The latest poster conservative for political-correctness-run-amok in a country careening downhill on left-wing, Democratic cruise control is Republican congresswoman Virginia Foxx.
Mrs. Foxx's impropriety: The thought crime of arguing against "hate crime" laws by pointing out that Matthew Shepard - the tragic icon attached to the legislation - represents a salient argument against enacting them.
Oh my God! What did Virginia Foxx do?
[T]he congresswoman is not buying the Hollywood hype. "The hate crimes bill was named for [Shepard], but it's really a hoax that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills," Mrs. Foxx said on the House floor last week.
Uh . . . that's it? OK, what did The Left do?
Immediately, Democrats sought out their unapologetic allies in the media to force Mrs. Foxx into a perfunctory, skin-saving apology. . . .
Mrs. Foxx has been "apologizing for semantics, but not her sentiment, her insensitivity or her ignorance," Mrs. Shepard told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.
Uh . . . that's it?
First, let me express what may or may not be a popular position: I am completely opposed to hate-crimes legislation. They aim to add harsher penalties for certain crimes based on feelings or motivations the perpetrator might've had toward the victim, which I don't think would be constitutional even if we could ascertain beyond a shadow of a doubt what those feelings or motivations were. That said, this is one of those issues that reasonable people can disagree on, and a rational debate isn't something to be afraid of here.
But, separate from that, we have Virginia Foxx describing the hate-crime theory of the motive behind Matthew Shepard's murder as "a hoax," and Andrew Breitbart defending her. But not just defending her: pulling out the fainting couch and wielding accusations of fascism against Foxx's "politically correct" detractors.
What exactly happened to Rep. Foxx that was so terrible? Was she threatened by the FBI for her views? Was she fired? Was she assaulted? Not as far as I can tell. In fact, the worst thing that happened to Foxx -- at least as far as Breitbart is willing to tell us -- is that Matthew Shepard's mom called her "insensitive" and "ignorant." Again, I ask: That's it?
The Constitution guarantees us the right to free speech; however, it doesn't guarantee us the right to never be disagreed with. It doesn't even guarantee us the right to never be called names. Sometimes you're going to express opinions that are controversial or unpopular, and sometimes people are going to publicly disagree with them; sometimes they're even going to be mean about it. But that doesn't make them the "thought police."
And the thing is, once upon a time, the "anti-PC" movement on the right reveled in the angst they aroused, and the criticism they received, from bleeding-hearts on the left for expressing their bold or controversial viewpoints. They figured that if that many left-wing pantaloons were being wadded over what they said, they must be doing something right. Now, though, instead of relishing such reactions, the right wing are the ones getting their pantaloons in a wad themselves, shifting into sky-is-falling mode and invoking Orwell. They used to get a good chuckle when someone went ballistic about something they said; now they just whine about it.
But you know what? Sometimes people are going to call you insensitive and douchey, whether you think you deserve to be or not. Here's a friendly tip for all you eager anti-PCers out there: If you're going to say controversial things, you're going to have to deal with people disagreeing with you. If you want to say stuff knowing that it's going to piss someone off, you have to do so with the understanding that someone might piss you off right back. What Breitbart seems to want is for folks like Foxx to be able to express controversial opinions but not have anyone disagree with her or question her reasons for doing so -- and I'm sorry, Andrew, but that's not how it works.
And for God's sake, drop this "thought police" crap. Someone disagreeing with you and calling you "insensitive" is worse than torture? Man, what a sheltered childhood you must've had. By the time I was out of junior high, I'd suffered everything from being knocked down on the school bus to being rejected by girls to being told I had a tiny dick; instead of shrieking "ORWELL!", I picked myself up, developed a drinking problem, and grew the thick skin that turned me into the profane, self-effacing asshole I am today. It's fun; maybe you should try it.