Dissent Is Still the Highest Form of Patriotism, Right?

Remember what people on the left used to say about questioning the policies of the occupant of the White House? Going back several years and ending only a few months ago, I seem to remember a lot of people talking about how “dissent is patriotic.” After all, wasn’t it lefty saint Howard Zinn himself who went so far as to declare that “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism”? Even politicians like the current U.S. Secretary of State, sick and tired though she was at the time, got into the act:

Yet now, like in the fickle world of fashion, dissent is strictly outré – an unsavory pastime for angry redneck losers with a birth certificate fetish. These days all the chic politicos are doing what’s best for the country and getting on board the Healthcare Express, full speed ahead. And much like another infamous vehicle from the recent past, the cabal that’s doing the driving is terrified that if they slow down, the entire effort will blow up in their faces. Hence the need to intimidate anyone raising uncomfortable questions.

Which brings us to the recent request from the White House that citizens report any “fishy” healthcare-related emails they might have received. Which is to say, please report on any fellow citizen who might have electronically communicated his doubts as to the wisdom of the President’s plan.

This policy has been widely described as “Orwellian” in that it supposed to remind one of the totalitarian regime from Eric Blair’s novel 1984. Based on my recollection, though, I would have expected Big Brother’s apparatchiks simply to have denied the existence of any dissent whatsoever, while heaving any counter evidence down the notorious memory hole. A much closer, real world example of citizen informants sharing information about dissenters directly with the government comes to us from East Berlin and the old Ministerium für Staatssicherheit. Of course, the Obamaniks are rank amateurs compared to the old Stasi pros, but one can’t help sense a similar impulse. Simply put, the revolution (in healthcare reform) is so important, it must be protected from the counterrevolutionaries who would confuse the people with “principles” and “facts” that would cause them to doubt the virtues of the government’s plan. And they always have a plan.

As it turns out, the Administration has already made some progress on that front. Dan Hayes of Reason.TV has managed to ferret out one of these unpatriotic dissent mongers. Once a respected director and film critic, associate editor Peter Suderman has been outed to the White House Communications Office as one of the fishiest of all the opponents to the President’s reform plan:

And for dessert, savor the most recent ad from the DNC. If you can count how many times they use the word “mob” in two minutes, you’ve got more fingers than I do: