Tuesday, January 11

Wishing Death is Wrong on the Right, Wrong on the Left

If it was wrong for Bill O'Reilly to suggest Dana Milbank should be Beaten and Decapited, wrong for Bernard Goldberg to threaten the New York Times with a Baseball Bat, wrong for Beck to fantasize about strangling Michael Moore or poisoning Nancy Pelosi, wrong of Michele Bachmann to suggest Republicans should be "Armed and Dangerous", wrong of Sharon Angle to call for "Second Amendment Remedies" if Harry Reid won, wrong for Col Alan West to support "Bullets over Ballots"...

And Wrong for these Twitter user to suggest what they did about the Death of Sarah Palin.



And so far, No One has - thankfully - taken these angry twitter rambling seriously or acted out on them.

When I look at the list of Left Wing Hate from 2000-2010 provided by Michelle Malkin - I can see a ton of really violent and rude signs, certainly ones that silly - but also embarrassingly vicious against George W.Bush. John McCain and Sarah Palin.

I'm not liking to the page or the photos because I don't want to give them, any more hits than they deserve. But Malkin has more than pictures - she has vidoes - but when you start to look at these in detail, they begin to become just a petty litany of anyone whose ever said anything rude about a conservative.

People like Madonna. "Sarah Palin - I'll kick you're ass if you don't get off of my street".



Or Sandra Bernhardt.



Now. we're supposed to take what a professional comedian says seriously?

It's surprising to me she didn't include the Dixie Chicks.

If we're gonna go there - what about Ted Nugent threatened to Murder both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?



Nugent: I was in Chicago Last week, and I said "Hey Obama why don't you suck on these, YA PUNK!" (Holds up a Machine Gun) "Hey Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the Sunset you worthless, Bitch!"

Charmer, ain't he? Yet again, Madonna and Sandra may have been rude - but they didn't wish anyone dead.

After this point it start to deteriorate, they use a serious protest videos to argue that "Liberal are Violent" when that isn't always clear.

Not here, during this video of a set of Prop 8 Supporters walking right through the heart of the San Francisco Castro District - these guys are getting the same reaction that a pack of neo-Nazi's would get in the middle of a Jewish neightborhood. And the "Liberals" are the Haters here?



On here during a non-violent protest of the Military in Oympia.



Or during some Civil Disobedience of Evictions by ACORN - also Non-Violent.



This Anti-SB1070 rally where protestors objected to being filmed and slap the camera - not a person, the camera - but eventually let the guy stay.



They have a set of mugshot of "Violent LIberals", but if you look closely they include...

A guy who attacked card board cut-out of George Bush.

A guy who cut down a Bush-Cheney Sign with a Power Tool, but Malkin fails to note that the full report also says that several Democratic Lawns signs were also vandalized at the same time. She includes mug shots for the anti-Republican vandals, but none of the anti-Democrats.

Wendy Fiedler, the county's Democratic chairwoman, said she now has decided to encourage local Democrats to file reports with police when their signs are vandalized. "This whole sign issue has really gone over the top this year," Fiedler said. "It's getting really ugly."

In one night last weekend, she said, several dozen Democratic signs along Centennial Lane, which borders Columbia and Ellicott City, were taken down by vandals.

Also, she said, one Democratic activist who lives in Ellicott City had reported a gunshot near his house and that a police report was made. Police were unable to confirm that late yesterday afternoon.

A guy who supposed tried to Run Down Katherine Harris - except that he didn't hit her, and she didn't more. So um, how'd he miss exactly?
A silver Cadillac "swerved off the road and drove up the sidewalk" heading "straight towards Ms. Harris," according to the police arrest report.
"Harris stated that she was afraid for her life," according to the police report, "and could not move as the vehicle approached her."

"I was exercising my political expression," Seltzer told police, according to the report.

He was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Then it starts to get silly.

There this guy who threw an ice cream pie at Bill Kristol. And another who threw a cup of salad dressing at Pat Buchannan. A kid who smashed the glass panels a Medal of Honor Monument and another who used vulgar hand gestures and asked a rude question of Ann Coulture (I'm think this kid's my Hero!)

And then really silly.

Here's a girl who filed a false claim that anti-Semitic, anti-black, anti-woman graffiti spray-painted on her 1992 Honda Civic - what this has to do with "Liberals" I don't know but it does remind me of someone else.



And even through all of these claims of "Liberal Hate" - there may have been some property damaged and some feelings hurt - BUT NO ONE was injured in all of these incidents.

No one DIED.

None of these people is currently holding or running for elected office. None of these people has a daily or nightly platform on radio or TV that reaches tens of thousands and could seriously influence anyone else but their own twitter followers.

Contrast that with this...

Where an Acolyte of Glenn Beck launched an attack on the ACLU & Tides, where a fan of Bernie Goldberg killed 2 people at a Unitarian Church in Knoxville Tennessee and where Bill O'Reilly unending attacks on George Tiller ended when he was Murdered by Scott Reoderr) - that same can't be said about the first set of "Liberal Haters".

For a moment lets be honest.

The right-wing in this country is incensed at being connected with the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and if you walk around with all of Michalle Malkin handy pic, videos and misleading links in your brain while no one ways can prove that Laughner was "taking direction" from anyone on the right wing I can fairly understand being a bit peeved. Of course you have to ignore all the dead and wounded from Knoxville to Washington D.C., to Pittsburg, Kentucy and Oakland to get there, but if you fairly fact-blind you can get there. The problem is that hardly any actually made the claim that "Loughner was Puppet of the Right." Most people haven't even suggested it, only two people who really brought it up have been Sherrif Dupnik and Paul Krugman.

Neither of them said that there was a direct link between anything that anyone has said and this violence, but what they did say was that the general tone may have - MAY HAVE - had an effect on a making an already deranged individual, even worse.

The question of whether a general atmosphere of hate and strife can act as a catalyst for one long nut to go over the edge, isn't necessarily as simple as it may seem. Ronald Reagan was shot because of the influence of Jodie Foster and Taxi Driver on a deranged individual, and John Lennon was assassinated because of how the demented mind of Mark David Chapman was influenced by Catcher in the Rye?

Via Greg Sargeant at the Plum Line

While some on the left have wrongly blamed specific voices on the right for the shooting, many liberals have simply argued that even if the shooter is a madman, the tragedy is a good jumping off point for a discussion of whether our toxic climate risks playing a role in tipping the unhinged towards political violence.

Dr. Swartz is the co-author of a 2006 study, reported on yesterday by Time magazine, finding that environmental factors can play a role in increasing violence in schizophrenics. I thought it would be worth asking him for his thoughts on the current debate over the shooting.

Dr. Swartz cautioned that there's still much we don't know about Loughner or more generally about the impact of the political climate on the mentally ill. But he asserted that asking how our politics might have impacted Loughner's behavior was an entirely natural line of questioning.

"We know the manifestation of mental illness is affected by cultural factors," Dr. Swartz said. "One's cultural context does effect people's thinking and particularly their delusions. It gives some content and shape to their delusions. While we don't know whether there was a specific relationship between the political climate that he was exposed to and his thinking, it's a reasonable line of inquiry to explore."

It can't seriously be argued that the worst examples of actual violence and deadly rhetoric are common mostly from the right-wing, but the left itself can't claim to be absolutely innocent. No, it doesn't happen coming from any serious - and if you were to compare tit-for-tit just have to include the guys who curb stomped Lauren Valle...



And THIS GUY whose already pretty far gone.



A larger question though, particular in the increased level of vitriol than has started in the direct aftermath of the Garbrielle Giffords shooting when exactly with the next borderline person on the edge of a psychotic break finally snap and go over the edge - and how much more or less likely will our actions from this point forward make the next horrible, terrible tragedy?

Vyan

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