Sullivan on an important distinction that we’ve been talking about and the media seems to ignore and the Republicans hope they continue to do so:
The right and the left both have intemperate voices. But here’s the key: only the conservative movement counts the most vile blowhards as leading lights, embraced by the leadership. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Sarah Palin: these are among the most popular conservatives in America. Who are the folks on the left with equivalent popularity and influence?
Glenn Beck tells millions that Obama hates white people and is going to kill 10% of the population, and some random commenter at the Daily Kos says in a comment that a politician is “dead to me.”
It’s the same thing!
Oh, but they’re just all entertainers, and every real American would agree that imagining dead liberals is entertaining.
The only liberal talker I hear regularly who uses the same type of rhetoric when talking about the right is Mike Malloy. Randi Rhodes gets pissed quite often as well but not his level.
Schultz shouts down righties but I don’t think he’s ever used violence to make a point. Olbermann is snarky and direct. Maddow uses facts to make an argument but is pretty fair as is Thom Hartmann.
Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel)
Don’t kid yourself, Jimmy. If a
cowliberal ever got the chance, he’d eat you and everyone you care about!
Daily Kos says in a comment that a politician is “dead to me.”
and don’t forget those leftist assassins — sirhan sirhan and lee harvey oswald. (all given legitimacy on tweety’s show last nite).
That random commenter at DK followed by profusely apologizing.
The apology from Palin or Limbaugh is surely forthcoming.
Edit: When Sarah’s book sales or Limbaugh’s ratings drop, they’ll surely be concerned; up to that time, they will ride this for all it’s worth.
Huh? I don’t know regular people who think that. Seems to be a fantasy of the right wing talking machine and the 20% who thought Bush was the bestest President ever.
Glenn Beck is dead to me.
Can I have my own show on television now?
I hear Jon Stewart used very uncouth language on yesterday’s show. And Keith Olberman yells a lot.
Since there is very little overlap between the FOX News audience and the DFH audience, I can almost see how some people could make the mistake of false equivalence if they ignored all actual content of all shows going back to the early nineties.
Both people on the left and people on the right can get passionate, raise their voices, and make the Village Moderates plea for bipartisanship.
Sully better watch it. If he keeps pointing out the Villagers have no clothes, the Villagers will stop reading him.
I’m sure many of you have already seen this; for those who have not. I think the messaging is pretty clear.
Gee, and many anonymous rightie posters say equally outrageous crap on FreeRep or any other hardcore rightie blog.
And the MSM continues to hawk this lie. I was watching ABC World News last night and they had a short segment on “overheated rhetoric”. It not only included the aforementioned “both sides do it” homage, but also a twenty second snippet of the Tea Party Express leader haranguing about how liberals were “exploiting” the shootings to attack poor, defenseless Tea Partiers.
I’M JOKING. In the future I will tag snark.
Agreed. I listen to Malloy from time to time and he can be pretty out there in his “I hate the GOP” rants but he’s usually backed up by well researched points. The right wingers make shit up and tell people we will destroy America yet can’t show anybody WHY they think that. Hmmmm….
I figured that later…sorry.
A friend of my husband’s said (with a straight face) that the left is equally responsible for the horrible tenor of the discussion because “they take offense to every little slight”! I asked, “if you don’t get pissed off by what are essentially death threats, WHAT THE HELL DO YOU GET ANGRY ABOUT?!”
This won’t change unless/until a GOP politician (or someone in the media) gets shot. So far, the violence has been hitting only the “targets” of the invective. The right wingers saying this stuff don’t affirmatively hope that someone like Ms. Giffords will get badly hurt or killed, but this week makes it clear that if it happens, they consider it to be acceptable collateral damage so long as the media narrative can be controlled (as it so far has been). They’d probably lose control of the narrative if a media type became the victim (depending on the identity of the media type).
Sorry to speak in such rash terms, but this seems like a pretty good working theory until such time as we see some facts that run counter to it.
Can’t help but note that his statement of shock and horror about the shooting is about the only recent public pronouncement Speaker Orange has made without tearing up, though in fairness there are variables we don’t know (such as how much he’d had to drink at that point in that day).
This place is like the bizarro NRO corner comment section some times.
In the poll, 57% of respondents said that intense political discourse had nothing to do with the attack, versus 32% who said that it was a contributing factor to the shooting. By political demographics, Republicans were less inclined to see a connection. Sixty-nine percent of Republicans said there was no connection, while 19% said it was in some way related. Among Democrats, 42% saw a connection between violent rhetoric and the weekend’s events, compared to 49% who said the two were unrelated.
I’m in the 49% of democrats that see no real coorelation between the shooting in arizona. Out of that 49%, 100% I bet have seen crazy people do things that are crazy and have not instantly wondered who their favorite radio shock jock is.
This place has a lot of respect for John Stewart from what I’ve seen so it’s curious not to see his point of view even considered without scorn.
Did the toxic political environment cause this? Stewart asked. “I have no fucking idea.”
“You know, we live in a complex ecosystem of influences and motivations,” he added, “and I wouldn’t blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine.”
Villago Delenda Est
If you dare to deviate, in the slightest, from FreeRepublic’s party line, that is, call for moderation instead of “second amendment solutions”, you’re banned. In an instant.
The wingtards are expert projectionists. They all work at mulitplexes. They must. It’s obviously what they’re best at.
To put it another way, the stupid shit from the left you see on signs at protests and on message boards does not also come out of the mouths of the left’s leading lights.
The same cannot be said of the right.
That’s why the “Bush=Hitler” equivalences are so fucking weak.
It’s worse than that. You have elected officials on the national level doing this: members of Congress calling for “arming ourselves” for “revolution,” governors flirting with secession (which doesn’t happen without violence, unless this time we get smart and just let them go), chiefs of staff of newly elected representatives saying that if ballots don’t do it, bullets will…etc.
Been thinking about this…we like snark. The Left uses snark, we use humor, a lot of it dark. We’re damned funny.
Forget having no sense of decency, the Right has no sense of humor. It’s quite depressing. They’re no fun at parties.
I think that would only make them double down, reload, etc.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
You mean they polled
histhe shooter’s head? How awesome is that!!
The wingnuts will inevitably point to some professor of Marxism at some college like Evergreen State, but seriously…does, say, Ward Churchill have even one tenth of the name recognition of Glenn Beck? Perhaps more importantly, would MSNBC ever considering hiring Ward Churchill to host his own talk show?
never heard of him
All we have to do is to look at the trolls on ABL’s thread from earlier to get a quick and comprehensive synopsis of how the right-wingers think in this matter:
— There is no connection between RW rhetoric and the Arizona shootings
— RW rhetoric isn’t even violent in the first place
— Well, even if it is, it doesn’t matter because LWers use violent rhetoric too
— LWers shouldn’t even criticize RW rhetoric because by doing so they’re using this tragedy for their own gain
It’s a marathon of denial, deflection, and distortion. They’re chasing their tails in their attempts to exonerate their movement and its leaders, and it’s dizzying to watch them whirling around in circles, nonstop.
and i’m the < 9% who haven't actually seen persuasive evidence either way.
Why? That’s buying into to fallacious framing. Saying that someone is “dead to me” has nothing to do with wanting to kill them or even see them dead. Nothing. It reminds me of the foofaraw a few years ago when someone used the word “niggardly” and then had to apologize because some uneducated folks got upset about it.
False equivalence and just silly.
There is a distinct and important difference from someone saying “Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat idiot” and “Obama is a Communist socialist who is going to take all of your money and give it to black people.”
Although to the right there is no distinction.
Also, to be quite blunt, the rhetoric used by the right, to the people on the right, is neither inflammatory nor hateful. It simply is
So when Michelle Malkin lists the home address of a perceived enemy, say a young child speaking in favor of HCR and questioning their motives; there is nothing wrong with that. At all. Because liberals, like terrorists, are, well, terrorists who are destroying this nation. We are responsible for all evils. We are not simply ideological opposites to be debated with, but we are enemies of the state to be destroyed.
So, we have no problem demonizing and using Nazis as the boogeyman. Or Idi Amin. Or Pol Pot. No one raises an eyebrow when we call them evil monsters. This is the same dynamic in play for conservatives. They have no problem, and in fact consider it the patriotic thing to do, to call liberals evil monsters.
See if you agree with this: Part of me would love to see Bush and Cheney treated to the same type of ‘harsh interrogation’ techniques that they allowed to happen to others. But, in reality, what I want is for them to face our legal system and let that take its course. I certainly do not want them to be tortured or anyway abused. As I don’t want any person to be tortured or abused. I would want them to have access to a fair and competent defense team and have the trial be a real, fair trial.
Conservatives, on the other hand, would get off on seeing Obama ‘taken down’ let’s say. They would rejoice in the streets. They would laugh and make all kinds of sick jokes if Michael Moore were assassinated. They can do this because they do not think of us as real people.
Lefty liberals are stereotyped as wimpy, effete, ivory tower idealists. They aren’t allowed to get mad or to fight back, because that’s not how the stereotype defines how they act.
Conservative hard nosed, salt of the earth, manly men and their debutant-but-tough-as-nails rootin’ shootin’ always gorgeous country club trophy wives are stereotyped by their passionate emotion and their lust for action. They can fly off the handle all they want, because the stereotype says they can.
Follow your god damn stereotypes and we won’t have any problems here.
Yeah, I posted this on an earlier thread but the “Open Letter To The Far Right” penned by William Rivers Pitt concludes with some heinous hate speech going back to the Clinton era. I’ll cut and paste it here:
• “I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus – living fossils – so we will never forget what these people stood for.” – Rush Limbaugh, Denver Post, 12-29-95
• “Get rid of the guy. Impeach him, censure him, assassinate him.” – Rep. James Hansen (R-UT), talking about President Clinton
• “We’re going to keep building the party until we’re hunting Democrats with dogs.” – Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), Mother Jones, 08-95
• “My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building.” – Ann Coulter, New York Observer, 08-26-02
• “We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors.” – Ann Coulter, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, 02-26-02
• “Chelsea is a Clinton. She bears the taint; and though not prosecutable in law, in custom and nature the taint cannot be ignored. All the great despotisms of the past – I’m not arguing for despotism as a principle, but they sure knew how to deal with potential trouble – recognized that the families of objectionable citizens were a continuing threat. In Stalin’s penal code it was a crime to be the wife or child of an ‘enemy of the people.’ The Nazis used the same principle, which they called Sippenhaft, ‘clan liability.’ In Imperial China, enemies of the state were punished ‘to the ninth degree’: that is, everyone in the offender’s own generation would be killed and everyone related via four generations up, to the great-great-grandparents, and four generations down, to the great-great-grandchildren, would also be killed.” – John Derbyshire, National Review, 02-15-01
• “Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity. The degree these two have diminished is in direct proportion to the corruption and fall of the nation. Every problem that has arisen (sic) can be directly traced back to our departure from God’s Law and the disenfranchisement of White men.” – State Rep. Don Davis (R-NC), emailed to every member of the North Carolina House and Senate, reported by the Fayetteville Observer, 08-22-01
These are not anonymous commenters at the Free Republic (though Lord help you if you go over there to see what those folks are saying). These are elected officials, conservative pundits and authors, leading conservative voices.
But ya know, I’m pretty sure Randi Rhodes and Mike Malloy said something mean about Bush once so … bygones!
I don’t why he/she apologized, but he/she did.
As for the necessity, I agree with you, but it is what it is.
Woot. Sully said something. It’s always better when HE says it … thank you for the very important information.
A week before Shrub left the white house, he hosted a WH birthday party for Limbaugh, having the WH chef bake a cake in the shape of a microphone.
I guess I’m in that % as well. Should have said “in the 49% who at this moment don’t see a connection”. Theres been way too much blame going around here with little information to back it up.
Not all of us. Some of us have a name for him that fits him to a T: This Generation’s David Broder.
I’m wondering what the response would be if those on the left starting showing en masse up with guns at republican events.
@Southern Beale: That was a great link. And I just want to highlight for those who may not have followed the link that his point in using all these examples from the Clinton era was that this crap didn’t just start with Obama’s election. Imagine the list he’d come up with if he used only examples from the last two years.
@Ash Can: Hell, if you think the wingers are agitated now, wait until tomorrow, when Obama speaks in Tucson. He’s going to make a speech that calls for more civility in our politics that will not contain any finger pointing, and will probably resemble the speech Clinton gave after the OKC bombing in 1995. Five minutes after it is over, the wingers are going to have a fucking seizure. They will quickly go into victim mode, and spend the next 2 years complaining about Obama’s ‘partisan’ speech that denigrated the Tea Party, the GOP, Sarah Palin and Real Amurikans. It’s going to be a replay of the right’s reaction to Clinton in 1995. These people are nothing if not predictable.
Awesome twittersnark on Palin’s fee-fees. h/t reddit.
Which is fine, if you actually believe playing Led Zepplin backwards will get you a message that tells you to kill your parents.
Stewart already blasts wingers around the clock for their overheated rhetoric. He parodies Glenn Beck regularly. But he’s a moderate at heart, and he’s not going to dive off the deep end and claim FOX News pulled the trigger.
But he gives a bit of a lie in his own point. We do live in a complex ecosystem of influences. And chanting “Don’t retreat, RELOAD!” at political rallies doesn’t get the blame, but it also doesn’t get a pass just because you can’t draw a straight line between the Sarah Palin and the next right wing nut case.
Don’t they have different jobs with vastly different missions?
FAIR reminds us of the responsible, freedom of speech-focused dialogue going on within the right wing broadcasting figures in the 1990s.
And this summary was written a month before a deranged individual acting solely on his own with absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any sort of rhetoric anywhere blew up a large building with lots of innocent people inside.
One caller was a deranged liberal conspiracy theorist mainly interested in oppressing the free speech rights of the host.
Considering Sheriff Dupnik’s statement was a comment on the rhetoric and without attributing it to any specific group group, I thought it was telling that Sen. Kyle assumed Dupnick was attacking his base.
Think about that.
@Felonious Wench: Oh, but it’s liberals who have no sense of humor, don’cha know. One of our sales guys (fortunately no longer at our company) declared this at our Christmas lunch a while back.
Basically, most people think it’s funny to mock the powerful (in addition to absurdity and any number of other humorous situations.) Conservative “humor” is about mocking the powerless, and when normal people point out that it’s not funny, it’s cruel, they say we have no sense of humor.
@Southern Beale: Don’t you remember Alec Baldwin’s outburst, calling for Henry Hyde to be stoned. Hyde’s dead now. Think about that.
@Southern Beale: Synergy — I think I was formatting mine before I saw yours. Any prominent leader or media figure who fails to see or acknowledge the similarities with increased prominence of the 1995 right wing hate / militia / patriot encouragement of paranoia, disorder and/or violence to today is either forgetful, hadn’t paid attention, stupid, or lying.
Stuff like that just makes me want to hurl. The thickheadedness is incomprehensible.
What in the world did the dope say then?
Sarah Palin has 2.5 million people following her on Facebook. BoyBlue’s diary had six recommends. By my count, 19 people commented on BoyBlue’s diary the day it was posted, mostly to disagree with him. Palin’s Facebook musings regularly get over 10,000 “likes” and over 1,000 comments, and her misspellings have actually created new words. Remind me again how “both sides do it” is considered a plausible excuse when this is the best example they have?
@hueyplong: “They’d probably lose control of the narrative if a media type became the victim (depending on the identity of the media type).”
No, they’d just call out the brownshirts.
Sully quoting George Packer:
This to me is the biggest problem. It’s conservatives constantly implying that their opponents are traitors, un-American, etc. Sure, liberals say mean things about conservatives, but there isn’t such a current of dehumanizing them as it is vice-versa.
How so? They are both opinion makers. They both have highly visible media perches. One speaks for the Old Village. The other speaks for…well, I guess what one could characterize as young “moderates.” What they both do is give cover to lies by indulging, with the smuggest of attitudes, in false equivalencies, both sides are equally guilty bullshit.
I can’t stand either one of them. Just because Jon is my age (or just slightly younger) and Broder could be my grandfather doesn’t mean that they aren’t exactly alike.
Mumphrey (formerly Renfrew Squeevil (formerly Mumphrey Oddison Yamm (formerly Mumphrey O. Yamm (formerly Mumphrey))))
This is the point. On another thread, a bunch of assholes have come in and are trying to shame liberals for “blaming” Sarah Palin for this shooting, since there’s no proof that Loughner ever listened to her or saw her bullseye webpage or anything else. And that’s true, there is no such proof, and I think that’s why we aren’t talking about wanting to see the police arrest her for incitement or something. We aren’t talking about criminal responsibility, but moral responsibility. And for a lot of conservatives, asking that they own up to their moral responsibility seems to be about the same as tarring and feathering them or worse.
They go dredging up some dumb thing Obama once said, or some vile thing some random commenter on some random blog once wrote, and they say, “See! You hypocrites do it, too!” Only we don’t. Barney Frank does not call for people to kill bankers; Obama doesn’t campaign against Republicans with thinly veiled calls to violence; liberals do not show up to Republican rallies wearing loaded guns on their hips.
I happen to think that some of these boneheads are too dumb to know that what they say makes no sense, but I think a good many of them know full well what they’re doing. They are, somewhere deep down inside their shrivelled little souls, a little bit ashamed. But they don’t like feeling that way, so they do what they always do: find a way to make themselves look like the victims.
These people, the ones who’ve been showing up here to muck everything up, are beneath contempt, and I’d like to ask people here to just stop dealing with them. Let them howl and wail without any answer, and sooner or later they’ll give up and leave us alone. If you see something so bad you can’t let it slide by, just answer “Fuck off,” and leave it at that. After a few days of nothing but “Fuck off,” or no answer at all, they’re bound to go away.
@mr. whipple: The same thing that happened in California back in the sixties when Black Panthers started showing up with loaded, openly carried shotguns to protests.
It became illegal immediately in California to openly carry a loaded weapon in public, to carry a loaded weapon in your car, and to even carry one on your own property in the front yard in public view.
None of which had been illegal beforehand.
So get out there, guys! It’s the easiest route to gun control evar!
Thank you for my laugh of the day.
True but there is zero information out there stating the shooter in Arizona had any interaction with any overheated political rhetoric. We simply have no idea at this point.
That we should “agree to disagree and continue to pray for Mrs. Giffords.”
I walked away.
They’d shit their pants.
They know they are the minority. They (those that can read) know that the future Demographics suck shit for them. Fear is all they have…
…and if that was marginalized by the majority showing up armed as well, there would be a run on Charmin.
Edit: I swear to you, I didn’t make a Charmin reference knowing I was replying to Mr. Whipple.
Um, I think you mis-posted. ED Kain’s apologist-for-mass-murderers entry was a couple days ago. Scroll down a ways, you’ll find it. No need to thank me.
@geg6: Yes, and there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between GWB and Al Gore either.
ETA: in lumping Broder and Stewart together, you are reproducing the very error you accuse Stewart of making.
So are we supposed to just shut up, be quiet and not say anything then? What the???
I don’t get that but maybe it’s as simple as cons hate to be called on their b.s. Seems the party of “liberty” ain’t much for what they preach I guess.
Bruce (formerly Steve S.)
When Jon Stewart did his “both sides do it” video montage at the Rally I struck by something: you could pull stuff virtually at random from right wing media and it worked in the montage, but they certainly must have poured for hours through the Olbermann and Schultz archives to find a few useful nuggets.
Now, Ed Schultz is kind of a blowhard dick, so any criticism of him is okay with me. Olbermann’s show is actually kind of snarky and lighthearted on those rare occasions I watch it, though he sometimes gets pissed off and does a nasty, intemperate editorial. But if that’s all they’ve got on the left then the left ain’t doin’ much.
Oh shoot, I forgot about Kos diarists. Can’t forget the cosmic importance of Kos diarists. Dang, they got us dead to rights.
@Hunter Gathers: I don’t doubt that for a minute. The only question is how much worse than the reaction to Clinton’s speech it’ll be, because we all know the RW has done nothing but double down on the crazy since then.
a couple weeks ago Palin said she wanted Julien Assange “hunted down just like al-Qaeda”, now she says she doesn’t like violence.
This is what they’ve wanted. They wanted to pull a King Henry II (“will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest”) and then claim clean hands after one of their activated kooks spilled the blood (“I never said use violence”/ “he’s lone nut”/ “in fact I reject violence”).
But their Manchurian Candidate like plan backfired when the violence swept a sweet, vibrant lady and a 9-year old girl, and not some demonized controversial figure like Assange.
This may go over the heads of liberals, but when an adult makes an accusation they usually have at least some evidence to back up their claim.
So tell, me, when has Glenn Beck ever endorsed or advocated violence? He does the exact opposite everyday.
bah. “we don’t have any evidence” is an excuse used by people who don’t have enough faith in their convictions to jump to the appropriate conclusions.
TPM’s guide to campaign gun rhetoric
Before Shooting, A Campaign Season Rife With Gun Rhetoric
Rachel Slajda | January 11, 2011
I think it is true that one cannot draw a conclusion about the influence of violent rhetoric from just this one tragedy.
But it is not about this one tragedy. It is about a number of shooting and threats against Democrats, liberal churches and institutions, cops, committed by unbalanced people. Common themes among these mostly unbalanced and mentally disturbed shooters have been reactionary memes, lies and nonsense.
As examples: Obama is going to take our guns, our money is worthless because it is not backed by precious metals, doctors are murdering babies because of a pregnant woman’s mere whim, George Soros and the Tides Foundation are plotting to take over the government.
Some, though by no means all or even most, prominent Republican politicians have encouraged this extremism. They have tolerated overheated violent rhetoric in campaigns. They have publicly slandered people like Soros as a Nazi collaborator and a drug runner. This stuff goes on there is barely any comment from the crumbum cowardly talking heads who appear on TV.
While extremists have been using overtly intimidating tactics at townhall meetings, in campaign rhetoric, in campaign events involving shooting targets implicitly identified with their opponents, anyone to the left of the corrupt centrist establishment has been vilified as ‘angry’, ‘bitter’, etc.
The nation has been bullied into pursuing self destructive, flawed public policy on a number of issues because of the bullying and intimidation used by the extremists, even when a solid majority of the voters prefers better policies.
Now most the corrupt clowns (today it is Brooks) in the media are trying to cover this up, out of cowardice, corruption or greed, or desire to find a smooth popular pleasing path out of the situation.
I am not having it. People who are in denial about what is happening need to pull their head out of the sand (I try to be polite here) and stand up and be counted and push back against what these extremists are doing.
There comes a time when cowards and wimps are not useful, and they should really go hide under the bed. They can come out when it all blows over. They had better hope the good side won, otherwise they will get worse than they do now from the extremists.
Edit: and to be nonpartisan about it, the stupid gun campaign gimmicks done by weak minded Democrats like Manchin need to be included in the list of unacceptable types of violent rhetoric and metaphor.
One major problem is that elected Democrats keep making false equivalences. Obama blames “extremists on both sides” in practically every speech. Giffords herself faulted both sides when she was talking about the death threats and Sarah Palin’s target ad. And last night on Hardball another elected Democrat used that random DK quote to make a “both sides do it” argument, but made it even worse by misquoting the commenter — turning his passive “she’s dead to me” into an active threat: “She’s dead!”
Democrats need to stop doing this. I think most centrist Democrats do this because they think it makes them seem reasonable. But what it really does is make the violent Republican rhetoric seem justified.
But is it okay? Is it okay to set up a target and put your political opponent’s initials on it and shoot at it? Because they did that, to Wasserman-Schultz. Now, you tell me why they did that, if not to intimidate her.
I don’t understand your obsession with a causal relationship. Making it HINGE on a causal relationship is lowering the bar. That’s why they keep harping on it. They want to lower the bar. If we make DEATH the sole reason they should stop doing this, we’re at the absolute bottom.
For two years, liberals have been complaining that conservatives are using violent, over the top rhetoric to demonize and dehumanize their opponents. That is TRUE. They did that. Their targets complained about it. They said it was scaring them.
There doesn’t have to be a shooting. They could stop PRIOR to a shooting.
It’s really funny when you get in their face, almost nose to nose and dare them to be the “manly man” they pretend to be. I haven’t made one pee himself yet, but I’m still young.
icecreammang: “I think that would only make them double down, reload, etc.”
You might be right, but I think that only happens when a Democrat gets hit, as we’ve seen this week. If one of the GOP politicians gets hit, their noise machine might want to double down, but I think the GOP politicians themselves would get scared. Personal bravery under fire isn’t for many people, and I’m pretty sure it ain’t for them. And it’s not like they can turn to gun control at that point. I really do think they’d walk back the eliminationist stuff a little.
But we’re just talking, and we don’t know what they’d do. I hope we don’t ever find out. I’m just sorry that last Saturday itself has had no deterrent effect and instead is probably going to prompt the “doubling down” that you referenced.
@sixers: I thought Stewart was off base with that, and it pissed me off in the same way as the false equivalences he used in the early promotions for the rally.
Talking about people “blaming” the shooting on right-wing rhetoric or saying it “caused” it is a complete straw man, because people aren’t saying that. (Yeah, there’s probably a diary on DKos that says that explicitly, but that doesn’t make it any less of a straw man.) And it’s a straw man that the right is explicitly using to avoid any responsibility for their rhetoric (note that I am not saying responsibility for the incident), so parroting it helps them do that. Putting it in terms of “both sides” is giving the same credence to complaints about the bullseye graphic and wingnut insistence that reading Mein Kampf identifies the shooter as a liberal.
After all that, he gets to “I do think it’s important for us to watch our rhetoric. I do think it’s a worthwhile goal not to conflate our political opponents with enemies,” which is what nearly everyone who mentions Palin and Beck and Limbaugh is actually saying.
So no, while it had good bits, I do not think it was one of his finer moments.
@Mumphrey (formerly Renfrew Squeevil (formerly Mumphrey Oddison Yamm (formerly Mumphrey O. Yamm (formerly Mumphrey)))):
Theirs is a worldview grounded in fear, anger and hate.
I choose a different worldview.
You’re being too generous. They’re having seizures now.
From the NYT’s The Caucus blog, here’s the very first comment to an entirely neutral and brief entry about Obama coming to Tuscon:
The President hasn’t said anything, yet they’re already quackspeaking talking points.
Imagine if it had been black folk or mooslins? Good God, the freakout would have been epic. Not enough smelling salts — or Depends — in the world if that had happened.
you’re kidding, right?
Honestly, they’ve done that to themselves, for me anyways. People who identify as Republicans, glibertarians, conservatives, most Christians, etc., simply are not people to me anymore. If they were to all disappear, I wouldn’t lose one ounce of sleep or miss them for one nanosecond. I would have no more emotion than killing a fly with a flyswatter. They simply aren’t human beings to me.
Kyl doesn’t help himself when he attacks the Sheriff. The Sheriff has a sterling record of service yet that misses when the right goes apeshit over a few comments. I never see these same idiots get worked up over Sheriff Arpaio’s incendiary and almost unconstitutional approach to law enforcement.
Weirder still, when a rightie gets worked up over comments that aren’t attributed to them, they go for the jugular and try to paint their opponent in the most negative fashion. They will say libs do this too, and it’s true to SOME extent, but only after many of us have given up trying to reason with people who can’t defend their points or assertions.
If the right is upset presently, I want to ask what the problem is? Name one liberal talker outside of Mike Malloy who uses violent rhetoric to beat up on con ideas? They can’t find anybody like that. Most libbie talkers are usually using snark to the extreme in order to make a point that resonates with the listener. They back up their points with facts and figures. A rightie talker is too busy using rhetoric and throwing out ridiculous analogies to hammer home their points. When asked to back it up or if you ask where they got their talking points, they whine even more about the left being this or that.
The right do this to themselves. They know that if the people woke up and started questioning the host’s logic, they’d be exposed as the corporate/moneyed interest shills they are.
@Svensker #29: Oh, yeah, I remember that case very well. The guy was an aide to the mayor of Wshington, DC and used the word (correctly) in a conversation about budget tightening.
He actually apologized immediately, spontaneously and fully when he saw the reaction from some of his staff. There was such a fuss that he also resigned from the Mayor’s office (likely under pressure, although that’s not clear) but was later rehired.
January 1999. I wouldn’t have guessed it was nearly that long ago.
@MattF: Ann Coulter sees dead people.
I would have walked away too. I bet he’s great fun to have over for a party.
@Earl Butz: exactly. and St. Ronnie was governor at the time, and Gipper couldn’t sign the fascist gun grabbing gun control measure fast enough.
Now, which side is engaged in violent, over-the-top rhetoric again?
Emphasis is mine.
Christians in particular are a persecuted bunch. They love to act as if they have no rights or that people don’t respect them. I respect Mother Theresa because she helped the poor and didn’t whine about it. I respect any religious leader who cares about PEOPLE. American Christians are a selfish, egomaniacal bunch. Too busy whining about perceived lack of rights such as their guns are disappearing (not) or that the founding fathers wanted religion in government, the left have it wrong to care about those less fortunate than them. Spend more time helping people and this is a better country.
Christ, like the founding fathers, was a liberal. Weird how they can’t reconcile this.
I have no idea why the shooter in AZ did what he did. Nobody does. What if it turned out he shot her because he watched American Idol and Simon Cowell told him to do it via telepathy and he’s never heard of Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck because he lives in his own psychotic world. Would this place then turn its sights on the nasty rhetoric of an English game show judge? Not that this is a likely outcome but isn’t there a serious possibility that people here are very wrong to assume they know why an insane person did what they did? Cause there were some front page posts here making some serious charges without a shred of evidence.
@geg6: Stewart’s my age. I find him hilarious. And I find you quite correct. And frankly, with the eliminationist rhetoric that’s been spewing from the GOP since 1992 having arrived at its logical conclusion, Stewart’s shtick is not something that we as a society can afford to indulge in any more.
So because this one fool may or may not have been influenced by the toxic political environment in the state of Arizona, we should not be calling out the Right for the eliminationist, violent rhetoric that they’ve been using, ratcheting it up year by year, for the last four decades? We should just shut up because in this one particular case, we aren’t yet sure whether or not this kid with the goldbug fetish is a product of the Right? We should wring our hands in anguish that, just this once, O’Beckbaugh have no culpability?
Bullshit. If not this one, I can point to a couple of dozen others in which they are fully culpable. Here’s just one, from the killer’s own hand:
Now tell me again how we shouldn’t be blaming the Right and their Jesters.
what is particularly hilarious is how the “no proof” crowd is latching on to this “poll” that says “most Americans” don’t believe there’s a connection between the political rhetoric and the shooting.
Like THAT proves something.
He made one comment about bringing a knife to a gun fight. Hardly an image of death and destruction.
Funny how that works, isn’t it?
@suzanne: Let me guess. He then looked at you and said, “see, you’re proving my point,” right?
Great comeback on your part, anyway. You never know what’s gonna stick, later.
Aren’t they the same people who whine polls are worthless when it shows that most americans WANT HCR?
@Cassidy: “They simply aren’t human beings to me.” And this is how you lose your humanity.
@hueyplong: I also think that’s why Ailes came out with his “tone it down” memo. No one’s immune to bullets, Republicans and journalists included.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@sixers: Nope, we would still argue that the nasty gun-related language out of the right is wrong and that’s not how you have civil discourse, because it’s not.
And I’m sorry, but as much as I believe we need to know more, the shooter’s talking points sound an awful lot like the crap people see on FOX and hear on the radio. Even if they didn’t influence him, what about the Congressman who received the emails saying he was next?
Thank you. As others on this thread have pointed out – these quotes demonstrate that the right wing effort at cultural transformation is not new. It takes a long time to destroy a country from within, but it can be done.
A book many good Americans might want to read is ‘The Nazi Conscience’ by Claudia Coonz. In it she explains how a Germany long regarded as one of the least anti-Semitic places in Europe became what it did. All along the Germans susceptible to this stuff saw themselves as moral paragons in their country’s culture war. The process was slow, steady, and disturbingly like what Fox News and its right wing allies are doing. I may sound alarmist, but please hold that judgment till you’ve at least taken a look at her book.
If we truly started attacking them in the same rhetorical fashion, they’d go apeshit. They think because we try to be rational and want to DISCUSS our points with all who will listen, that makes us easy to dismiss. They can’t handle it when their rhetoric is tossed back at them with facts that can’t be easily dismissed (see: Grayson, Alan).
@jwb: Well, I’m not gonna go shoot at a crowd of Republicans, if that’s your insinuation. I’m not homicidal. Just saying I won’t miss them if they aren’t here.
There may never be any proof, even if he did have exposure to it. The question isn’t really whether this particular shooter saw Sarah Palin’s map or not, it’s whether the risk we incur with that kind of rhetoric is one we all want to live with.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@eemom: Like I said above, I think it’s awesome that they were able to poll his brain. It could be proof of his schizophrenia.
Why does “awful” not have an e after the w, but “awesome” does? And why was it easier for me to spell schizophrenia than it is for me to spell receive?
Shorter Erick Erickson:
If only Loughner had found the Lord, Giffords wouldn’t be sitting around with her skull on ice nearby. (Please ignore Scott Roeder behind that curtain.)
The right obstruct for the last two years and then take back the House because people are too blind to see that Dems have done a LOT of good things. Weird how that works.
I welcome all ideas to the table as long as people can be adults about it and understand the idea of compromise being a two way street.
The problem I have with the right is that compromise only exists to show the nation “See, we can work with them…they can’t work with US!”
I agree somewhat….I wish those on the right would drop the persecution complex and discuss the future of this country with a sense of honor. They can’t or won’t, hard to say…but I see why you feel that way. I feel that way from time to time.
@cleek: No, I’m fucking well not. Care to contribute anything other than smug accusations that other people aren’t as supremely rational as you?
@geg6: I can’t say I find it particularly productive in either his case or yours.
Very true. My issue is the absolute certainty in which blame was assigned to the right before any actual information came out. ABL’s first post on the matter was nonsense.
Interesting thought. I don’t think we should ever do it, but it would be interesting.
Remember the rightie freak out over Gov. Dean? I remind the right he’s a card carrying member of the NRA, 100% voting record according to them. The righties tend to gloss over it and call the guy a libtard or whatever then tell us he will still take our guns. THAT is why these people can’t be reasoned with.
Point out that Obama EXTENDED GUN RIGHTS and it doesn’t matter one wit to them.
The problem with this example is that Simon Cowell didn’t actually say anything like this. Saying that you’ll use the ammo box if the ballot box fails to give you the result you want is completely different. A politician saying that we should consider resorting to 2nd Ammendent solutions is nothing like someone saying he shot people because the neighbor’s dog told him to.
The guy lived in AZ during the recent campaign, and was interested in reactionary currency nonsense and idiotic Beckish lies about government mind control.
That in itself is inconsistent with ‘zero evidence’.
Something about looking and walking like a duck, but not being a fucking starfish.
Sully gets it, so why is the media so damn obtuse about it?
And cripes, even if the guy wasn’t explicitly influenced by it, isn’t it a good time to reflect on just how much our fucking political atmosphere is soaked in violence and violent rhetoric?
@Cassidy: When you deny humanity to the other you sacrifice your own: you become precisely what you claim to despise.
I agree but the media keeps selling this meme. Argh.
Last time I looked the right owns those talking points and paranoid rants.
@jwb: Not really.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
People making threats to politicians in this country is not a new thing that just started to happen via the creation of the fox news network.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@Redshift: Not sure what you’re pissed off about. On the day of the shooting on this site was an argument between one group of people saying that this was the fault of the wingers and others saying that we don’t know that.
Edited for clarity a little.
@Cassidy: No, really. Look what you wrote, and project it back at yourself, as though written by a right winger about the left.
Well, I’ll have to go back and look at ABL’s post again, I don’t recall anything about it making me think, “Whoa–too strong a claim’s being made here,” but I’ll go check after I finish this comment.
But I wnated to say that rhetoric matters. And dehumanizing your opponents matters; if it didn’t, governments wouldn’t use propaganda to dehumanize the enemy during wartime. And I think you’d agree that the right has been using rhetoric which has the express purpose of dehumanizing their opponents (us).
That being the case, they really should be called out for crossing a line, a line that we need to maintain in order to have a civil society and a functioning democracy.
It is dangerous when
one side (right wing extremists) can, for example, hold campaign events that involve shooting at targets with the opponents initials on them (See TPM blog post yesterday on Debbie Wasserman Schultz)
Moderates, liberals and progressive are shunned and called ‘angry’ when they point out that a GOPer is saying one plus one equals three.
That is what has been going on.
And remember, this stuff is mostly financed by big money reactionaries who have bad intentions and definite designs on our society.
People who cannot face up to the situation and start to push back hard need to go buy some diapers, hide at home, and hope for the best, rather than saying silly things.
@geg6: I too get frustrated (usually) at what Stewart does not say. But then I recall that he is an entertainer with a politically based shtick, a more pleasant Bill Maher. He has no mandate or contract to do anything other than collect eyeballs for advertisers. He cannot nor should not be depended on for more than that.
@sixers: Fox news, and a corporate sponsored Teabagger movement that uses organized intimidation tactics are not ‘people making threats’.
Another silly comment from you.
Ok lets push it up to “little evidence”. I’m not saying that there is no possibility of right wing rhetoric being part of this guys mo but hours after the shooting this place had decided it was with not even a little evidence. Thats a little irresponsible in my mind considering the shooter had known mental health issues.
Perhaps not. But I’m pretty sure that in my case, the evidence in support is much, much, much stronger.
All your violent rhetoric are belong to us!!!
gotta love This Modern World
“I am extremely offended by the way you phrased that.”
“Of course you are, you delicate flower you.”
@sixers: Well, we disagree, and I think you are being silly. Nearly all of the people who have been shooting up liberal churches, health clinics, and now a Democratic House member had serious mental issues. Another thing they have in common is unbalanced fixations on right wing reactionary propaganda.
I suggest you review recent history and think about the lists posted above.
Here’s a point worth considering…if the right wing networks like Fox and hosts like Limbaugh would stop talking about those they disagree with as “not American” or “evil” or saying that they’d like to blow us all up or whatever and maybe people wouldn’t jump to conclusions like this.
You and I both know the right were going to sell this guy as a tool of the left when it is VERY clear there is no evidence of that either.
I am guilty of jumping to conclusions and can admit it. Problem is, the rightie sites I’ve visited are like a bunch of neanderthals grunting about liberals being the ONLY reason this kid was so disturbed (remember, the meme does say that we have a disease y’know).
So sorry if I jump to conclusions but it gets old watching groups of Americans blame other Americans as if they were rats in sewers or something.
They will just say Acorn and the Black Panthers started it when there just is no evidence to prove such nonsense.
I have video of tea baggers intimidating people they disagree with.
Hear ya but them being terrible is no reason to act as irresposible as them.
“People making threats to politicians in this country is not a new thing that just started to happen via the creation of the fox news network.”
Of course, people with prime time shows on networks making threats to politicians is in fact a new thing that just started to happen via the creation of the fox news network.
I think my own sentence is a little bit more relevant, but that’s probably just misplaced pride of authorship talking.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
Yes, I don’t know if the shooter ever saw or listened to the crap on FOX, but I find it fascinating, sad and scary that much of the crap on FOX news (especially Glenn Beck) sounds like the unhinged, paranoiac ravings of a likely schizophrenic.
Bill Maher at least has the balls to come out and say what he sees as the truth. Which is why some people don’t think he’s “pleasant.” Personally? I’m a much, much, much bigger fan of Maher than Stewart because at least Bill has the courage of his convictions (however misguided they may be in the case of anti-vax or however high minded they may be in the cases of global warming and the War on Some People Who Do Drugs). I despise wishy washy puling whiners like Stewart.
Oh, boy! Time for more thigh-slappers about dead 9-year-olds! You’re like a modern Groucho Marx, Makewi!
(No, it’s okay, he’s one with the cigar, not the one with the Communist manifesto.)
When we call out a GOPer, we call them out on facts. Nobody wants to take their guns, bibles or whatever nonsense they use to hide behind their irrational take on life.
The problem with those folks, IMHO, is that they want to take away my right to speak and question. They want to tell me I can’t join a union. They want to shove their religion into the laws of this country when in fact not all of us (right, left, indie) believe the same thing about the same religion!
We live in what I thought was a free country but you’d never know it listening to tea baggers and Palinites. They run around acting like rights have been taken away. If rights have been taken away, can we start by talking about the GOP CONGRESS’ favorite law…the Patriot Act? Ahhh, I notice they shut up when that one comes up.
A lib friend of mine thinks Maher is arrogant. I think he won’t admit he has issues with Maher’s hatred of organized religion. Yep, righties, my lib friend is deeply religious.
I mourn dead 9 year olds. Whereas you use them as political ammunition so you can feel better about your life choices. Also, your kind of a douche who loves to try to shut people up using faux moral outrage.
Mike Malloy can be very dark. I like him even though I can take him in small doses. Quite awhile ago he was reading segments of “1984” every night. I was listening to him read while home alone, very eerie and I just had to stop after a couple of nights. It was just too disturbing to hear just before trying to go to sleep.
It sounds like the only evidence you will accept is the actual words spoken or written by Loughner, but you’re not willing to accept any of the circumstantial evidence, like the fact that an assassin who’s going after a single person because of a personal obsession doesn’t then start spraying the surrounding crowd with bullets, too. He kills the person and then runs off because that was the only person he was interested in.
Once the killer started firing into the crowd at a political event, the likelihood that Giffords was shot solely because of a personal, non-political obsession went down considerably. A paranoid schizophrenic may be irrational, but that doesn’t mean that the most logical explanation is automatically invalid and we have to search for a completely different one.
Uh oh. You said “dead.”
@Keith G: Except at this point, Stewart has evolved into something more than an entertainer, so he should no longer be allowed to play the “get out of jail free because I’m just a comedy guy” card whenever the going gets tough. On the other hand, his shtick also depends on him not simply being perceived as a partisan hack but as something of an honest broker. In this respect, he winds up at the position of moral equivalency for similar reasons that the news media in general ends up there. One solution to this problem that would be consistent with his shtick might be to draw more attention to the dilemma as well as pointing out how absurd the moral equivalency argument often ends up being. But I do think geg6 is right to focus on this as significant problem in Stewart’s shtick and one that he needs to find a solution to if he wants to remain politically relevant.
Never said we should but I don’t feel bad when the left is standing up for what it believes in.
We are nowhere NEAR the level of vitriol that those people exhibit. When a libbie is shooting at guys on a hunt or when the left starts posting addresses of prominent GOPers, then you and I may agree.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
and we’re still having that argument.
Bull. You make some serious assumptions there. I mourn her too. I cried when I saw that.
You think you are funny, and I get it, but don’t go there. You don’t have any idea who was grieving and just prove my points in this thread and others. I would NEVER make that assumption about you. I can go after your politics but I will never question your humanity UNLESS you give me reason to.
Nice trick, Sully. No one on the left is equally as popular as that lot because twice as many Americans self-identify as conservative than liberal, and among the age-groups typically consuming those media the gap widens further (among seniors, righties are 3X as prevalent as lefties). Leftist pundits have tiny audiences compared to the conservatives, because even if every committed leftist watched a show, it wouldn’t blip the ratings. That’s why no lefty pundits have much influence on lefty pols — they can’t help.
Thus, no matter if you bring up Olbermann calling Bush a fascist, Sully can whine, “He’s not as big as Beck.” Or if you bring up the outrageous things Markos says, “He’s not Rush Limbaugh.” Those guys still contribute to the national political tone, especially on the fringes, but Sully can discount them with his little game.
I’m sure then she’d just say that “it’s immature to give the silent treatment”.
She’s one of those people who thinks she’s so intelligent and iconoclastic because she doesn’t belong to any organized political party, like the other sheeple.
She is, IMHO, a complete and total moron.
Very sad he had to go there. NOBODY is using this poor girl. If anything many of us are mourning her and feeling awful that a life was cut way too short.
But what does that even mean, in this context? And really, it is kind of beside the point, right? Do you remember what was going on last year with all the town hall meetings on Health Care? Inflammatory language and hysteria was the rule of the day for the Teabaggers and their ilk. This energy has not died down, but only increased IMO.
My point is, at some point, sooner or later this issue about public discourse had to be addressed if we have any hope of being a functional democracy. Maybe Loughner was the crazy lone gunman, maybe he wasn’t. But there is a definite culture out there of “us versus them,” “we are good they are evil,” “by any means necessary” that inevitably devolves into a really bad situation.
You don’t want the shooting itself to represent a teachable moment for that (I guess). It seems instead the teachable moment here is, “Hey we’re liberals we should stop being mean.” Yeah, okay. We can all work on being more civil. But I also think the former is a bigger example of the breakdown of the civility than the latter.
Also, we could talk about how we as a society fail people with mental health issues daily. That would be a good discussion too, and not inappropriate in light of Saturday’s events.
To be fair, finding ways to blame shit on the “right” is pretty much the raison d’être of this site. Also pets.
Keep in mind that these people are popular on the radio solely for being syndicated multiple times in many big markets.
Fact is, when given a chance I’ve seen leftie talk shows like Stephanie Miller’s and Ed Schultz beat GOPers in some markets. Problem is the right can’t point to a Thom Hartmann or a Stephanie Miller as not popular enough UNLESS they get to be in many of the markets that those people are in.
You forgot the “professional Left” in that assessment, if we’re all going to lay down our grievances right now.
I agree 100% that we don’t discuss our inadequacies as a nation when dealing with mental health. Bravo for saying that.
@PTirebiter: @mr. whipple:
I think you know what would happen.
Makewi and Bender on the same thread and all I can think about is pie.
That’s not true as John goes after the left too.
Mumphrey (formerly Renfrew Squeevil (formerly Mumphrey Oddison Yamm (formerly Mumphrey O. Yamm (formerly Mumphrey))))
I would just like to add that in the case of ‘she’s dead to me’, the diarist was writing about a member of his own damn party. So, the construct of the false equivalence is in itself false.
@sixers: False equivalence. It is not equally irresponsible to note that the rhetoric of the right has been amped for the past two years, that there are several incidences of rightwingers shooting up people for ideological reasons and to note that this guy fit in a pattern. Very few people have said that the rhetoric on the right is directly responsible for the shooting. You cite ABL’s post, but she was not saying the right was directly responsible for the shootings. She was passionately making the point that their rhetoric is inflammatory and contributes to a culture of violence and hatred (and that’s my paraphrase).
We’re also arguing about what exactly “blame” means. For some people, it seems to mean that you have to draw a direct line between a specific statement by a specific person and Loughner in order to assign any blame.
For me, it’s not so much “blame” as “responsibility.” If you know what the likely outcome of what you’re saying will be, and you say it anyway, you don’t get to then claim that you didn’t tell that specific person to do that specific act so therefore you have no responsibility for his actions.
Someone found this article in Esquire about the atmosphere in Dallas leading up to the Kennedy assassination. Oswald probably didn’t read or see much of what the letter is talking about, but the general atmosphere was such that Oswald’s actions were not really a surprise to the city. From what the story in today’s New York Times said, it sounds like there was a pretty similar atmosphere in Tuscon before Giffords was shot.
This is completely from memory and unfortunately cannot find links from teh Google to back it up, by I seem to recall a few years ago several Clear Channel affiliates were killing Air America/left-of-center shows despite good numbers from Arbitron and ratings diaries showing, and were filling those slots with bottom-feeder wingnuts (not even the Becks or Hannitys but their Double-A pinchhitters). From my understanding Fox News was a money loser for years, and Murdoch was perfectly happy with that because he saw the larger strategy. Point being, it ain’t all about the ratings. The end game is to control the entire message band.
Jager V. Wilfork
Like John Cole, I used to lean very much Republican. However, to paraphrase Reagan, I didn’t leave the Republican party; it left me, and quite a long time ago. It seems so natural, rationally sensible, and just now to be a thorough progressive that the moments I occasionally have when I realize how vastly I’ve departed from the Republicans over time, the more astounded I am at the extent of positive transformation in me, and the more disgusted and ashamed I am of the extent of negative transformation I see in them. One “Reaganism” that’s aptly worth paraphrasing here: “I didn’t leave the Republican Party; they left me”.
I never actually registered as a Republican, because at the time (1970) when I first became old enough to be eligible to vote (in North Carolina, and the requisite age was 21 at that time), the democratic party was still so overwhelmingly dominant in the state that democratic primary elections effectively determined the winner of the vastly overwhelming majority of races in November. I recall being a sophomore in college on election night 1968 and the following morning feeling celebratory that Richard Nixon had (just barely, with the help of George Wallace) successfully held off Humphrey’s late charge in the polls, and casting my first vote in 1972 for Nixon. It’s hard to realize now with such abundantly available historical hindsight, but the disgraceful, ugly side of Nixon wasn’t as glaringly obvious to the majority of the public in 1972 as it became only a year or two later.
My political philosophy was in line with what used to exist as moderate Republicanism – socially liberal, economically conservative. Something that’s hard to grasp for people under about age 50 today is just how progressive in many respects the Nixon administration was on the domestic side, much more so than Obama is today in many respects. The EPA and Clean Water Acts were Nixon-era accomplishments (with the administration’s support), for example. OH YES there were the really ugly domestic parts most of us only learned about later on, and I’m not overlooking the “southern strategy” aspect of Nixon’s final electoral success in gaining and holding the Presidency involved. For a privileged white male who’d grown up in a small southern town that had only recently (in 1968) begun desegregating, and whose racial views were progressing but nevertheless had not yet sufficiently left behind the pervasive worldview I’d grown up with on the matter, it was nowhere remotely as astoundingly remarkable that I and most other “moderate” white southerners were still as blind as we were to the ugliness and future implications of Nixon’s southern strategy.
How ever did the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower devolve so immensely to the level of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin? Look how far even since 2000 that John McCain (who used to be regarded as the maverick Republican most progressive Democrats could tolerate being President, even though they wouldn’t vote for him) has devolved over the past decade. To an extent which is hard to see now, IMHO he used to bona fide harbor a bona fide maverick streak friendly to some progressive ideas, but ambition and political survival instincts have induced him to abandon that and devolve into a dishonest, unprincipled shell of what he (maybe) was a decade ago. Doubtless, the extent to which this maverick streak existed and was at-core genuine was always partially a mirage even back in 2000, but there was enough of it then nonetheless that how badly the environment of the GOP over the past ten years has caused the bona fide part of it to shrivel to a burnt, worthless cinder is indicative of the morally diseased rot that’s set in across the whole party.
@Bender: Whoa yeah, cause, you know, if there’s a case of manslaughter anywhere, then Jeffrey Dahlmer is innocent! Got it. Everybodys doing it.
Then you are being willfully ignorant.
“We’ll never really know anything!” is the sophist’s argument, and it’s meant to take the heat off of the most obvious culprits. Yeah, maybe he lives in a cave and has never seeing a minute of right wing cable news. Maybe he thinks Simon Cowell told him to shoot. Maybe he was aiming for the 9-year-old girl and hit the Congresswoman by mistake.
But the guy is a registered Republican, he’s got a parade of youtube videos and web posts detailing his psychological breakdown, and he did happen to point his gun at a Democrat.
You can’t depoliticize an assassination by waving your hands and chanting, “We just don’t know”. Nor can you wash away the number of armed political rallies that happened in the run up to the ’10 election. It’s not all one big coincidence.
Sorry, that turned out to be Photoshopped — he was registered as an Independent. Which is probably giving the Village heartburn right about now since they’re convinced that The Independents Will Save Us All!
It may have been Andrea Mitchell (I simply can’t remember at this point), but she reported that yesterday and the look on her face was simply shock! shock! that he was an Independent. Cuz, you know, they are always rock ribbed, level headed people.
Correlation is not causation. One can say that “X caused this person to shoot these people” but you’re wrong.
However, it is wrong to deny ANY correlation to the tone and content of violent rhetoric, which is very much more prevalent on the right.
I think the general climate and violent rhetoric contributed to this man’s crazy bloodbath, but I will not and cannot make the case for causality.
Those ignoring ALL correlation are being willfully ignorant though.
Actually, I think he was a reggied Indie.
Susan mayfield hunnicutt
this cartoon sort of says it all….
Nope, no local violent right wing political themes and rhetoric in the recent election in Giffords district.
Just how stupid do people have to be to see the glaring message this sends to crazy people with political grudges. The only thing that might be more blaring, would have been red neon signs around Tucson flashing “kill a democrat – you know who we mean”
I have to say, right now it’s looking like Gabrielle Giffords is the luckiest motherfucker on the planet:
ETA: Did I mention that Dr. Rhee just happens to be a former Navy doctor with 24 years of experience in trauma and gunshot wounds?
Seriously. Luckiest. motherfucker. ever.
“Accused Arizona gunman Jared Lee Loughner was not registered to any political party, and in fact hand wrote “independent” on two separate voter forms, county officials said Monday.”
A perfect example of the right’s MO:
Or, if your ears are not prone to bleeding, you can listen to it here (h/t Media Matters):
Edited to add a mighty FYWP and your stoopid blockquoting crap.
The Tea Party movement was inspired by the ranting of some asshole economic reporter on CNBC. It was organized and promoted by Fox News. CNN adopted the Tea Party Express, giving it ton a ton of free advertising and recently announced a partnership with it. There’s a reason why so many in the media sound like a parent defending a child accused of bullying on the playground when we’re talking about the violent political speech that’s coming from the Tea Party.
The Tea Party is their baby.
Look, I’ll say it again: it doesn’t really matter whether or not the gunman saw Sarah Palin’s map with the gunsights, or heard Sharron Angle talk about second amendment solutions, or anything else. Because even if he didn’t, those things are inexcusable.
Everyone loves to fall back on the “unhinged crank” explanation for why these things happen. And to give Jon Stewart props, there’s little doubt that these things would continue to happen even if we didn’t have Republican officials, candidates, or media enablers using violent rhetoric.
But that doesn’t exonerate it, for the simple fact is that we all know these kinds of people are out there. So, if you are a person with a public megaphone, your standard of responsibility is to not agree with them – to not say anything that anyone unhinged could interpret as encouragement or approval for violent action.
Furthermore, you have to be a completely irresponsible idiot to invoke guns or shooting or any associated imagery with your desire to defeat a political opponent, for the very simple reasont that this country has a very long history of politicians being assassinated with guns and there is a greater than zero chance that your words will come back to haunt you and underline the fact that you’re a world-class asshole. Given the potentially huge downside for using this type of rhetoric, we have to assume that the people who do use it are doing it because they personally gain something from it and so are willing to roll the dice and cross their fingers and hope that it doesn’t come back to haunt them. All they are engaged in now is trying to escape from their own irresponsibile use of language – their own words. The gunman may not have seen them, but if he had, they wouldn’t have caused him to re-think what he planned to do – if anything, they would have reinforced it.
If you don’t want your words to be scrutinized in the aftermath of a horrific act or for anyone to question whether or not your rhetoric may have helped to encourage it, choose your words more carefully. If you won’t be responsible for the things you’ve said, stop pretending to be a leader.
This shit really is NOT all that hard.
Call me crazy, but I could swear that “Political Affiliation of Record” reads “Republican”. Correct me if I’m wrong.
The ironic thing is that Congresswoman Giffords probably understood better than most of us that that comment was innocuous.
In a previous generation, “he/she is dead to me” is something that some wacko Jewish parents said when their children married outside the faith. Giffords, who is Jewish, would have instantly understood that she was being disowned, not threatened with violence, as a result of “marrying outside the faith” by not voting for Pelosi.
@Mnemosyne: :-p Well, if it’s shopped then disregard.
Sadly, Olbermann got punk’d by the same Photoshop job you did.
@The Truth: Fuck you. Did that go over your head?
Adults also refrain from grade school insults. Admittedly, there are few adults on this board. :)
He may not explicitly endorse violence, but he does knowingly create a world where violence seems necessary.
Beck’s default position — one he argues without irony — is to equate liberals to be essentially identical to Nazis or Islamic terrorists, and progressive ideology to be morally equivalent to those espoused by the Third Reich. Liberals are not simply ideological adversaries but actual enemies of America. Liberals aren’t people, they’re monsters out to destroy the nation. (And if you don’t do something about it right now — the Nazis [i.e., liberals] will take over and it’ll be Hitler all over again!)
Beck energetically beats the drum that liberals are evil dragons, and there is an implicit call to slay the dragons.
Then why does he run pictures of himself with a gun on his website?
That one is not Photoshopped, BTW. It really came from his website.
There you go. The guy is a Kansas City Royals fan seeking revenge on Dallas Green for the 1980 World Series by blowing away his granddaughter.
Within 48 hours, some right-wing talk show host or blogger will say this. It’s no more or less logical than anything else they have had to say.
@Mnemosyne: I hope you are right. Who knows what the effect of the injury will be on her.
I disagree. Arguing about correlation doesn’t mean much of anything unless you can explain something that produces the correlations.
I argue that the reactionary extremists’ recent use of rhetoric of hate and violence, and promulgation of baseless fears has helped cause (not merely correlate with) a pattern of vandalism and violent attacks against their stated or implied enemies. These targets include Jews, liberal churches and foundations, medical doctors, and police (who are suspected to be enforcing liberal politicians’ supposedly nefarious schemes) and Democratic politicians by unbalanced individuals who become obsessed with reactionary extremist nonsense.
I also think that this is a deliberate strategy by at least some of the extremists. As I said above, note the contrast with the portrayal of liberals as being ‘angry’ ‘bitter’, ‘envious’, etc, and how that is used to discredit them, and their influence.
If the Tuscon shooting came out of the blue, some skeptics would have a point that it does not mean anything. But it did not come out of the blue, it needs to be put in the context of recent attacks against the very same House member who was shot in Tucson, and recent shootings since Obama was elected.
This is not about some hot heads in bar getting upset and saying they want to see so and so politician dead. This is about repeated, and very openly tolerated, suggestions and barely disguised calls to commit violence against anyone who opposes the extremists. That is the background of this.
It is not about this one shooting, it is about a pattern that has been established over several years. It is a correlation that suggests causation.
We need to push back hard against this and bring it to the extremists. They are playing a dangerous game, and sooner or later they will come after you, one way or the other.
The stuff I see these goons say now, and their paid hacks on the media makes me sick. Remember all the hoopla from the right over sinister social influences on TV sitcoms, Brooks worrying about occult influences of this or that modern corruption on our culture. Well, these hypocrites now deny that their rhetoric of violence can have anything to do with political violence. The hack Brooks was worrying about the liberals complaints about income distribution and attitude of ‘envy’ influencing the ‘lesser people’ of this country not long ago. Now, putting a House members initials on targets at a shoot up at a GOP campaign event, well, he says that can’t really mean anythig at all, can it?
People need to sit down and think about what is happening and be prepared to stand up and push back, not slink into cowardly denial.
Gawd you’re a disingenuous hack. When Sully actually makes that argument, get back to us.
In the meantime, explain how calling someone a fascist is a call to violent action.
And explain why these statements are OK:
But looking at these quotes, I can see why you are so desperate to create false equivalencies.
Sing it, brother. Sing it.
Yeah, it’s really terrible the way I keep claiming to “mourn” the victims while pointing and laughing at the silly libtards who don’t want to be shot in the head. I should really stop doing that. Shame on me.
@Bruce (formerly Steve S.): Dead to rights? Dead to rights? OMG the overheated rhetoric of liberals! AAAAARRRRGHH…
Y’all are conversing with someone with someone who calls themselves “The Truth”?? Srsly??
I have heard several times, that the area of her brain that was most damaged is likely the speech center area. This would seem to confirm those on scene that said she was alert, but unable to speak. But her higher brain functions seem to be quite intact and good. The brain is an amazing organ that can redirect functions to undamaged areas, but it takes time.
@The Truth: Do you know the definition of “opposite?” Or “adult?”
Well, ‘conversing’ might be a bit generous given all it implies about two sentient beings exchanging ideas, but maybe we should just assume we’re being graced with the Situation’s political commenting persona.
There are realms of difference between a one-time, off-the-cuff comment about killing a crook (think back to similar remarks about Bernie Madoff and Ken Lay), and repeated rhetoric about killing political enemies because their ideology is different.
Frankly, if this is the best example you can find to prove equivalency, you’ve pretty much made the case proving the opposite.
where IS he? Where is that no good motherfucker?? His rotten ass robbed me blind on that TV show back in the 1970s!
Handling “The Truth” should be a no bwainer.
Here is the case, as made yesterday by Cenk Uygur
Giffords Shooting – Right Wing Media & Politicians To Blame?
Cenk Uygur, Young Turks
The email I got with the link says that a post based on this segment was pulled down from Huffington Post.
Mumphrey (formerly Renfrew Squeevil (formerly Mumphrey Oddison Yamm (formerly Mumphrey O. Yamm (formerly Mumphrey))))
You can’t handle The Truth!
Yep, and besides I can find reams of comments much worse spoken by right wing radio shows that are on major networks across the country.
The difference here is simple: Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck (who are heard by more people than will ever see that quote by the idiot talking about lining up a gubernatorial candidate against a wall to be shot) tell their audience that liberals are a disease and can’t be trusted. They tell their audience that liberals want to enslave people. They lie and say Hitler was a liberal. Sorry, but when a tard like Beck is making it so I can’t discuss a point with folks for fear of being hurt in the process, THIS is a much bigger problem than some idiot congressman making an off the cuff remark about a guy who stole money.
@General Stuck: Hey, we agree on something!
This is so blindingly obvious to me that I’m astounded at the number on this board who don’t see it. I’ve been wondering for a day how this could be. One explanation is that I wonder how many of you have the ‘opportunity’ to really rub shoulders with self-described rightwingers? If so, I can understand, a little, how you don’t get this.
These folks, several of whom I talk with several times per week, are seriously violent people. And they seriously, deeply KNOW that Beck/Hannity/O’Reilly/Limbaugh are doing God’s work. This is not an exaggeration. We (non-rightwingers) are not really people to them. Where do you think Coulter came up with the idea of hunting liberals? Or Limbaugh saying that all liberals on campuses should be killed (except for two, to keep as examples)? There are hundreds of examples of similar sayings from prominent rightwingers.
This has been going on half of my adult life and these comments speak directly to the rightwing crowd. They reference all this bullshit. They are well up on it and they truly believe it, every fucking one of them.
You may be ignorant of this because of where you live or who you have to deal with in life daily, but for where I live and for whom I have to deal with, the assassination of a Democrat is a good thing. They are happy about it and only regret two tings: 1) The Congresswoman survived and 2) they think it’s unfair that their favorite talking head is being blamed. I kid you not. They can openly state that they are disappointed that the Congresswoman lived (so far!) AND yet that are upset that their ‘movement’ is being blamed for the actions of a lone-wolf madman.
Right…when you call out a conservative on something they shout you down without ever discussing where they got their point. Most intelligent people (regardless of party) can cite a source without resorting to such theatrics.
Because it needed to be repeated.
Who wrote that letter? I don’t recall seeing it before today.
Glock Sales Surge
I guess you just can’t buy that kind of advertising…
Thank you. I was more than a little shocked by that.
It’s not a letter. It’s from Rush Limbaugh’s broadcast. It’s the old Rushbo himself.
Sorry, got mixed up with which toxic piece of Rightwing stuff you were referring to. The letter is from the guy who shot up the Unitarian Church and killed the minister there.
@Wormtown: I don’t know how apt a comparison it is, but here’s Bob Woodruff, who went through similar surgery about five years ago. He seems to have recovered amazingly well, and Giffords sounds like she’s doing even better at her current stage. Though again, this may be apples to oranges.
@sixers: no evidence he had any contact with overheated rhetoric….
yet all he had to do was to walk around town or watch TV and see events or ads like this….
Conservative Talk Radio stations broadcasting in the Tucson Metro area – 3.
anecdotally….damn near every ad run in the coveted 6:30pm slot for Wheel of Fortune for the better part of six months was a political one, with the Republicans having a huge monetary advantage because Kelly had ads sponsored for him by McCain’s own PAC (which spiritually violated Johnny Maverick’s own campaign law that he drafted with Russ Feingold).
This was one of the most hotly contested races in the country and drew national attention on more than one occaision. Unless Mr. Loughner lived in a fucking cave for the entire of 2010, you were exposed to campaign rhetoric.
Evolved Deep Southerner
@PTirebiter: With regard to Dupnik’s comments – (I assume) carefully not assigned to any party – it’s a classic example of the old saying about “A hit dog hollers.”
I think the left could make a helluva lot more hay out of the response to Sheriff Dupnik’s comments than the shooting itself.
Bruce (formerly Steve S.)
I also said, “Oh shoot.”
@The Populist: @cmorenc:
Applause. You and I traveled very similar paths politically, although my home is not the South and I am a woman.
My God. I thought it was the suicide note of a domestic terrorist.
Aside from the getting shot part, I’m glad she got lucky with her doc.
Also, let us not forget Beck suggesting that a revolution has actually begun and exhorting the military, particularly special ops, to get on the right side.
It was. However, the terrorist in question didn’t die.
How soon we forget …
Yeah, thanks. geg6 corrected himself but I missed his correction.
I’ve never seen that letter before, but I do remember that shooting.
Just Some Fuckhead
Nevermind, prolly too soon.
Something seems to get missed in this “nut” conversation. By the standards of this blog I own a shit load of guns and they vary from things that can reach out and touch you from a quarter mile to things that at close range will blow through any type of current body armor. I shoot frequently and I’m a good shot. I do not, however, shoot people, crowds of people, or even political wastes of oxygen. I don’t because I’m not crazy even though I’m a lefty.
I certainly realize that there is a huge range of mental illnesses; but stop and think about the action of shooting someone who isn’t endangering your own life or another’s directly and immediately. It is crazy- it is crazy to shoot your wife because she’s “a bitch” or … there’s quite a list. Most violent crime is illegal because it is crazy to do, not excluded by law crazy, just plain crazy. It is crazy to rob a liquor store – the mental disconnect required is huge.
The point to this ramble is that anyone involved in something like shooting a politician is going to be labeled crazy and, really, is crazy. That doesn’t mean that an atmosphere of stupidly violent rhetoric doesn’t increase the chances of a crazy taking it to heart or just upping the ante on their craziness. This guy had real mental issues and yet some of those issues are congruent with a lot of this over heated rhetoric and that creates an atmosphere that reinforces some of those delusions validity and even elevates their importance.
If that happened, there would still be huge amounts of violent, demonizing rhetoric emanating substantially from the right wing, and it would still be a bad thing. What part of “we’re sick of false equivalency” do you not understand?
Stewart is 48; Broder is 81. Those are some short generations in your family.
@Earl Butz: I like the cut of your jib.
I’ve never really commented on the false equivalency debate going on here because I agree with you and most people here that the right leads the league by a mile in violent rhetoric when it comes to the two parties.
My point has been this place went a little overboard in the aftermath distributing blame to the right. Again I think the right spews hate and intolerance when it suits them so I’m not defending them at all but you would have thought there were pictures of sarah palin loading the gun for the guy judging from some front page posts here talking about how the chickens of right wing hate were coming home to roost hours after the shooting.
I just read the shooter expressed views to people prior that the iraq and afganistan war were illegal. I bet some people here asshole puckered when they read that because it sounds not so right wing. What if the guy did it because his dog told him to and who the fuck knows at this point is all I’m trying to say.
I think the only bright side is there will be a debate on whats over the line to say in political discourse even if it has nothing to do with this nuts actions.
Really; do you think that’ll happen? I don’t. What evidence are you seeing that anyone outside of the left and center-left is remotely interested in seriously discussing what’s over the line in political discourse?
The rights almost across the board positive reaction to Obama’s speech at memorial.