The latest outbreak of Dem amnesia – that curious affliction wherein Democrats these days are getting all up in arms about things said about the current (Dem-controlled) administration and Congress that they had no issue with when directed toward the previous (Republican) administration – centers on the use of the word “regime.” Byron York of the Washington Examiner takes this topic on in his editorial yesterday:
On Friday, I asked Rush Limbaugh for his response to President Obama’s description of him as “troublesome” and of his program as “vitriol.” Limbaugh told me he does not believe Obama is trying to do what is best for the country and added, “Never in my life have I seen a regime like this, governing against the will of the people, purposely.”
By using the word “regime,” Limbaugh was doing something he does all the time: throwing the language of the opposition back in their faces. In the Bush years, we often heard the phrase “Bush regime” from some quarters of the left. So Limbaugh applied it to Obama.
As York relates, that didn’t go over too well in Democratic quarters nor in the newsroom at MSNBC (pardon the redundancy.) Tingly-legged Obama support Chris Matthews got all offended that such a term as “regime” would be applied to a freely-elected government of a small-d democratic nation. Said Matthews, on air:
“You go to war with regimes. Regimes are tyrannies. They’re juntas. They’re military coups. The use of the word ‘regime’ in American political parlance is unacceptable, and someone should tell the walrus [Limbaugh] to stop using it.”
[Byron York writes:] Matthews didn’t stop there. “I never heard the word ‘regime,’ before, have you?” he said to NBC’s Chuck Todd. “I don’t even think Joe McCarthy ever called this government a ‘regime.'”
And here we have, in full flower, the pristine example of the Dem amnesia that I’ve been writing about. York goes on to detail the myriad examples of Democrats and their media lackeys using the term regime precisely as Matthews is decrying. Between the New York Times, the Washington post, and even MSNBC themselves there have been dozens of examples. The coup de grace, of course, is York’s final example:
Finally — you knew this was coming — on June 14, 2002, Chris Matthews himself introduced a panel discussion about a letter signed by many prominent leftists condemning the Bush administration’s conduct of the war on terror. “Let’s go to the Reverend Al Sharpton,” Matthews said. “Reverend Sharpton, what do you make of this letter and this panoply of the left condemning the Bush regime?”
Pretty bad when you’re busting someone’s chops over some act or speech and loudly proclaiming that you’ve never heard such rudeness when you, yourself, have done exactly the same thing. On camera. Sorry, Matthews, but it was you and your side of this debate that engaged in this kind of rudeness, you who cheerfully broadcast the “unacceptable.”
Want it stopped? Apologize. Directly. Get on camera and admit that you should never have started this mess to begin with, that it was unacceptable to call the Bush administration a “regime” and that you insulted not only the President, but his supporters and the nation as a whole in doing so. Apologize for sinking the level of national discourse and promise you’re not going to do it again. Do that and then shut up about it. No making the apology contingent on anything, no demanding anything from anyone. If you truly believe it’s unacceptable, then it was unacceptable when you did it and nothing justifies your action. Apologize and let anyone else deal with their issues themselves.
While you’re at it, how about getting back to reporting the facts of the news and quit biasing your reports to meet your political agenda? I realize that’s probably a bridge too far, however, so try just apologizing for your own unacceptable comments first.