Of all the absurd accusations being tossed around in the wake of Congressman Joe Wilson's outburst during President Obama's address to Congress last week, the most ridiculous is that of New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd (surprise, surprise) and others, who have accused Wilson of being a racist. Dowd's accusations were the most inflammatory, since she decided to create additional words out of thin air, saying that she "heard" Wilson say, "You lie, boy!," something he never said, and a word she chose to make up deliberately, fraught as it is with discriminatory overtones nearly as repulsive as the dreaded "n" word. This is the most despicable and irresponsible excuse for "journalism" I have ever seen.
But it is all too common. As I have written elsewhere, the Left's favorite slight-of-hand is to get everyone talking about intentions, and state of mind. Intentions can never be refuted, and state of mind can never be disproven, which is why the Left loves to argue that way. Saying, "I intend to eliminate poverty!" or "You only oppose the President's policies because you hate black people," is nothing more than a distraction. When it comes to writing law, what matters is not the drafters' intentions, but the law's results, which regressives never want to discuss, even when they're obvious. And you can accuse anyone of thinking anything - how on earth could this ever be disproven? More to the point, it puts the accused on the defensive, and takes the argument away from the real issues - also the objective of the hard Left in all matters political.
Everyone who opposes the President's leftist agenda has discovered that the "racist!" epithet is the desperate gasp of those who absolutely cannot refute the arguments on the merits. (And, as we saw with last weekend's non-coverage of hundreds of thousands of Americans protesting in Washington, the media's other favorite tactic is simply to ignore things: "If we don't cover it, it didn't happen.")
Thousands of words have been printed already, demonstrating that the assertions President Obama was making during his address were, in fact, untrue, and Congress' quick scurrying to close the loophole that would permit illegal aliens to receive free medical care on the American taxpayers' dime further proves it.
Laura Hollis is an Associate Professional Specialist and Concurrent Associate Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame, where she teaches entrepreneurship and business law. She is the author of the forthcoming publication, “Start Up, Screw Up, Scale Up: What Government Can Learn From the Best Entrepreneurs,” © 2014. Her opinions are her own, and do not reflect the position of the university. Follow her on Twitter: @LauraHollis61.