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Democratic senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren “has assumed the mantle of oppressor,” Senator Scott Brown has said, The Weekly Standard ‘s blog reports. In supporting the contraception mandate,

She and her allies on the left are dictating to Catholics and other people of faith that they must do as they are told when it comes to health care or face the consequences, regardless of their personal religious beliefs.

As my friend Mark Barrett notes, “It’s a very good sign that Brown is forcefully opposing this. Warren has been attacking him 24/7 on this, expecting him to run from it and he, somewhat surprisingly, has turned around and fully embraced it. Brown is a shrewd political operator, he apparently thinks this is a winning issue in Massachusetts.”

Warren has also declared that ”I am shocked that Senator Brown jumped in to support such an extreme measure.” The language of extremism is the common language of politics these days, but it’s still a fascinating charge. How exactly is supporting what had been the law of the land until a few weeks ago extreme ? In what understanding of public discourse can a view move from one accepted position among many to one beyond the pale because the party in power makes an administrative decision?

I don’t think the answer is simply that Warren says whatever she needs to say to try to marginalize Brown. I think it’s both better and worse than that: it’s that the liberal of Warren’s sort really does believe that any view not held by her and her crowd is extreme, and would be so even if it is held by 97% of the American people. It’s not just that the other people are wrong, which everyone believes about many of the people who disagree with them, it’s that they’re bizarrely, absurdly, perhaps culpably wrong. Extremely wrong, so to speak.

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