The Politically Correct
or Mirror, Mirror: The Prequel
One of the hoariest examples of rightwing projection is the notion of political correctness, that things shouldn't or can't be said by liberals or the Left because of an absurdly rigid value system. I first heard it when Young Churchill's father was campaigning for the presidency; he wielded the charge of "politically correct" to dismiss and belittle substantive objections to the extreme right agenda he espoused. It worked though even back then, it was obvious to anyone who was paying attention that it was bullshit, that the examples the GOP was using were of political non-entities of no consequence on the national stage, and that already the Reagan Republican party was quite intolerant of ideological impurities.
But in case it wasn't obvious before that the accusation of political correctness fits conservatives far better than liberals, David Frum's exit from the locked-door psych unit known as the American Enterprise Institute, it should now be quite clear:
Frum tells Mike Allen that "donor pressure" related to his "Waterloo" post was indeed responsible for his termination. Frum claims "the core of the story is the kind of economic pressure that intellectual conservatives are under" -- meaning AEI couldn't risk displeasing its base by keeping Frum on after he criticized the Republican Party. "[T]he elite isn't leading anymore," said Frum. "It's trapped."And also :
Earlier, Frum told Greg Sargent he and AEI parted ways over money, not ideology -- they offered him the chance to continue on at a salary of zero...
...the conservative movement has a tendency to excommunicate anyone who breaks ranks, says Bruce Bartlett, who was fired by the National Center for Policy Analysis, another right-wing think tank, for writing a book critical of Bush policies. "In the years since, I have lost a great many friends and been shunned by conservative society in Washington, D.C," Bartlett wrote in the wake of Frum's resignation.Insert obligatory statement that liberals and the Left can also demonstrate an unhealthy rigidity on ideology... and hold it right there!
Bartlett, who served as a domestic policy aide for Ronald Reagan and a deputy assistant Treasury secretary under the first President Bush, claimed Frum told him privately a few months ago that conservatives on AEI's payroll had been "ordered" not to speak to the media about health care reform "because they agreed with too much of what Obama was trying to do." Frum himself certainly violated that order.
So what? None of the bozos who require purity tests in liberal and leftwing circles are anywhere remotely as powerful or as influential as the fanatical psychopaths who both fund and staff the conservative think tanks. Nor are they likely to become influential anytime in the forseeable future. I can't think of even a moderately liberal group, let alone a genuinely leftwing group, that funnels staff that have been ideologically vetted into the government at anything close to the level at which the AEI and the Federalist Society pack presidential administrations with the politically correct. Nor does any liberal-leaning group - say, CEIP or CAP - require anything close to the purity of ideology the right does. It's very simple:
The politically correct are conservatives. The politically correct are rightwingers. The politically correct are the teabaggers. The politically correct are Republicans.
Same as it ever was.