The Very Quiddity of Civility

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Hattip to Creative Minority Report.  No, the above video is not a Daily Show spoof.  There really and truly is a Froma Harrop.  She is an editorial writer for the Providence Journal and President of the National Conference of Editorial Writers.  (I know that sounds like a spoof, but it isn’t.)  The NCEW has a project to restore civility in American life, and you may read all about it here.

On August 2, 2011, Ms. Harrop delivered herself of this glittering gem of civility:


Make no mistake: The tea party Republicans have engaged in economic terrorism against the United States — threatening to blow up the economy if they don’t get what they want. And like the al-Qaida bombers, what they want is delusional: the dream of restoring some fantasy caliphate in which no one pays taxes, while the country is magically protected from foreign attack and the elderly get government-paid hip replacements.

Americans are not supposed to negotiate with terrorists, but that’s what Obama has been doing. Obama should have grabbed the bully pulpit early on, bellowing that everything can be discussed but America’s honor, which requires making good on its debt obligations. Lines about “we’re all at fault” and “Republicans should compromise” are beyond pathetic on a subject that should be beyond discussion.

That the Republican leadership couldn’t control a small group of ignoramuses in its ranks has brought disgrace on their party. But oddly, Obama’s passivity made it hard for responsible Republicans to control their destructive children.

Go here to read the rest.  When called upon this, Ms. From responded as follows:

Yes, I was angry, but I’m engaging in the defense of my country. I know the tea partiers say the same, but their behavior is that of a national wrecking crew. Most may be nice people who don’t know what they’re doing, but many a country has foundered on the passions of nice people.

As far as the facts are concerned, I stand my ground.  Terrorism is not confined to physical attacks. In May, The Wall Street Journal reported this:

The Pentagon has concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war, a finding that for the first time opens the door for the U.S. to respond using traditional military force.


“If you shut down our power grid, maybe well put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” said a military official.

Blowing up the U.S. economy to make a point would be an even more serious attack, in my book.  And that’s what the tea party saboteurs were threatening. They are what they are.

Go here to laugh at the rest.  I guess members of the tea party should be thankful that the always civil Ms. Harrop didn’t call them wreckers which was the term applied by Stalinists in the Soviet Union to anyone marked for elimination. 

Well, how do we explain that Ms. Harrop is both civil and able to castigate anyone who has the temerity to disagree with her in the strongest terms?  That is a puzzler, but fortunately George Orwell explained it all long ago:



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  1. Obama has reacted by illegally, unconstitutionally depriving all citizens, but especially those with whom he (Obama) disagrees through the National Defense Authorization Act, enacted by Obama’s signature on New Year’s Eve, while he (Obama) was in Hawaii, giving Obama the power to detain any citizen indefinitely without charges, undoing the Magna Carta, eight hundred years of civil rights and Habeas Corpus. This, I believe, is because the nation refused to try enemy combatants as non enemies to give the enemies the civil rights of citizens, and as citizens under the Constitution

  2. I always hate it when I have to defend Obama Mary, but that simply is not true, although it is claimed all over the internet.

    This section of the Authorization ensures that American citizens suspected of terrorism can not be held indefinitely on suspicion of terrorism:

    “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”

    I would note that I do not want this thread to become a debate on that act. This thread is about “civility police” lacking civility, not tin foil hat hysteria spread on the internet. (My contribution to civility today!)

  3. I never knew there was such a word as “quiddity.” I left school 40 years ago. When was it invented?

    Anyhow, Whatz-her-name seems yer typical idiot ideologue liberal: infallible ignorance.

    I observe that she lacks the intellectual capacity for dishonesty.

    I think the main item on display here is (I think the shrinks call it) “projection.”

    Obama must go.

  4. @Donald R. McCleary: The only reason I responded to this post is because I like the word “Quiddity”. I hattip my aluminun hat to you. Thank you for your kind response.

  5. I think this is another example of civility quiddity from John Hinderacker at PowerLine (they post a pic of something that has “Newsweek”??? above and a whole-page picture of someone who doesn’t look happy):

    “We who are unhappy that unemployment has increased on Obama’s watch, that over-regulation has stymied economic growth, that our children now owe a $15 trillion debt that we can’t pay–hey, we’re just dumb! We obviously aren’t smart enough to understand how devastating our economy, unemploying millions of Americans and burdening our children with trillions of dollars in debt is really a great idea.”

    I think it’s the obama-worshiping idiots’ stupidity quiddity (or projection thereof), not faux civility.

    As Bart Simpson famously exclaimed 20 years ago, “I’m insulted!”

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