Two weeks ago, members of the right-wing Web site FreeRepublic.com were invited to a picnic at the White House.
The Freepers, as they call themselves, were invited to eat and mingle with the president and his aides, receiving praise from the chief executive and first lady for their work in supporting the war.
Regular features on Free Republic include threats to American citizens and public officials (liberals and Democrats, of course); racist, sexist and discriminatory rhetoric; and much mockery of the president himself, largely because of his insufficiently harsh stance on immigration.
"The only good Muslim," one site regular wrote after the president visited a Washington-area mosque "is an ex-Muslim."
Along with the Freepers were members of the political action group Move America Forward, chaired by San Francisco hate-radio host Melanie Morgan. Morgan's most famous public moment came when she called for the hanging of New York Times editor Bill Keller and laughed along her co-hosts as they talked about putting a bull's-eye on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The president honored those in attendance:
"Everybody is supporting our troops. I want to thank you for doing it. It's important people hear from you. It's important people hear your voice. And I want to thank you for organizing. I want to thank you not only for the grassroots support of our families, I want to thank you for going up to Capitol Hill."
A week later, the same people who threw the Freepers a party wanted any and all politicians to condemn anti-war organization MoveOn.org for a newspaper ad opposing the upcoming Capitol Hill testimony of Iraq commander Gen. David Petraeus.
The same people who feted the Freepers and took pictures with them found the content of MoveOn's ad, which called Petraeus "Betray Us," beyond the pale.
Perhaps it was the rhyme. Freepers' posts rarely scan.
I don't know what's more disgusting, that the Republicans who lauded the pillars of right-wing hate turned around and asked Democrats in Congress to condemn MoveOn or that Democrats in Congress meekly assented, as though to their masters' demands.
Brazen hypocrisy at least has the appeal of chutzpah.
I don't know how many times a bully has to kick you in the face before you stop bending down to tie his shoes for him. I don't know how many times Democrats have to learn this particular lesson. (MORE)