Liberals, conservatives, libertarians and others can disagree vehemently on just about everything on which reasonable people can disagree, and then some. Often discussions get heated, partisans bear their teeth, and it becomes exceedingly difficult to remember that the guy you are arguing with is not Satan incarnate, but a fundamentally decent fellow who just happens to see the world differently from you.
We are reminded that most people are decent whenever a national tragedy strikes. In the wake of 9-11, hardly anyone was a Democrat or Republican; we were all Americans, and we were all New Yorkers. No Democrat (or at least, no prominent one) played politics against Bush and Guiliani simply because they were members of the wrong party. Even Al Gore, who has since gone completely batty, was respectful of the President at the time. And, as best I can determine, not one Republican from flyover country said “screw New York, they’re a blue state.”
Still, while most people you may disagree with vehemently are decent people of goodwill, a few of them are not. It is times like these when your fundamentally decent but vociferous opponents separate themselves from the ones who really are the scum that they seem to be. One such example is Noam Chomsky, who, mere weeks after 9-11, wrote that U.S. foreign policy was worse. Another is today’s asshat, Mike Benedetto. While others all across the political spectrum pay their respects to the Gipper (or, at a minimum, judiciously decline to bash him on this occasion), Mikey’s contribution to the blogosphere is to compare Reagan to Hitler, and blame him for the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. Well done, Michael. You’ve proven that the rabid Reagan haters never went away, even 15 years after the poor guy left office, and 10 years after he was diagnosed with a terrible disease. Shame on you – though I suspect you don’t have any, else you wouldn’t have posted this vile trash in the first place.
In case this loathesome, hateful jerk of a blogger attempts to cover his tracks by editing the post, here it is, in its entirety, as of 1:50 p.m. PDT today: