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I don't really want to write about this subject, but the media has been obsessed with it for days, so I guess I should. If you have been near a tv news program, you already know there has been some ugly language directed toward members of Congress, there have been a few instances of vandalism (broken windows) at Democratic party headquarters around the nation, and a bullet hit the window of Republican Eric Cantor's campaign headquarters.
Naturally, we all condemn this type of behavior. Democrats and Republicans both condemn it. Certainly, every member of Congress condemns it. That should go without saying, but because it appears more of the bad behavior is coming from right-wingers than from left-wingers (this time), the media and Democrats have to pretend like this is somehow representative of the entire conservative movement. The left-wingers have to pretend Republican speech is responsible for it, or the entire Tea Party movement is responsible for it, or Fox News is responsible for it, or talk radio is responsible for it. Instead of calling it what it is, a few fringe nuts acting up, which exists all across the political spectrum, we have to pretend that conservative speech is somehow inciting people to violence, and it is a huge powderkeg about to explode.
I have to note, the same narrative NEVER seems to exist when left-wingers are engaging in vandalism, violence, threats, and ugly speech. For example, at the recent G20 summit in Pittsburgh, left-wing anarchists and other left-wing protesters smashed store windows, threw bottles at the police, set trash cans on fire, etc, but you NEVER heard the media warn about the dangers of left-wing violence. You never heard anyone tell the left to tone down THEIR rhetoric, and you never heard Republicans in Congress tell Democrats to get their people under control, as Democrats are telling Republicans now. In fact, you probably didn't even know the anarchists are left-wingers, because the media never told you. As another example, when the previous President, Republican George W. Bush, was hung in effigy, had a film and a book released about assassinating him, had Air America running skits about assassinating him, and even had the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, John Kerry, talk about killing him, you NEVER heard any warnings about left-wing extremism from the mainstream media. Evidently, that kind of left-wing incitement to violence isn't worth reporting. It doesn't fit the mainstream media narrative. But when left-wing nuts like Janeane Garofalo or Keith Olbermann call the Tea Party movement racist, the media laps it up and repeats it ad nauseum.
Unfortunately, threats against public officials is nothing new. They are always despicable and cowardly acts, and far more common than we know, because usually, the public officials don't make them public. Such acts should be condemned whether they are coming from the left, the right, or the center. They should not be exploited to fan the flames of partisan anger, which will only raise the possibility of more threats and/or increasing violence. Republican Eric Cantor talked about those who would fan the flames, and said it best in the following video:
Even more unfortunately, I don't have to look very far to find someone who will fan the flames of partisan anger. My blogger pal, the Reverend at the Blog Of Mass Destruction, wrote about the recent threats and vandalism on his blog. The Reverend has a way of starting out with a valid point and then taking off on an extreme tangent into sheer insanity. The linked blog piece was no exception. He attempted to falsely characterize words by Republicans Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and John Boehner as calls to violence, when in reality they were nothing but calls for conservative political action. The Reverend ended his hysterical rant by saying everyone on Fox News (except Shep Smith) and the conservative radio talkers should be charged with crimes. CRIMES. I guess their crime is what most of us would call freedom of speech. I can't help but feel a little sorry for the Reverend, who is sounding more and more like Hugo Chavez as time goes on. Chavez just arrested the owner of a television station in Venezuela because the owner criticized Chavez' government. This is how the Reverend thinks we should treat conservatives in America. He thinks we should arrest them for their political opinions. Pitiful. Like most crazy people, the Reverend is unable to recognize his own craziness.