Patty Murray is against evil extremists
provides a textbook example of the use of divisive rhetoric as a diversion from issues by her denunciation of the use of divisive rhetoric as a
diversion from issues
. She says something utterly brainless
about Osama and gets complaints. Her response? To
lecture us about those “on the extreme fringes of society who try to exploit fear and uncertainty for political gain” by
“sensationaliz[ing] and distort[ing] in an attempt to divide.” While the relevance of evil extremists to the situation is
obscure, the function of denouncing them is obvious.
Posted by Jim Kalb at December 21, 2002 07:50 AM | Send
Senator Murray’s latest statement begins with what looks like a hasty acknowledgement that Osama bin Laden, that cunning provider of day care centers which are liberating Muslim women throughout the world, is actually an evil terrorist.
But notice that Sen. Murray doesn’t retract any of the substance of her previous “brainless” statement. So somehow this new statement is to be interpreted as a clarification of the first.
I agree with Mr. Kalb: the Senator’s response to criticism has been to marginalize her critics as “the extreme fringes of society”, while at the same time claiming the White House as an ally in her own purportedly more humane approach. I.e., she wants to paint her critics as the far right, whom she thinks mainstream Republicans should disavow. This is indeed a divisive maneuver. But that is a secondary issue.
The real issue is Sen. Murray’s typical leftist belief that the causes of terrorism lie in poverty and under-developed infrastructure, along with a lack of dialogue between the underprivileged and those they would attack. So, in response to 9/11, Sen. Murray suggests that we need to “improve relations” with the Arab world, and to “try to bring America’s values to those who do not understand us”.
In Senator Murray’s view, “evil” is the refusal to enter into this liberal dialogue. This is bin Laden’s sin, and that of the “extreme fringes”.