So there was Elizabeth Edwards, wife of the Blow-Dried One, berating Ann Coulter on the art of civil discourse last week. After her phone-in appearance on the Chris Matthews show, St. Elizabeth was the toast of the media town, making the rounds from one network to the next, with rose petals strewn in her path to guide her to her seat, denouncing the "hatefulness" and "ugliness" of conservative commentators. "We can't have a debate about issues if you're using this kind of language," she lectured.
It's a good thing none of her interviewers pretended to be objective. It's a good thing she wasn't asked about hatefulness and ugliness on the left. It would have been painful.
For instance, what if she'd been asked to denounce a quote from a leading liberal who favors rage as a necessary ingredient in fighting for a rapid timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, and who attacked congressional Democrats as weaklings: "We needed uncompromising rage, and we got silence. We needed courage, and we got silence. And that silence was, have no doubt about it, a betrayal: of the soldiers, of the voters in 2006, of humanity and morality."
Accusing someone of betraying our soldiers (never mind all of humanity) -- that registers as hateful and ugly in my book. So who said that? The author of those words would be one St. Elizabeth Edwards, on June 8, accepting the "Rage for Justice Award" from the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a Naderite "consumer" lobby.
What of the person who suggested America is a country that is not only obsessed with wealth, it criminally neglects the poor, and that racism was part of that cruel formula? "We have a country that is complacent about the creation of a permanent underclass, largely an underclass of color, while paying lip service to words like equality and opportunity."
Anyone who resents an association, direct or otherwise, with policies that acquiesce to racism would find those words hateful and ugly, to say the least. OK, so who said them? Elizabeth Edwards, meet Elizabeth Edwards.
How about comparing the Bush administration to the slaughtering nomads of Darfur, with the poor as victims of Washington's "genocide"? "The White House has led the charge against working people, in their own class war. The late, great Molly Ivins once wrote: 'If there was class warfare, that war was long over. And it was a massacre ... a genocide to which there have been words of acknowledgement, as there have in Darfur, but as with Darfur, no meaningful action.'"
Even Chris Matthews would find those words hateful and ugly. I can only hope he was ignorant of them, or it would have been most embarrassing asking St. Elizabeth to denounce herself.