State GOP Big: Dems Party of Terror (New York Post)
In a stunning attack, the head of the New York Republican Party yesterday charged that Democrats are the party of terrorist supporters.
State GOP Chairman Steven [sic] Minarik, commenting on the selection of Howard Dean as the national Democratic leader, called Democrats the party of Lynne Stewart, who was convicted last week for aiding convicted terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman.
"The Democrats simply have refused to learn the lessons of the past two election cycles, and now they can be accurately called the party of Barbara Boxer, Lynne Stewart, and Howard Dean," Minarik said.
"Howard Dean is the personification of today's national Democratic Party ó elite, radical, out-of-control and, sadly, out of touch with ordinary Americans."
Minarik's bid to link the Democrats to terrorism drew a furious response.
"Don't accuse the 5.5 million Democrats in this state of treason if you hope to win our votes," said Howard Wolfson, a spokesman for the state Democrats.
"And if you make that mistake again, you best be prepared to make it to my face," Wolfson added. "Because we love this country much too much to allow you to ever question our patriotism."
Needless to say, this is just, well, insane. Not only is Mr. Minarik engaging in the vilest sort of demagoguery, he's profoundly insulting a majority of the state's voters.
You know, I'm not generally one for scalp hunting, but an exception may be warranted in this case. Moreover, if I were a Republican who expected to see his name on a New York state ballot any time in the near future, I think I just might join the hunting party.
UPDATE: "The Democrats would be wise to take action on members like Lynne Stewart, rather than attacking me," says Minarik. But Republican Gov. George Pataki, who does, in fact, expect to see his name on a New York state ballot soon, disagrees: "The Democratic Party doesn't have anything to do with Lynne Stewart. . . . Obviously, she was found guilty of a heinous criminal act and that is not something within the realm of appropriate political discourse in New York state." State Senate Minority Leader David Paterson adds, "I think the Republican Party has to reconsider whether or not he should be running it."
Yep. And if we Democrats don't take advantage of this perhaps unique opportunity to establish the principle that neo-McCarthyism is completely out of bounds in the war on terror, we'll have no one to blame but ourselves as the problem metastasizes in the months and years ahead.
ANOTHER UPDATE: On the other hand, we could just attack each other. . . .
MORE: "Why, oh why, do left-wing blogs not keep this kind of odious insanity ever before the public eye, like right-wing blogs with their Democratic Underground posts and their Ward Churchill obsession?"
EVEN MORE: Okay, so I've already gotten a nasty email about the friendly little poke I took at Oliver Willis above. And I'm sorry if that irked some folks. But I'm a little irked by the constant suggestion that moderate Democrats who reluctantly supported the war in Iraq are, by definition, "phony Democrats." Look, maybe Dems like Marty Frost and Joe Biden and, well, me aren't your cup of tea. That's fine. But a minority party just can't afford these kinds of unnecessary divisions. And now that Howard Dean has been elected chairman of the DNC, I don't think it's entirely unreasonable to ask some of our more feisty brethren to be magnanimous enough to, uh, give peace a chance.
FINAL NOTE (I THINK): Were I as irresponsible and unfair as Mr. Minarik, I'd probably observe that it's awfully rich when the party of David Duke complains about things like this.
See? It's no fun to be accused of guilt by association. . . .