A Silver Sendoff Full Of Barone-y Baloney

March 17, 2009

rsilverI guess people are judged to some degree by the company they keep, and if so, then I don’t think Ron Silver should be celebrated too much for that (not trying to impugn the man, just making an observation).

What makes me say this is the following tribute of sorts from Michael Barone in U.S. News and World Report yesterday, in which he tells us that…

(Silver) had made after 9/11, as I had made more slowly some years earlier, the political journey from left to right, but he seemed entirely lacking in the hard edge of hate that (is) so evident in some liberals and some conservatives.

Well, I’ll giver Barone a bit of credit for holding his own ideological kinsmen to account. However, I think it’s truly amusing for him to cast moral aspersions on anyone, given the following:

  • Barone said here that “liberals didn’t like Sarah Palin because she didn’t abort her Down’s baby” (nice).
  • He also basically lied here, saying that former Dem presidential candidate John Kerry “called for military strength at the ’04 convention and everyone was ‘silent’.”
  • He also said here that “Democrats want to ‘hang up the phone and go to court’ rather than intercept terrorist phone calls.”
  • He also misrepresented a Senate report here to allege an al Qaeda-Iraq connection (God, that is so old).
  • He also repeated a popular lie here about the 2000 presidential election (namely, that had the Florida recount been allowed to proceed, George W. Bush would have still won).
  • And yes, I could go on with this, but you get the idea.

    I don’t want to stain the image of Silver by associating him to an idiot like Barone, but I really don’t have a choice here. And I wasn’t really planning on saying anything about Silver, but this post came along and I felt I had to respond.

    As an actor, I always felt he was basically playing the same, intense guy who could go one way or the other (good in “Reversal of Fortune,” bad in “Blue Steel,” and halfway more or less in “The Entity,” a film I definitely don’t recommend…I don’t know what Barbara Hershey was paid for that role, but I’m sure it wasn’t enough).

    As an activist, yeah, I think he was a dupe, but the Bushies fooled a lot of people for varying lengths of time (sorry to sound like I’m patting myself on the back, but I never fell for any of their nonsense, not because I’m so smart, but because I’d read “Bushwhacked” when it started to look more and more certain that Dubya was going to be president a little over eight years ago, and I was duly warned by The Eternal Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose). And Silver was entitled to his opinion – even though I disagreed with him, I don’t have evidence that he was openly hostile to liberals in general (the transcript of his ’04 Repug convention speech doesn’t reflect any of the frothing animosity of, say, Zell Miller – so yes, shockingly enough, I agree with Barone on that).

    But it is a shame that Silver ended up in a position where he could be “celebrated” by someone like Michael Barone. Had he not found a way to make common cause with those life forms, I think it would have cast a much more favorable light on his achievements.

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