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December 12, 2005
Salon's Commitment To Freedom As Constant As Wind Direction

Earlier in the Captain's Quarters archives, I wrote about the threshold of democracy in relation to Afghanistan. The measure of a democrat, I wrote, isn't whether he supports the results when he wins, but when he loses. Until one accepts the results of elections even when they go against their wishes, they do not practice democracy but hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy oozes from Salon's latest effort from Cary Tennis, and the magazine itself should explain the reason for their continued presentation of Tennis. Not only does his latest "advice" show him as a pseudo-democrat, but singularly lacking in basic understanding of the American political system:

At a certain point in the near future, if the current oligarchy cannot be removed via the ballot, direct political action may become an urgent and compelling mission. It may then be necessary for many people in many walks of life to put their bodies on the line. For the moment, however, although pressing and profound questions have arisen about whether the current government is even legitimate, i.e., properly elected, there still remains a chance to remove this government peacefully in the 2008 election. (Or am I living in a dream world?)

I do think this regime's removal is the most urgent matter before the country today. And I do think that at a certain point the achievement of that goal might take precedence over our personal predilections for writing, teaching and the like. We might be called upon to go on general strike, for instance. We might be called upon to set up camp in the streets for weeks or months, to gather and remain in large public squares as the students in Tiananmen Square did, and dare government forces to remove us or to slaughter us in the streets.

This is all terrible and rather fantastic to contemplate. But what assurances have we that it is not all quite plausible? Having discarded the principles that Jefferson & Co. espoused, the current regime seems capable of anything. I know that my imagination is a feverish instrument. But are we not living in feverish times, in times of the unthinkable?

First, let me state the obvious. George Bush and his "regime" will be out the door on January 20, 2009. Bush cannot run for a third term in office, and Dick Cheney is as likely to run as he is to get elected -- in other words, almost no chance at all. Even middle-school students know that Presidents can only serve two terms. Tennis' vapidity demonstrates that he knows less about the topic than most children, a reality that reflects on Salon's continued publication of Tennis.

Second, if the opposition party had fielded a candidate that appealed to more voters than Bush in 2004, he wouldn't be President now. They had ample opportunity to select a presidential hopeful from a wide range of candidates, including Joe Lieberman, who I think could have beaten Bush. Instead, the radical wing of the Democrats first tried pushing Howard Dean, and when that failed rallied behind John Kerry, who perhaps embodied the worst of the Democratic field in 2004. Vacillating and arrogant, Kerry never appealed to any other instinct except not being George Bush. Negations don't win presidential elections in America -- never have, and likely never will. Blame Democrats for choosing poorly.

The level of hostility towards democratic choice by Tennis boggles the mind. In his piece, he openly endorses violence against the duly elected government as a rational option when elections don't go his way. Does Salon endorse that view? Do their advertisers, such as NY Times Select, the History Channel, and United Airlines?

Salon should be ashamed to have published this dreck, and owes an explanation and an apology to its readers. (h/t: Instapundit)

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 12, 2005 1:13 PM

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