I have had a few days to reflect on the recent presidential debate and the reaction from leftist pundits and bloggers. Leaving aside the outlier points like Al Gore's altitude excuse, it seems that many have settled on Romney as liar and bully. Many have debunked the former point but nobody that I know of has considered the latter. So I will.
I watched the debate. I have seen many replays of particularly relevant segments. If someone were to tell me with a straight face that Gov Romney was a bully during the debate, I might have to quote said Gov and say "I don't know what you are talking about." I didn't see anything that even remotely resembled bullying. Whatever you might think of Romney's arguments, he simply advocated them assertively, unapologetically, respectfully, and with occasional humor.
But the left are masters at word play. And the left is also leading the crusade (or is it a jihad?) against bullying. Is it fair to connect the alleged bullying by Romney with the broader effort to confront bullying behavior? Perhaps not but I will anyway because both efforts emanate from the left primarily.
Bullying should be confronted. On that point I agree with the anti-bullying crowd. But it all depends on what is meant by bullying. If asserting a point of view that is disagreeable to leftists is the new bullying, perhaps we need to be suspicious of the movement to confront bullying. If bullying must be stopped and asserting positions that offend liberals is bullying, then the anti-bully movement is little more than a disguised assault on the freedom of speech. Calling one who challenges liberal orthodoxy a bully becomes the secular equivalent to blasphemy. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the left is more open to criminalizing insults to Islam. Who is the real bully?