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The Humorless Left Can't Take Jokes or Creativity in Conservatives' Criticism

Posted on August 26 2009 2:22 pm
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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A scene from "Goodfellas," the greatest mafia movie of all time. (Yes, it's better than "The Godfather.")


So Terry Krepel over at ConWebBlog is mad at me for trying to explain why it might not be too outlandish to connect Obama administration tactics to those employed by Mafia Gangsters:

What seems to be happening here is that Swindle is justifying the gangster reference as an Alinsky-esque tactic, but failing to acknowledge his own embrace of it.

Here’s a question for Swindle: Obama is clearly in your way of wanting to “liberate” Americans from the evil of liberalism. How far would he go to embarrass and discredit him? Would you smear him by calling him a gangster, then justify the smear by playing guilt-by-association? After all, what’s one man’s reputation in the pursuit of the “perfect world” of conservatism, right?

First of all there’ s nothing “evil” about liberalism, nor do I oppose it. Properly defined it’s a political philosophy I very much embrace. It’s leftism (and its various denominations such as socialism and “progressivism”) which I oppose.

Terry: seek first to understand before you criticize. This isn’t “guilt by association.” Read David Horowitz’s ongoing “Alinsky, Beck, Satan, and Me” series to understand better the connections between Saul Alinsky, his gangster influences, and the tactics employed by the modern Left. Deal with the argument, don’t just dismiss it as a malicious smear. Here are links to all the parts of the series:

Alinsky, Beck, Satan and Me: Part I

Hell on Earth: Alinsky, Beck, Satan and Me, Part II

Boring From Within: Alinsky, Beck, Satan and Me, Part III

To Have And Have Not: Alinsky, Beck, Satan and Me, Part IV

Post-modern leftism: Alinsky, Beck, Satan and Me, Part V

Means and Ends One: Alinsky, Beck, Satan and Me, Part VI

Means and Ends Two: Alinsky, Beck, Satan and Me, Part VI Continued

The Nazi Option: Alinsky, Beck, Satan and Me, Part IV Continued 2

Terry is also mad at me for having a sense of humor. (He took issue with my post admitting that I laughed at Rush Limbaugh’s uranus joke about gay Congressman Barney Frank.) However, I can understand his jealousy here. It’s quite clear by the uptight, overly serious tone of his painfully boring blog that he was born without a funny bone. His posts are almost as bland and dull as a Nation editorial or a Noam Chomsky speech:

In an Aug. 19 post — more accurately, the post immediately previous to Laksin’s — David Swindle responded to Limbaugh’s statement that  gay congressman Barney Frank “spends most of his time living around Uranus”:

Confession: I laughed when I heard it. Sure, it’s a cheap shot. Yeah, it’s the kind of thing we learned in third grade. And yes, it’s slightly homophobic. But funny is funny. When it comes to humor I don’t care from which ideology a joke emerges. If it makes me laugh then it’s acceptable.

So an anti-gay slur is OK as long as it makes a conservative laugh?

Yes, homophobic jokes are acceptable as long as they’re funny. And so are the racist jokes of comedians like Lisa Lampanelli, the anti-white racist jokes of the comedians on Martin Lawrence’s First Amendment Stand-Up, the gay stereotype jokes of Margaret Cho, and the anti-Semitic satires of Sacha Baran Cohen. Dark humor about the Holocaust, child molestation (Michael Jackson joke anyone?,) and dead babies is acceptable too — as long as the jokes are funny and not made at inappropriate times and places. Surely this isn’t a very controversial point that I’m making. And there’s no ideological component to it either. This is something leftists, conservatives, and the apolitical should all agree on. Laughter is a unifying force after all.

Comedian Lisa Lampanelli's stand-up routines regularly feature offensive jokes that highlight the absurdity of racial stereotypes.

Comedian Lisa Lampanelli's stand-up routines regularly feature offensive jokes that ultimately demonstrate the absurdity of racial stereotypes.

That was one of the points of my post in which I was supportive of the anti-Limbaugh and anti-conservatism jokes of Keith Olbermann and Bill Hicks — something that Terry chooses not to mention in his post because it basically destroys his argument once you put my remarks in context. His cherry-picking of quotes like this is only further evidence of the intellectual dishonesty at the core of his “ConWebWatch” enterprise. If he’s going to do this with my arguments you know he’s doing it with all the other conservative journalists and bloggers he criticizes.

And Terry, of all the things to attack me on — and I open myself up for plenty — my commitment to gay rights really isn’t your best target. I’ve continually pushed against anti-gay Christian conservatives to look more deeply at the scriptures they use to condemn homosexuality. I strongly support the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and the passage of laws legalizing civil unions. And tell my gay friends that I’m in any way homophobic or anti-gay and they’ll have a good laugh at your expense.

To end on a positive note, though, gay rights isn’t the only thing that Terry and I can probably agree on. Regarding our previous argument about racial profiling, with Terry’s most recent post we have reached a consensus:

I believe that the vast majority of police are doing the best job they can. I suspect that overt racism does not exist and is frowned upon within the ranks, and that any racism that does exist is by and large not consciously done and limited to situations such as what could be described as racial profiling.

I do, however, reserve the right to question the authority of anyone, law enforcement included, who hasn’t earned it. And I don’t have to resort to political ideology in the process.

I’m glad to see that Terry parts ways with his comrades on the Left when it comes to acknowledging that most cops aren’t racists. Now if he could only apply that observation’s implications to the political culture at large…

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