Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Liberal Media: YOU shot Gabrial Giffords

I have not killed anyone this week, and that fact is rather amazing. You see, I did something very, very bad last Sunday in church. I lifted my voice and sang, "Onward Christian Soldiers" with the rest of the congregation.

If you look at this song, you will see very quickly that it uses military metaphors, and military metaphors appeal to violence. And, as we all now know, violent metaphors lead to actual violence. So the question arises why I have remained so incredibly calm and docile in the wake of the singing of this dangerous song, rather than, say, going out and beating someone over the head--with the Cross of Jesus going on before, of course.

You see, the recent shooting of Congressman Gabriel Giffords is the fault specifically of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party, and of Republicans in general, because they have created an atmosphere of violence because of their rhetoric. And who is leading us out against this foe? MSNBC's Keith Olberman.

In fact, Olberman is so excited about the extreme rhetoric, he's marching as to war:
If Sarah Palin, whose website put and today scrubbed bulls-eye targets on 20 representatives, including Gabby Giffords does not repudiate her own part - however tangential in amplifying violence and violent imagery in American politics - she must be dismissed from politics. She must be repudiated by the members of her own party. And if they fail to do so, each one of them must be judged to have silently defended this tactic that today proved so awfully foretelling.
Yes, Olberman wants to raise a might army until Satan's host doth flee. And although Olberman is one of those who is leading this mighty army against the conservative foe, he is far from the only one raising his voice: many have joined this happy throng, blaming Palin and other conservatives for the shooting.

“People tend to pooh-pooh this business about all the vitriol we hear inflaming the American public by people who make a living off of doing that," said Clarence Dupnik, sheriff of Pima County, Arizona. "That may be free speech, but it's not without consequences.”

"Right now, the conduct of politics and political campaigns too easily slides from lively debate to destructive competition in ways large and small," says Dan Balz of the Washington post, in a column blaming "inflammatory rhetoric" for the shooting.

And then there is E. J. Dionne, his voice blending with the song of the other liberal soldiers: "[I]t is incontestable that significant parts of the American far right have adopted a language of revolutionary violence in the name of overthrowing 'tyranny.'"

These are people who attribute every problem, not to individuals, where it belongs, but to some structural inadequacy in society. There is no sin, remember. Sin is individual. But there is evil, although evil is always corporate. This is why Olberman could not just blame Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is an individual. He had to expand the blame to include the Tea Party and the Republicans.

But this is still not enough for some liberals. "The reality is everyone bears some responsibility," says Balz, "from politicians to political operatives to the media to ordinary Americans."

It takes a village to explain why bad things happen.

This is why every time someone walks into the school with a gun, we have to suffer the indignity of liberal journalists asking, "How could this have happened?" And then we have to endure pious sermons about the how we need more security in schools and how we need better gun laws.

For liberals, evil is not a human problem it's a policy question.

In fact, the interesting thing about these kinds of responses is that they seldom have much to do with what actually caused the crime. They simply become another excuse to lecture us on the fact that we need bigger, more intrusive government to keep us safe.

It isn't the guy who shot Giffords who is to blame: it's society.

When Jared Loughner goes before a judge, what is he going to say? "Your honor, I am not guilty. I shot her, but society is guilty of this crime, not me"?

If he does, don't blame him for it. Blame the silly secular liberals who said the exact same thing on the pages of newspapers across the country. Not individually of course. We'll blame them as a group.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

So does this mean we can't hold a culture of death responsible in part for particular instances of abortion or euthanasia? Or an increasingly sexualized culture responsible for a higher teen pregnancy rate or marital failure?

Martin Cothran said...

Interesting question. I would say, for one thing, that a "culture of death" is not a group of people; it is an attitude or worldview that some people have. And an attitude or worldview cannot be said to "responsible" in the sense of being blameworthy (except in the most abstract sense), since only individuals can be said to be blameworthy.

I think your implicit point is that conservatives could be charged with the same kind of thing I am accusing liberals of here, in which case I would say you are partly right, but I don't think this tendency comes from their conservatism, but rather from the influence of the secular liberalism they have imbibed from the culture around them--which, by the way, cannot be blamed for that

Anonymous said...

Interesting technique, treating Congressman Gabrielle Giffords as a Congressman named Gabrial. Perhaps designed to make readers uneasy with gender-neutrality in preparation for the later passport-related post?

Also, your brief but lovely earlier post expressing your sorrow at the news of an attempt to assassinate a duly elected government official in your own country and the successful murder of six of God's children seems to have been accidentally deleted. If you can repost it, I'd love to forward it to my friends.

Martin Cothran said...

Ah, I see I have offended another liberal sensibility: expressing abstract grief for people one knows little or nothing about.

I'm sure if I believed that human beings were merely abstract entities, I could gather up the effort and express abstract sympathy for them. But I happen to think better of them than that, and I'm sure Congressman Gifford deserves more than that.

I know there are people out there who feel better when they publicly express sympathy that they cannot possibly have for people they do not know, but I have always been unclear on exactly how that helps the person to whom the false sympathy is being directed.

Those of us who believe that prayer (which involves a simple petition, but which fortunately does not rely for its effectiveness on strength of feeling) don't think there is a particular need to express it publicly.

Of course I am sorry in an abstract sense that this happened, and I pray that the people and their families are comforted in their very real grief, and hope that it doesn't happen again. And I know that if I actually knew these people I too would experience the kind of real grief they feel; but the human condition is constrained to such an extent that we are unfortunately not able to really experience feelings for those who are not a part of our own communities.

To the liberal of course, this kind of talk is of its nature offensive, since they are so caught up in abstractions that they really think there is such a thing, for example, as a "global community" in which we can have all the things we really do have in a real community--like sympathy for others who are in it. But as Wendell Berry has said, "All community is local."

I know the liberal ideology requires you to believe in such abstractions, and that sheer good intentions count for everything, and that calling them up gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. I hope you enjoy it.

Oh, and you have my permission to forward this comment on to your friends.

Anonymous said...

Wow.

I do hope you'll share that comment with your students as a model of how to discuss a woman being shot through the head as a public issue.

It's also an impressive illustration of how a citizen responds to an attack on his own government.

Most of all, from a Christian perspective, it may really be unequalled as an example of how to contribute to civic life.

Wow.

Martin Cothran said...

Yeah, I guess I should have just tried to use her death to score cheap partisan political points like Dionne and others. I guess that would have been more sympathetic and respectful.

Anonymous said...

Well played, sir, well played.

After all, this is merely a game, and you've scored an excellent point.

Of course, if you thought your work had a deeper worldly purpose than scoring points, or you thought the if the sight of your good works might sometimes lead others to give God the glory He is due, you might view all of this differently.

You might, but far be it from me to insist.

By all means, back to the verbal tennis.

Your serve.

Martin Cothran said...

Uh, let's see, you come on my blog anonymously, I answer your first post in what I consider and thoughtful and respectful manner, and then you accuse me of some sort of ulterior motive in the misspelling of the congressman's name, and then basically accuse me of being uncaring because I did not publicly wring my hands over what happened (my post having to do with the political commentary that resulted from the incident, not with the incident itself).

Then, to top it off, you question my motives, and then accuse me of playing verbal tennis.

I don't mind engaging in eristic (what you call "verbal tennis") on this blog, since that's the reason so many commenters show up here. But I try not to question people's motives or attribute evil intent to them. Sometimes I think they're wrong, and I point that out. I keep my comments on point.

And I pretty much take all comers.

I even allow people like you, protected from any real accountability by their anonymity, to question my motives and make personal attacks.

It's just kind of strange for you, after having done that, to imply that I was somehow conducted the discussion unfairly.

Anonymous said...

Never "unfairly." Reading Rawls in my youth left a terrible aftertaste, so I try never to make that the center of my concern.

My goal has been to draw you out, and to clarify yur thinking about leaping directly into the political struggle without a pause to consider the deaths and injuries.

You've been very helpful in showing that you had principled reasons for your approach. It's certainly not a widely shared approach to ignore murder so completely, but you needn't follow the beaten path on this sort of thing.

Plus, I'd never noticed before that you can debate at length in a way that would make a one time reader think you as irreligious as Ayn Rand. You've showcased that particular skill unusually well this evening.

To be clear, your principles are not ones I find appealing, and your skill at strictly secular argument is not one I'd want to deploy in this sort of situation even if I had your talent.

Still, it's been fascinating to learn how thoughtfully you've worked out your commitment to avoid any sign of.concern over the wounds and sorrows of those you have not met.

Singring said...

Gabrielle Giffords and innocent bystanders including a child were shot at point blank range, in broad daylight by an obviously deranged gunman in a horrific, traumatizing, senseless tragedy.

Gabrielle Giffords was named and 'targeted' in the sights of a cross-hair by a political candidate who told her followers to 'reload'. Gabrielle Giffords opponent held a campaign event in which he invited his constituents to fire an M16 with him. Loughner apparently legally owned a high-powered gun capable of firng 31 rounds a clip.

The above facts are not that frightening.

What IS frightening is that there are many people in the US, Martin obviously included, who think that there is nothing wrong with his the country and its political discourse.

These are just normal things that happen as a consequence of individual sin, he says. There is simply no way of preventing this sort of evil, he says, so it may as well just be allowed to go ahead. After all, nobody is to blame but the gunman.

Not the parents, not the school, not the teachers, not his friends, not social services, not the gun shops, not the angry radio hosts.

As anonymous mentioned before, this is objectivism in its purest form - why should I care about what some deranged kid does? Let's give him a gun, fill him with conspiracy theories until his brain flows over, isolate and abandon him, then let him go off and do whatever he chooses to do and go back to business as usual and forget this ever happened...that's how we solve the problems of society the Martin Cothran way.

Lee said...

> What IS frightening is that there are many people in the US, Martin obviously included, who think that there is nothing wrong with his the country and its political discourse.

Who thinks this? Do you have any quotes?

Lee said...

> Let's give him a gun, fill him with conspiracy theories until his brain flows over, isolate and abandon him, then let him go off and do whatever he chooses to do and go back to business as usual and forget this ever happened.

Perhaps conservatives should show civility and decorum in politics the same way liberals do, by imputing incitement to murder to those who disagree with them?

Lee said...

> Ah, I see I have offended another liberal sensibility: expressing abstract grief for people one knows little or nothing about.

Liberals love humanity in the abstract. It's people they can't stand.

It's the other way around for me. I can't stand humanity. But there are lots of people I actually like. :)

Lee said...

Martin, it's a sin, you know, to score more points than the people who are trying to score points against you. Just so you know.

One Brow said...

Lee said...
Perhaps conservatives should show civility and decorum in politics the same way liberals do, by imputing incitement to murder to those who disagree with them?

Did you realize that happened in the shooting this post refers to?

Lee said...

> Did you realize that happened in the shooting this post refers to?

What I realized was that Sarah Palin and the Tea Party were being blamed for what happened. I saw it in person on NBC News. I saw it in an editorial run by the New York Times. I read about it in a Paul Krugman column. With every accusation, some veiled, some not so veiled, came the obligatory tut-tutting about how the level of political discourse is descending.

Yeah. No fooling. You can't even disagree with liberals without having them blame you for some murderous rampage performed by an isolated nut job.

Compare and contrast all that with the media's treatment of the Army shooting last year. At that time, the usual suspects were urging us not to "rush to conclusions" about the motives of Major Hassan. He was, apparently, an isolated nut job, even though he consorted with known advocates of terror.

Where was the NY Times when GW Bush was getting death threats from the left?

http://www.binscorner.com/pages/d/death-threats-against-bush-at-protests-i.html

Anonymous said...

>>I would say, for one thing, that a "culture of death" is not a group of people; it is an attitude or worldview that some people have. And an attitude or worldview cannot be said to "responsible" in the sense of being blameworthy (except in the most abstract sense), since only individuals can be said to be blameworthy."

So the culture of death is not responsible for increased rates of abortion? The sexual revolution is not responsible for the deterioration of marriages?

Thomas said...

I believe Krugman's point, which is a good one, is that while both sides are petty, the right has recently been the one employing violent rhetoric. Glenn Beck fantasized about strangling Michael Moore and watching him die, as well as poisoning Nancy Pelosi. He also equated "progressive hunters" with "Nazi hunters", and warned of "rivers of blood" if the values he believes in are not kept by the nation. Dick Morris suggested that "crazies" in Montana might have good reason to murder ATF agents. There were chants at Palin rallies of "he's [Obama's] a terrorist" and "kill him", and the Secret Service issued warnings that her rhetoric had caused a sharp rise in assassination threats (at least two of which were actually attempted against Obama) to the degree that the McCain campaign told her to tone it down. That's not even getting into the blogs; redstate.com ran a post that suggested that people should go to their state representatives house and beat them to "a bloody pulp".

A common theme at Tea Party rallies was that they would win with "the ballot box" or "the cartridge box" (a theme drawn from Malcom X, apparently). Since they didn't win at the ballot box in Gifford's district, presumably they would not have a problem with winning with bullets.

Fortunately, the right doesn't believe its own rhetoric. If it did, the only problem they could really have with shooting Giffords would be that it was done for the wrong reason or that bystanders were hit.

Lee said...

> I believe Krugman's point, which is a good one, is that while both sides are petty, the right has recently been the one employing violent rhetoric.

"Recently" is a weasel word. Did he actually point to a specific phrase uttered by anyone?

Obama spoke about a political struggle not too long ago. "If they bring a knife, we bring a gun." How recent does it have to be to count?

Glen Beck is a cross I have to bear. Krugman is all yours. E.g.,

> "it’s the saturation of our political discourse — and especially our airwaves — with eliminationist rhetoric that lies behind the rising tide of violence."

"Eliminationist". He means eliminationist. Like, you know, killing people. If the airwaves are saturated with eliminationist rhetoric, then it shouldn't be too hard to come up with some examples from the likely suspects -- apparently, Palin, Limbaugh, etc.

By the way, this is the same man, Krugman, who suggested that hanging Joe Lieberman in effigy was a rollicking fun thing to do at a party of progressives. And actually did this at one of his own parties.

And I have to listen to a lecture about overheated, "eliminationist" rhetoric from *him*?

> There were chants at Palin rallies of "he's [Obama's] a terrorist" and "kill him"

You have a source for this?

> the Secret Service issued warnings that her rhetoric had caused a sharp rise in assassination threats

How would the Secret Service know what caused a sharp rise in threats?

> Since they didn't win at the ballot box in Gifford's district, presumably they would not have a problem with winning with bullets.

So you think the Tea Party would be just fine with killing its political opponenents?

Follow the link I posted earlier and have a gander at the threats Bush received from the Left.

But somehow, violence in politics is restricted to conservatives.

Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Singring said...

Lee, please watch this clip. This was aired in prime time on Glenn Beck's show, which is one of the most followed 'commentary' shows watched in America today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNp9GSbFQhQ

Now, are you going to sit here and tell me that this is a perfectly reasonable way of portraying the elected leader of your country?

Are you?

Do you think it is sensible for Sharon Anglem, a candidate for Senate, one of the most important positions in US politics, to suggest her voters turn to 'second amendment remedies' if she isn't elected?

Is this what a sensible, rational political commentator talks like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NItZJmU3jWA

Sure, liberals were all over George Bush and called him anything from an idiot to Hitler - but Democratic candidates weren't going around telling their constituents to violently usurp the government, were they?

If Barack Obama tells people that he wants his followers to bring a gun to a knife-fight, he's an idiot. I don't like Obama much anyway. I would criticize left and right equally in this matter, if it were warranted by the evidence.

Show me any clip from Rachel Maddow or Keith Olberman using talk like that and I will eat my words.

Thomas said...

Lee,

I don't have much of a stake in the debate, since I'm not a liberal or a conservative (at least in the sense that Beck or Palin is a conservative). If you want to add up whether the left in general or the right in general has more bodies historically, the answer would probably be the left, thanks to charming folks like Stalin and Mao.

But the shooting of Rep. Giffords is an opportunity to reflect on our political discourse, and right now threats of violence are fairly widely accepted on the right. Beck is the worst of the most famous right-wing pundits, but it gets worse at the grass-roots tea party level.

This is a speech by a popular conservative radio talk show host and assistant in a Republican Campaign. "If ballots don't work, bullets will." Well, ballots didn't work in Gifford's district, she won a closely contested battle. If she (and those cheering her on) really believes what she's saying, she couldn't object to the attempted murder on Giffords, except perhaps that the shooter had the wrong motives or bad aim.

The theme of resorting to shootings if tea partiers are not elected was not isolated. Here's an example of a tea party candidate using the same theme.

The choice conservatives have to face is this: should the rhetoric which advocates shootings similar to that on Rep. Giffords have any place in the Republican mainstream, or should Republicans move that extremism to the fringes where it belongs?

Singring said...

'Where was the NY Times when GW Bush was getting death threats from the left?'

Good question. Where was it when Paul Krugman was getting death threats?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/sep/19/usa.internationaleducationnews

Obama gets death threats (in fact, according to the secret service, he is getting more than they have ever seen).

If you are a public figure, you get death threats. Fact. If you are a controversial public figure, you get even more death threats. Fact.

We are not discussing death threats from the public. They have always happened and will always happen, as sad as it may be. We are not talking about private conversations or parties. Who hasn't said to a friend, either in a heated converstion or as a morbid joke 'so and so deserves to get shot.'?

We are talking about public figures, extremely influential policy advocates and especially political candidates that are endorsing the hate, endorsing the anger, endorsing mistrust and endorsing violence. THAT is the problem. When you have people running for the house who run adds in which George Washington gravely entones 'gather your armies', you know something isn't right with your political landscape.

I do understand that it is easy to lose the perspective in a country that is politically so far to the right. But that's just the more reason to stop this madness before it really gets out of hand. I respect any conservative who holds rational, sound positions and works hard to get them accepted. I don't respect conservatives who say that if they lose the election, they will start a violent overthrow of the government because they didn't get their way. It's anti-democratic to begin with.

Lee said...

Thomas, my point is that the news media is horribly tendentious. When the NYT, Krugman, et. al. condemned the violent imagery of a lot of conservative rhetoric, it took conservatives about two minutes to post with numerous examples of liberals doing the same thing, using the same sort of rhetoric. And in the case of Krugman, a liberal who is especially repulsed by such imagery when used by conservatives, but doesn't mind using it himself.

Add in the fact that their reaction a year ago to the Army shooting was to "not rush to judgment", which is exactly what they did on Palin and the Tea Party. It's one thing to find a few crazies at a rally talking like goons. It's another to have an entire body of work, like radical Islam, forthrightly dedicated to the overthrow of Western governments. And Hasan had terrorist ties and had been heard talking the talk of jihad. But with Hasan, NYT urges caution and deliberation; Palin and the Tea Party don't even get the same benefit of the doubt as a mass murderer.

The evidence so far points to the killer, Loughner, as being a lone crazy. If that turns out to be truly the case, then in my opinion, NYT needs to walk back their litany of charges. As for Krugman, he should either apologize for criticizing Tea Partiers for violent imagery, or he should apologize for using it. It isn't right when Krugman does it and wrong when right-wingers do it.

I get very, very tired of the double standard.

As for the other commenters, I have never heard of the radio commentator to whom you linked. No question, the Right needs to police its own ranks. I wish the Left felt the same compunction. I can point you to comments made by Markos Moulitzas (Daily Kos), e.g., that in my opinion ought to raise the hairs on the back of any decent person's neck. But he's a rock star.

Thomas said...

As I said, I don't have a dog in this fight. The thing I think is disturbing is that people seem to be more up in arms over who's being hypocritical than they do over influential political figures suggesting shootings will occur should people not vote the right way.

Hopefully we can at least agree that violent rhetoric on both sides should be marginalized, and that that's more important than pointing fingers.

One Brow said...

Lee said...
Thomas, my point is that the news media is horribly tendentious. When the NYT, Krugman, et. al. condemned the violent imagery of a lot of conservative rhetoric, it took conservatives about two minutes to post with numerous examples of liberals doing the same thing, using the same sort of rhetoric.

Ecept, they haven't found the equivalent rhetoric. Tea partiers have suggested that if they don't win at the ballot box, they need to get out their guns and start shooting (in various ways, by different people). You don't find similar rhetoric on the left.

I don't think Palin's target map was over the line. But it was not the most egregious example from the right.

Lee said...

> Ecept, they haven't found the equivalent rhetoric. Tea partiers have suggested that if they don't win at the ballot box, they need to get out their guns and start shooting (in various ways, by different people). You don't find similar rhetoric on the left.

Yes, there is similar rhetoric on the Left that is every bit as bad. See my comment on the more recent post by Martin. I'm sure you would like that to not be the case, but as Reagan said, facts are stupid things.

Lee said...

> Hopefully we can at least agree that violent rhetoric on both sides should be marginalized, and that that's more important than pointing fingers.

I'm not ready quite yet to declare war (pardon the violent rhetoric) on metaphors. At least not all of them. The word "campaign", after all, has military roots. If Sarah Palin, and the Democratic National Committee, want to draw targets on contested districts, that's fine. If they want to stop doing that, that's fine too.

I'm all for a spirited debate. Should we be more civil? No doubt. But a poor way to show civility in political discourse is to accuse those on the other side of being hateful accessories to murder, even while lecturing the other side on civility.

But before we go banning it, maybe we ought to define it. So far, it looks like the definition, as far as the NYT is concerned, is any offensive remarks made on the Right.

One Brow said...

Lee said...
Yes, there is similar rhetoric on the Left that is every bit as bad.

Calling for people to have their guns ready, in case the elections are lost, is worse. It's stepping right up to the line of actually fomenting violence.

This message has been lost in the discussion of metaphors, I agree. But there is a difference between a metaphor and a call to action.

Lee said...

> There were chants at Palin rallies of "he's [Obama's] a terrorist" and "kill him", and the Secret Service issued warnings that her rhetoric had caused a sharp rise in assassination threats...

What's your source for this, Thomas? Because here's what I found:

> The tactic of blaming Palin for "racist anger" toward Obama developed as a theme during the fall campaign, evidently based on post hoc ergo propter hoc thinking within Team Obama. Threats against Obama increased as the campaign heated up after Labor Day, and since this followed the Aug. 29 announcement of the Alaska governor as Republican running mate, Palin herself was scapegoated.

> That claim was distilled in a November article in the London Daily Telegraph with the misleading headline, "Sarah Palin blamed by the US Secret Service over death threats against Barack Obama."

> The Secret Service never said any such thing and the Telegraph's story didn't actually say that they had said it. Rather, Telegraph reporter Tim Shipman was paraphrasing a Newsweek account of the campaign that quoted Obama adviser Gregory Craig in mid-October expressing concern about "the frenzied atmosphere at the Palin rallies." The same paragraph of the Newsweek story asserted (without attribution) that the Obama campaign had been "provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and very disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October."

> It was the Obama campaign, not the Secret Service, which suggested a connection between the "frenzied atmosphere" around Palin and the threats. Obama himself appeared to believe there was such a connection, raising it in his final debate with John McCain.

> That accusation evidently stemmed from an Oct. 14 newspaper report that an audience member at a Palin rally in Scranton, Pa., shouted "kill him" when Obama's name was mentioned. The Secret Service investigated but was unable to corroborate that account, as Newsweek subsequently reported, and yet the alleged threat has entered the colloquial what-everybody-knows version of the campaign.

In short, if the article is correct, it would appear that the Secret Service's judgment that Palin's rhetoric was resulting in increased threats was a figment of someone's imagination.

Lee said...

Sorry, forgot to post the link.

http://spectator.org/archives/2008/12/23/rousing-the-rabble/print

We've been talking a lot about "violent" rhetoric in this thread and another, and it seems to me there is another type of rhetoric that is equally, if more insidiously, objectionable. And that is the rush to slander a disliked group (in this case, conservatives) for cheap political points.

Both types of rhetoric are forms of hatred. (Lots of things, I think, are forms of hatred that we don't normally associate with hatred. Impatience, for example, is a mild form of hatred. Ever cursed someone out in traffic for cutting you off?) In the "violent" rhetoric we've been discussing, it's sort of a mild form of murder. Someone feels the murderous impulse at least enough to utter the thought, and the thought is father to the deed. You have committed the act if it's in your heart. I think Jesus said something very similar to that.

Analogously, I think the Left's attempts to paint the Right as culpable for Loughrin's acts is a milder form of another commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness. It's not that Loughrin was inspired, e.g., by Palin's rhetoric; the Left was just hoping he was.

Thomas said...

If you're asking for proof that Palin supporters called Obama a terrorist, there are plenty of videos of that online.

So far as the connection between Palin's rhetoric and the death threats, your article claims the Telegraph did not allege that the Secret Service connected the increased level of death threats with Palin's rhetoric. However, the Telegraph article says: "The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin's attacks."

So within the Tea Party movement one finds the following views: Obama is or could likely be a terrorist, if the movement loses at the ballot box they are permitted to win "with bullets", etc. If those views are acceptable, it would be little surprise that death threats would become more common.

Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lee said...

> If you're asking for proof that Palin supporters called Obama a terrorist, there are plenty of videos of that online.

While I don't deny those things have probably happened, there is also ample proof of left-wingers infiltrating Tea Party rallies and doing these things to make Tea Partiers look bad.

And, to balance that off, did you see the link I posted earlier to pictures of left-wing groups demonstrating, with pictures of Bush being hanged, or shot in the forehead?

I'm not denying these things happen on the Right, and I'm not arguing that it's a good thing. I am arguing, and have been arguing all along, that both sides are to blame, and it's impossible to say whether one side or the other is worse in that area. They should both be ashamed of themselves.

> "The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin's attacks."

Yep. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. I asked earlier how the Secret Service could know Palin was responsible for the increased threats. The short answer is, they can't know.

They can't even know for certain that right-wingers made them. Left-wingers understand perfectly well how to make right-wingers look bad.

> So within the Tea Party movement one finds the following views: Obama is or could likely be a terrorist, if the movement loses at the ballot box they are permitted to win "with bullets", etc. If those views are acceptable, it would be little surprise that death threats would become more common.

I consider myself a Tea Partier, and I do not believe Obama is a terrorist or that we should "win with bullets." Nor do those with whom I associate. No more than your typical liberal wants to shoot Bush in the forehead or rip Dick Cheney's heart out.

Lee said...

And while we're on the subject, how's this for violent rhetoric?

http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/2011/01/16/blast-from-the-green-past/

Obviously, with global warming doubters, the thing to do is to blow them to pieces.

Singring said...

'http://pajamasmedia.com/tatler/2011/01/16/blast-from-the-green-past/'

Those ads are reprehensible - but it does not surprise me. It appears to be a British ad and they have a 'particular' sense of humour.

In your efforts at scratching the very bottom of teh barrel, now 'the left' is synonomous with 'GW advocates'. This is again symptomatic of your complete ignorance of anything and everything that happens outside the borders of your home country, as befits a Tea Partier.

Maybe you should consider that in Europe, virtually every single conservative party, including the Christian Democrats in Germany and the Tories in Britain completely and utterly accept GW as real and caused by humans, because science is completely and utterly in support of the notion that this is so. If you had one iota of information on the subject you would know that Germany, under the government of Angela Merkel, head of the Christian Democrats, jhas been one of the strongest advoocates for binding emission reductions at the European and global levels.

So you see, outside of your little circle of scientifically illiterate conspiracy theorist friends in the US, conservatives in the rest of the Western world are very much 'GW advocates'.

P.S.: If the violent rhetoric on the left and right are the same, how come the vast majority of domestic terrorism in the US is and has been conducted by the right? Is it somehow because right-wingers are inherently more violent than left-wingers. Seems like nonsense to me, but that is the concusion you are stuck with.

Lee said...

> In your efforts at scratching the very bottom of teh barrel, now 'the left' is synonomous with 'GW advocates'.

Synonymous? No. I would say, however, that GW advocates are a subset of the Left. Not all leftists are warmer activists, but practically all warmer activists are leftists. I don't know of any exceptions. Wait. Little Green Footballs used to be conservative. Aside from him. In this country.

> If the violent rhetoric on the left and right are the same, how come the vast majority of domestic terrorism in the US is and has been conducted by the right?

You mean, like the Weathermen? Black Panthers? Bill Ayers? Symbionese Liberation Army? The Unibomber? The greenies who bomb trees and cripple or kill loggers?

Lee said...

I thought this was worth sharing.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/times-loses-it_533697.html

P.J. O'Rourke: "Editorialized the Times: “It is legitimate to hold Republicans and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger that has produced the vast majority of these threats.” Interesting how a few small changes would make that sentence appall the Times as much as the Times appalls me: “It is legitimate to hold Muslims and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger that has produced 9/11.”