The Dale And Ed Show, Or How To Reveal The Desperation Of Your Contempt For Liberals

Dale Courtney’s widely-read blog, Right-Mind, very rarely contains anything actually written by Dale.

I find this puzzling, as virtually every word of Prevailing Winds is mine, and I wonder if Dale is unsure enough of his own convictions that he hides behind the work of others. That’s sad, and so I was hopeful, when I saw this March 26 post, that he had perhaps taken the enormous risk of actually developing and sharing an original thought or two for his eager audience of “Libertarian Christians” and other right-wing, anti-government zealots. I don’t find Dale to be a terribly original or principled thinker, and I didn’t think he’d write anything of real interest to me, but I was hoping that he was departing, however briefly, from the re-posting of virtual reams of articles from other sources.

Alas, such was not the case. He’s once again relied on other sources to convey his thoughts — this time, “Mister Ed,” who I presume is the prolific New Saint Andrews librarian Ed Iverson. But Dale’s apparent inability to write on his own blog is not, in this case, the most egregious thing in the post. What stinks is his printing of Mister Ed’s snarky analysis of what he sees, based on what he says he didn’t see at Friendship Square last Friday, as the Left’s spinelessness and hypocrisy. Ol’ Ed hoots with glee that he was witness to — by not witnessing anything — yet another example of the moral vacuity of Moscow’s liberals. Here’s what he wrote, and what Dale hurriedly slammed onto Right-Mind:

“Only Silence in Friendship Square.

As I was leaving my office yesterday afternoon in this bluest dot in the reddest state in the union, I observed something worthy of note. There was no anti-war protest on Main Street. This is something new. The Friday afternoon gathering of old hippies and inexperienced college kids reuniting for a couple of hours of bonhomie is a well-regarded institution in this university town where Thoreau’s lecture on civil disobedience is holy writ. I can scarcely recall a Friday when the faithful did not congregate. Maybe that Friday when global warming dumped 18 inches of the white stuff at low temperatures? Lots of folks didn’t move that day.

Yesterday was a pleasant day in the neighborhood, perfect for the assembly of the faithful. More importantly, there is a new hot war going on. Where was the righteous anger over the killing? Where were the stentorian speeches directed against the evil military industrial complex? Where were the cars with drivers too busy to attend the service but honking their support in passing? It was remarkably quiet.

So Libya is their war? I am relieved to learn that war is OK. When a leftist Democrat orders the F-16s out to do what they do best, it is righteous. When the war is run by a community organizer it sanctifies the killing, when the secretary of state is the smartest woman in the nation, we don’t have to protest the loss of life of even one soldier. When the funny kid with big ears grows up he knows what it is like to have been bullied and he would never engage in international bullying. That only happens when Texas oilmen enthrall (sic) to the House of Saud occupy the Whitehouse (sic). I am left with no other conclusion. There was only silence in Friendship Square.” 03-26-2011 16:31 by Mister Ed to Right Mind

Addressing Ed’s vituperative description of the President and his obvious contempt for the Secretary of State would take an entire column; suffice to say that his rant is redolent with the stench of rotten, filthy fruit — a display only slightly less disturbing in its hatefulness as his vicious analysis of the (non)activity in Friendship Square. For now, that’s what I’ll address.

First, though, some context. Since November, 2001, a group of a about a dozen diehard peace activists — the folks described by Ed as “old hippies and inexperienced college kids” — have met at Moscow’s Friendship Square, right in the heart of downtown and adjacent to NSA, every Friday at 5 p.m. They have information tables, signs and banners, and a consistent, principled stand against war, the military industrial complex, a bloated military budget, and violence in all forms. I know several of them, and I know them to be decent, intelligent and passionate people who abhor and condemn the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and grieve that war exists at all.

But last Friday, just after President Obama announced the beginning of air strikes against Libya, Mister Ed says he left his NSA office to find Friendship Square empty, bereft of protesters and thus full to overflowing of leftist hypocrisy of the starkest kind. It delighted Ed, who concluded, as any classically-trained pedagogue would, that the apparent absence of anti-war protesters in Friendship Square shortly after military intervention ordered by a Democratic president was a clear case of cowardice and hypocrisy — that the protesters balked and caved, deciding that a “war” initiated by Obama, their putative hero, was a war they simply couldn’t protest.

Bush and Cheney wars, bad; Obama and Biden wars, good. That, according to the perspicacious pedagogue, is how the immoral, imbecilic Left thinks.

And wouldn’t that be convenient! Wouldn’t that just put the final nail in the ready coffin prepared for simpering, sentimental liberalism? He looked out on Friendship Square and saw, he says, no protesters. Not a one, he gloats, and so there you have it: Moscow’s peace activists are just as he thought — hypocritical beyond belief, and shallow beyond measure.

It’s easy for Ed to decry the beliefs of those in his community who regularly, for nearly a decade, have demonstrated against war. It’s easy for him, as he dissects and denounces the principles and integrity that motivate them, to render judgment against people unable to defend themselves. And it’s certainly easy for Dale to jump up and down and applaud as he proffers Ed’s verdict to his readers, who, lacking any knowledge of the protester’s actual beliefs and lacking, as well, any personal acquaintance with them, no doubt are satisfied that Judge Ed has spoken, and spoken the truth. Ed speaks, Dale posts, and the matter is settled. Independent analysis not needed; bearing false witness, unheeded.

But here’s the truth. I wasn’t downtown at 5:00 Friday, so I don’t know if anyone was there to protest or not, and you’ll have to forgive me if I’m unwilling to take Mister Ed’s word for it. I have a dear friend who is a regular at the Friday evening gatherings. She was in Spokane Friday; another activist was recovering from surgery, another battling a cold. She says she would be surprised if, for the first time since November, 2001, no one showed up at the Square to protest the air strikes against Libya — an example of U.S. military force that, she said, brought her and several other Palouse-area peace activists to tears. Sally, who loves the Lord Jesus, tells me that the loosely-knit group is nonetheless bound together in its grief and dismay over Obama’s actions, and she says neither she nor they would “give him a pass, just because he has a (D) by his name.”

They’ll be there Friday, just as they always have been, protesting against this military action with the same fervor as they’ve condemned the unmitigated horror that is the Iraq War, and the inestimable tragedy that is the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Friendship Square won’t be empty this coming Friday.

The question is, will Mister Ed and his buddy Dale be there as well, and will they take back their sinful, careless, and malicious portrayal of men and women — their neighbors, some of them their sisters and brothers in Christ — who simply long for, and work for, a day when war is long forgotten as a way to resolve conflict? My past experiences with Dale tell me it’s not likely; it’s more fun to mock as cowards, perhaps even demonize as hypocrites, those you dislike. Taking the time to try to understand them simply isn’t as fun, I suppose.

Dale, if you’re reading this, I pray that you’ll do the right thing on Right-Mind and remove the post — or write another that acknowledges that Ed was hasty, to put it mildly, in his judgment. You’ve sinned by maligning people you neither know nor care to know. And Ed — you have a couple of hundred young Christian students who ought to be able to look up to you. As you continue to look down on Moscow’s liberals, might you consider, if only for a moment, the example of folly and malice you’ve provided them?

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