. In that column, you see how thoroughly these weak-minded people failed you in the last decade.

King and there rest of his cohort drank the Kool-Aid during that decade—gulped it lovingly down. Now, they pretend that the era never occurred—and they express their vast surprise when the same lunacy is aimed at Obama. They are amazed to see what’s being said about this new Democratic president. And they diddle their cowardly brains: It must be his race, they proclaim.

In this way, people like King refuse to tell the real story. Here it is:

Your discourse has been this way for decades. A powerful movement generates ludicrous claims against all major Democrats. They did it to Clinton, then to Gore—with King’s blessing. Now, it’s being done to Obama.

So far, no one has flown a small plane into the White House. But in the past, it was tried.

King ran off and hid in the woods while this was being done the last time. (He was still bad-mouthing Hillary Clinton in the familiar old ways as late as summer 2008.) Now he pretends it just didn’t happen. And he makes it hard for liberals to argue the truth—to help the public see the big picture about our devolving culture.

This isn’t about unfortunate nuts like Pastor Anderson. It isn’t about an unfortunate nut like Drake, who at least is an equal opportunity kook. (He also wished divine retribution on Pastor Rick Warren this year.)

This is really about the names—and the movement—which don’t appear in King’s column. It’s about multimillionaire stooges like Limbaugh and Hannity—and so many others like them. It’s about Charles Grassley—and Sarah Palin. It’s about the astonishing Betsy McCaughey, the “misleader-in-chief” from 1994 who still can’t seem to get herself profiled in Colbert King’s weak-kneed newspaper.

When it comes to the establishment Washington Post, the fake McCoys can’t get arrested.

Uh-oh! Charles Grassley is an accepted figure in Establishment Washington. Voters deserve to hear what he’s done. But Colbert King won’t say his name. To this day, he never has.

King’s imagined self-critique: At one point, King imagines a complaint against his column. He has the world upside-down:

KING: Okay, now let me have it: “King, you're generalizing, making a big story out of small, isolated examples. People like Anderson, Broughton and Drake, and shooters Poplawski and Sodini, are kooks, representing no one but themselves. Most people who oppose Obama don't want him dead. They wish him and his family no physical harm." I won't argue with that.

What I will say, however, is that a lot of malicious words have been thrown around about Obama since his election: words that inflame and that inspire the kind of hatred spewed from those two Arizona and California pulpits.

Malicious words have been thrown around? Colbert King is shocked—shocked!

King has his problem upside-down. In fact, he refuses to generalize, refuses to notice the “big story” here—the fact that this kind of malice has been aimed at all major Democrats in the past two decades.

But then, he himself purchased that malice last time. For that reason, it must disappear.