Would Edmund Burke Leap to the Conclusion of "Southern Populist Terrorism"?

Posted on November 26 2009 2:00 pm
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Oh Edmund Burke, what would you say about all this?

What was originally packaged as a horrendous right wing hate crime, was discovered on Tuesday, November 24, to be a politically-charged suicide. A little background: on September 12, the body of census worker Bill Sparkman was found in a graveyard in southern Kentucky, bound in rope, naked and accompanied by a sign with the simple word “fed” written on it. Many leftist writers and news personalities took the bait, and believed that some crazed right-wing backwoods folk killed a federal worker.

On Tuesday, November 24, Kentucky police revealed to the public that Sparkman’s demise was due to suicide, not homicide. A Kentucky State Police Captain, Lisa Rudzinski, told the Associated Press that

“based on evidence and witness testimony,” it was concluded that Sparkman died during an intentional, self-inflicted act that was staged to appear as a homicide.”

(If police are right, this is one extreme example of a far left extremist going to incredible lengths, even making sure his last act would be one to demonize conservatives and further a leftist agenda.)

Some of those media figures are now receiving the greatest backlash include Rick Ungar, Huffington Post writers and Andrew Sullivan. Appearing on FOX’s “Red Eye,” conservative writer Michelle Malkin called the entire episode “a self-made hoax” on the public, first perpetrated by Sparkman, then disseminated as truth in the media. Malkin faulted media figures as responsible for “editing errors” aka reporting without all the facts, or even the right facts. (How embarrassing!) One such figure faulted was Andrew Sullivan, who wrote on September 26 about the death, that

“the most  worrying possibility – that this is Southern populist terrorism, whipped up by the GOP and its Fox and talk radio cohorts – remains real.”

Sullivan is a particularly interesting figure in this debate, as he identifies as a conservative, and yet, as of late, his words and actions have bespoken a leftist tilt. Speaking recently on health care, he pooh-poohed calls of socialism, and now he has broken ranks with his own “conservatism of doubt.” Sullivan defines this idea of conservatism as being in opposition to a conservatism of strictly adhering to one strict dogma (and by extension, a knee-jerk reaction to follow any ideology to the letter). Sullivan’s latest statement puts him less in the doubting conservative corner than in the corner of the easily malleable leftist, looking to believe whatever he is told. In a February piece, Sullivan revealed his leftist leanings, writing that

“Similarly today, a conservative should have no objection to major pragmatic attempts to prevent this depression taking on a life of its own and perpetuating pain more than necessary. And – this is the tough part – it might even be the case that the vastly growing social and economic inequality of the last three decades could justify redistribution via spending or taxes… Yes, I did see Obama as a more conservative – because more pragmatic – option in the last election. And his temperament, his patience and his civility all appeal to the conservative not blinded by partisanship or ideology.”

Sullivan justifies his left leanings by bandying the word “conservative” around like a rubber ball, when in fact, if he was truly still a conservative, he would not have rushed to the judgment that FOX News and Southern “populist terrorism” were to blame for Sparkman’s death. By moving away from the doubting conservative model, Sullivan tapped into a knee-jerk leftist-style reaction of blame-the-conservatives.

Sparkman took it upon himself to be the sacrifice upon an unholy altar: he would die so that all who disagreed with his political views could suffer. Sullivan added credence to this lie by aligning himself with leftists only too happy to find a way to fault conservatism for the basest of crimes, murder.

Unfortunately, many leftists are too busy looking for ways to demonize the right, that they are blinded to reality: a man took his own life, in order to falsely implicate an innocent party in a violent crime.

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