Prudence, one would think, if not generosity of spirit, should impel Democrats to be magnanimous in victory. Romney did receive about 48 percent of the vote. A little modesty among the winners would seem to be in order.
Instead, the gloating has been extravagant. Worse, liberals have gorged themselves on the same junk food they enjoyed during the campaign and cannot seem to resist under any circumstances -- slandering their opponents. The smears are so casual and commonplace that we become weary of responding. But we must protest, or someone new to politics may assume that we concede the point.
Appearing on "Meet the Press", documentary filmmaker Ken Burns attributed conservative unhappiness with the election to racism. "Race is always there in America," Burns opined. "It's always something we don't want to talk about. Do you think we'd have a secession movement -- a faddish movement -- if this president wasn't [sic] African-American? Do you think the vitriol that came out of some elements of the Tea Party?"
Ken Burns is a fine filmmaker. I met him once, and I found him to be engaging and amiable. It's painful to see him descend to this kind of defamation. Some disappointed Republicans are talking secession in Texas and elsewhere. This is proof of racism? Is this the standard of evidence Burns employs for his films?
Secession talk is the overheated emotional venting of the disappointed. It is not the exclusive province of Republicans. In 2004, Jonathan Gurwitz of the Houston Chronicle reminds us, Democratic talking head Lawrence O'Donnell suggested that George W. Bush's reelection would provoke "a serious discussion of secession over the next 20 years." When a fellow panelist on the TV show in question asked, "Are you calling for civil war?" O'Donnell replied, "You can secede without firing a shot." Bob Beckel was for kicking the southern United States out of the union that year. "Really, I think they ought to have their own confederacy." Alec Baldwin, among others, had threatened to leave the country if Bush were reelected.
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