Monday night on E! network’s late-night chat show, Chelsea Lately, British comedian Eddie Izzard got laughs with partisan hyperbole:
- Izzard identified the Tea Party as “extreme right wing”;
- He said, oh-so-amusingly, that Sarah Palin and Tea Party folks want to take things back to “1773 when slavery was legal”;
- He thanked America for helping Britain out when “we had a problem, in the Second World War, with extreme right-wingers in Europe”;
- He identified the Democrats with the people who’ve pushed progress and “caring about other people” since the beginning of civilization.
He went on. But you get the idea, you see how partisans treat their opponents — in this example, somebody vaguely on the left attacking Tea Party folks as right-wingers of Hitlerian proportions.
Now, Izzard is a funny guy, and not just because of his funny name. But politics is allegedly serious, and you’d think he would know that Hitler was not a right-winger. Hitler was a “national socialist” whose policies don’t resemble Tea Party policies at all. He knows that the number of American activists who look back before 1776 and think fondly of slavery is pretty close to zero.
He may not know, however, that “caring” as such, without follow-through and principles and a rule of law — and balanced budgets, just to avoid mass insolvency — does the opposite of good.
Except in short-run politics. And on Chelsea Lately.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.