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Dems label foes ‘un-American’
The Hill ^

Posted on 04/12/2014 6:34:55 AM PDT by Sub-Driver

Dems label foes ‘un-American’

By Niall Stanage - 04/12/14 06:00 AM EDT

Liberals have lately been employing a political term of abuse that was once mainly a weapon of the right.

Speaking at a Democratic fundraiser on Wednesday in Houston, President Obama described laws that he said restrict voting rights as “un-American.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) earlier this year described conservative activist billionaires Charles and David Koch as “un-American.”

And amid a rambunctious meeting of the House Oversight Committee last month, the panel's top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) described the conduct of his Republican counterparts led by chairman Darrell Issa (Calif.) as "un-American."

“Un-American” has long been a multipurpose insult. A quick Web search reveals that it has been used as a term of objection to, among other things, the National Rifle Association, torture, Rush Limbaugh and a willingness to repair, rather than replace, consumer goods.

Among conservatives, the use of the term, or variants of it, extends far beyond the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) and the activities of the House Un-American Activities Committee.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told MSNBC host Chris Matthews that then-Sen. Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, held “anti-American views.”

During the same period, Sarah Palin, the vice presidential running mate of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), praised “the pro-America areas of this great nation”, apparently in reference to regions where she and McCain were receiving more support.

Four years later, when Obama ran for reelection, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu (R) publicly expressed his wish that “this president would learn how to be an American.”

An Obama spokeswoman shot back that the remark was proof that the campaign of the president’s opponent, Mitt Romney, had “officially gone off the deep end.” Sununu apologized.

Some experts nevertheless believe that, in recent years, Democrats have become more likely to use the term.

“The Democrats have grabbed it and used it to disparage the wealthy — what they see as the robber barons — whereas back in the '40s, '50s and '60s, ‘un-American’ had more of a geopolitical tone as opposed to an economic tone,” said Tobe Berkovitz, a communications professor at Boston University.

“The term ‘un-American’ would tag you as a commie whereas now ‘un-American’ tags you as sort of being an evil wealthy person, preying on the poor.”

Others suggest that the word is freighted with meaning that lends itself more easily to use by conservatives.

“The left will use the term to point out undemocratic activities or behavior but the problem is that the term has a center of gravity that shifts it toward the right,” said Joseph Litvak, an English professor at Tufts University who is the author of The Un-Americans: Jews, the Blacklist and Stoolpigeon Culture.

“The left,” he added, “often tries to give it a philosophical meaning [but] the term is weighted with a whole history of, I would say, ethnic-bordering-on-racial invidiousness.”

In that context, he said, “‘American’ doesn’t primarily mean a philosophical position or a set of values. It means an ethnic identity. It tends to favor the white, the middle American, and the rural or suburban, at the expense of all the groups that are not those things.”

But can the term be fair rather than a slur, at least on occasion? Some defend it on the basis that the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the Constitution posit particular ideas and values. It would seem logical, they argue, that other, antithetical viewpoints can then be said to be un-American.

“Un-American, at least in the minds of liberal people, is said with a sneer, often,” said Peter Lawler, a government professor at Berry College and a co-editor of American Political Rhetoric. “And if you go back to something like the House Un-American Activities Committee, that is now seen as something stupid.

“On the other hand, among conservatives, it often is a term with real content to it. It’s the idea of being disrespectful to our underlying principles.”

Lawler asserts that a term such as “American socialist” is “unreasonable, because it so obviously contradicts our principles.”

Some see things quite differently, however. Berkovitz suggests that outright treason is about the only thing that can legitimately be described as un-American.

“You have the right to any thought,” he insisted. “This country is the marketplace of ideas. So if you want to be a communist, or a socialist, or a Nazi then — as long as you don’t want to violently overthrow the United States — that should be your right.”

Others, such as Litvak, are skeptical of the process they see as underlying the use of the word un-American.

“As far as I know, other nations do not have equivalent terms,” he said. “I’ve never heard of ‘un-English,’ ‘un-French,’ ‘un-Irish.’ This construction, the ‘un-American’ tells us that the coherence of the nation is kind of fragile and is constantly having to be shored up.”

Even if that is the case, however — and even if those who are labeled with the term object vigorously, as the Koch brothers have done — there is little reason to believe that the word will become extinct. It is, after all, almost as old as the nation itself.

“Thomas Jefferson was considered too French. He was called un-American and a Francomaniac,” said Rosemarie Ostler, author of Slinging Mud, a book covering two centuries of political insults. “He did things that weren’t ‘really American,’ like being interested in wine.

“Every time it comes up, it means something different.”


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: demagogicparty; demagogue; kenyanbornmuzzie; voterid

1 posted on 04/12/2014 6:34:55 AM PDT by Sub-Driver
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To: Sub-Driver

democrats are anti-american traitor bastards


2 posted on 04/12/2014 6:36:36 AM PDT by bravo whiskey (We should not fear our government. Our government should fear us.)
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To: Sub-Driver

The term “un-American” refers to those whose actions are in conflict with the Constitution and traditional American values. As usual, Harry Red is among the first in line to have earned this insult.


3 posted on 04/12/2014 6:38:10 AM PDT by glennaro
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To: Sub-Driver
demoRats have an idea that the morals of America is to kill steal and destroy.
4 posted on 04/12/2014 6:38:53 AM PDT by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: Sub-Driver

Talk about backwards day — when Liberty is called “un-American.”

The Democrat Party sees “1984” as a manual for how to govern.


5 posted on 04/12/2014 6:39:43 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: Sub-Driver

Strawman, strawman, racist, anti-American, bigot, homophobe... notice the Left uses powerful FEELING words.

Meanwhile, true Americans call a spade, a spade: traitor, tyrant, treasonous usurper, liar... those terms fit many of the Democrats and most of the Federal leviathan.


6 posted on 04/12/2014 6:40:21 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: bravo whiskey

Democrats at it again.

Talking about Americanism was the talk of their KKK.


7 posted on 04/12/2014 6:41:22 AM PDT by School of Rational Thought
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To: Sub-Driver
Hypocrites

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJxmpTMGhU0

8 posted on 04/12/2014 6:46:10 AM PDT by JHL
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To: Sub-Driver

Conservative perspective is based in truth, therefore their belief, and such a statement of “UnAmerican” would be a heartfelt truth whereas everything Democrat is basically a tactic, and most often a lie to achieve a self serving, and nefarious goal, therefore a P.T. Barnumism.

Democrats should be shown the door that leads back to their Universe of the imagination.


9 posted on 04/12/2014 6:47:25 AM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will. They ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: BenLurkin

Talk about backwards day — when Liberty is called “un-American.”


Pubbie *leadership* should be out 24/7, front and center, saying just that.

The Dims are desperately using all of their rules for Radicals - and the Pubs could be giving it right back to ‘em...with facts/common sense, but we don’t :(


10 posted on 04/12/2014 6:49:51 AM PDT by Jane Long (While Marxists continue the fundamental transformation of the USA, progressive RINOs assist!)
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To: Sub-Driver

Notice how the Hill’s fake journalist tried to say “Both parties do it”....so the DEMON RATS can be excused.

But the examples used are stretched at best.


11 posted on 04/12/2014 6:54:45 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: Sub-Driver

Dingy Harry likes to use that pejorative term for those Americans who want relief from oppressive government. His BLM pals are training sniper fifles on the Bundy family in Nevada so Dingy Harry’s son can get their land for the Chinese, who want to build a solar plant for Elon Musk’s Tesla batteries.

Ain’t life complicated when the money-grubbing, power-mad Democrat scoundrels start whining about freedom fighters being “unAmerican”?


12 posted on 04/12/2014 6:56:35 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: bravo whiskey

I have a feeling that Bundy Ranch is going to make people look at Reid differently after they take a look at some of the material thay’s out there, see the connections and realize how crooked and mob connected he really is. It may have happened for a reason. Reid is one of those guys you can just look at and tell he sold his soul to the devil long ago. Same with Pelosi.

The strikes are piling up.


13 posted on 04/12/2014 6:56:37 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: Sub-Driver
Wait, Killery bitched like an ex-wife about debate in America!

Democrats are all lying whores for Communism.

14 posted on 04/12/2014 6:58:49 AM PDT by MaxMax (Pay Attention and you'll be pissed off too! FIRE BOEHNER, NOW!)
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To: Sub-Driver

The term needs to be applied accurately.

Who is backing the growth of America? They are American.

Who is offshoring American growth?

They are unAmerican.

Both parties are currently unAmerican, in my opinion.


15 posted on 04/12/2014 6:59:02 AM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html#2013)
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To: bravo whiskey

There has been a great paradigm shift.

You, the conservatives and traditionalists, are now foreigners in the land of your nativity. The territory once known as “the United States of America” has been surrendered to the forces of oligarchy and rule by a few families that gained influence perhaps several generations back, and they now assert some “divine” right to rule. The forms and the historic icons of the past still remain, but whatever code of law now governs the actions of the Current Regime now squatting in the White Hut (wherever these people congregate becomes an almost instant “slum”), may be changed upon a whim, and there is little effective oversight.

The concepts of the terms “traitor” and “Patriot” have somehow reversed, in their minds, and they have effectively made citizens into subjects.

Does anybody remember the Romanovs or the Hapsburgs? And how they finally lost power altogether?


16 posted on 04/12/2014 7:01:18 AM PDT by alloysteel (Selective and willful ignorance spells doom, to both victim and perpetrator - mostly the perp.)
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To: Sub-Driver

Liberals gave “liberal” a bad name.

The totalitarians always subvert the meaning of words (and language). 1984 is the classic portrayal of this tactic—war is peace, hate is love.


17 posted on 04/12/2014 7:04:03 AM PDT by nonsporting
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To: Sub-Driver

If today’s commie ‘RATS are what Americans are supposed to be, then I AM “UN-AMERICAN” and damn proud of it.


18 posted on 04/12/2014 7:06:22 AM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Obama's smidgens are coming home to roost.)
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To: Sub-Driver
there they go PROJECTING again...
19 posted on 04/12/2014 7:25:13 AM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Sub-Driver

There are no laws restricting voter rights. Calling other Americans “UnAmerican” because you don’t like them may be unAmerican on their part


20 posted on 04/12/2014 7:27:28 AM PDT by realcleanguy
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To: Sub-Driver
There are two groups in this country, the "Americans", and the "un-Americans".

One group loves the country, the other group despises the country.

One group wants to preserve the country, the other wants to change it.

One group believes in the people, the other believes in central planning.

Feel free to add your own distinctions, but we all know which is which.

21 posted on 04/12/2014 7:31:34 AM PDT by oldbrowser
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To: oldbrowser

-—— the other wants to change it.——

Au contraire mi amiga... (a little frog mex lingo there) the other has changed it. The change is a fait accompli.

The question now, for us, is how do we reverse the change and rid the country of the moonbats?


22 posted on 04/12/2014 7:34:28 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: realcleanguy

We should never apologize for stating the truth.

It IS un-American for dead folk to vote.

It IS un-American for Harry Reid to earn millions by “selling” his influence.

Let’s always have some true examples in mind to make our push-backs against Dem lies more vivid...


23 posted on 04/12/2014 7:35:22 AM PDT by pfony1 (Add just 6 GOP Senators and we "bury" Harry)
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To: Sub-Driver

“Descent is the highest form or patriotism” -BJ Clinton


24 posted on 04/12/2014 8:08:58 AM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: Sub-Driver

Pride Against God, Perversion, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Hatred, Envy, Treachery, Cruelty, Murder, Dehumanization, Insanity, Socialism.

— The platform of the Democrat party.


25 posted on 04/12/2014 8:25:31 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (WoT News: Rantburg.com)
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To: Sub-Driver

Projectin’


26 posted on 04/12/2014 8:53:02 AM PDT by MuttTheHoople (Nothing is more savage and brutal than justifiably angry Americans. DonÂ’t believe me? Ask the Germa)
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To: Sub-Driver

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”
- Isaiah 5:20


27 posted on 04/12/2014 8:53:31 AM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Sub-Driver
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told MSNBC host Chris Matthews that then-Sen. Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, held “anti-American views.”

A laughably clueless Niall Stanage seems not to understand the difference between "un-American" and "anti-American views".

The quality of reporting from The Hill is remarkably dumbed-down.

28 posted on 04/12/2014 8:55:24 AM PDT by Zeppo ("Happy Pony is on - and I'm NOT missing Happy Pony")
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To: Sub-Driver

The Left knows good and well that its ideas are in direct conflict with those of America’s founding. That’s why they’re so touchy about the word un-American. Deep in their little rat hearts they know they’re guilty as charged.


29 posted on 04/12/2014 9:07:05 AM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Sub-Driver

“I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic, and we should stand up and say, “We are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with ANY administration!””

Hillary Clinton, April 28, 2003 at the annual Democratic Party Jefferson-Jackson-Bailey Day fund raising dinner in Connecticut.

______

Guess she didn’t really mean that. After all, what difference does it make?


30 posted on 04/12/2014 9:15:09 AM PDT by Lorianne (fedgov, taxporkmoney)
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To: Sub-Driver

It is Leninist doctrine to accuse others of what the accuser is doing. Since the 60s the ‘rats have been taken over by reds, and of late, by Quranimals..


31 posted on 04/12/2014 9:31:34 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: Sub-Driver

What would a democrat know anything about being an American?.


32 posted on 04/12/2014 9:53:12 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: Sub-Driver

Ted Kennedy writes to Andrpov to dis Reagan, Kerry hangs with Ortega to dis Reagan, and Obama bows to Saudi kings. All of them are Democrats..


33 posted on 04/12/2014 11:59:13 AM PDT by cardinal4
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To: Sub-Driver

The difference is when a Democrats (or Obama) says it, the media reports it as ho hum, matter of fact.

But when the GOP says “anti American” or “unAmerican,” the media goes into meltdown mode.

Imagine if Bush called the Democrats unAmerican? They’d have gone beserk. But Obama, the first black POTUS, can say anything he damn well pleases. And crickets.


34 posted on 04/12/2014 12:44:39 PM PDT by nhwingut (This tagline is for lease)
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