Wedge Issues 

Is now really the time to ratchet down the rhetoric?

I've never been an A-student kind of guy. It has always seemed to me that making the top grade involved way too many flash cards, too many Pez dispensers filled with Adderall, and way too many kisses to Miss Crabapple's increasingly wide but strangely flat caboose. Which is why I made sure that I spent as little time on schoolwork as possible. I mean, wasn't the 666 hours a day I spent in school hellish enough?

I tell you, Dante got it all wrong. There aren't seven circles in hell. There are six periods, each one with its own torments. With my luck, I'll get sent to the fifth, where every moment of every eternal day is spent with a No. 2 pencil in hand, filling in every single bubble on a never-ending Scantron sheet.

Well, apparently, my laziness got the better of me. See, for all of these years I've been under the mistaken impression that the political spectrum was bookended by communism on the far left and fascism on the far right. Now, I've learned that I was wrong.

Fascism — as practiced by the Nazis — is actually a liberal ideology, just like communism.

Or at least that's the word in some conservative circles these days following the recent Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting in D.C. According to some, James von Brunn, the brain amoeba behind the shooting, was not a right-wing extremist. He was a typical left-wing traitor.

For starters, he was a critic of George W. Bush.

Two, he was reportedly a 9/11 Truther.

Three, he was not a Christian.

And four, he was a freakin' neo-Nazi. In case you've forgotten, the Nazis were members of the National Socialist German Workers' Party.

So what does this mean? Quite simply, the Democratic Party is to blame for the shooting at the Holocaust Memorial, and President Barack Obama is to blame for a rise in anti-Semitism because he has the audacity to reach out to the Muslim world instead of just bombing it.

Then again, some folks think the GOP is to blame, specifically its leader Rush Limbaugh and his cabinet of conservative-in-name-only commentators: Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Mark Levin, and Glenn Beck.

According to leftist critics, Rush and company are responsible for the decidedly nasty turn that right-wing rhetoric has taken lately.

In this scary new world, anybody who doesn't subscribe to the Jack Bauer school of interrogation is an unpatriotic pussy, bounties have been placed on the heads of abortion docs, and a mandatory two hours are spent every day in front of the computer looking at Sarah Palin's latest slutty flight attendant photo spread at AirMattressGirls.com.

And it's this nasty turn that has empowered skidmarks like von Brunn and Scott Roeder, the accused killer of Dr. George Tiller.

The only solution, as some on the left see it, is to call out Rush, Hannity, and the gang whenever they go too far. I can do that.

But what's this you say about dialing down the heated rhetoric and putting a stop to the current degradation of the American dialogue in which reasoned debate has devolved into name-calling and slur-slinging? Well, I can give it the ol' B-student try.

And I'll start by telling you exactly what will keep these fear-mongering right-wing instigators in line: wedgies.

That's right, wedgies. Each time Hannity's horde crosses the line, we'll grab them by the undies and yank — real hard-like. And we'll do it live on the radio, where everybody can see it.

As for what that line is, well, I'll let you know when Beck and the blowhards cross it.

Trust me, I know when somebody has gone too far.


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