Gabrielle Giffords, Larry McDonald, Sarah Palin—And The Profound Instability Of American Politics

The Main Stream Media feeding frenzy around the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, so extreme that it even attracted the ridicule of Slate's liberal press critic Jack Shaferwho had also earlier been commendably sensible about calls to suppress (conservative) rhetoric—seems now to be dying down. 

This means VDARE.com finally be able to post Steve Sailer's latest on the Sailer Strategy this Sunday. (I wasn't going to throw it away). But it also means that, incredibly, this whole news cycle has gone by without any substantive attention to the obviously parallel case of Congressman  Larry McDonald.

Who now remembers McDonald? Not Washington Post smart alec Ezra Klein, who blogged on Jan 9: "The last congressman killed while doing his job was Rep. Leo Ryan, who was slain in Jonestown in 1978". 

A reader commented timorously: "Not that I was his biggest fan, but perhaps we should include Larry McDonald". Klein, however, did not feel obliged to correct his mistake, and Google reveals no other recent discussion of the Georgia Democrat who died when a Soviet interceptor shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007 in 1983.

The plain and shocking truth: Larry McDonald has gone down the memory hole. The reason, as Klein's reader intuited, is all too clear. McDonald ("the most principled man in Congress"—Rep. Ron Paul, quoted on Wikipedia, 1-13-10) was a very conservative Democrat, the president of the John Birch Society, a fierce anti-Communist and such a rising star on the Right that, ore than twenty years later, conservative movement icon Reed Irvine of Accuracy In Media was still demanding answers to rumors that McDonald had been the target of the attack, had survived and was imprisoned in the Lubyanka.

McDonald's fate was by any measure a more sensational story than that of Giffords (who also, of course, has mercifully survived).

But it simply did not fit in with the liberal agenda in 1983, when the Cold War was in its final convulsions and the Soviets had launched a desperate nuclear disarmament offensive, mysteriously abetted (in a way that I believe still deserves the attention of historians) by MSM artifacts like the novel Warday and the defeatist television movie The Day After, which the ABC network crassly broadcast only weeks after McDonald's death.

The McDonald story faded, or was faded, much faster than the Giffords story. (I was there—I remember). And, manifestly, it has left no trace in popular culture or whatever it is that informs the worldview of the Ezra Kleins.

In contrast, the Giffords story did fit right into the liberal agenda of 2011. At the center of that agenda: repression. That is why, as I predicted after the last Presidential election, one of the first things the Obama Administration did was to ram through the "Hate Crime" bill, even though Attorney General Eric Holder unguardedly admitted it unequally (and arguably unconstitutionally) did not protect whites, or Christians, and even though it was obvious that the legislation would be interpreted as restricting speech.

Why repression? The reason is equally plain: American politics now is  profoundly unstable. In effect, the Obama Administration is (to put it brutally) a Minority Occupation Government. At all costs, the Left must keep the historic American nation from uniting—which it nevertheless began to do (no thanks to the GOP leadership) in the 2010 election. This comes naturally, because the Politically Incorrect fact is that neither the Left's black, Hispanic or Jewish components have any real tradition of free speech. The question is whether they can cow the historic American nation into accepting its subjugation.

And this is the true significance of Sarah Palin. Here at VDARE.COM, we have been mildly skeptical of Palin because she shows essentially no awareness of the immigration issue. But she does have courage. With her "blood libel" posting, she threw the political class back on the defensive, and chose a phrase that was exquisitely calculated to focus attention on her text. (Our frenemy Larry Auster has posted the definitive defense of her language, citing examples of its use in Commentary magazine.)

"We love him for the enemies he has made", said Grover Cleveland's nominator at the Democratic convention in 1884.

Sarah Palin is making the right enemies.

Peter Brimelow (email him) is editor of VDARE.COM and author of the much-denounced Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster, (Random House - 1995) and The Worm in the Apple (HarperCollins - 2003)