Self-marginalized left-wingers

Posted: Jul 20, 2002 12:00 AM
Ann Coulter's wonderful new book, "Slander," has liberals in a delightful snit, for which accomplishment alone Ann deserves one of their hoity-toity literary awards. But an equally encouraging development is that some liberals have themselves in a snit. I've gleaned from this morning's news scan that various single-issue leftist constituencies are fighting one another as they compete for primacy in their respective spheres of extremism. It's a beautiful sight to behold. Item: -- an outfit that also deserves, but will never receive, hoity-toity East Coast journalism recognition -- reports, "Feminists and animal rights activists are battling each other" (note the war lingo here) "over allegedly sexist remarks made at the Animal Rights 2002 convention held in Virginia earlier this month." The master of ceremonies at the awards dinner, at which neither Coulter nor were to be honored, offended the sensibilities of some in attendance. The speaker, exhibiting the poor taste and insensitivity usually reserved exclusively to the Neanderthal conservative class, "compared the 'shape' of the animal rights movement to the 'shapes' of a Hollywood actress and a beauty pageant winner." This untoward remark caused over 20 attendees to leave the banquet in disgust and 10 more of these non-violent liberal hippie types to spring on to the stage to complain. After the convention, one animal rights activist described the protests as the work of the "Left Wing thought police." Even better, he suggested that it could compromise his group to "nothing but marginalized Left Wingers." It is not known whether the targets of the catty comment -- Miss World USA Natasha Allas and "NYPD Blue" actress Charlotte Ross -- were personally offended. But that didn't stop the protestors, who chose to be offended for the ladies, from distributing an anti-sexism petition. Sensitivity training for liberals -- isn't this delicious? Isn't it ironic that these women, who were supposedly exploited by sexism, voluntarily posed nude for an anti-fur campaign (Ross) and participated in beauty pageants (Allas). Those are precisely the forbidden activities that radical feminists, in whom resides the sole authority to determine what is and isn't offensive to females, abhor. But look where the snit could be leading. Barbara Chang, who sponsored the protest petition, reportedly called for a boycott of the 2003 animal rights convention because of the conference's "misogynistic atmosphere." "Misogynistic," for you fellow conservative illiterates, means "women hating." Chang roared, "We will continue to fight for the animals, but we can no longer do it with this organization or the men who dominated the conference." In another positive development, some of the animal rights activists were also outraged when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) used naked women to promote its anti-fur cause. Can you imagine how many years of Nixon-type dirty tricks it would take for undercover conservatives to cause this kind of disruption in the liberal movement? Item: The Lancaster, Pa., Intelligencer Journal reports that the liberal ACLU is distressed by the liberal NAACP's effort to criminalize the utterance of racial slurs. Specifically at issue are comments made by local NAACP president Rev. Ronald Taliaferro regarding the sentencing of a 76-year-old man for shouting racial insults at a black woman. The reverend wanted stiffer penalties. The ACLU is worried about the free-speech implications and plans to monitor "the NAACP agenda for harsher penalties in cases involving racial epithets." One ACLU attorney said that under the law, a racial slur is no different from other insults. "Insults are reprehensible, but not illegal," he said. Can you picture an ACLU attorney ever saying such a thing in the context of a debate over hate crimes legislation? Item: Brian Doherty of Reason reports that certain moneyed Hollywood liberals are "sounding like Ayn Rand in defense of property rights" in a dispute about "who gets to enjoy California's beaches." David Geffen has sued a government agency for use of the beach across his property. The evil, big-government agency is trying to preserve public access to the beach. Item: That liberal of liberals Hillary Clinton is dogging the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for not providing enough assistance to Sept. 11 victims. Granted, her exploitation of the issue is purely opportunistic, but it is glorious to see Senator Clinton complaining about government inefficiency. I have more items, but have run out of space. Taken together, they show that while conservatives may not be too adept at discrediting liberals, we are seeing progress anyway with these internecine liberal struggles. Leftist extremism in pursuit of other liberal extremism is no vice.