Friday, June 24, 2011

Anti-demagogue demagogues

Without a hint of ironic awareness, today's Post-Dispatch has an editorial praising Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman for his pledge to take the "high-road" by campaigning with civility. The editors then proceed immediately along the low road they travel so often, referring to the "anti-Obama, anti-government and no-new-taxes demagoguery that dominate GOP arguments today."

The editorial concludes that "(t)here will be plenty of time for voters and editorial writers to examine records and determine which of the various candidates has the best vision for America. But for now, we welcome Mr. Huntsman's civil tone and hope that his candidacy contributes to a hearty debate about our nation's future."

But this "hearty debate" must exclude (purely in the name of civility, of course) the many millions of Americans who would not vote to re-elect Obama, do not want to see the government become more powerful, and think that taxes are high enough. Within polite societies like the Post-Dispatch offices, such views are simply beyond the pale.