The fallout from the Trig Palin firestorm at Wonkette forced editor Ken Layne to pull Jack Stuef's hateful piece on Sarah Palin's 3-year old son. Major companies like Papa Johns, Huggies, Bob Evans, and Nordstroms pulled their ads after a large contingent of informed citizens made their voices heard. Before the reversal, AT's Rick Moran wondered where all the protest was on the part of Layne's cronies:
Where's Think Progress on this scandal? Or Digby? Or Steve Benen? Or Jane Hamsher? Or Kos? Or any other liberal blogger who can find the time to trash the right for even the most minuscule of transgressions, but stays silent as a colleague attacks a baby in the most shockingly illiberal manner. No outrage about making fun of a special needs child? Or the insinuation of incest?
Other bloggers have asked "what the hell is wrong with these people?" I have an idea.
Could it be that 21st century leftists are descended from a long line of progressive eugenicists? Could it be they are mimicking their ideological forefathers by picking on a Down Syndrome baby?
Trig's arrival on the national scene in 2008 may have dredged up what a 1999 Time magazine article called "the curse of eugenics." The biased, politically incorrect breeding language of the early 20th century went underground with the onset of WWII and the Nazi atrocities. More acceptable expressions like "planned parenthood" and "population control" took the place of "good stock," "feeble-minded," "moron," "unfit," "mentally defective," "degenerate," "moral imbecile," "brains of poor quality," and "inferior stock."
How many times have we heard the words stupid, dumb, idiot, moron, ignorant and hillbilly attributed to Governor Palin and her family? Less than 3 weeks after accepting the vice presidential nomination a Saturday Night Live skit had New York Times reporters probing whether Todd Palin had sex with his daughters.
One week before that David Letterman insulted many professions at one time comparing Palin to a "dip sample lady" at the grocery store, a dental hygienist, a nurse, a waitress, and a flight attendant. Later on Letterman had to issue an apology when he targeted 14-year old Willow Palin in a rape joke.
A century ago, policymakers, social reformers, and intellectuals weeded out the undesirables; not third rate writers and late night comedians. There were "distinguished" jurists like Oliver Wendell Holmes who issued the majority opinion in a 1927 Supreme Court case that upheld the sterilization of the unfit. In speaking about the 17-year old Carrie Buck, her mother, and grandmother he stated "three generations of imbeciles are enough." With the three year assault on the Palin family how close are the left to this kind of thinking?
When Wonkette editor Ken Layne responded to Tommy Christopher of Meditaite, he hit on one of the tenets of eugenics that "unfit" human traits run in families:
I respect the rights of children to not be mocked on the internet just because their mom is a cow-demon. It's not the kid's fault. Who gets to pick their parents? I sure didn't.
Layne sounds eerily similar to the members of the Bureau of Social Hygiene who railed against the "inferior" classes and the over breeding of the physically defective. The leftist Layne may be spewing the same slime as the BSH but his supporters are media mainstays.
Wonkette was chosen as the top political blog by Vanity Fair and Real Simple in 2008. It won the Best Liberal Blog category in the 2008 Weblog Awards and was nominated in the humor, politics, and group-blog categories in the 2009 Bloggies. Its articles are picked up by Colbert Report, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and CNN.
The leftists were and are gung-ho on promoting their own kind. They don't use the word eugenics anymore, they engage in "political satire" and when challenged ask "are you too stupid to get it?" Trig Palin's existence must irk them to no end.
The so-called champions of the dispossessed, the marginalized, and the weak can't hide their eugenic roots when a real bona fide "strain on society's resources" shows up. Couple that with the fact that his parents didn't attend Princeton or Yale and it's no wonder they feel emboldened.
Joking that Trig Palin is "smarter than his parents" or that he doesn't "dream" because he's "retarded" may be even more destructive than promulgating overt eugenic theory. Even "reasonable leftists" might end up parroting the detracting language adding to the antagonism toward innocent Americans.