Writing in Real Clear Politics, Michael Barrone writes in Strangers to Dissent, Liberals Try to Stifle It:
It is an interesting phenomenon that the response of the left half of our
political spectrum to criticism and argument is often to try to shut it down.
Thus President Obama in his Sept. 9 speech to a joint session of Congress told
us to stop "bickering," as if principled objections to major changes in public
policy were just childish obstinacy, and chastised his critics for telling
"lies," employing "scare tactics" and playing "games." Unlike his predecessor,
he sought to use the prestige of his office to shut criticism down.
Well, yes there’s been a lot of stifling going on. Wasn’t that the goal of Media Matter’s Eric Boehlert’s re-write of the Kennedy assassination or Nancy Crocodile Tears Pelosi’s sniff, sniff, references to violence in San Francisco? Every time Jimmie Carter, et al, throw out “racist” or some insufferable twink like Janeane Garofalo says “tea bagger”, the intent is to stifle debate.
For too long Conservatives have sat largely on the sidelines as Liberals pushed their agenda unchallenged. Finally, Conservatives have woke to the idea that while the meek may inherit the Earth that won’t do them a bit of good as their country descends in to Hell.
Conservatives will not “tone down” so it is left to the Liberals as to whether they want to engage in honest discourse or not. Currently, it appears not.