A Not So Modest Proposal
According to one Inky columnist, if you celebrated Independence Day you're an immoral "coward."
UPDATE: In a folo-up yesterday, the columnist and former editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer editorial page, Chris Satullo, had more to say. Specifically, that he had engaged in "hyperbole," that the storm troopers of Rush Limbaugh's Internet Army had written him nasty e-mails and some people even had the gall to question his "patriotism."
"...(Go) ahead, knock my logic or prose style. They're fair game. Scorn the shape of my nose, my manliness, and all the other stuff my kind correspondents attacked. But do not, do not, question my patriotism. Or that of any fellow citizen. Such words are unworthy of what we owe one another as Americans."
Funny, how liberals get so upset when someone questions their patriotism, even if it is someone they consider a complete idiot.
For the record, I did not make fun of his prose style (which was pretty bad, but you be the judge), his manliness, or the shape of his nose. I did make fun of his suggestion that 300 million Americans don't deserve to celebrate the Fourth this year because a handful of terrorists were roughly treated.
Now, he says he was merely being hyperbolic when he wrote:
"Don't imagine that only the torturer's hand bears the guilt. The guilt reaches deep inside our Capitol, and beyond that - to us. Our silence is complicit. In our name, innocents were jailed, humans tortured, our Constitution mangled. And we said so little. We can't claim not to have known. The best among us raised the alarm. Heroes in uniform, judges in robes, they opposed the perverse logic of an administration drenched in fear, drunk on power."
Such over-the-top writing tempts one to question whether Satullo actually meant what he said or if he was playing the satirist, mocking liberals for their unctous, self-righteous moralizing. But no, it's clear that he wasn't.
Satullo accuses his fellow Americans of being complicit in war crimes and atrocities and undeserving of celebrating their heritage and that's OK because he does so with "an earnest purpose."
Does he think the people who responded harshly to him and to his column don't have an earnest purpose?
This sounds like a case of -- hyperbole for me but not for thee.
But the worst thing about Satullo's reponse to his critics is not his hypocrisy but his mawkish self-regarding "misty-eyed" idealism.
"For the record, I love the United States of America. Always have, always will. I thank God for letting me be born here. I am a misty-eyed idealist about the Declaration, the Constitution and the Founders."
And so don't anyone, ever, question HIS patriotism!
His critics might respond, "Hey, this is America, where the Founders provided us with a First Amendment, so we can if we want to."
What's Satullo going to do about it? Challenge them to a duel?
I hope Chris doesn't think that by comparing him to the Rev. Jeremiah "God Damn America" Wright that I was questioning his love of America. What I was questioning was his judgement, his taste, and his senses.
His original piece suggested he had taken leave of them. His second suggested something more calculated: that he'd attempted to be provoke an angry response and gotten one.
But he ruined it with his "do not, do not..." umbrage.
Chris should remember, sticks and stone, sticks and stones...
UPDATE: In his second piece, Satullo refers to the first as being an example of his "Swiftian panache," and that was somehow missed by the Dittoheads who condemned it. As I recall when Jonathan Swift wrote his "A Modest Proposal" he didn't actually mean that his fellow Britishers should eat the babies of the poor. I don't suppose, Satullo was kidding when he suggested "We" Americans should be ashamed of ourselves for spitting in the faces of our country's founders. That he would suggest as much in his second piece is weak and cynical beyond belief.
If he'd really have wanted to be clever and satirical he would have headlined his column: "Porn On the Fourth of July."