Tag Archives: Loughner

The Land of Make-Believe

12 Jan

While explaining how bad it is to “politicize” the attempted assassination of a politician by a madman with odd political views, the right wing has further politicized it by trying to create a “Loughner was a leftist” meme.  Have it both ways, you can’t.

With that said, one would have hoped that a bullet going through the skull of a congresswoman targeted by a hit list may have given people pause and contributed to a soul-searching about violent rhetoric that’s been quite popular on the right, especially in the last year.

No such luck.

Instead, the right has denied, denied, denied that (a) its rhetoric was in any way overheated;  (b) that overheated, violent rhetoric is perfectly ok; and (c) the left is as bad if not worse.  Oh, well.  We all know that this right here is absolutely what happened on Sunday.  Attempts at equivalency have been uniformly lame and unpersuasive, pointing to apologized-for Olbermannian metaphors, or Obama quoting from the Untouchables (ignoring the fact that, in that particular instance, the other side would have already come armed with knives).

Since it’s clear that the right wing absolutely refuses to accept any blame for anything, ever, here are some handy tips provided by Josh Marshall for what ought to be generally acceptable political behavior.  Conservatives are welcome to ignore them, I suppose, since there’s nothing wrong with any of it, or because the left-did-it-too-but-there’s-really-no-proof-of-that.

1. Refrain from telling supporters that winning the election may require active exercise of their “second amendment” rights.

2. Refrain from suggesting it’s time for “armed revolution”, even if Thomas Jefferson once kinda sorta suggested that.

3. Refrain from holding political fundraisers focused around use of automatic weapons, especially target practices with initials, name or images of your political opponent.

4. Refrain from telling supporters you want them to be “armed and dangerous.”

5. Refrain from making campaign posters with opponent’s head in gun sights.

6. Refrain from saying that bullets will work if ballots don’t.

7. Suggest that supporters not bring weapons to opponents’ political rallies.

All seven of those examples are genuine things that happened in 2010.  There was no problem whatsoever in 2010.  The Republicans are going all Barbrady on everyone’s ass.

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Say what you will about the Buffalo News, but its editorial yesterday was exactly on target.

…with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham and Fox News taking up the cudgel. Today, no slander is too vile, no lie too pernicious to be leveled as conservatives, in and out of government, thrash at President Obama and his agenda. Coulter calls Democrats treasonous. Sarah Palin says the health reform law creates “death panels.” Her website put cross hairs on the districts of elected officials she was targeting for defeat. One was Giffords’.

It happens in New York, too. Last year’s Republican gubernatorial candidate, Carl Paladino, repeatedly charged over the line in criticizing his opponent Andrew M. Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and even former Republican Gov. George E. Pataki.

Against that onslaught, the liberal insults of Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow seem almost benign, though some on the left have this in common with their right-wing adversaries: They, too, have a stake in casting issues as black and white, driving the sides further apart and making compromise ever more difficult. Why didn’t Republicans work to improve last year’s health care reform bill instead of working to subvert it? Because in the current climate there is no percentage in making government work.

There’s a lot of sowing, but not enough reaping.  I sure wish that the Republican mainstream would stop egging dummies on with rhetoric that basically equates Obama and the Democrats with SatanHitlerMao, but they won’t because it helps shore up the whackjob vote they apparently so desperately need.  I sure wish that the Republican mainstream would stop fetishizing guns in conjunction with their “the other side is a bunch of death-panel-making commienazi” rhetoric, but to do so might mean that they’d have to participate in a government with Democratic majorities.

Let’s just put it this way – it’d be swell if no more lawmakers were shot through the head.  Have a great day!

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