Emmett Tyrrell

WASHINGTON -- We all have our favorite sages. Official Washington has Don Imus. Or at least that surly vulgarian was the commentariat's favorite sage until those two gifted hucksters, Sharpton and Jackson, saw in Imus's bleak humor another opportunity to engaud their resumes. Now he is a whimpering bundle of apologies, his First Amendment rights having been jettisoned almost instantaneously along with his he-man demeanor.

My favorite sage is the economist and columnist Thomas Sowell. One of his most recent insights goes like this: The liberals' favorite argument is that there is no argument -- nothing uttered in opposition to liberal beliefs exists, at least nothing worthy of their intellectual engagement. Thus, a la Al Gore, they proceed to reiterate their point of view boldly, heroically and with the insistence that no other point of view is worthy of notice.

Now with the liberals' sudden assault on the Black Caucus for its co-sponsorship with Fox News of a pair of presidential primary debates this autumn, I have an addendum to Sowell's insight. That is: The liberals' favorite debate is no debate unless the forum is totally dominated by them. Even then there will preferably be no argument, just the liberal point of view sedulously propounded in a forum shaped completely by them. This, students of rhetoric and knowledgeable of 20th century European history will tell you, is called propaganda. The Nazis mastered such forums, as did the communists. The American political context is freer or has been until recently.

Now because the Black Caucus is exercising its freedoms and, in the American democratic spirit of liberality, co-sponsoring debate with Fox News, some recently emergent online nightriders called "Color of Change" is accusing the Caucus of "dancing with the devil." Other brute left-wing groups are on the attack. They are following the cue from the left's most vehement brute group, MoveOn, which famously proclaimed of the Democratic Party in December 2004, "we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back."

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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