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WORDS MATTER 2: The Consequences of Eliminationist Rhetoric

January 10th, 2011 by Celeste Fremon


There are all kinds of other topics that need discussing, but they will have to wait until Tuesday as, for better or for worse, the Tucson shooting, and the issues that swirl around it, still demand to be front and center.


In his Monday column Paul Krugman talks about what he calls “eliminationist rhetoric.”

I don’t know if he coined the phrase or has just appropriated it. Whatever the case, it goes to the heart of what is problematic in a certain kind of political speech that has come out of the weeds and into the open these past few years. It is not the fiery rhetoric that has been part of politics since the country’s founding, rather it is another darker strain of partisan vitriol that characterizes one’s opponents, not as the loyal opposition, but as monsters.

Here’s a clip from Krugman’s column:

….As Clarence Dupnik, the sheriff responsible for dealing with the Arizona shootings, put it, it’s “the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business.” The vast majority of those who listen to that toxic rhetoric stop short of actual violence, but some, inevitably, cross that line.

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.

The NY Times Monday editorial has this to say:

Jared Loughner, the man accused of shooting Ms. Giffords, killing a federal judge and five other people, and wounding 13 others, appears to be mentally ill. His paranoid Internet ravings about government mind control place him well beyond usual ideological categories.

But he is very much a part of a widespread squall of fear, anger and intolerance that has produced violent threats against scores of politicians and infected the political mainstream with violent imagery. With easy and legal access to semiautomatic weapons like the one used in the parking lot, those already teetering on the edge of sanity can turn a threat into a nightmare.

Last spring, Capitol security officials said threats against members of Congress had tripled over the previous year, almost all from opponents of health care reform. An effigy of Representative Frank Kratovil Jr., a Maryland Democrat, was hung from a gallows outside his district office. Ms. Giffords’s district office door was smashed after the health vote, possibly by a bullet.

And there is this from the Wall Street Journal:

Jim Gilchrist, who founded the immigration-law enforcement group Minuteman Project, said he sensed a “violent streak” in American politics and brought a bodyguard to public events. “I am in fear of my life from people like this who are on my side of the argument,” as well as from extremists “from the ultra-left,” Mr. Gilchrist said.

As signs emerged that the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, was a disturbed loner, party leaders weren’t suggesting any direct link between specific political statements and his actions. Authorities haven’t commented on possible motives.

But the shootings appear to be yielding the kind of ruminations on civility and violence not seen since domestic terrorists blew up the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995. Some lawmakers and liberal activists implored President Obama to use the moment the way President Bill Clinton did in 1995, not only to call for national unity but to denounce a political culture of violence…..

….In the run-up to the November elections, Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle talked of “second amendment remedies” to voter frustrations.

Candidate Allen West, now a Florida congressman, said during the campaign of his Democratic opponent: “Let me tell you what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to make the fellow scared to come out of his house. That’s the only way that you’re going to win.”

And finally this from E. J. Dionne at the Washington Post:

Let’s begin by being honest. It is not partisan to observe that there are cycles to violent rhetoric in our politics. In the late 1960s, violent talk (and sometimes violence itself) was more common on the far left. But since President Obama’s election, it is incontestable that significant parts of the American far right have adopted a language of revolutionary violence in the name of overthrowing “tyranny.”

It is Obama’s opponents who carried guns to his speeches and cited Jefferson’s line that the tree of liberty “must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

…The point is not to “blame” American conservatism for the actions of a possibly deranged man, especially since the views of Jared Lee Loughner seem so thoroughly confused. But we must now insist with more force than ever that threats of violence no less than violence itself are antithetical to democracy. Violent talk and playacting cannot be part of our political routine. It is not cute or amusing to put crosshairs over a congressional district.

Liberals were rightly pressed in the 1960s to condemn violence on the left. Now, conservative leaders must take on their fringe when it uses language that intimates threats of bloodshed. That means more than just highly general statements praising civility.

Quite honestly, other lives may depend on it.

Posted in National issues, National politics | 114 Comments »

114 Responses

  1. Nancy Says:

    Thanks for this compilation, Celeste! Question: could this shooting be the death knell for Sarah Palin’s presidential aspirations?

  2. jim hitchcock Says:

    Around 11:20 Saturday morning I switched from the all day marathon of Firefly I was watching to CNN, and 20 seconds in they went to the CNN affiliate in Tucson, KGUN TV.

    Unreal.

  3. reg Says:

    Also this:

    WASHINGTON — Mary Rose Wilcox, a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in Arizona, was sitting in her car on Saturday when her husband called her back into their restaurant. Inside, he pointed to the television, where news stations were reporting that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and 20 others had been shot in what police are now calling an assassination attempt.

    Wilcox said she was devastated. She also said she was frightened: Wilcox herself was shot in 1997, while walking out of a board meeting, by a man who later said he was angry at her support for a baseball stadium tax. The first Hispanic woman elected to the board, Wilcox, a Democrat, had been the target of talk-radio tirades telling Maricopa County residents to “take her out.”

    “I knew at the time that the hate had been caused by a lot of the rhetoric that had gone on,” Wilcox told HuffPost. “At the trial, the man actually said, ‘I shot her because the radio said I should take her out.’”

    When she heard what happened to Giffords, she said, she felt a tinge of familiarity. “That’s what we have come to,” Wilcox said. “If you disagree with someone in Arizona, you demonize them.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/10/extremism-in-arizona-victims-political-violence_n_806657.html

  4. reg Says:

    I don’t think there was ever a chance that Palin would seriously be a contender for even the GOP nomination because she’s too lazy and is in it for the ca$h, but the fact that her spokespeople are claiming – after she talked about “Bullseyes” and “targets” in her tweets regarding Gifford and other Dems – that the Crosshairs map had nothing to do with guns is a measure of just how desperately out-of-touch with anything but her own reality and $elf-intere$t this harpy happens to be. She should be leading some cleansing operation within the ranks of the rhetorically “Death Panel”-ized toxic GOP…or get the hell out of public life. She should show the same sense of shame at her pathological antics, at least, that an Eliot Spitzer did.

  5. reg Says:

    Oh wait a minute – Spitzer is treating us to a cable show. My bad – or more to the point, Spitzer’s. Since Palin already resigned public office for no apparent reason other than to cash in while she was still a viable commodity, the point would be for her to either become a model for elevated discourse on issues or else go-the-F-back-to-Wasilla.

  6. Answering The Question Says:

    I don’t know why so many people are willing to draw conclusions about this guy and/or his motive or the causal factors until they learn more.

    People are making a lot of assumptions. Why aren’t they willing to assume he just went nuts?

  7. Answering The Question Says:

    I’m doing some homework on the suspect.
    From the SF Chronicle

    (01-09) 21:10 PST SAN FRANCISCO — Posting strange and paranoid messages on the Internet and fixating on the end of the world, accused gunman Jared Lee Loughner appeared to be more driven by a delusional mind than a real interest in politics, mental health experts said Sunday.

    “I doubt people who say this is about politics have a good understanding of mental illness,” said Dr. Bob Dolgoff, medical director of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center’s mental health division. “It could be conspiracy theories or men from outer space. The important thing here is, why wasn’t he in treatment?”

    Loughner, 22, was charged Sunday in the shooting of 20 people at a political event outside a supermarket in Tucson. Six of the victims died, and 14 were wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords – with whom Loughner may have become obsessed.

    Despite his ramblings on YouTube about “informing conscience dreamers about a new currency,” and despite his anti-social behavior, Loughner apparently received no diagnosis of mental illness.

    Instead, he lived at home with his parents after being suspended from college – where educators say they conditioned his return upon him seeking help.

    “People call it ‘the schizophrenic in the back bedroom.’ His parents were probably pulling their hair out,” said Liz Rebensdorf, a retired psychologist and president of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill’s East Bay chapter. “Unless there’s a crime committed, it’s very difficult to force someone into treatment.”

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/09/MN7H1H6IV7.DTL#ixzz1AeZR0Scn

  8. reg Says:

    More:

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2011/01/he-did-what.html

    But creating a crazy environment for our political debates has absolutely no likelihood of reinforcing the notion of a patently crazy person thinking that perhaps they’re not crazy – i.e. that their delusions and understanding of anti-government “remedies” are shared by others who have “legitimacy” in the public spotlight and that actually putting a despised pol in their “crosshairs” in order to score a “bullseye” (after her opponent used public shooting matches with an automatic weapon to publicize his campaign against her) might not be completely insane…I mean that’s what intelligent and sophisticated people understand in their wisdom. And I look forward to more spirited and very astute commenters attacking any suggestion that there was anything dubious about anything that had transpired in the political attacks on Gifford prior to this obvious wack-job opening fire and that the concept of raising even the most discreet questionas about a toxic environment or “context” is just liberal loons trying to gin up conspiracy theories.

  9. Answering The Question Says:

    An AP article from the Washington Post

    “He was a guy in high school who definitely had his opinions on stuff and didn’t seem to care what people thought of him,” said Grant Wiens, 22, who told The Associated Press he went to high school and had a class at Pima Community College with Loughner. In an interview with The Associated Press, Wiens also said Loughner used to speak critically about religion. He also talked about how he liked to smoke pot.

    “He wasn’t really too keen on religion it seemed like,” Grant Wiens, 22, told The Associated Press. “I don’t know if floating through life is the right term or whatever, but he was really just into doing his own thing.”

  10. reg Says:

    I generally can’t stand Keith Olbermann – I think he’s a blowhard and is no more a real “journalist” than half-assed bloviators like O’Reilly and Hannity. His “special comments” are too easy to lampoon (as Ben Affleck did brilliantly on SNL a while back in a hilarious sketch.)

    But his “special comment” on this wasn’t bad:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/08/keith-olbermann-arizona-shooting_n_806311.html

    Check it out…and then consider that the corporate “Tea Party” flak and former GOP congressman Dick Armey referred to this, in the context of discussion about political rhetoric, simply as “Olbermann apologizing for his contributions to violent political rhetoric.” This intentional sleight of hand by this Dick is a gauge of the inability to take any responsibility, the dishonesty and a penchant for outright deception that has infected the hacks and ignoramuses of the “mainstream” Right and why “Both sides do it” or “on the one hand we have MSNBC and on the other hand FOX News” is designed to obscure rather than deal honestly with where the flames of insane rhetoric and hate have been fired up in the mass media (as opposed to comments sections of blogs, or whatever, that’s a cheat when it’s compared to the actions of “revered” public figures.)

  11. reg Says:

    Rep. Gifford:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tTDiZZYCAs

  12. WTF Says:

    “I don’t know why so many people are willing to draw conclusions about this guy and/or his motive or the causal factors until they learn more. People are making a lot of assumptions. Why aren’t they willing to assume he just went nuts?”

    ********************
    What is a matter with you !!!! This was caused by vitriloc political talk !!!!! Sarah Palin and the minutmen of Arizona pulled the trigger !!!!

    But thank God violent rap-music and movies does NOT cause any of the same problems.

  13. reg Says:

    “Posting strange and paranoid messages on the Internet and fixating on the end of the world…appeared to be more driven by a delusional mind than a real interest in politics” is – and I don’t mean this as hyperbolic, but based simply on what he actually states as his sincere beliefs – a perfectly apt description of FOX’s most popular showman, Glenn Beck.

    Just saying…

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201007130029

  14. Dave Says:

    Too bad this level of national response didn’t occur when abortion doctors were threatened and killed and centers attacked. Seems when congressional representatives are targeted, it becomes really important.

  15. Answering The Question Says:

    Why the rush to judgement on this? We don’t know nearly enough about the suspect to think we know why he did this.

    I think we would be well advised to take a deep breath, mourn for the dead and injured, and wait until more was revealed about Loughner before we place blame.

  16. Ryan Colpaart Says:

    “The Consequences Of Vitriolic Rhetoric”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TV2TJ6SjwK0

  17. Answering The Question Says:

    So, if we find out that music was the reason for Laughner to go on a killing rampage, should we ban music?

    Impossible you say? No comparison? Totally lacking to do with the subject matter?

    I’ve got five words for you.

    Beatles. Helter Skelter. Charles Manson.

  18. Answering The Question Says:

    Celeste, I don’t want anybody telling Michael Savage, or any other American, what they can or can’t say in a public medium.
    Simply because I don’t want someone telling you what you can or can’t say in a public medium.

    We pay a price for our rights in this country. Thousands are killed every year because if we are over the age of 21 we are allowed to drink alcohol. Stupid people drive drunk.
    Yet we all agree that we shouldn’t bring back prohibition.

    I certainly hope we don’t turn the 1st Amendment into a social experiment because of this tragedy.

  19. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Thanks, Nance.

    And, reg, thanks for the Olbermann link. He is, this time, dead on.

    D. Good point. But, in fairness, this discussion was begun at that time. However, it didn’t go far enough. It has taken another larger horror to bring the tipping point—one in which not one, but six people have been murdered, one a little girl, with 13 others wounded one of them a congresswoman, shot in the head.

    ATQ & WTF, I think you’re missing the point. Please reread. Any thoughtful commentary is very carefully worded in terms of blame and direct cause and effect. We’re talking about something that should concern all of us.

  20. reg Says:

    ATQ – who is talking about banning anything.

    That’s not a very intelligent comment. Kind of desperate to rationalize nonsense.

  21. reg Says:

    WTF – yes we should hold our politicians and opinion leaders to the standards of rancid, half-assed “gangsta” rap posers. That’s a brilliant connection you made. And nobody ever condemns or calls out crappy little adolescent characters trying to cash in on inflammatory, obscene or mysogynistic recordings for their transgressions. Everybody knows that. I’ve never read any discussions of whether some of this stuff was total crap and bad for kids to listen to (oh wait a minute – there were actually congressional hearings on this.)

  22. reg Says:

    I once read that if you held the White Album cover upside down in blacklight you could see a picture of Sharon Tate’s face with a gunsight target painted on it…

  23. reg Says:

    That last was from the Department of Absurdly Bad Analogies…

  24. reg Says:

    Great introspection from Ezra Klein ( will we hear anything equivalent from the crap-merchants at FOX or in the GOP ? Not likely….):

    A good time to turn down the temperature -

    At this point, there’s no evidence that any statement from any politician sent Jared Loughner over the edge. But I don’t think, as some are arguing, that we can just exhale and ignore the ugly and violent rhetoric that’s creeping into our politics.

    Many of us have known people who, after watching a loved one die of an awful disease, have begun taking better care of their own health. It’s not that they were at risk of whatever killed their relative. But the awful experience focused attention on how they were living their own life. That’s how I view the situation we’re now in. Did the talk of “Second Amendment remedies” and “armed and dangerous” resistance lead anyone to pick up a gun and start shooting? It didn’t. But seeing what an unbalanced person might do if convinced of the need for a violent remedy has been sobering.

    In some ways, though, I’m actually less concerned about the violent imagery than I am about the steady escalation of the stakes. In a post on Friday, I talked a bit about the way nationally respected Republicans had ratcheted up the pressure on the health-care reform bill by ratcheting up the rhetorical stakes. Sen. Jon Kyl called it “a stunning threat to liberty.” Sen. Chuck Grassley said it raised the specter of a government program that “determines if you’re going to pull the plug on grandma.” Speaker John Boehner called it “a monstrosity.” All this for a bill that was virtually identical to the legislation Mitt Romney signed in Massachusetts, and Bob Dole co-sponsored in 1993.

    But the easiest thing to do here may be to use myself as an example. I thought the stakes during health-care reform very, very high. At a particularly heated moment in the legislative battle, I expressed that too clearly, saying that Joe Lieberman was willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands to settle an old electoral score. The math was impeccable: Over time, the Affordable Care Act would easily save hundreds of thousands of lives. And Lieberman’s opposition to policies he supported months before, and his willingness to filibuster the bill if he didn’t get his way, seemed lacking in both principle and caution.

    But with time and distance, I’ve come to agree with Ross Douthat, who argued that saying someone is willing to let people die — or, worse, cause their deaths — is very different than saying the bill will save many lives. “The two may be factually similar, but only the latter waves the bloody shirt. And the bloody shirt is the enemy of both reasonable debate and good lawmaking.” (Ezra Klein, Washington Post)

  25. reg Says:

    PS – I look forward to the corporate “Tea Party” weasel Dick Armey referring to this Klein column simply as “Ezra Klein apologized for his contribution to violent political rhetoric” if he’s asked about it on a “news” talk show.

  26. WTF Says:

    Let me re-read the “thoughtful” commentary.

    “But he is very much a part of a widespread squall of fear, anger and intolerance that has produced violent threats against scores of politicians and infected the political mainstream with violent imagery.”

    ***************************

    I guess every mentally ill person is part of the “infected by the political mainstream with violent imagery”. I hope the psychologists are learning from the commentary as to what causes the mentally ill to go on a shooting rampage.

  27. Celeste Fremon Says:

    ATQ, no one, no one here is advocating censorship. That is antithetical to everything this blog stands for, and antithetical to the beliefs of everyone quoted.

    However, it is time for public figures to start acting like their words actually mean something.

    I just now read the Ezra Klein quote above. He said it well.

    The responsible people, like Klein, have taken back their own intemperate words of the past. I can remember things I said about George Bush and some of those in his administration that I believe were not, shall we say, helpful. Fortunately, I don’t think I said any of them in writing or in a public forum. (Although the truly industrious web searcher might very well prove me wrong. I don’t know.)

    It’s time for all that extreme demonetization to stop. And that, my dear, is not censorship—self or otherwise. It is self-examination and civic responsibility.

  28. Sure Fire/Nikki Says:

    It should concern all of us but hasn’t to any real degree up until now. It dsappears when the next story hits. Our country has a vert limited attention span. “Cop Killer” was just a song but I know one cop that’s dead due to it, no big deal then but now, well it’s different not only because it’s a politician but she’s a Democrat and blame can be assigned to the right according to the left blogosphere. If she’d had been a Republican they’d be just reporting what happened, but not be bitching about it.

    It was a sick guy and there’s all types of them out there. You could shut down every political talk show left or right, all the back and forth between both sides could be nice and civil from this day on and it will still happen again. You can’t explain crazy so easily.

    This was terrible, same as wishing death publicly on those you oppose.

    There’s only one way the tragic airplane crash in Alaska that ended the life of former-U.S. Senator Ted Stevens could have been better, according to New Hampshire Democratic activist and State Rep. candidate Keith Halloran: If Sarah Palin had been on it.

    During his appearance on the comedy late night show Late Night with Conan O’Brien on December 12, 1998, eight days before President Bill Clinton was to be impeached, Baldwin said, “if we were in another country… we would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families, for what they’re doing to this country.”

  29. Pokey Says:

    Loughner – Left Wing Radical? (“Giffords was a Fake”)

    In a Tweet, fellow student Caitie Parker said the accused gunman was “quite liberal” and a “political radical.” – Parker “tweets” that she and Loughner were in the band together and were friends until 2007 when he became “reclusive” after getting alcohol poisoning and dropping out of college.

    She describes him as “quite liberal” and as a “political radical.”

    http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2011/01/jared_loughner_alleged_shooter.php

    He listed Hitler’s Mein Kampf and Marx’s Communist Manifesto as his favorite books.

    At 2:00 a.m. on Saturday—about eight hours before he allegedly killed six people and wounded 14, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), in Tucson—Jared Lee Loughner phoned an old and close friend with whom he had gone to high school and college. The friend, Bryce Tierney, was up late watching TV, but he didn’t answer the call. When he later checked his voice mail, he heard a simple message from Loughner: “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.

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/01/jared-lee-loughner-friend-voicemail-phone-message

  30. Celeste Fremon Says:

    As I wrote above, if one avoids listening to partisans on either side, one finds that this kid was all over the place. Liberal in high school (in 2007), subscribing to some right wing-whacked out stuff in community college.

    I suspect he was all of the above and none of the above, as his reading list suggests.

    For instance, last time I checked, Mein Kampf doesn’t…um… score real high on the Must Have liberal reading list. Ditto Ayn Rand’s “We the Living.” (Although most of us with an intellectual bent have delved into Rand at some moment.)

    His “favorite books” list on his My Space page is actually painfully poignant, given what was to come:

    Animal Farm, Brave New World, The Wizard Of OZ, Aesop Fables, The Odyssey, Alice Adventures Into Wonderland, Fahrenheit 451, Peter Pan, To Kill A Mockingbird, We The Living, Phantom Toll Booth, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Pulp,Through The Looking Glass, The Communist Manifesto, Siddhartha, The Old Man And The Sea, Gulliver’s Travels, Mein Kampf, The Republic, and Meno.

  31. Sure Fire/Nikki Says:

    He was a nut Celeste, all over the map. By the way where Olbermann had at least the common sense to apoligize for his own hateful rhetoric (a little was all right?) he didn’t name one other liberal except the idiot sheriff who he used as a source of some type of insight into all this?

    Yeah, read between the lines because all Keith is doing is blaming the right as usual and covering his own ass.

  32. Sure Fire/Nikki Says:

    This is for my good friend Reg. I’m all about being a nice guy, it’s the new me.

    Reg: I don’t think there was ever a chance that Palin would seriously be a contender for even the GOP nomination because she’s too lazy and is in it for the ca$h, but the fact that her spokespeople are claiming – after she talked about “Bullseyes” and “targets” in her tweets regarding Gifford and other Dems – that the Crosshairs map had nothing to do with guns is a measure of just how desperately out-of-touch with anything but her own reality and $elf-intere$t this harpy happens to be

    Here’s the Dems “target” and “bulls eye” maps from 2004. Of course it’s only Palin that had guns in mind because hell, she’s a hunter and a harpy…oh and a Republican. This is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel. Hope that doesn’t offend anyone.

    http://american-conservativevalues.com/blog/democrats-have-their-own-target-map-and-bulls-eye-map.html

  33. Pokey Says:

    We have two friends which indicate that:
    1) He was a Left-Wing nut in 2007
    2) He had attended campaign events of Giffords.
    3) He had a letter from her campaign dated 2007.
    4) He held a years long grudge toward Giffords.
    5) This grudge intensified after she didn’t answer a question sufficiently
    6) He repeatedly derided her as a “fake.”

    This indicates to me that he might have at one time put Giffords on a pedestal as many people put Obama (before the election), but then felt cheated and let down.

    Love turned to hate in a twisted sick mind.

  34. Sure Fire/Nikki Says:

    Wow.

    http://biggovernment.com/eyeblasttv/2010/11/05/dem-pollster-obama-needs-another-oklahoma-city-bombing-to-reconnect/

  35. Sure Fire/Nikki Says:

    Even more wow. I’m posting just to show it’s both sides and I know there’s lots on the right. Even the president has done it.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/06/14/obama-if-they-bring-a-knife-to-the-fight-we-bring-a-gun/

  36. reg Says:

    So Palin doesn’t have a gun fetish – “reload”, “bullseyes” – that was explicit in her rhetoric and imaging, and Gifford’s opponent didn’t invite supporters to shoot off semi-automatic weapons as part of his campaign against Gifford ?

    Try again…

  37. reg Says:

    Money quote in Misfire’s link:

    “Granted these are bulls-eyes instead of gun-sights, and the targets are states not individual congressmen.”

    We’ve seen nothing but shoddy attempts to make excuses…typical of the whiners and cry-babies of the Right who can’t take even minimal responsibility for anything among the paranoids, hysterics and haters that have gained credence among their political leaders, media stars and “activists.”

    Misfire routinely calls President Obama a “thug” – on God knows what grounds – while Sarah Palin’s crank rhetoric merely signals that she’s a “hunter.”

  38. reg Says:

    This terrible tragedy has made it impossible to celebrate the really good news of Tom DeLay going to jail…finally.

  39. Answering The Question Says:

    Celeste,
    Seriously, from the heart…I AGREE WITH YOU 100% ABOUT THE EXTREME DEMONIZATION NEEDING TO STOP.

    Perhaps if we don’t give a sympathetic ear to people calling government officials war criminals, thugs, murderers and shit like that that would be a good start.

  40. reg Says:

    “the idiot sheriff”

    Cop-hater!

  41. reg Says:

    Christopher Hitchens writing in last month’s Vanity Fair makes a point relevant to much of the current dance of avoidance and denial:

    “It is often in the excuses and in the apologies that one finds the real offense. Looking back on the domestic political ‘surge’ which the populist right has been celebrating since last month, I found myself most dispirited by the manner in which the more sophisticated conservatives attempted to conjure the nasty bits away.”

  42. Pokey Says:

    Here come the haters of free speech!

    Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) reportedly plans to introduce legislation that would make it a federal crime to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official or member of Congress.

  43. reg Says:

    Here’s Gifford’s opponent during the campaign:

    “Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”

    (But let’s gin up hysteria about alleged censorship, which is beside the point. Incidentally, my guess is that it’s already illegal to incite violence or threaten a federal official. So any proposed legislation is either redundant or is pushing the envelope. What’s being discussed isn’t censorship by the government, but a sense of responsibility – shame, even when they cross certain lines that many have crossed (i.e. ugly, insane shit like calling doctor/patient counseling “Death Panels” or “Pulling the plug on Grandma”) among people who have at least the pretense of engaging in responsible civic discourse (not random and often anonymous blog commenters engaged in left or right internet brouhahas but media figures, political leaders and allegedly “serious” activists who are seeking to engage a broader public.)

  44. reg Says:

    “Conservatives” show class…

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/tea-party-express-fundraises-off-giffords-shooting-tea-party-wont-be-silenced.php

  45. Sure Fire Says:

    You’re a cop hater Reg, you’re a fraud and liar to say otherwise. The idiot sheriff wants to play political pundit they can hire him at MSNBC. I can think an individual cop is an idiot without being a cop hater, looks like you can’t. Probably played “Cop Killer” as you rode around Oakland in the old days.

    Reg/ My guess is that you can’t help yourself making up “evidence” due to your background…where lying under oath is pretty much SOP.

    Pretty strong proof of your true nature Reg, nothing about mine with the weak crap you put up.

  46. Sure Fire Says:

    You talking about class… what a laugh.

  47. Answering The Question Says:

    “Misfire routinely calls President Obama a “thug” – on God knows what grounds”

    Maybe on the same grounds that people said all the shit they said from 2000-2008. Maybe he’s taking a page out of the playbook of those people.
    It’s time for it to stop.

    reg,
    You have done nothing but blast anyone with political ideology other than yours. There is no intelligent debate after that shit starts.
    Don’t expect the other side to play nice if you don’t.

  48. reg Says:

    For you to call me a liar is about as sick as it gets. You posted a total fucking lie on the previous thread. And everyone knows that lying in court is SOP for, particularly, drug cops. This isn’t even a controversial allegation.

    Sorry, boy. Meanwhile, a law enforcement professional who tries to bring some sanity to his community is an “idiot.”

    You’re a child.

  49. Answering The Question Says:

    reg,
    Have you ever referred to the previous administration as thugs?
    You ever speak up against others doing so? Have you ever once told someone with the same political ideology as yours that the vitriolic shit they said about the previous administration was over the top?

  50. reg Says:

    “Probably played ‘Cop Killer’ as you rode around Oakland in the old days.”

    You’re either a total paranoid or a congenitally dishonest degenerate. Is this the best you can do after making up a completely crazy lie about me supposedly stating that I want to take a cop’s gun so I could shoot a robbery suspect ? I think you might be projecting from your own checkered past…

    Quit before you fall down into a hole that you’re too short or too weak to crawl out of.

  51. reg Says:

    I’m out of here – this POS just stinks the place up…

    Hopefully he won’t stalk me to another blog again. Although he ended up looking like a complete idiot when he pulled that desperate stunt.

  52. Answering The Question Says:

    While I’m from the other side of the political aisle of SureFire, I don’t expect that I can continually post over the top shit about the people he voted for, and then turn around and ask him to refrain from the same bullshit.

    It doesn’t work that way. That there’s no bipartisanship in DC shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

    9/11 was an inside job, Bush is a war monger, Bush is a thug, Bush is guilty of war crimes, etc. etc. People from my side of the aisle posted that type of vitriolic bullshit for eight years, and now when the other side does it you want them to dial it back.

    HAVE WE LEARNED ANYTHING HERE?

    Here’s what I’ve learned. WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND.

    If we don’t come together, we’re screwed. And we can’t come together as long as we are sooooo pissed off that we lost an election we start being petty and talking hateful shit.

  53. Answering The Question Says:

    I’m out of here – this POS just stinks the place up…

    Yeah. We’ve heard that shit before too.

  54. reg Says:

    One last little thing on GOP “class”…

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/10/gop-candidate-shoots-at-target-with-wasserman-schultzs-initials.php?ref=fpblg

    You know, sometimes it’s best to just quit digging the hole deeper by denial and BS…

  55. Answering The Question Says:

    Quite honestly, other lives may depend on it.

    What could happen if some survivor of a 9/11 victim who is mentally ill becomes delusional and believes that the Bush administration actually planted bombs in the WTC’s and orchestrated the whole thing?

    There were “truthers” who couldn’t wait to make political hay out of a tragedy. That there is now people who wish to do the same before the bodies are even buried is not only disgraceful, it’s despicable.

    Maybe Loughner was a right-wing nut. We certainly don’t know that yet. Yet some of us can’t keep from immediately after the murders, playing politics with it.

    You would have thought the dumbass “truthers” would have learned their lesson. They are now dismissed by anybody with a triple digit I.Q. as wack jobs. The same could apply here.
    I’m not jumping on that bandwagon when we don’t even know yet what tune we should be playing.

    And speaking of “truthers”….is it any wonder there is now “birthers” from the other side?

    Can we really, with a straight face and clear conscience, talk shit all day long about “birthers” if we sat back and enjoyed the “truthers” rhetoric because we didn’t like the guy they were talking that shit about?

    Have the honor not to be hypocritical.

  56. reg Says:

    PS: As someone who grew up owning guns, hunting with “grandpa” and still enjoys the shooting range, I have to say that political candidates engaging in these antics is a further sign of the infantilization of contemporary “conservatism” (which is anything but, and is closer to just being a retarded,morally toxic punk than any coherent political philosophy, a la Edmund Burke and Adam Smith.)

  57. Answering The Question Says:

    “One last little thing”

    lol. One can only hope.

  58. reg Says:

    PSS: Not that the folks who need to consider this give a shit because they’re too obviously stuck in denial mode and playing defense (clumsily), but here – brilliantly put:

    http://budiansky.blogspot.com/2011/01/not-us-cont.html

  59. Sure Fire Says:

    Honestly, I agree with just about everything you posted ATQ. In my opinion Reg comes back and everything goes crazy, even me a little more than usual. If someone could explain post #55 to this drug planting former narc I’d appreciate it because I have no clue.

    Does it mean only conservative politicians who engage in these “antics” Reg speaks of are “closer to just being a retarded,morally toxic punk” than those on the left? The link to the 2004 Democratic target maps I put up are ok? I truly don’t understand that logic.

    Like I said, I agree with ATQ.

  60. reg Says:

    So what we end up with from these two is a de fact defense of the kind of rhetoric that demonizes opponents with “Death Panels”, or says stuff like “you wear a Che Quevara tee-shirt” because you support universal health care, or “Obama is taking over the economy” in response to an attempt to save a couple of industrial companies and stave off a depression with a plan concocted by a Republican Treasury Secretary (the same kind of fast and loose crank shit we see here claiming that I wanted to take a cop’s gun and shoot a robbery suspect, to which I respond that the claimant is simply a rank liar and probably a professional one). What we end up with from these two is the comfort zone that says demonizing rhetoric does nothing to up the ante or create a context which gives – as I’ve said is the potential problem in this – crazy people a feeling that their delusions aren’t so crazy. That guns can solve political anger – a la several major examples, “armed and dangerous” Michelle Bachmann or “2nd Amendment remedies” Sharron Angle. This is toxic, crazy talk and it was before Rep. Gifford was shot. Her opponent sponsoring an automatic weapons event as part of his campaign – shooting a fully automatic M16 – and using the word “target” and also in interviews “enemies” to publicize his attempt to unseat Gifford. For what it’s worth I never used the term “fascist” or “Hitler” or “dictator” against President Bush. But we see that level of discourse against Persident Obama routinely, from among others at high political levels in the GOP, run-of-the-mill “conservatives” like GM Roper and Woody who have posted here. I was someone who didn’t vote for George W. Bush but when 9/11 happened I became a vocal defender of the administration and the war in Afghanistan. I had arguments with leftists about it, as a liberal who isn’t a pacifist or even remotely “anti-American.” But when Bush took us into Iraq – with no evidence of a national security threat to justify a full-scale war and invasion, even as we were still dealing with the attempt to keep al Qaeda at Bay in Afghanistan, I became totally disillusioned. (I don’t believe I ever called President Bush a thug – Cheney maybe. That’s not my style. I called them idiots – and no doubt liars – many times because they got a lot of people killed – hundreds of thousands – promoting a crackpot war on no compelling evidence that has left us weaker, not stronger as a country and mostly benefited Iran. I don’t think it’s controversial to say that the Bush policies were idiotic and deceptive.) But to bring 9/11 truthers in as a response to people calling out the rhetoric of even Gifford’s own opponent, much less the “2nd Amendment remedies” rhetoric that found its way into the highest profile GOP senatorial candidacy of the last electoral round is just dishonest, childish and an act of total denial.

    One has to stretch pretty hard to find high-level Democrats who pushed the notion that President Bush was a fascist, but people like Beck and Limbaugh who get respect from the top GOP leadership – including in Limbaugh’s case both Presidents Bush – push rhetoric about Obama being a Marxist, a socialist, even leaning to communism or militant Islam and “hating white people” all the time. Somebody tell me that Kanye West’s stupid outburst on teevee is equivalent to the steady diet of Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, Bachmann, et al. paranoia, lies and hysteria – like, as I’ve said putting “Death Panels” into the health care reform debate in reference to doctor-patient counseling. Or some other anecdotal shit. There’s a flood of this garbage daily from the Right, via talk radio and FOX News. It’s been given a legitimacy – and given it consistently.

    But yeah, “both sides do it.” And I’m guilty of raising the heat here, while Surefire’s damnable lie that I wanted to take a cop’s gun and shoot a robbery suspect is MY fault because he gets so excited when I show up and post facts here about the GOP. (That’s why he stalked me to Marc Coopers.) This is ridiculous. Play nice Surefire – you’re a dishonest Eddy Haskell type, just like Woody was when he knew he needed to clean up his dirty little act.

    The two of you can jerk each other off. This is a waste of time.

    But ATQ – you asked me a couple of questions, and you got the best quickie answer I can give. Keep up the apologetics and fake “even-handedness.” But for what it’s worth it took a hell of a lot for me to totally dismiss W. Bush as a jerk. I thought he was a decent guy I disagreed with for quite a while and gave him more than the benefit of the doubt. I didn’t come out of the gate – like the foul little guy here, Surefire – and dismiss him as a “thug.” It took a war that was totally ill-conceived that split the country when it had come together after 9/11 and in overwhelmingly supporting the fight against al Qaeda before I started using that level of dismissive, ugly rhetoric like “thug.” So NO, so far as I’m concerned “both sides” don’t do it. What the Republican Party HAS become, however, in recent years IS thuggish and borderline crazy, with Beck, Limbaugh, et. al. in their bloodstream. It’s like an infection – takes over the healthy parts. That’s just the sad truth.

  61. reg Says:

    Sorry for the terrible grammar and hard-to-read run-on nature of that response. Obviously written in haste. By and large, anyone who gives a shit can get the point. And anyone who wants to distort it can find something to chew on. Not really important. I forgot what a waste of time dealing with weasels happens to be…

  62. reg Says:

    Okay – I just saw the SF comment about something said over twelve years ago. Incidentally, the actor Baldwin apologized for his totally asinine comments on a late-night comedy show. As he should have. They were disgusting. I’m still waiting for Sarah Palin to apologize for calling the Health Care Reform bill’s proposed doctor-patient counseling “Death Panels.” That poisoned the public square and created for the Tea Party types a Big Lie worthy of Josef Goebbels that was constantly repeated by Republican politicians.

    And, of course, an apology for that kind of Big Lie will never come from “the other side.” Just excuses and denial.

    I don’t defend ugly shit from “my side” (although Alec Baldwin and Kanye West are not political figures for “my side”, just large egos with big mouths who represent no one but themselves), but what I do is put the entire spectrum in context. If anyone thinks Rachel Maddow is somehow a liberal counterpart for Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, they’re welcome to that opinion. That’s about the only cable news show I respect, and I don’t think it’s very good for the simple fact that it’s a cable news format. Also, Jon Stewart had good commentary last night – he was totally agnostic about anything “causing” the tragedy, but he did make the point that it would be nice if much of our political discourse didn’t SOUND just like the rantings of a crazy person. Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin – with “Obama’s a thug who hates white people” or “the health care bill will create Death Panels” need to heed the common sense of a comedian. It wouldn’t stop all of the craziness at the fringes, but it might help a little bit to stem the craziness among “mainstream” figures. (Of course, it’s about the $$$ – ratings, media attention and book sales – for those two.)

  63. reg Says:

    Joe Scarborough makes the point…I agree with this. This is, coming from an actual conservative as opposed to the fake loons who have hijacked the term, is essentially the only point I would make as regards the current environment of almost insanely toxic political rhetoric becoming mainstreamed by pols and pundits, beyond the obvious fact that the killer was a mental basket case (who was able to buy a 33-cartridge clip for a semi-automatic weapon not long before he decided to act.)

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47381_Page2.html

  64. reg Says:

    Jon Stewart brings it: “Did the toxic political environment cause this? A graphic image here–and ill-timed comment–violent rhetoric–those sort of things? I have no f—ing idea. We live in a complex ecosystem of influences and motivations and I wouldn’t blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine…

    “You cannot outsmart crazy. You don’t know what a troubled mind will get caught on…I do think it’s a worthwhile goal not to conflate our political opponents with enemies, if for no other reason than to draw a distinction between the manifestos of paranoid madmen and what passes for political and acceptable speech. It would be really nice if the ramblings of crazy people didn’t actually resemble how we talk to each other on TV. Let’s at least make troubled individuals easier to spot…For all the hyperbole and vitriol that has become part of our political rhetoric, when those images become reality we haven’t lost our capacity for horror…perhaps we need to better match our rhetoric with reality…wouldn’t it be a shame if we didn’t take this opportunity to make sure that the world we are creating now, that will ultimately be shattered again by a moment of lunacy will be better….” (my rough transcript)

    Surefire brought up something an actor said over a dozen years ago that was disgusting and beyond even angry hyperbole. He apologized for what he said on a “comedy show.” I’m waiting for Sarah Palin to apologize for bringing the insanely ugly rhetoric of “Death Panels” into a discussion of doctor-patient counseling that is routinely covered by private medical insurance. That was a moment in our political discourse that took wings and fed Tea Party hysterics, got picked up by GOP congressmen and scared the crap out of a lot of average people. But she will never apologize – it’s not in her DNA. To have less class, as a major political candidate and commentator, than Alec Baldwin is pretty tawdry. Nor will Michelle Bachmann ever apologize for asking that her constituents be “armed and dangerous” in the context of an electoral contest. Nor will Sharron Angle do anything but dance around her “2nd amendment remedies” rhetoric. Some people just don’t get it. A couple of them are commenting here…

  65. reg Says:

    Tried to post these bits of Jon Stewart’s commentary earlier – part of the “round-up” – and it was brilliant and had just the right tone…the words of a comedian make more sense than most of what we read, and most especially from those crouching defensively on the Right:

    “Did the toxic political environment cause this? A graphic image here–and ill-timed comment–violent rhetoric–those sort of things? I have no f—ing idea. We live in a complex ecosystem of influences and motivations and I wouldn’t blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine…

    “You cannot outsmart crazy. You don’t know what a troubled mind will get caught on…I do think it’s a worthwhile goal not to conflate our political opponents with enemies, if for no other reason than to draw a distinction between the manifestos of paranoid madmen and what passes for political and acceptable speech. It would be really nice if the ramblings of crazy people didn’t actually resemble how we talk to each other on TV. Let’s at least make troubled individuals easier to spot…

    “For all the hyperbole and vitriol that has become part of our political rhetoric, when those images become reality we haven’t lost our capacity for horror…perhaps we need to better match our rhetoric with reality…wouldn’t it be a shame if we didn’t take this opportunity to make sure that the world we are creating now, that will ultimately be shattered again by a moment of lunacy will be better….”

  66. WTF Says:

    “One last little thing”
    lol. One can only hope.

    *****************

    Thankfully, I have the SuperMouse ZX-5000 which allows to me scroll thur all of the 5000 word “last thing” posts. 2x LOL

  67. WTF Says:

    Here is a link to the Ted Kaczynski manifesto for those who are bored and want to read the blabberings of another wind-bag.

    http://www.theoryofuniverse.com/philosophy/kazinski_manifesto.htm

  68. Pokey Says:

    As he shot and killed a so many innocents, witnesses reporting that they heard him shout “Allah Akbar”.
    Liberals everywhere, including this blog, shouted – “Don’t jump to conclusions”.

    Now, before the bodies are cold and without ANY PROOF, liberals everywhere are shouting “Blame it on Palin”, “Blame it on Beck”, Blame it on Rush”.

    But all witnesses and all evidence tell us that Loughner was a left wing nut and it is far more likely that liberal violent rhetoric and thinking is responsible for the death of a beautiful nine year old girl and so many others.

    But, I just think the guy was CRAZY.

  69. reg Says:

    Here’s what crazy politicization of tragedy actually sounds like, coming from a guy who is still apparently taken seriously as a potential presidential candidate and invited on talk shows as some sort of politically responsible figure:

    “The mother killing her two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we have to have change. I think people want to change and the only way you get change is to vote Republican.” Newt Gingrich – 1994, when he was GOP Congressional Leader

    If anyone can find anything that nut, that opportunistic and that craven coming from the Democratic side at that level, I would love to see it…

  70. reg Says:

    Oldies but goodies….

    http://witnessla.com/criminal-justice/2009/admin/12-dead-at-fort-hood-31-wounded/#comments

    Notice SureFire’s level-headed contributions.

  71. reg Says:

    More from Gingrich:

    …Five years later, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people at Columbine High School. Gingrich insisted that American “elites” bore responsibility for the massacre. “I want to say to the elite of this country — the elite news media, the liberal academic elite, the liberal political elite: I accuse you in Littleton … of being afraid to talk about the mess you have made,” Gingrich said, “and being afraid to take responsibility for things you have done, and instead foisting upon the rest of us pathetic banalities because you don’t have the courage to look at the world you have created.” (Washington Monthlhy)

  72. reg Says:

    It’s pretty obvious there’s a double standard in force. If you’re a high profile “conservative” you can say anything, no matter how crazy. If you’re liberal, you get blamed for what some anonymous guy said in a Kos comments section, or what a celebrity responsible only for his own ego lets fly on a comedy show.

    This has been a very enlightening discussion. I’ve said everything I have to say and learned everything I could possibly ever learn about the psychology and responses of certain “conservative” types who don’t know the meaning of responsibility, moral or intellectual integrity or a commitment to honesty.

  73. reg Says:

    “all evidence tell us that Loughner was a left wing nut and it is far more likely that liberal violent rhetoric and thinking is responsible”

    Pokey, I have to call you out as not only a liar but a nut. No one has said it’s Palin’s fault. I explicitly said it’s not. But what I DO say – and others are saying – if you can try to grasp a bit of nuance – is that it’s not helpful when a political environment, i.e. “Death Panels!”, is created that, as Jon Stewart says, makes it hard to seperate the truly crazy from the opportunistic shills for ideological purity or political advantage. Maybe…just maybe…that kind of toxicity, which is rampant in this moment mostly on the political Right although not exclusively, helps blur the lines between rational political advocacy and violent acts. Otherwise why would any sane person suggest being “armed and dangerous” or “2nd Amendment remedies” in an electoral contest? That stuff boggles the mind. Maybe not yours…

  74. reg Says:

    ATQ – that was a brilliant response to my direct and (absurdly, as it turns out) sincere answer to your stupid questions.

  75. reg Says:

    Pokey – scratch “liar”, replace with “sorely mistaken.”

    Don’t want to put you in the same category as Surefire…who really did post the worst sort of fabrication and has taken no responsibility for his misdeed. True to form.

  76. Pokey Says:

    Reg, using the words “Death Panels” is simply a nastier way of saying “Rationing” which is reminding people what happens every day in the UK health system, which is where liberals are trying to take US healthcare.

    No one … except the Pima County Sheriff at the top of this blog who blamed Rush.

  77. Pokey Says:

    Pokey – scratch “liar”, replace with “sorely mistaken.” – Thanks – I appreciate that.

  78. Answering The Question Says:

    Somebody is getting paid by the word.

  79. Answering The Question Says:

    reg,
    What was your response to the Ft. Hood shooting? We’re you willing to immediately jump on the “Muslom Terrorist” immediately after?

    More people died in that shooting than this latest one.

  80. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Don’t want to interrupt the momentum, but I wanted to convey my apologies to those whose comments routinely get held up for approval. It’s merely that one or more of your identifiers (IPs and the like) are close to those of some of the people I’ve banned. (There’s still one person who is very persistent in trying to get back on with various disguises.) Right now my limited approval system is my best way around the issue. Thanks for your patience.

  81. Celeste Fremon Says:

    “It’s pretty obvious there’s a double standard in force. If you’re a high profile “conservative” you can say anything, no matter how crazy. If you’re liberal, you get blamed for what some anonymous guy said in a Kos comments section, or what a celebrity responsible only for his own ego lets fly on a comedy show. …”

    What reg said.

  82. reg Says:

    Pokey – again you’re totally off base. “Death Panels” was used to paint doctor-patient counseling. It had nothing to do with “rationing.” That’s a different discussion which will happen whoever is paying for increasingly astronomical medical bills – public or private, unless you’re a multi-milliioinaire. You are literally misrepresenting what Sarah Palin brought to the discourse to make it as toxic as possible.

  83. reg Says:

    Also Pokey it is a lie to claim that liberals want the UK health system. Most liberals who want single payer are looking to France with one of the highest quality – yet relatively affordable compared to the US – health systems in the world. It’s not nationalized like the UK.

    Obviously you don’t like complicated discussions. Everything gets reduced to simple-minded rightwing talking points.

  84. reg Says:

    ATQ – you can read my response to the Ft. Hood shooting at the link I provided – “oldies but goodies.” I posted stuff about the guy putting comments on fanatical Islamist web sites fairly early in the discussion. But of course I was worried that the kind of racist hysteria we saw at the Lower Manhattan mosque would run wild. Read what I wrote…that’s why I put up that link. I didn’t at the time, incidentally, think it was my responsibility to disavow Jihadist websites or al Qaeda, because I’ve never promoted any such insane extremism. I think he was also a crazy person who was susceptible to influences that are extremist…but I doubt that people do any such thing without their being unhinged at some level.

  85. reg Says:

    “…Pima county sheriff who blamed Rush…”

    Again, we’re fast and loose with the truth. I didn’t see him blame anyone by name – and I guess the question must be, is there no extremist or vitriolic talk demonizing public figures on the radio or TV ? Maybe he had Alex Jones in mind, who is even nuttier than the wacko Rush. Maybe he was referring to Keith Olberman, who Dick Armey claimed broadcast an “apology for his violent rhetoric.” But at least Olbermann issued a statement that included self-criticism and questioning. But – to get “reality-based” – I don’t think that people on the Right would get so defensive so quickly unless they’re feeling either guilty or embarrassed about something.

  86. reg Says:

    PS – Pokey, in France not only is the health care system not nationalized, but the insurance is mostly a privately run system with regulation – sort of like public utilities, which given the fact that we already have a mandate not to deny anyone emergency health care is probably the best way to think about how best to manage the mess we’ve created, costing nearly twice as much as a country like France which has better outcomes overall.

    Another discussion, but you can’t just say anything you want to say without any evidence or connection to facts. (Speaking of health care reform, I just got the news that the total hospital bill for an out-patient bit of surgery that will take about a half hour, where an hour later I can take a cab home if my wife can’t get off of work to pick me up, will be $20-25,000 from the hospital, not counting the surgeon’s fee. Luckily I’ve got good insurance, but that floored me – and it’s a measure of just how broken our system happens to be. But the best Sarah Palin can come up with is “Death Panels” to describe insurance covering doctor-patient counseling on what measures they want in extreme situations, so their family and doctor have some guidelines from the person who counts the most. Crazy woman. That stuff gets close to “evil.” )

  87. reg Says:

    Rush’s hands are clean – he’s not spewing vitriolic or insane rhetoric on the radio…

    Except today:

    “What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country. He’s sitting there in jail; he knows what’s going on. He knows that a Democrat [sic] Party — the Democrat [sic] Party — is attempting to find anybody but him to blame.

    “He knows if he plays his cards right that he’s just a ‘victim.’ He’s the latest in a never ending parade of victims brought about by the ‘unfairness of America.’ The ‘bigotry, racism, homophobia’ of America. The ‘mean-spiritedness of America.’ [...]

    “That smiling mugshot — this guy clearly understands he’s getting all the attention, and he understands he’s got a political party doing everything it can, plus a local sheriff doing everything they can to make sure he’s not convicted of murder.”

    This is what Jon Stewart is talking about when you can’t tell the difference between the rantings of the insane and the clown$ who ca$h in on people’s susceptibility to paranoia and hysteria on a daily basis on these “shock” shows. The fact that Rush Limbaugh commands the attention and “respect” (fear?) of high-level officials – even former Presidents and a Vice President – among the current iteration of the Republican Party is a national disgrace.

  88. alpha waves Says:

    The Congresswoman herself placed the blame of these threats on Sarah Palin, she turned out to be correct. It’s time Palin is held accountable for her ignorant, careless words that cause those who are unhinged to take actions that we all regret. No one has mentioned just what a shot Mr. Happy was, killing 6 and wounding 19 (25), with a clip of 32?

  89. Sure Fire/Nikki Says:

    My posts on the Ft. Hood massacre you linked to were fine Reg. You’re the last guy that should comment on the terminology anyone else uses at anytime and anywhere. Hell I even gave you credit for a couple things you said when you were actually sane, at least a little bit.

    Why don’t you hunt down the comments you amde about when you got jacked, find that thread. If i’m lying I’ll apologize, that’s what real men do Reg. If you can go back to Ft. Hood why haven’t you found those comments to show I’m a liar, looks like you have a lot of time on your hands.

  90. Pokey Says:

    PS – Pokey, in France not only is the health care system not nationalized, but the insurance is mostly a privately run system with regulation – sort of like public utilities

    – Works for me, and I wish you well on your proceedure –

    I am fully behind creating public utility like insurance companies (like credit unions) to compete against the insurance companies.

    I also would like to break the medical (school) cartel, which has caused US Medicals salaries to 3+ times higher than France and double Germany and Canada.

    http://wallstreetpit.com/5769-the-medical-cartel-why-are-md-salaries-so-high

  91. reg Says:

    “Why don’t you hunt down the comments you amde about when you got jacked, find that thread.”

    Because it was easy to find the Ft. Hood thread based on the date. I have no way of finding any discussion about my being robbed (and I DID get in my car and start to follow the guy, and I was angry because I’d just had a gun at my head. The police showed up almost immediately – some guy working late saw the whole damned thing – but maybe I’d have given him a bump with my car and knocked him down. I don’t know. I had a gut feeling – because I’m familiar with handguns – that the weapon in question wasn’t real. It looked real but didn’t feel heavy enough against my head – but I wasn’t going to act on that hope when it was there. Turned out I was right. I NEVER said or thought that I wanted to get access to a cop’s weapon to shoot the guy. I was very, very glad to see the police, and they were very professional.) I’m going to tone this part down, because you seem open to an apology, but I’m not going to do your homework after you say something totally crappy and bogus.

  92. reg Says:

    Also, I thought your response to Rob was over the top…more than a bit. But I’m not a fan – at all, so maybe that’s just my take. And I’m not saying that because I thought his comment was so genius.

  93. Pokey Says:

    Anti-Flag was one of his favorite groups
    A Gun-Star is their Logo

    “Liar! Killer! Turncoat! Thief! Criminal with protection of
    law” begins Anti-Flag’s opening salvo aimed at President Bush on The Terror State, the band’s 2003 release

    “Red, White And Brainwashed”

    They use the flag to control us
    Brainwash us to be their patrotic slaves
    Programs our minds by controlling what we learn
    The only difference from the nazis is that
    Someone tried to stop them
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    The government says they’re working for us
    Just as long as we increase their pay
    But the minute they get into office we’re a has-been
    A yesterday
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    The red stands for the blood of all the people
    We’ve slain
    The white for this racist, bigoted foundation
    The blue for your arayan eyes — all empty
    Empty because you’re taught to bow down to the man
    “Fly that flag, that flag of freedom”
    “Do what you can for your country”
    Go and fight their wars for them
    “They’re not following in our footsteps,
    KILL THEM!”
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    They call that being a patriot
    I just call it ignorant
    If you don’t fight to make things better
    Then you’re the one betraying the country
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED
    RED WHITE AND BRAINWASHED

  94. Answering The Question Says:

    The more that comes out, the more it looks like the suspect was not a right-wing nut. Just a nut. Some of the media outlets are reporting he was registered as an an independent.
    It is my understanding that Christian Conservatives are all Repubics.

  95. Answering The Question Says:

    It appears, with no more evidence that we have at this point, that he was exactly like most psycho’s.

    Here, there, everywhere.

  96. Sure Fire Says:

    The words you used at the time you posted about it was what I’ve put up Reg and I’ve posted on it before. I’ll search for it myself. I’m not going to need to apolgize because I’m right.

    In the present.

    Ex-Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., pens an op-ed in the New York Times today about the proper political response to this weekend’s tragedy. I wholeheartedly support the former Congressman (Kanjorski lost his seat in November) when he argues that, following this weekend’s shooting, Congressman need to remain open and accessible to the public. However, Kanjorski is rather hypocritical when he climbs up on his soapbox:

    We all lose an element of freedom when security considerations distance public officials from the people. Therefore, it is incumbent on all Americans to create an atmosphere of civility and respect in which political discourse can flow freely, without fear of violent confrontation.

    Incumbent on all Americans to create an atmosphere of civility and respect? Congressman heal thyself! Yesterday, I noted that, according to the Scranton Times, Kanjorski said this about Florida’s new Republican Governor Rick Scott on October 23:

    “That Scott down there that’s running for governor of Florida,” Mr. Kanjorski said. “Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him. He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he’s running for governor of Florida. He’s a millionaire and a billionaire. He’s no hero. He’s a damn crook. It’s just we don’t prosecute big crooks.”

    I’ll give Kanjorski the benefit of the doubt that he did not literally mean Scott schould be killed. Regardless, Kanjorski’s way over the rhetorical line compared to the kinds of statements liberals are pointing to as evidence that Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh are creating a “climate of hate,” to borrow Paul Krugman’s phrase. And somehow I doubt that there would have been crickets from the national media if a Republican politician called for a Democratic candidate to be shot barely a week before the election.

  97. Sure Fire Says:

    More from the idiot sheriff. That’s right Reg, I’m calling this guy an idiot not labelling all police officers felons like you did.

    Reg/ And everyone knows that lying in court is SOP for, particularly, drug cops. This isn’t even a controversial allegation.

    Sorry, boy. Meanwhile, a law enforcement professional who tries to bring some sanity to his community is an “idiot.”

    Never once lied or did anything illegal as a cop and only cop hating scum would post what you put up.

    http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2011/01/11/20110111tue1-11.html

  98. Sure Fire Says:

    78.Celeste Fremon Says:
    January 11th, 2011 at 10:03 am
    “It’s pretty obvious there’s a double standard in force. If you’re a high profile “conservative” you can say anything, no matter how crazy. If you’re liberal, you get blamed for what some anonymous guy said in a Kos comments section, or what a celebrity responsible only for his own ego lets fly on a comedy show. …”

    What reg said.

    Oh please, that’s too silly to even comment on. You on the left are such cowards when refusing to admit the evidence in from of your face, such hypocrites. How many links are needded to satisfy you guys? I know, there’s never enough, what bullshit.

  99. Answering The Question Says:

    Today, it’s right wing extremists. Their number’s up.

    So you are linking the shooting that took place in AZ to a right-wing extremist and want to curtail our 1st Amendment their 1st Amendment priviledges due to it.

    All I can say is….know that what you’re advocating for is opening the door for the possibility of blogs like this one being shut down in the future.

    You people are amazing. You don’t think past the end of your nose. Especially with this last election cycle, you ought to realize that conservatives might be in charge in the future.

    Careful what you ask for. You might get it.

  100. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Just in passing, I don’t know much about Paul Kanjorski, but he sounds like a loathsome scumbag whom we should be delighted to have out of office.

  101. Answering The Question Says:

    There is a reason I told a certain previous commenter here about his over the top hateful bullshit. The shit that was aimed at this country, politicians, law enforcement and a specific demographic of civilians that live in it.

    What’s the reason you may ask? Because, as Celeste says, words have meaning. Words have consequences.

    Celeste,
    That being the case, NOW you know why I took such exception with you know who’s extremely hateful posts. That’s the kind of speech that leads to the climate we have today.
    You start talking hateful shit, people on the other side start talking it back.

    What can that lead to?

  102. reg Says:

    Sorry Surefire, but we both know that too many police investigations into corruption have found that many cops lie in court as routine matter, and also lie to cover each others asses. This isn’t controversial.

    I see that you’ve also doubled down on the lie about me, based on absolutely no evidence.

    It’s obvious what you’re made of.

    You’re too creepy to deal with. Which is why my best judgement tells me to avoid commenting here. I’ll only get tangled up with someone so dishonest it’s not worth dealing with their pathological behavior. A waste of time and totally annoying.

  103. reg Says:

    Only cop-hating scum and/or right-wing lunatics would attack Sherriff Dupnik for his concerns about the climate of hatred and bigotry that has been ginned up in Arizona.

  104. reg Says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123319367364627211.html

  105. Answering The Question Says:

    reg,
    How many times you gonna say good-bye? Or suggest that you’re not to going to comment anymore?
    You’re worse than Bret Favre. lol.

  106. reg Says:

    How much evidence do you need is a great question – you need to ask that of yourself. But you can’t because you’re a coward.

  107. reg Says:

    Also, since this pathological scumbag wants to cling to his lies about what he dreamed up about supposed comments here long in the past, I will remind anyone who doesn’t fall asleep when they read this crap that he’s the sicko who made comments about me founded on fantasies of prison rape. Which is in line with his serial comments about “being my bitch.” And that’s a fact…unlike his bogus allegations.

    Go to hell, Surefire. Sooner rather than later.

  108. reg Says:

    ATQ – I’ll comment as I please. What’s embarrassing is your weak apologetics for GOP insanity…

  109. reg Says:

    Incidentally, anyone who claims that it’s “hateful” to point out hateful rhetoric by mainstream GOP pols has absolutely no moral center and is part of the problem…

  110. Sure Fire/Nikki Says:

    In my spare time I’ll find what you said Reg, may take awhile but I’ll find it boy. Than since I’m not able to do it in person I’ll shove it up your ass here. Being honest, something that doesn’t float through your dna, even if I’m wrong I’ll post it. Your as fanatical as any far left nut in your rhetoric of hate and lies about cops and just another internet crybaby.

  111. reg Says:

    “shove it up your ass”

    Yeah – another one of your sicko obsessions.

    Go to hell, punk. You’re a disgrace to the law enforcement profession.

  112. reg Says:

    And let’s not forget that this terminal dickwad challenged ME to prove that some lying garbage he posted WASN’T true, rather than posting the comment he claimed I made. But “being honest doesn’t float in MY DNA.”

    You’re a fucking joke, junior.

  113. Sure Fire Says:

    I have to wonder why you’re bringing it up now because I brought it up plenty then. You’re hoping people forget what you’ve posted, I’m fine when people look up what I’ve said, you want to hide yours. What a coward.

  114. reg Says:

    “you want to hide yours”

    The shit you wrote about me doesn’t exist, you asinine little jerk. That’s really all you are – a punk who is running on empty, but is too full of their own crap to admit it.

    Go to hell. You’ve lost this one. Again.

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