lying in beds you made
There are two types of Tea Partiers/hardcore conservatives right now: those who are blaming everyone else for the attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, and those who are issuing "it's such a tragedy" missives from their oak desks while privately thinking "...but maybe a few of those liberals will think twice from now on." It doesn't really matter; they both have blood on their hands, and nobody should be afraid to say it.
Of course, it was a deranged fucktard who actually pulled the trigger, but anyone not looking at this in context is either an imbecile or in a coma. Even your most repugnant Republican blowhard assmonkey will be backpedaling furiously over the next week or so, no doubt bemoaning "how low the level of discourse has sunk" in this country, even though they're the cynical bastards that dragged it there.
But even that contains a false equivalency. "Discourse" implies two parties who are participating equally, when the fact is that Republicans and conservatives have knowingly and repeatedly brought up gunplay, violence, 2nd-amendment remedies and the kind of dehumanizing vilification that conjures up only one solution. The dangerously moronic Sarah Palin, as many of you already know, put a gun crosshairs on Giffords' district, and crybaby twat John Boehner said his opponent "may be a dead man" after voting for Obama's health plan.
You have to go pretty goddamn far into liberal arcana to find anything remotely resembling that kind of wink-nudge assassination rhetoric of the Right, probably as far back as Leon Czolgosz, but just the obscurity of that name should speak volumes. Instead, American assassinations look something like this:
• Huey Long, populist Senator from Louisiana, shot in 1935
• Albert Patterson, democrat-elect Alabama Atty. General, shot 1954
• JFK, shot 1963
• MLK, shot 1968
• RFK, shot 1968
• Harvey Milk and George Moscone, shot in 1978
• Allard Lowenstein, Democrat NY-5, shot 1980
• Tommy Burks, Democrat from Tennessee HR, shot by his Republican opponent, 1998
• Bill Gwatney, Chair of Arkansas Democratic Party, shot 2008
• and now judge John Roll and others surrounding Democrat Gabrielle Giffords on Saturday.
A few things about this list - successful assassinations in this country are, thankfully, quite rare. Which is good for progressives, because we're always the motherfuckers getting shot. Sure, both sides have their "crazies", but nine times out of ten, conservative crazies play for keeps.
No doubt I'll get the usual emails from right-wingers telling me about Central America and socialist leftists, but please do me a favor and fuck off. Writers with journalistic integrity are not allowed to say what I can, what pretty much every progressive already knows: your side is obsessed with binary equations of good and evil, violent revolution, religious fundamentalism, and view each act of kindness to those less fortunate as an attack on your precious rights, punishable by automatic weaponry.
Hell, I jokingly tried to give you your own country: Gunland!. And it wasn't prescience, it was obvious to me in August 2009 when I wrote "the Republican Party is revealed for what it has become: asinine, backwards, hypocritical enemies of progress who probably wouldn't mind a lone gunman doing their dirty work for them." And then there was that whole entry fretting about this possibility a couple of years ago. And I'm no goddamn Nostradamus for sure.
Those who say "guns don't kill people, people do" miss the sunrise and sunset. The right wing, aided by unlimited cash and cable news networks, has pushed the goalposts of dialogue so far away from reality that they win every game before it's played. But in their frothing haste, they forget an important element: it's not just the normal folks who move with the goalposts, it's the lunatics as well. What used to be their quietly-held thought has now become a cause worth killing for.
Tell you what, Palins and Angles and Boehners and Becks of the world... you get to use bullseye targets, cute 2nd amendment jokes, racist comparisons to the Civil War, and speak hauntingly of the "tree of liberty" being fed "with the blood of tyrants" IF you also claim partial credit for the whackjobs who take you seriously. If not, you're just another coward grinning ghoulishly from a safe, grassy knoll.
Posted by Ian Williams at January 9, 2011 11:44 PM
Feel free to retract the whole of this post whenever you get around to it, dickface. It's not like we need anymore of you diseased types infecting your fellow lemmings with your complete lack of a factual basis for any goddamned thing you said here.
"Hey man, it's Jared. Me and you had good times. Peace out. Later."
That was it. But later in the day, when Tierney first heard about the Tucson massacre, he had a sickening feeling: "They hadn't released the name, but I said, 'Holy shit, I think it's Jared that did it.'" Tierney tells Mother Jones in an exclusive interview that Loughner held a years-long grudge against Giffords and had repeatedly derided her as a "fake." Loughner's animus toward Giffords intensified after he attended one of her campaign events and she did not, in his view, sufficiently answer a question he had posed, Tierney says.
On Sunday, federal prosecutors charged 22-year-old Loughner with one count of attempting to assassinate a member of Congress, two counts of unlawfully killing a federal employee, and two counts of attempting to kill a federal employee. Giffords was the target of Loughner's rampage, prosecutors say, and the sworn affidavit accompanying the charges mentions that Loughner attended a Giffords "Congress in Your Corner" event in 2007. The affidavit also mentions that police searching a safe in Loughner's home found a letter from Giffords' office thanking the alleged shooter for attending an August 25, 2007 event.*
Tierney, who's also 22, recalls Loughner complaining about a Giffords event he attended during that period. He's unsure whether it was the same one mentioned in the charges—Loughner "might have gone to some other rallies," he says—but Tierney notes it was a significant moment for Loughner: "He told me that she opened up the floor for questions and he asked a question. The question was, 'What is government if words have no meaning?'"
Giffords' answer, whatever it was, didn't satisfy Loughner. "He said, 'Can you believe it, they wouldn't answer my question,' and I told him, 'Dude, no one's going to answer that,'" Tierney recalls. "Ever since that, he thought she was fake, he had something against her."
Tierney says he has "no clue" why Loughner might have "shot all those other people." But, he notes, "when I heard Gabrielle Giffords has been shot, I was like 'Oh my God...' For some reason I felt like I knew...I felt like if anyone was going to shoot her, it would be Jared."
I'm missing the part where the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Fox News entered the equation of the guy holding a personal grudge against Gifford for over a year before Palin was ever named to McCain's ticket.
You can fix this or I'll just assume you're the coward from your own grassy knoll.
I agree with you (and Paul Krugman) that the largest share of the blame belongs to the right.
BUT - I disagree strongly with this (from Krugman's Sunday OP-ED piece):
"It’s important to be clear here about the nature of our sickness. It’s not a general lack of 'civility,' the favorite term of pundits who want to wish away fundamental policy disagreements. Politeness may be a virtue, but there’s a big difference between bad manners and calls, explicit or implicit, for violence; insults aren’t the same as incitement.
The point is that there’s room in a democracy for people who ridicule and denounce those who disagree with them; there isn’t any place for eliminationist rhetoric, for suggestions that those on the other side of a debate must be removed from that debate by whatever means necessary."
Does the right deserve most of the blame? YES - HELL YES, even.
But does anyone really believe that the left deserves NONE of the blame?
The toxic political culture hell of today is the direct result of the last two decades of "caustic rhetoric and mockery" that BOTH SIDES have wallowed in and continually escalated.
Insults lead to incitement as surely as incitement leads to violence. That's the true nature of our sickness. It's time for us to put an end to it - unilaterally, if necessary.
Ending the era of the personal attack is important for 3 reasons:
1) It's dangerous:
2) It's counter-productive at a time when the problems we face are just too fucking important to defer any longer; and
3) It's childish.
We have to stop insulting, ridiculing, denouncing and demonizing our opponents. They are PEOPLE with whom we disagree. They love their children and their country just as we do. That we disagree with them about vital issues doesn't change that.
Somebody's got to be the adult. Does anyone really think the right is capable of doing that?
dean, you're right. There are plenty of left wing crazies, too.
Who CARES which side has more crazies? Or threw the first insult? Call it a draw. Call it The Battle of Who Could Care Less. But call it OVER.
"All we can do is call them crazies, try to stay sane, and serve as better examples for the people around us."
Good things all, dean. We do need to do those things. Those things will help a lot.
But WE CAN DO MORE - and we have to, if we want some kind of win-win.
We can admit we didn't always do those things in the past. I sure didn't, and I don't know anyone who did. Mea Culpa.
We can also say we did things in the past which helped to create this toxic enviroment (eg insults). For the record - I sure did. I've insulted a lot of people on the right over the years, mostly because I felt they'd insulted me first. That was a mistake. I should've just called them on it and moved on.
Then we can publicly say we don't want to do those things anymore. Again, for the record - I won't sling insults at the right anymore. Even in response to insults someone may sling at me.
Moving forward, we can agree to disagree - and then TAKE A FRAKKING VOTE ON IT. No insults beforehand. No hard feelings afterwards; instead, move on to the next issue. Easier said than done, surely. (I'm pretty sure I'll be using the backspace key more now).
But grown-ups can do it. I've seen it happen. And really, it'll be more fun and less boring than what we've been doing.