Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police.

2/02/2006

Hyperbole

Quick thought -

Conservatives, self-declared moderates, and "Sensible Liberals" are quick to decry any instance of perceived hyperbole on the left - e.g., Harry Belafonte calling Bush the world's greatest tyrant, pro-choicers warning us about the return of coat-hanger abortions, environmentalists predicting ecological catastrophe, etc. etc.

The conservatives' motivation in complaining about alleged hyperbole is obvious; forget them for the moment.

Among moderates and mainstream liberals, on the other hand, there seems to be a consensus that this kind of hyperbolic rhetoric is an obstacle to Democratic electoral success. E.g. Michael Reynolds (seconded by Justin Gardner):
Over at DailyKos we have one diarist calling the Democrat Senators who voted for cloture on the Alito nomination, "Vichy Democrats."

The "Vichy Senators" number 19. Out of 44 Democrats. 19 Senators out of 44. Just about 43% of the Democrats in the Senate are being compared to Nazi collaborators.

18% of Americans identify themselves as liberals. Twice as many call themselves moderates. So, I have a message for the Kos Kids. It's a message that I would have thought was self-evident. But apparently the barrel of liberal delusions is bottomless. So, let's try putting this simply, with affection, with love, for our none-too-bright bretheren on the Left.

From: The Moderates
To: The Kossacks

Dear Friends:
THE ONLY PATH BACK TO POWER IS THROUGH US.
THE ONLY PATH BACK TO POWER IS THROUGH US.
THE ONLY PATH BACK TO POWER IS THROUGH US.
THE ONLY PATH BACK TO POWER . . .
Funny, it doesn't seem to have worked so far.

Where did these "squishy moderates" get the idea that hyperbole is an electoral disadvantage? The Republicans success is almost entirely based on hyperbole - The Terrorists will annihilate our civilization if we don't invade the Middle East! Liberals want to outlaw the Bible! Homosexuals are conspiring to turn your children gay! Environmentalists want to destroy the economy just so they can save a couple of birds! Etc. etc. etc.!!

I'm not exactly saying that the Democrats should adopt such rhetoric - and besides, much of the supposed hyperbole on the left is actually an accurate assessment of reality. But I am wondering just how these people got it in their heads that hyperbole is the road to political oblivion, when precedent would seem to suggest the opposite.

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