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'Civility' in the Age of Obama

| Monday, April 27, 2009

They told us if Barack Obama were elected, the nation would come together. Souls would be fixed. Spirits would be healed. Public discourse would be elevated. Welcome to civility and tolerance in the Age of Obama:

• Celebrity leech/trash blogger Perez Hilton took to the Internet and TV airwaves to humiliate a beauty pageant contestant who gave what he considered an "offensive" answer about gay marriage. Hilton, inexplicably serving as a judge for the Miss USA contest, asked Miss California, Carrie Prejean, whether she supported the legalization of gay marriage. Prejean respectfully answered: "I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised." President Obama, by the way, defines marriage the same way Prejean does.

No matter. Hilton immediately lambasted Prejean in a viral YouTube video he taped after the pageant. He apologized the next morning for the attack, then retracted his apology, then escalated his divisive rhetoric. Then Hilton told an MSNBC female anchor that he was thinking of an even more vulgar response as he listened to Prejean's answer. The female anchor said nothing.

Instead of apologizing for Hilton's vile behavior, the pageant director of the Miss California contest, Keith Lewis, sent a note to Hilton throwing Prejean under the bus: "I am personally saddened and hurt that Miss CA USA 2009 believes marriage rights belong only to a man and a woman. Religious beliefs have no place in politics in the Miss CA family."

• At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, former GOP U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo came to speak against legislative proposals to provide illegal alien students in-state tuition discounts not available to law-abiding Americans and legal immigrant students. Protesters at the institution of higher learning responded by blocking Tancredo with massive banners and screaming, "No dialogue with hate." Adults in the room stood by while students smashed a window a few feet from where Tancredo stood. Physically threatened, Tancredo was forced to leave without delivering his remarks.

• The nightly airwaves turned into a cesspool as liberal journalists derided and slimed hundreds of thousands of Tea Party protesters across the country who oppose reckless taxing and spending by both major political parties. Award-winning CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, mimicking his bottom-of-the-barrel competitors at MSNBC, smugly indulged in sexual puns.

And White House adviser David Axelrod calls the Tea Party folks "unhealthy"?

Speaking of unhealthy, angry white liberal actress Janeane Garofalo venomously played the race card: "It's about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up and is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks." The theme was echoed by Jeffrey Kimball, a professor emeritus of history at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, who castigated the "extreme right" for organizing against Obama because "he's black and he's liberal."

Tell that to the thousands of activists in South Carolina who practically booed and heckled white Republican Rep. J. Gresham Barrett off the stage at a Tea Party in Greenville last Friday night for supporting the trillion-dollar TARP and embracing the pork-laden stimulus law after voting against it.

In the Age of Obama, there's no room for such nuance and inconvenient truths.

Civility and tolerance have taken a left-hand turn down a one-way street. So much for changing course.

Michelle Malkin is author of "Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild."

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