When I wrote a book about mobs and group-think a few years ago, I could honestly say that mob behavior existed exclusively on the left in America -- unless you count Oakland Raiders tailgate parties, which I do not. As described in Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America, the distinctive characteristics of the mob mentality include:
-- Slogans as arguments ("Bush lied, kids died!" "Keep your laws off my body!" "You can't hug a child with nuclear arms");
-- Imperviousness to facts (e.g., the left's refusal to abandon repeatedly disproved canards about Reagan's tax cuts causing the deficit, the Aug. 6th PDB (President's Daily Brief) stating anything relevant about 9/11, and Valerie Plame being an "undercover agent");
-- Acceptance of contradictions (I haven't heard a cavil from MSNBC about Obama's expansion of the Afghanistan war, use of drones and continued operation of Guantanamo -- all deemed "war crimes" in the Bush administration); and
-- Extreme emotional attachment to their leaders combined with a passionate hatred of putative enemies (the burning and decapitations of Bush in effigy, books and movies about Bush's assassination -- even as liberals' publicly discuss their sex fantasies about Clinton and Obama).
To my dismay, some of these mob characteristics can now be found in small pockets on the right.
For months and months, for example, I've been demanding facts -- not shibboleths or epithets -- from the anti-Mitch McConnell brigade.
Here are my facts:
(1) For more than a decade, Sen. Mitch McConnell has stood alone in fighting unconstitutional campaign finance laws, earning him the undying enmity of The New York Times. (The Times is probably the largest contributor to the Senate Conservatives Fund opposing McConnell.)
McConnell took on the entire MSM, as well as members of his own party, principally John McCain and President Bush, who incomprehensibly signed McCain-Feingold into law with the idle musing that the Supreme Court could strike down any unconstitutional parts. (It didn't -- until some of it was finally overturned in Citizens United.)
McConnell was the Ted Cruz of campaign finance laws, leading filibusters to block these outrageous infringements on free speech, writing op-eds and giving speeches denouncing them, and directly suing to have McCain-Feingold declared unconstitutional in McConnell v. FEC.
As McConnell explained (beautifully):
"(T)he political left has always faced an uphill climb in a country in which there are two self-identified conservatives for every self-identified liberal. ... In order to succeed in this environment, liberals have generally resorted to one of (three tactics): obscuring their true intent; pursuing through regulation and the courts what they can't through legislation; or muzzling their critics."
(2) As minority leader, McConnell managed to get every single Republican in the Senate to vote against Obamacare -- even "Strange New Respect" Republicans like John McCain, Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham. No other Republican leader has ever accomplished anything like that.
For example, under Minority Leader Bob Dole, seven Senate Republicans voted for Clinton's 1994 crime bill, which contained the assault weapons ban widely credited with Republicans' sweep of Congress later that year. That's not merely a reflection of Republicans being worse back then: Among the "Ayes" were conservative John Danforth (Mo.) and William Cohen -- as good as you get from Maine.
The importance of a solid Republican vote against Obamacare can hardly be overstated. Thanks to McConnell, there is no confusion about which party is responsible for this widely detested law -- and which party you should vote for to get rid of it.
(3) McConnell tricked Obama into accepting the only spending cuts to the federal government in more than half a century.
Obama originally proposed the sequester on the assumption that its provisions were so harsh, Republicans would never accept it. But McConnell called his bluff and, for the first time since Eisenhower's first term, a bill was signed into law that would impose large-scale spending cuts on the federal government.
Even Ronald Reagan didn't cut federal spending!
McConnell did -- and that was with a Democratic president and a Democratic majority in the Senate. (Imagine what he could do with a Senate majority!)
Unfortunately, that deal was lightly thrown away by Rep. Paul Ryan last month, after he was bamboozled by the stupidest person in America, Sen. Patty Murray. Ryan claimed he jettisoned the spending cuts in order to restore military spending.
I'm sorry, but who cares about military spending as long as Obama is president? At the rate he’s going, Obama might use our military to attack England.
In any event, about a week after Ryan scuttled McConnell's historic budget cuts, Obama's defense secretary announced plans to reduce the Army to its smallest force since before World War II. Good work, Paul!
While we're on the subject, Ryan also supports giving the Democrats 30 million new voters with amnesty. But I don't see the shyster "tea party" groups or talk radio charlatans trying to take out Ryan. Only the guy who cut government spending for the first time in 60 years is on the hit list of the Senate Conservatives Fund and the rest of the fake tea partiers.
(4) On the most important issue -- immigration -- McConnell not only voted against Marco Rubio's amnesty bill, but at the moment, he may be the only thing standing between us and a scheme to import 30 million new Democratic voters. As House Speaker John Boehner works feverishly behind the scenes to push amnesty through, McConnell recently announced that there would be no immigration bill in 2014 (thank almighty God).
There are breathless headlines all over the Internet claiming, "McConnell Supports Amnesty!" but when you click on them, the links don't work and the claims don't make sense.
In fact, over the years, McConnell has voted for:
-- preventing legal immigrants from collecting food stamps (1997);
-- a border fence (2006); and
-- English as the official language of the U.S. government (2007).
He also voted to block federal funds from being sent to so-called "sanctuary cities" for illegal aliens (2008). The only amnesty McConnell ever voted for was the one signed by President Reagan in 1986.
I know this from looking up McConnell's actual voting record, as opposed to reading nonsensical jeremiads against McConnell on the RedState blog.
True, McConnell is bad on guest worker programs, but if that's the test, the only Republican senator worth a damn is Jeff Sessions. I don't disagree, but I wish conservatives would mention that to their elected representatives once in a while.
Like Ted Cruz. According to The New York Times, Cruz supports "a path to legal status," with "the goal of allowing (illegal aliens) to stay," and expressly rejects Mitt Romney's idea of "self-deportation." (Cruz Tries to Claim the Middle Ground on Immigration, Sept. 12, 2013.)
McConnell has never said anything that bad on immigration.
Those are facts. Here's the counter-argument from the anti-McConnell crowd: HE'S A RINO! HE'S AN ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICAN! HE'S BEEN A TERRIBLE LEADER! MITCH LIED, KIDS DIED!
Ladies and Gentlemen, there you have all the attributes of a mob: Slogans in lieu of logic and evidence, beliefs impenetrable by facts, emotional hatred of the "enemy" and the acceptance of wild contradictions. Isn't Paul Ryan dreamy? Let's run Ted Cruz for president! We love Reagan ... But we hate McConnell for voting with Reagan!
Nothing good has ever been accomplished by a mob.