The Elecktronick Tyger Roares
27 January 2006
  Blaming the Wrong Usual Suspects... (v 1.1)
And so i run across a post by Michelle Malkin who (correctly, as it happens) accuses those who would quote Ben Franklin as having said "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither" of misquoting the old boy.

And indeed they are.

What Franklin did, indeed, as Ms. Malkin points out, say was "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

I had heard and quoted the full version as "... will soon have neither." My bad. However, i got the two essential words right -- "essential" and "temporary". (Can't say as i disagree too much with the misquote, either, but that is neither here nor there.)

Ms. Malkin, showing the Right's facility to hear errors on the Left but to forget ot to remain blissfully unaware of similar errors -- or indeed, the same errors -- on the part of the Right {see IMPORTANT FOOTNOTE} refers to it being "misused and abused by the civil liberties absolutists since Sept. 11", and, indeed, it has been pretty heavily in use by such people since then.

(Since i don't know Ms. Malkin's position of gun control and Second Amendment issues, but do know that of many who in other ways she sounds like, i fear i must here subject her to a bit of guilt by association.) One may question just why being a "civil liberties absolutist" is better or worse than being a "Second Amendment Absolutist", since, in both cases, the intent is to preserve and protect what one sees as important parts of the Constitution (all of it in one case, one small and interpretation-subject sentence in the other [i couldn't resist]).

Tis question is irrelevant, i will accept as stipulated the identification of the groups in question.

However, blaming the misquote and/or its widespread use on 9/11 protestors, Lefties in general and the ACLU and similar groups is either to ignore or to rewrite the long and semi-honourable history of that misquote in American political discourse.

Essentially, up till 9/11, its (mis)use was almost the sole prerogative of libertarian-to-extreme-right radio talkshow hosts and their callers.

I have heard the Fat Man say it.

I have heard Atlanta's own local alleged-libertarian right-wing wowser, Neal Boortz, spouting it whenever gun control comes up.

In the few seconds i could stand to listen at one time to Sean Hannity's whiney little voice, i have heard him spout it.

And so on.

You don't hear it too much from the Right these days, true -- at least not the semi-rational ones who can see that reminding people of it is giving the dingal;ings on the Other Side ammunition.

And i wish i didn't hear the misquote from the Left.

Because the misquote isn't necessary -- Franklin's actual words are a sufficiently damning indictment of the jury-rigged, authoritarian, incompetent attempts of the Shrub Administration to convince us that they are "defending" us from a level of "threat" that exists only in the minds of Bush and his band of Merry Pranksters, of FAUXNews "reporters" and commentators regurgitating the daily talking points memo and of those who, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, still believe them.

I'm not saying there is not a threat, there undoubtedly is.

But it's not to be found in Baghdad.

It's not to be found in the shoes of air travellers.

It's not even to be found in the hearts and minds of bin Laden and/or his followers (let's face it -- 911 is the only truly successful act of terrorism ever attempted by foreigners, but Gen-you-Wine Amurrickan Pay-tree-otts have been doing jes' fine at shooting people and bombing one thing or another for years. (Or do you think, say, that theOklahoma City or the Birmingham abortion clinic bombing were actually planned by bin Laden?)

*------------------------Important Footnote---------------------*
*Those who are offended by my phraseing up there are free to switch the word "Left" and " "Right" everywhere they occur in the sentence beginning "Ms. Malkin, showing..." and ending "...since then.", and to replace Ms. Malkin's name with your favourite left-wing commentator -- Molly Ivins, perhaps.

The essential truth of the statement will not be changed.

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My interests are broadranging -- comics, music, movies and good ol' science fiction mostly dominate. My Five Most Favouritest Films are (this week) Once Upon A Time in the West, Dark Star, O Lucky Man, Day for Night and Whatever I Watched Recently That Was Good. Currently that's Day for Night.

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Name: mike weber
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Latter fifties, married, out of work (had knee surgery and haven't gotten back to work); my (step) son-in-law is back from Iraq, but a lot of boys are still over there. Support our troops -- throw the Republicans out!

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